Page images

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur

That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,

“ An honest man's the noblest work of God jul! And certes, in fair virtue's heav'nly 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 refin'd!

[ocr errors]

Scotia! my dear, my native soil !
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is

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


XXI, o Tkou! who pour'd the patriotic tide That stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted

heart; Who dar'd 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 !



1. When chill November's surly blast

Made fields and forests bare,
One ev’ning, as I wander'd forth

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spy'd a man, whose aged step

Seem'd weary, worn with care ;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,

And hoary was his hair.

Young stranger, whither wand'rest thou ?

Began the rev'rend sage ;
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasure's rage ?
Or haply, prest with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me, to mourn

The miseries of man.

The sun that overhangs yon moors,

Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support

A haughty lordling's pride; I've seen yon weary winter-sun

Twice forty times return; And ev'ry time has added proofs

That man was made to mourn.

O man! while in thy early years,

How prodigal of time!
Mis-spending all thy precious hours,

Thy glorious youthful prime!

Alternate follies take the sway;

Licentious passions burn; Which tenfold force gives nature's law,

That man was made to mourn.

Look not alone on youthful prime,

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right:
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn,
Then age and want, oh! ill-match'd pair!

Show man was made to mourn.

A few seem favourites of fate,

In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think not all the rich and great

Are likewise truly blest.
But, oh! what crowds in ev'ry land

Are wretched and forlorn!
Thro’ weary life this lesson learn,

That man was made to mourn.

Many and sharp the num'rous ills

Inwoven with our frame !
More pointed still we make ourselves,

Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face

The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn!

See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,

So abject, mean, and vile,
Who begs a brother of the earth

To give him leave to toil;

And see his lordly fellow-worm

The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, tho’ a weeping wife

And helpless offspring mourn.

If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,

By Nature's law design'd,
Why was an independent wish

E'er planted in my mind ?
not, why am I subject to

His cruelty or scorn?
Or why has man the will and pow'r

To make his fellow mourn?

Yet, let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast :
This partial view of human-kind

Is surely not the last !
The poor, oppressed, honest man,

Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense

To comfort those that mourn !

XI. o death! the poor man's dearest friend,

The kindest and the best! Welcome the hour my aged limbs

Are laid with thee at rest! The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,

From pomp and pleasure torn; But, oh! a blest relief to those

That weary-laden mourn !



O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear !
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear!

If I have wander'd in those paths

of life I ought to shun;
As something, loudly, in my breast,

Remonstrates I have done;

Thou know'st that thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong!
And list'ning to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,
Do thou, All-Good ! for such thou art,

In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have,
But Thou art good; and goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.


Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene?

Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?

« PreviousContinue »