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"If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial, in this melancholy vale,
Is there, in human form, that Dears a heart,—
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled?Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child,— Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild?
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia's food; The soup 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-hained kebbuck fell, An' aft he's pressed, an' aft he ca's it guid;
The frugal wifie garrulous will tell, How was 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, with patriarchal grace,
The big ha'-Bible, ance his father's pride; His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart hafTets 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" beats the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ear no heart-felt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,TM
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,
Hope " springs exulting on triumphant wing,"
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, While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
Compared with this, how poor religion's piides
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 enroll.
Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling 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.
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!
348 DISDAIN RETURNED.
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content! And, O, may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile! Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent, A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved isle.
O Thou, who poured the patriotic tide That streamed through Wallace's undaunted heart; Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride, Or nobly die, the second glorious part, (The patriot's God, peculiarly thou art,
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !) O, never, never, Scotia's realm desert, But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard I
DISDAIN RETURNED. — Carew.
He that loves a rosie cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and steadfast mind,
LAKE, WITH LAWNY BANKS THAT SLOPE
"Lake, with lawny banks that slope
To the water's edge,
Thy long grass and sedge.
"Thou hadst been a gem of earth
Couched amid these hills,
Troubles the pure rills
"Whence thy hidden life is drawn.
Why thus fretteth he,
Thy tranquillity ? ,5
Lightly by a ruffling wind
Were the waters pressed,
Issued from their breast.
Be it genie, be it fate,
I know not, — but know
Ever turbid flow.