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TO A MOUSE,
Weg sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie, Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wasto,
An' weary winter comin' fast,
Thou thought to dwell, I wad be laith? to rin an'chase thee, Till, crash! the cruel coulter past Wi' murd'ring prattle 13
Out thro' thy cell. I'm truly sorry man's dominion
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble Has broken nature's social union, Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! An' justifies that ill opinion,
Now thou's turn'd out for a'thy trouble, Which makes thee startle
But 11 house or hald 12 At me, thy poor earth-born companion, To thole 13 the winter's sleety dribble, 14 An' fellow-mortal !
An' cranreuch cauid ! 15 I doubt na, whyles," but thou may thieve; But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, What then? poor beastie, thou maun 5 live! In proving foresight may be vain : A daimen icker in a thrave
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, 'S a sma' request ;
Gang aft a-gley, 16
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
On prospects drear !
Baith snell 10 an' keen!
I guess an' fear.
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,
ON TURNING DOWN ONE WITH A PLOUGH, APRIL, 1786.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thy slender stem :
Thou bonnie gem.
Cauld blew the bitter, biting north
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
Alas! it's no thy neibor sweet,
Wi' speckled breast,
The purpling east.
The Haunting flowers our gardens yield,
O'clod or stane,
1 Hurrying speed.
2 Loath. 3 Plough-stick & An ear of corn now and then in twenty-four sheaves. 8 Rank grass.
9 Both. 10 Sharp. 13 Endure.
14 Drizzle. 15 Hoar frost. 18 Dust
Rest. 19 Hold. 11 Must 23 Dry.
The Rev. Robert Ha!l was born in 1764 and was educated for the ministry of the Baptist Church at Bristol. He was also a student for a time at Aberdeen, where he formed a lasting intimacy with Sir James Mackintosh. He is the author of six volumes of sermons which are remarkable for power, eloquence, and purity of style. At one period his mind was beclouded, his nervous system having been weakened by too incessant study; his reason was restored, however, and he preached many years afterwards. Probably no clergyman among English Dissenters has had a higher or more enduring reputation. He died in 1831 at Bristol.
[Extract from a Sermon on the Death of the Princess Charlotte.) It has been the approved practice of the most enlightened teachers of religion to watch for favorable occasions to impress the mind with the lessons of wisdom and piety; with a view to which they
1 Smart fellow.
• Must not attempt.
have been wont to advert to recent events of an interesting order, that, by striking in with a train of reflection already commenced, they might the more easily and forcibly insinuate the instruction it was their wish to convey. A sound discretion, it must be acknowledged, is requisite to make the selection. To descend to the details and occurrences of private life would seldom consist with the dignified decorum suited to religious assemblies: the events to which the attention is directed on such occasions should be of a nature somewhat extraordinary, and calculated to produce a deep and permanent impression. Admonition, imparted under such circumstances, is styled, in Scripture, a word in season, or, as it is emphatically expressed in the original, a word on the wheels, denoting the peculiar facility with which it makes its way to the heart.
In such a situation, the greatest difficulty a speaker has to surmount is already obviated; attention is awake, an interest is excited, and all that remains is to lead the mind, already sufficiently susceptible, to objects of permanent utility. He originates nothing; it is not so much he that speaks, as the events which speak for themselves; he only presumes to interpret their language, and to guide the confused emotions of a sorrowful and swollen heart into the channels of piety. Let them turn their eyes, then, for a moment, to this illustrious princess, who, while she lived, concentred in herself whatever distinguishes the higher orders of society, and may now be considered as addressing them from the tomb.
Born to inherit the most illustrious monarchy in the world, and united at an early period to the object of her choice, whose virtues amply justified her preference, she enjoyed (what is not always the privilege of that rank) the highest connubial felicity, and had the prospect of combining all the tranquil enjoyments of private life with the splendor of a royal station. Placed on the summit of society, to her every eye was turned, in her every hope was centred, and nothing was wanting to complete her felicity, except perpetuity. To a grandeur of mind suited to her royal birth and lofty destination she joined an exquisite taste for the beauties of nature and the charms of retirement, where, far from the gaze of the multitude, and the frivolous agitations of fashionable life, she employed her hours in visiting, with her distinguished consort, the cottages of the poor, in improving her virtues, in perfecting her reason, and acquiring the knowledge best adapted to qualify her for the possession of power and the cares of empire. One thing only was wanting to render our satisfaction complete in the prospect of the accession of such a
princess; it was that she might become the living mother of children. The long-wished-for moment at length arrived; but alas! the event anticipated with such eagerness will form the most melancholy part of our history.
It is no reflection on this amiable princess to suppose that, in her early dawn, with the dew of her youth so fresh upon her, she anticipated a long series of years, and expected to be led through successive scenes of enchantment, rising above each other in fascination and beauty. It is natural to suppose she identified herself with this great nation, which she was born to govern, and that, while she contemplated its preëminent lustre in arts and in arms, its commerce encircling the globe, its colonies diffused through both hemi. spheres, and the beneficial effects of its institutions extending to the whole earth, she considered them so many component parts of her grandeur. Her heart, we may well conceive, would often be ruffled with emotions of trembling ecstasy, when she reflected that it was her province to live entirely for others, to compose the felicity of a great people, to move in a sphere which would afford scope for the exercise of philanthropy the most enlarged, of wisdom the most enlightened, and that, while others are doomed to pass through the world in obscurity, she was to supply the materials for history, and to impart that impulse to society which was to decide the destiny of future generations. Fired with the ambition of equalling, or surpassing, the most distinguished of her predecessors, she probably did not despair of reviving the remembrance of the brightest parts of their story, and of once more attaching the epoch of British glory to the annals of a female reign. It is needless to add that the nation went with her, and probably outstripped her, in these delightful anticipations. We fondly hoped that a life so inestimable would be protracted to a distant period, and that, after diffusing the blessings of a just and enlightened administration, and, being surrounded by a numerous progeny, she would, gradually, in a good old age, sink under the horizon, amidst the embraces of her family, and the benedictions of her country. But alas ! these delightful visions are fled; and what do we behold in their room but the funeral pall and shroud, a palace in mourning, a nation in tears, and the shadow of death settled over both like a cloud! O, the unspeakable vanity of human hopes ! the incurable blindness of man to futurity! ever doomed to grasp at shadows, to seize with avidity what turns to dust and ashes in his hands, to sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.
How must the heart of the royal parent be torn in anguish on this occasion !