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The cheerful supper done, with serious face,
They round the ingle form a circle wide; The Sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,
The big Ha’-Bible, once his father's pride: His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin and 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 air. They chaunt their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim ; Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive Martyr's, worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin's beats the heaven-ward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays. Compared with these, Italian trills are tame:
The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise; No unison have they with our Creator's praise. The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abraham 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 heav'n's avenging ire;
Or, rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
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 pronounc'd by Heaven's
Then, kneeling down, to Heaven's eternal King
The saint, the father, and the husband, prays; Hope “ springs exulting on triumphant wings,"
That thus they all shall meet in future days, There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, nor shed the bitter tear, Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear, While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere. 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 train, 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.
O THOU, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Their stay and dwelling-place!
Beneath thy forming hand; Before this ponderous Globe itself
Arose at thy command;
This universal frame,
Was ever still the same.
Which seem to us so vast, Appear no more before thy sight
Than yesterday that's past.
Is to existence brought;
Return ye into nought !'
In everlasting sleep;
With overwhelming sweep.
In beauty's pride array’d;
All wither'd and decay'd!
O most delightful hour by man
Experienced here below,
His folly and his woe!
Worlds should not bribe me back to tread,
Again life's dreary waste,
With all the gloomy past.
Earth, seas, and sun, adieu !
I have no sight for you.
So speaks the Christian, firm possess'd
Of Faith's supporting rod,
The bosom of his God.
Such rest be mine, hear each exclaim,
When my last hour arrives. Then be that rest the settled aim
And purpose of your lives.
No longer I follow a sound,
I have sought thee in splendour and dress,
A humble ambition and hope,
be the lot of the mind That seeks it in meekness and love, But rapture and bliss are confined To the glorified spirits above.