ePub 版

At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

The expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dad, wi' flictherin 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, An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil.

Belyve the elder bairns come drappin in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neebor-town :

Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthful bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,

To help her parents dear, if they in hardship te.

Wi' joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's welfare kindly speers:
The social hours, swift winged, unnoticed fleet;
Each tells the unco that he sees and hears ;
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward 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.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
An' mind the labours wi' an eydent hand,
An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play;
An' O, be sure to fear the Lord alway!

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might:

They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright

But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neebor-lad cam o'er the moor,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;

[rake. Weel pleased, the mother hears, its nae wild, worthless

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;

A strappan youth; he takes the mother's eye: Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy, But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy

What makes the youth sae bashful an' sae grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.

O, happy love! where love like this is found!
O, heartfelt raptures! bliss beyond compare !
I've paced much this weary mortal rourd,

And sage experience bids me this declare-
If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,

"Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,


In other's arms breath out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening

Is there, in human form, that bears a heart-
A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth—
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling, smooth!
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
That paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild?

But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food;
The soupe 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 hebbuck, fell,
An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it gude;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,

How 'twas 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, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha' bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets 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 air

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 Martyr's, worthy of the name,
Or noble Elgin 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,
Nae unison hae 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;

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
The saint, the father, and the husband, prays
Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing,'

[ocr errors]

That thus they all shall meet in future days; 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 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.

« 上一頁繼續 »