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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 youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a bra' new gown, Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,

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

Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet; Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view.

The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;

The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their masters' an' their mistresses' command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,
An' ne'er, tho' 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;
Wi' heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;

Weel pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae wild worthless rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;

A strappan youth; he taks 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 bashfu' and sae grave; Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.

Oh happy love! where love like this is found!
O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!
I've paced much this weary mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare-
If Heaven a draught of heav'nly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,

'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,

In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev'ning gale.

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 perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild!

But now the supper crowns their simple board!
The halesome parritch, chief o' 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-hain'd kebbuck fell,
An' aft he's press'd, an' aft he ca's it good;

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 rev'rently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets wearin' thin and 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 Martyrs, worthy o' the name. Or noble Elgin beets the heav'nward flame,

The sweetest far o' Scotia's holy lays : Compar'd 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 Abraham 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 heav'n 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 Bab'lon'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;
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.

Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display to congregations wide,
Devotion's ev'ry grace except the heart!
The Pow'r, incens'd, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,

May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul;

And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.

Then homeward all take off their sev'ral 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 clam'rous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flow'ry 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 lov'd at home, rever'd 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 heav'nly 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 refin'd!

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-lov'd Isle.

O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide

That stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted heart;
Who dar'd 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 putriot bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard.



OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh:
O Life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such as I!

Dim, backward, as I cast my view
What sick'ning scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me thro',
Too justly I may fear!

Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom;

My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!

Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard!

E'en when the wished end's deny'd,
Yet while the busy means are ply'd,
They bring their own reward:
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,
Unfitted with an aim,

Meet ev'ry sad returning night,
And joyless morn the same.
You, bustling, and justling,
Forget each grief and pain;
I listless, yet restless,

Find every prospect vain.

How bless'd the Solitary's lot!
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot,
Within his humble cell,

The cavern wild, with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!

Or, haply, to his ev'ning thought,
By unfrequented stream,

The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream:

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