Page images

Somo drops of joy with draughts of ill between;

Some gleams of sunshine mid renewing


Is it departing pangs my soul alarms ?

Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms;

I tremble to approach an angry God,
And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod.

Fain would I



Forgive my foul offence !!! Fain promise never more to disobey ; But, should my Author health again dispense,

Again I might desert fair virtue's way; Again in folly's path might go astray ;

Again exalt the brute and sink the man; Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray,

Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan? Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation


O Thou, great Governor of all below!

If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,

Or still the tumult of the raging sea : With that controuling pow'r assist ev'n me,

Those headlong furious passions to confine: For all unfit I feel my powers to be,

To rule their torrent in th' allowed line; 0, aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Divinc !

Lying at a reverend friend's house one night, the

author left the following


In the room where he slept.

Othou dread Pow'r, who reign'st above!
I know thou wilt me hear :


Vol. III,

When for this scene of peace and love,

I make my pray'r sincere.

The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,

Long, long, be pleas'd to spare,
To bless his little filial flock,

And show what good men are.

She, who her lovely offspring eyes

With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,

But spare a mother's tears !

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,

In manhood's dawning blush ;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,

Up to a parent's wish.

The beauteous, seraph sister-band,

With earnest tears I pray,
Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry hand,

Guide thou their steps alway.

When soon or late they reach that coast,

O'er life's rough ocean driv'n,
May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost,

A family in heav'n!


The man, in life wherever plac'd,

Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,

Nor learns their guilty lore:

Nor from the seat of scornfül pride

Casts forth his eyes abroad, But with humility and awe

Still walks before his God.

That man shall flourish like the trees

Which by the streamlets grow; The fruitful top is spread on high,

And firm the root below.

But he whose blossom buds in guilt

Shall to the ground be cast, And like the rootless stubble tost,

Before the sweeping blast.

For why? that God the good adore

Hath giv’n them peace and rest, But hath decreed that wicked men

Shall ne'er be truly blest.


Under the pressure of violent anguish,

o Thou Great Being! what thou art

Surpasses me to know :
Yet sure I am, that known to thee

Are all thy works below.

Thy creature here before thee stands,

All wretched and distrest;
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul

Obey thy high behest.

Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act

From cruelty or wrath! 0, free my weary eyes from tears,

Or close them fast in death!

But if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design ;
Then man my soul with firm resolves

To bear and not repine !



O Thou, the first, the greatest friend

Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand has ever been

Their stay and dwelling place!

Before the mountains heay'd their heads

Beneath thy forming hand, Before this pond'rous globe itself,

Arose at thy command ;

That pow'r which rais'd and still upholds

This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time

Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vast, Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.

Thou giv'st the word: Thy creature, man,

Is to existence brought;
Again thou say'st, “ Ye sons of men,

Return ye into nought !"

Thou layest them, with all their cares,

In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood thou tak'st them off

With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flow'r,

In beauty's pride array'd;
But long ere night cut down it lies

All wither'd and decay'd.


On turning one down with the plough, in

April, 1786.

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonnie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonnie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!

Wi' speckl'd breast, When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield ; But thou beneath the random bield

O' clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane,

There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,

« PreviousContinue »