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Belyve the elder bairns come drappin' in,
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,
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Implore his counsel and assisting might :
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
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!
'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-
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
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!
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood:
The frugal wifie, garrulous will tell,
How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearin' thin and bare;
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
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,
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or, how the royal bard did groaning lie
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
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,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
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;
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
For them and for their little ones provide;
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind :
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;
(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,
OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care,
Dim, backward, as I cast my view
Still caring, despairing,
My woes here shall close ne'er,
Happy, ye sons of busy life,
E'en when the wished end's deny'd,
Meet ev'ry sad returning night,
Find every prospect vain.
How bless'd the Solitary's lot!
The cavern wild, with tangling roots,
Or, haply, to his ev'ning thought,
The ways of men are distant brought,