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But as for thee, thou false woman,
My sister and my fae,
That thro' thy soul shall gae :
Was never known to thee;
Frae woman's pitying e'e.
My son! my son! may kinder stars
Upon thy fortune shine :
That ne'er wad blink on mine!
Or turn their hearts to thee : And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend,
Remember him for me!
O! soon, to me, may summer-suns
Nae mair light up the morn!
Wave o'er the yellow corn!
Let winter round me rave;
Bloom on my peaceful grave.
TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ.
Late crippld of an arm, and now a leg, About to beg a pass for leave to beg; Dull, listless, teas’d, dejected, and deprest, (Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest); Will generous Graham list to his poet's wail? (It soothes poor misery, harkening to her tale), And hear him curse the light he first ey'd, And doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade.
Thou, nature, partial nature, I arraigu;
But 0! thou bitter step-mother and hard,
Critics-appall’d, I venture on the name,
His heart, by causeless wanton malice wrung,
Till fled each hope that once his bosom fir'd,
So by some hedge, the gen’rous steed deceasd, For half-starv'd snarling curs a dainty feast; By toil and famine wore to skin and bone, Lies senseless of each tugging bitch's son.
O dulness ! portion of the truly blest ! Calm shelter'd haven of eternal rest! Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes Of fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams. If mantling high she fills the golden cup, With sober selfish ease they sip it up: Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve, They only wonder “some folks” do not starve, The grave sage hern thus easy picks his frog, And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog. When disappointment snaps the clue of hope, And thro’ disastrous night they darkling grope, With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear, And just conclude that “ fools are fortune's care." So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks, Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.
Not so the idle muses' mad-cap train, Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain ; In equanimity they never dwell, By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaulted hell.
I dread thee, fate, relentless and severe,
Thro'a long life his hopes and wishes crown;
FOR JAMES, EARL OF GLENCAIRN.
The wind blew hollow frae the hills,
By fits the sun's departing beam Look'd on the fading yellow woods
That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding stream: Beneath a craigy steep, a bard,
Laden with years and meikle pain, In loud lament bewail'd his lord,
Whom death had all untimely ta'en.
He lean'd him an an ancient aik,
Whose trunk was mould'ring down with years ; Ht: locks were bleached white with time,
His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears ; And as he touch'd his trembling harp,
And as he tun'd his doleful sang, The winds, lamenting thro' their caves,
To echo bore the notes alang.
“ Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing,
The reliques of the vernal quire !
The honours of the aged year!
Again ye'll charm the ear and e'e;
Can gladness bring again to me.
“I am a bending aged tree,
That long has stood the wind and rain; But now has come a cruel blast,
And my last hald of earth is gane :
Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring,
Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom ; But I maun lie before the storm,
And ithers plant them in my room.
" I've seen sae mony changefu' years,
On earth I am a stranger grown;
Alike unknowing and unknown:
lade o' care, For silent, low, on beds of dust,
Lie a' that would my sorrows share.
“And last, (the sum of a' my griefs !)
My noble master lies in clay ; The flow'r amang our barons bold,
His country's pride, his country's stay: In weary being now I pine,
For a' the life of life is dead, And hope has left my aged ken,
On forward wing for ever fled.
“ Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!
The voice of woe and wild despair ! Awake, resound thy latest lay,
Then sleep in silence evermair! And thou, my last, best, only friend,
That fillest an untimely tomb, Accept this tribute from the bard
Thou brought from fortune's mirkest gloom.
“ In poverty's low barren vale,
Thick mists, obscure, involv'd me round; Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye,
Nae ray of fame was to be found : Thou found'st me, like the morning sun
That melts the fogs in limpid air, The friendless bard and rustic song,
Became alike thy fostering care,