Sidor som bilder

Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,

Like linnets in the bush,

Ye little know the ills ye court, When manhood is your wish. The losses, the crosses, That active man engage ! The fears all, the tears all, Of dim-declining age.




THE wintry west extends his blast,

And hail and rain does blaw;

Or, the stormy north sends driving forth

The blinding sleet and snaw:

While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,

And roars frae bank to brae;

And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.


"The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,"* The joyless winter day,

Let others fear, to me more dear

Than all the pride of May:

The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join,
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine.


Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme These woes of mine fulfil,

Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,

Because they are thy will!

Then all I want, (0, do thou grant

This one request of mine!) Since to enjoy thou dost deny, Assist me to resign.


Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short but simple annals of the poor.


My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend!
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise;
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways: What A**** in a cottage would have been; Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.

* Dr. Young.


November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The shortening winter day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes,

This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.


At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

Th' expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee.
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile, An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil.


Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun': Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin A cannie errand to a neebor town: Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown, Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,

To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. V.

Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for others' weelfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnoticed fleet; Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new: The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.


Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
"An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,

An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play: An' O! be sure to fear the Lord alway!

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray, Implore his counsel and assisting might: They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"


But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. The wily mother sees the conscious flame

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worthless rake.


Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy. But blathe and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy

What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.


O happy love! where love like this is found! O heartfelt raptures! bliss beyond compare! I've paced much this weary mortal round,

And sage experience bids me this declare"If heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare, One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,

In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale."


Is there, in human form, that bears a heart-
A wretch a villain! lost to love and truth!

That can, with studied, sly, insnaring art,

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth? Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling smooth! Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled? Is there no pity, no relenting truth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild?


But now the supper crowns their simple board, The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food: The soupe their only hawkie does afford,

That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood: The dame brings forth in complimental mood,

To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.


The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They round the ingle form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care;
And "Let us worship God!" he says, with solemn


They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name:
Or noble Elgin beets the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;

The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.


The priest-like father reads the sacred page, How Abram was the friend of God on high; Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage

With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or, Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He, who bore in heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head:
How his first followers and servants sped;

The precepts sage they wrote to many a land: How he, who lone in Patmos banished,

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand; And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by

Heaven's command.


Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King, The saint, the father, and the husband prays: Hope" springs exulting on triumphant wing,"* That thus they all shall meet in future days: There ever bask in uncreated rays,

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, Together hymning their Creator's praise,

In such society, yet still more dear; [sphere. While circling time moves round in an eternal


Compared with this, how poor religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art,
When men display, to congregations wide,

Devotion's every grace, except the heart! The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert, The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; But haply, in some cottage far apart,

May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul; And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.


Then homeward all take off their several way;
The yougling cottagers retire to rest:
The parent pair their secret homage pay,

And proffer up to Heaven the warm request That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest, And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best,

For them and for their little ones provide; But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside. XIX.

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, "An honest man's the noblest work of God:" And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,

The cottage leaves the palace far behind; What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!

Pope's Windsor Forest.

[blocks in formation]



O THOU unknown, Almighty Cause
Of all my hope and fear!

In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
Perhaps I must appear!


If I have wander'd in those paths Of life I ought to shun,

As something, loudly, in my breast, Remonstrates I have done;


Thou know'st that thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;
And listening to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.


Where human weakness has come short, Or frailty stept aside,

Do thou, All-Good! for such thou art, In shades of darkness hide.


Where with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have,

But thou art good; and goodness still Delighteth to forgive.


WHY am I loath to leave this earthly scene? Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between : Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing storms: Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?

Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms;
I tremble to approach an angry God,

And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod.
Fain would I say, "Forgive my foul offence!"
Fain promise never more to disobey;
But, should my Author health again dispense,
Again I might desert fair virtue's way;
Again in folly's path might go astray;

Again exalt the brute and sink the man;
Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray,
Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan?
Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation
ran ?

O thou, great Governor of all below!
If I may dare a lifted eye to thee,
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,
Or still the tumult of the raging sea:
With what controlling power assist e'en me,
Those headlong, furious passions to confine;
For all unfit I feel my powers to be,

To rule their torrent in th' allowed line;
O aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Divine !





O THOU dread Power, who reign'st above!
I know thou wilt me hear:
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make my prayer sincere.


The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,
Long, long be pleased to spare!
To bless his little filial flock,
And show what good men are.


She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,
But spare a mother's tears!


Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In manhood's dawning blush;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,
Up to a parent's wish!


The beauteous, seraph sister band,

With earnest tears I pray,

Thou know'st the snares on every hand, Guide thou their steps alway!


When soon or late they reach that coast,
O'er life's rough ocean driven,
May they rejoice, no wanderer lost,
A family in heaven!


THE man, in life wherever placed,
Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad,
But with humility and awe

Still walks before his God.

That man shall flourish like the trees
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.

But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast.

For why? that God the good adore

Hath given them peace and rest, But hath decreed that wicked men Shall ne'er be truly blest.



O THOU Great Being! what thou art
Surpasses me to know:

Yet sure I am, that known to thee
Are all thy works below.

Thy creature here before thee stands,

All wretched and distrest;

Yet sure those ills that wring my soul,

Obey thy high behest.

Sure thou, Almighty, canst not act

From cruelty or wrath!

O free my weary eyes from tears,
Or close them fast in death!

But if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design;

Then man my soul with firm resolves
To bear and not repine!


O THOU, the first, the greatest Friend
Of all the human race!

Whose strong right hand has ever been

Their stay and dwelling place!
Before the mountains heaved their heads
Beneath thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself
Arose at thy command:

That power which raised and still upholds
This universal frame,

From countless, unbeginning time

Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vast,

Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.

Thou givest the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought:
Again thou say'st, " Ye sons of men,
Return ye into naught !"

Thou layest them, with all their cares,
In everlasting sleep;

As with a flood thou takest them off
With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flower,
In beauty's pride array'd;

But long ere night cut down it lies
All wither'd and decay'd.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


ALL hail! inexorable lord!

At whose destruction-breathing word,

The mightiest empires fall! Thy cruel wo-delighted train, The ministers of grief and pain,

A sullen welcome, all! With stern-resolved, despairing eye, I see each aimed dart;

For one has cut my dearest tie,

And quivers in my heart.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »