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My head rins round and round about,
My heart flows like a sea,
O scule-time and o’thee.
O lichtsome days and lang,
Like simmer blossoms sprang.
Oh, mind ye, luve, how oft we left
The deavin' dinsome toun,
And hear its waters croon ?
The flowers burst round our feet, And in the gloamin' o' the wood
The throssil whusslit sweet;
The throssil whusslit in the wood,
The burn sang to the trees,
Concerted harmonies ;
For hours thegither sat
Wi' very gladness grat.
Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trinkled doun your cheek, Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak ! That was a time, a blessed time,
When hearts were fresh and young, When freely gushed all feelings forth
I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
Gin I hae been to thee
As ye hae been to me?
Oh! tell me gin their music fills
Thine ear as it does mine? Oh! say gin e'er your heart grows grit
Wi' dreamings o' lang syne ?
I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
I've borne a weary lot ;
Ye never were forget.
Still travels on its way ;
The luve o' life's young day.
Oh, dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sindered young,
The music o' your tongue ;
And happy could I die,
O' bygane days and me!
GREAT PROSE WRITERS.
LORD BACON-JOHN MILTON-JEREMY TAYLOR-JOHN RUSKIN
OF the many illustrious prose writers who adorned the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First, Bacon is the one whose shrewdness, and power, and admirable good sense have left the deepest traces in our literature. His Essays are still read with avidity and delight, every fresh perusal bringing forth fresh proofs of his knowledge of human nature and felicity of language. We cannot but be grateful to the author, however we may dislike as a man the treacherous friend of Essex and the cringing parasite of James.
I do not know any single passage that more advantageously displays his fulness and richness of thought and of style than this on the use of study.
“ Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring ; for ornament is in discourse; and for ability is in the judgment and disposition of business ; for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one ; but the general counsels, and the plots, and marshalling of affairs come best from those that are learned. To spend
too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience ; for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them and above them, won by observation. Read, not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books ; else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory;
if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning to seem to know that he doth not."
I add one very fine illustration :
“ If the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, which as ships pass through the vast, sea of Time, and make ages so distant participate of the wisdom, illuminations, and inventions, the one of the other !”
In John Milton's grand and holy fame there is no alloy. The man was as great and pure as the author. I am not sure whether (always excepting the minor poems) I do not prefer the stately and weighty march of his prose, even to his lofty and resoun ling verse.
I select some noble passages from his “ Appeal for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing."
“ I do not deny but it is of the greatest concernment in the Church and Commonwealth to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men; and therefore to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors; for books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them, to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are ; nay, they do preserve, as in a phial, the purest efficacy and extraction of that which bred them. I know they are as lively, as vigorously productive as those fabulous dragons' teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men; and yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book : who kills a man, kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who kills a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth ; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, em