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For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp

The fragrant hours, and elves
Who slept in buds the day,

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with

sedge, And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,

The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.

Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin ’midst its dreary dells,

Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.

Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,

That from the mountain's side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all

Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.

While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he

wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!

While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light:

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter yelling through the troublous air,

Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes :

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,

Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!

ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE

HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND;

CONSIDERED AS THE SUBJECT OF POETRY.

Inscribed to Mr. John Home.

Home, thou return'st from Thames, whose naiads

long Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay, Mid those soft friends, whose hearts some future

day, Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song. Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth'

Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's

side;

Together let us wish him lasting truth,

And joy untainted with his destin'd bride.

1 A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.

Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast

My short-liv'd bliss, forget my social name; But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,

I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Fresh to that soil thou turn’st, where every vale

Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand : To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail ;

Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe, who own thy genial

land.

There, must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;

"Tis fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;

Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There, each trim lass, that skims the milky store,

To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage door,

While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows

How, wing'd with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,

Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit lieifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutor'd swain : Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts

neglect; Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain ;

These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill, with double force, her heart-command

ing strain.

Ev'n yet preserv'd, how often may'st thou hear,

Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run,

Taught by the father to his listening son; Strange lays, whose power had charm’d a Spenser's

ear.

At every pause, before thy mind possest,

Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,

Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bid'st the well-taught hind repeat

The choral dirge, that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat, And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented

grave; Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel',

Thou hear’st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel, The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny

swarms, And hostile brothers met to prove each other's arms.

'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,

In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer,
Lodg'd in the wintery cave with fate's fell

spear, Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells : How they, whose sight such dreary dreams en

gross, With their own vision oft astonish'd droop,

1 A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.

When, o'er the wat’ry strath, or quaggy moss, They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop.

Or, if in sports, or on the festive green, Their destin'd glance some fated youth descry,

Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigour seen, And rosy health, shall soon lamented die.

For them the viewless forms of air obey; Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair.

They know what spirit brews the stormful day, And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare To see the phantom train their secret work pre

pare,

To monarchs dear', some hundred miles astray,

Oft have they seen fate give the fatal blow !

The seer, in Sky, shriekʼd as the blood did flow, When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay! As Boreas threw his young Aurora forth,

In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles rag'd in welkin of the North,

They mourn'd in air, fell, fell rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joy'd in Preston's fight,

Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crown'd!

1 SUPPLEMENTAL LINES BY MR. MACKENZIE.

“ Or on some bellying rock that shades the deep,

They view the lurid signs that cross the sky,

Where in the west, the brooding tempests lie ; And hear the first faint rustling pennons sweep. Or in the arched cave, where, deep and dark, The broad unbroken billows heave and swell,

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