« PreviousContinue »
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
The Children's Corner.
The ORPHANS-BROTHER AND sweet face was lighted up with SISTER.— A gentleman walking down smiles. He bowed down his head the streets of Edinburgh saw a pro- to catch the few hurried words she cession of boys and girls belonging spoke to him, and to let her bear to one of the charity schools, who his little tale. He took his ege were going out for a holiday. He from off her face but once, and only says : -“ My attention was then once, and that for a moment, and directed towards two young boys this was to see that his pony was about fourteen years of age. Each still where he left it. was driving a small cart, drawn by brute seemed to be sensible of the a pony
The first boy, when he sacred mission on which its consaw the children, called out to his auctor had gone, as it moved not. young friend, who was a little be- He again bowed down his head to bind, and the moment his eye caught breathe into the ear of his beloved the sight, he leaped from the cart and loving sister his few parting with a spring, crying out, " James, words, for he could not go any I'll see my sister, I'll see my wee farther. They grasped earh other's sister.” He drew his horse quickly hands and exchanged looks of ten. to the side of the pavement, and left derness, and the little girl moved it alone, the instant the girls came on with her companions. His eyes towards him. Just as he commenced saw nothing but that one loved obbis anxious search his horse inoved ject, they followed her along. The off, he sprung to its head and checked children in front turned down Yorkits progress, and, in an instant, he place, and before she was out of her was at the front ranks of the girls, brother's view, she turned round, keenly glancing along the line to and with a sweei smile, held out her discover his little sister. Being all hand in token of adieu. The boy dressed alike, it was not easy to dis- started as her face met his gaze, and tinguish any one in particular with moving one step forward, held out out the strictest search. On they both his hands- the next moment passed, but his sister came not. she was hid from his sight. He Poor boy, thought I, his kind heart slowly returned towards his horse, will be doomed to suffer disappoint and, whilst a tear moistened his eye, ment, as his little sister does not and a cast of melancholy shaded his appear to be amongst them, and countenance, there was still somefrom his sorrowful look he thought thing like an expression of satisfacso too. They all passed but two-tion and pleasure on his features. his face glowed with delight-his He mounted his little cart, and, as sister was one of them. The anxious I turned from beholding the scene, boy rushed to her, and grasping one there was a dimness over my eyes of her hands in his, he placed the which took a few applications of my other gently on her neck, and could handkerchief to remove.' This is only say “Mary.” The little girl, an interesting little fact. How who appeared to be about seven lovely to see such an example of years of age, looked up, and, oh, brotherly and sisterly affection ! such ecstacy! she was by the side There is not on earth a more pleasof her brother. She clasped her ing sigbt than children of one family little arms around him, and her dwelling together in peace and love.
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ.
[The following justly admired Poem by Burns, the Scotch Poet, is inserted in our pages, that it may excite in English Peasants and Mechanics, a desire to imitate their Scotch neighbours, in the practice of family worship. Some little things in it might have been as well omitted; but we dare not attempt to alter or abridge. How much is it to be regretted, that this self-taught child of genius, like our English Shakespear, wrote so little that is truly good and useful, and so much that is objectionable and injurious. The Scotch words will, we expect, be easily understood.]
My lov’d, my honoured, much respected friend,
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise.
The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene;
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The short’ning winter-day is near a close;
The black’ning train o'craws to their repose;
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
To meet their Dad, wi' flichtering noise and glee.
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
Belyve the elder barns come drappin in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
A cannie errand to a neebor town:
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Or deposit her sair-worn penny fee,
Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sister's meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers;
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears;
Anticipation forward points the view.
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The youukers a' are warned to obey ;
Au ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play ;
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Implore his counsel and assisting might:
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door ;
Jenny, wha kens th' meaning o' the same,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e and flush her cheek;
While Jenny bafflins is afraid to speak;
Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben ;
A strappan youth; he takes the mother's eye;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave;
What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave;
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
O happy love! where love like this is found!
O heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond compare!
And sage experience bids me this declare
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart
A wretch! a villain ! lost to love and truth!
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth !
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ?
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 :
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cud;
To grace the lad, her weel- hain'd kebbuck fell.
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The big Ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride ;
His lyart haffets wearin thin an' bare !
He wales a portion witb judicious care;
They chant their heartless notes in simple guise ;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
Or plaintive Martyr's, worthy of the name:
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
The tickled ears no heart-felt rapture raise ;
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGAT.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Beneath the stroke of heaven's avenging ire ;
Or, rapt Isaiah's wild seraphic fire ;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head :
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land;
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand;
Then kneeling down to heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
That thus they all shall meet in future days:
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
In such society, yet still more dear;
Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
Devotion's every grace, except the heart !
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul,
Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest ;
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
For them and for their little ones provide ;