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When down it rolls, and at the bottom lies,
FROM "THE COTTAR'S SATURDAY NIGHT.”
Ar length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise an’ glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a’ his weary carking cares beguile,
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, among the farmers roun’;
A cannie errand to a neibour town;
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Come hame perhaps to show her braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
Wi' joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's welfare kindly speirs :
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears :
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forwards points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi’ admonition due.
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 lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare;
He wales a portion with judicious care;
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 ha’e 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;
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, [command. And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's
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 :
No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear;
In such society, yet still more dear;
Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest;
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
For them and for their little ones provide ;
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonnie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
Wi' speckled breast,
The purplin east.
Cauld blew the bitter biting north
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
O'clod or stane,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thou lift'st thy unassuming head
In humble guise :
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless maid,
And guileless trust;
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
To misery's brink,
He, ruined, sink !
Even thou who mourn’st the Daisy's fate,
Full on thy bloom,
Shall be thy doom!