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Even thou who mourn’st the daisy's fate,
Full on thy bloom,
Shall be thy doom!
TO A MOUSE,
ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH.3
WEE, sleekit," cowerin', timorous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle !6
Wi' murdering pattle ! 8
Which maks thee startle
An' fellow mortal!
'S a sma' request :
And never miss't!
(1) Ruin's ploughshare-a bold figure, and strikingly in keeping with the subject. It is borrowed from Young's “ Night Thoughts” (see p. 407).
(3) “ The charm,” says Lord Jeffrey, “ of these fine lines will be found to consist in the simple tenderness of the delineation;" and also, it may be added, in the hearty human sympathies which are interwoven with it. The words “fellow mortal,” touch this chord with powerful effect.
(4) Sleekil—sleek, sly.
(7) Laith—loth ; as baith, both. (8) Pattle—a small spade to clean the plough. (9) Whyles--sometimes. (10) Daimen-icker-an ear of corn met with occasionally. (11) Thrave-shock of corn.
(12) Lave-leaving, the rest.
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Ó' foggaget green!
Baith snell' an' keen !
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
Thou thought to dwell,
Out-thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
But house or hald,
And cranreucho cauld !
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 10
Gang aft a-gley,"
For promised joy
On prospects drear !
I canna see,
(1) Wee bit housielittle bit of a house.
(2) Win's—winds. The final consonant is often omitted as an' for and, o' for of, &c. (3) Big-build.
(4) Foggage-long grass. (5) Snell—bitter.
(6) But- without. (7) Hald-abiding place, home.
(8) Thole-endure. (9) Cranreuch-hoar-frost.
(10) No thy lane-not alone. (11) Gang aft a-gley-often go wrong.
THE MESSIA H.3
A SACRED ECLOGUE.
YE nymphs of lyma !4 begin the song:
(1) A similar thought is found in the piece entitled the “ Thames” (see p. 9), but there it is merely suggested, here it is amply developed.
(2) Nobler mind, the soil of the mind, which is far nobler and more important than that of the land.
(3) “The idea of uniting the sacred prophecies and grand imagery of Isaiah with the mysterious visions and pomp of numbers in the Pollio of Virgil, thereby combining both sacred truth and heathen mythology, in predicting the coming of the Messiah, is one of the happiest subjects for producing emotions of sublimity that ever occurred to the mind of a poet.”— Roscoe.
(4) Solyma-same as Salem, supposed to be the ancient name of Jerusalem.
(5) Sublimer-i.e. than those required by common subjects. A comparative sometimes, in English as well as in Latin, has the force of an emphatic positive; “ sublimer" therefore means, truly sublime.
(6) Mount Pindus, in Thessaly, and Aonia, a district of Bæotia, are celebrated as “ haunts of the muses." This fanciful designation thus arises :-the lovely scenery of many parts of Greece suggested beautiful conceptions to the minds of the poets, who, in their turn, personified the influences which thus affected themselves, and gave them the name of muses. Hence, the muses are said to inspire the poet-that is, to sing his song to him--while he merely wrote it down, (7) O Thou, &c.-i.e. the classic muses of Greece are unequal to such a subject,
therefore, do Thou, &c.
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :-
!? a God, å God appears !”
(1) The bard-i.e. Isaiah, or the poet supposed to be endowed from above with the same inspiration. (2) Isaiah xi. 1. (3) Isaiah xlv. 8.
(4) Isaiah xxv. 4. (5) Returning Justice-Astrea, the goddess of justice, according to the fable, left the earth in the iron age, being unable to endure the sinfulness of mankind; in this new golden age she will return. See also Isaiah ix. 7.
(6) Carmel's flowery top—“The good qualities of the soil of Carmel,” says a modern traveller, "are apparent from the fact that many odoriferous plants and flowers, as hyacinths, jonquils, tazettos, anemonies, &c., grow wild upon the mountain.”
(7) Isaiah xl. 3, 4 (8) Hear him, dec.so striking an expression that it were to be wished that the next four lines had been omitted, as they only tamely repeat the same idea.
the visual ray,
He from thick films shall
(1) Isaiah xxxv. 5, 6. (2) Adarnantine—from the Greek ádápas (in old Greek, steel), which is from a, not, and dauáw, to tame or subdue--that which cannot be overpowered or broken, indissolubly strong. (3) Isaiah ix. 6.
(4) Isaiah ii. 4. (5) Falchion-from the Latin falx, a reaping-hook or sickle-a hooked or arched sword.
(6) Isaiah lxv. 21, 22.