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“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 neibor 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, an’ Aush her cheek;
Wi' heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins ? is afraid to speak;
Weel pleased the mother hears its nae wild, worthless rake.
Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben 3 -
A strappin' 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, blatean' laithfu’,scarce can weel behave;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashfu' and 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 pacéd much this weary, mortal round,
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 breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening 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 perjured arts ! dissembling smooth!
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ?
Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild?
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch,' chief of Scotia's food;
The soupe their only hawkie? does afford,
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cud :
The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,
grace the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck · fell, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
How 'twas a towmond 6 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, with patriarchal grace,
The big ha’-bible, ance his father's pride ;
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets 10 wearing 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 of the name,
Or noble Elgin beets " the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays.
Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ear no heartfelt raptures raise ;
Nae unison ha'e they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page
How Abram was the friend of God on high ;
1 Porridge. 6 Biting. . Once.
10 Gray temples.
• Well-saved cheese.
$ In flower
13 Adds fuel to.
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 an’ 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 Bab’lon'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,”
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 strain, 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 enroll.
Then homeward all take off their several 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 flowery 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 loved at home, revered 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 heavenly 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 refined !
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-loved isle.
O Thou, who poured the patriotic tide
That streamed through Wallace's undaunted heart,
Who dared 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 patriot bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
I waive the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard of concealing; But, och! it hardens a' within,
An' petrifies the feeling!
I LANG ha'e thought, my youthfu' friend,
A something to have sent you,
Though it should serve nae ither end
Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject-theme may gang,
Let time an' chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.
Ye'll try the world fu’ soon, my lad,
An', Andrew, dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco! squad,
An' muckle? they may grieve ye:
For care an' trouble set your thought,
Ei'd when your end's attained;
Aa'a' your views may come to nought,
Where ev'ry nerve is strainéd.
To catch Dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her; An' gather gear? by ev'ry wile
That's justified by honor ; Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for a train-attendant, But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
I'I no say men are villains a';
The real, hardened wicked, Wha ha'e nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked;
But, och! mankind are uncos weak,
An' little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted !
The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip
To haud the wretch in order ; But where ye feel your honor grip,
Let that aye be your border: Its slightest touches, instant pause,
Debar a' side pretences; An' resolutely keep its laws,
Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife,
Their fate we should na censure, For still th' important end of life
They equally may answer ; A man may ha'e an honest heart, Tho' poortith • hourly stare him ; A man may tak’a peibor's part, Yet ha'e nae cash to spare him.
The great Creator to revere
Must sure become the creature ; But still the preaching cant forbear,
An' ev'n the rigid feature : Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,
Be complaisance extended ; An atheist laugh's a poor exchange
For Deity offended !
Aye free, aff han' your story tell,
When wi' a bosom crony;
But stiid keep something to yoursel'
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel' as weel's ye can
Frae critical dissection ;
But keeks through ev'ry other man,
Wi' sharpened, sly inspection.
When ranting round in pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded; Or if she gi'e a random sting,
It may be little minded:
But when on life we're tempest driven,
A conscience but a canker,
A correspondence fixed wi' Heaven
Is sure a noble anchor!
The sacred lowe® o' weel-placed love,
Luxuriantly indulge it ;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho' naething should divulge it:
Adieu ! dear, amiable youth,
Your heart can ne'er be wanting! May prudence, fortitude, an' truth
Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase, “God send you speed, "
Still daily to grow wiser :
An' may you better reck the rede 8
Than ever did th' adviser!