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I’ve stood beside the cottage bed
Where the bard-peasant first drew breath,
A straw-thatched roof above his head,
A straw-wrought couch beneath.
And I have stood beside the pile,
His monument—that tells to Heaven
The homage of earth's proudest isle
To that bard-peasant given.
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There have been loftier themes than his,
And longer scrolls, and louder lyres,
And lays lit up with Poesy's
Purer and holier fires.
Yet read the names that know not death,
Few nobler ones than Burns are there,
And few have won a greener wreath
Than that which binds his hair.
His is that language of the heart,
In which the answering heart would speak,
Thought, word, that bids the warm tear start,
Or the smile light the cheek;
And his, that music, to whose tone
The common pulse of man keeps time,
In cot or castle’s mirth or moan,
In cold or sunny clime.
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Pure hopes, that lift the soul above,
Come with his Cotter's hymn of praise,
And dreams of youth, and truth, and love,
With “Logan’s” banks and braes.
And when he breathes his master-lay
Of Alloway’s witch-haunted wall,
All passions in our frames of clay
Come thronging at his call.
Imagination’s world of air,
And our own world, its gloom and glee,
Wit, pathos, poetry, are there,
And death's sublimity.
Praise to the bard l–His words are driven,
Like flower-seeds by the far winds sown,
Where'er, beneath the sky of heaven,
The birds of fame have flown.
Praise to the man!—A nation stood
Beside his coffin with wet eyes,
Her brave, her beautiful, her good,
As when a loved one dies.
And still, as on his funeral day,
Men stand his cold earth-couch around,
With the mute homage that we pay
To consecrated ground. *
And consecrated ground it is,
The last, the hallowed home of one
Who lives upon all memories,
Though with the buried gone.
Such graves as his are pilgrim-shrines,
Shrines to no code or creed confined,—
The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
The Meccas of the mind.
Sages, with Wisdom's garland wreathed,
rowned kings, and mitred priests of power,
And warriors, with their bright swords sheathed,
The mightiest of the hour;
And lowlier names, whose humble home
Is lit by Fortune's dimmer star,
Are there—o'er wave and mountain come,
From countries near and far;
Pilgrims, whose wandering feet have pressed
he Switzer’s snow, the Arab’s sand,
Or trod the piled leaves of the West,
My own green forest-land.
All ask the cottage of his birth,
Gaze on the scenes he loved and sung,
And gather feelings not of earth
His fields and streams among.
They linger by the Doon's low trees,
And pastoral Nith, and wooded Ayr,
And round thy sepulchres, Dumfries!
The poet's tomb is there.
But what to them the sculptor's art,
His funeral columns, wreaths, and urns?
Wear they not, graven on the heart,
The name of Robert Burns?
From the Spanish of Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola.
BLEssed, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted
The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,
In wonder and in scorn!
Thou weepest days of innocence departed;
Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to move
The Lord to pity and love.
The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,
Even for the least of all the tears that shine
On that pale cheek of thine.
Thou didst kneel down to him who came from heaven,
Evil and ignorant, and thou shalt rise
Holy, and pure, and wise.
It is not much, that to the fragrant blossom
The ragged brier should change, the bitter fir
istil Arabian myrrh;
Nor that, upon the wintry desert's bosom,
The harvest should rise plenteous, and the swain
Bear home the abundant grain.
But come and see the bleak and barren mountains
Thick to their tops with roses; come and see
Leaves on the dry, dead tree:
The perished plant, set out by living fountains, . Grows fruitful, and its beauteous branches rise, For ever, towards the skies.
TRIUMPH not, frail man; thou art
Too weak a thing to boast;
Thou hast a sad and foolish heart;
Misdeeds are all thou dost.
Thou seem'st most proud of thine offence;
Thou sinn'st e'en where thou want'st pretence.
Triumph not, though nothing warns
Of vigor .# fast;
Remember roses fade, but thorns
Survive the wintry blast.
A pleasant morn, a sultry noon,
Foretell the tempest rising soon.
Triumph not, though fortune sends
The riches of the mine;
If then thou countest many friends,
It is good luck of thine.
But triumph not: that gold may go;
And friends will fly in hour of wo.
And thou may’st love a smooth, soft cheek,
And woo a tender eye:
But triumph not : a single week,
And cold those lips may lie,
Or, worse, that trusted heart may rove,
And leave thee, for another love.
But triumph, if thy soul feels firm
In faith, and leans on God;
If wo bids flourish love's warm germ,
And thou can'st kiss the rod;
Then triumph, man; for this alone
Is cause for an exulting tone.
Sabbath Evening Twilight.—ANoNYMous,
DELIGHTFUL hour of sweet repose,
Of hallowed thoughts, of love, of prayer :
I love thy deep and tranquil close,
For all the Sabbath day is there.
Each pure desire, each high request
That burned before the temple shrine,—
The hopes, the fears, that moved the breast,-
All live again in light like thine.
I love thee for the fervid glow
Thou shed'st around the closing day,+
Those golden fires, those wreaths of snow,
That light and pave his glorious way!
Through them, I’ve sometimes thought, the eye
May pierce the unmeasured deeps of space,
And track the course where spirits fly,
On viewless wings, to realms of bliss.
I love thee for the unbroken calm,
That slumbers on this fading scene,
And throws its kind and soothing charm
O'er “all the little world within.”
It trances every roving thought,
Yet sets the soaring fancy free,_
Shuts from the soul the present out,
That all is musing memory.
I love those joyous memories,
That rush, with thee, upon the soul, -
Those deep, unuttered symphonies,
That o'er the spell-bound spirit roll.
All the bright scenes of love and youth
Revive, as if they had not fled;
And Fancy clothes with seeming truth
The forms she rescues from the dead.
Yet holier is thy peaceful close,
For vows love left recorded there ;-
This is the noiseless hour we chose
To consecrate to mutual prayer.
"Twas when misfortune’s fearful cloud
Was gathering o'er the brow of heaven,