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Inscribed to Mr. John Home.

HOME! thou return'st from Thames, whose naiads


Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay, Mid those soft friends whose hearts, some fu

ture day,

Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song.
Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth

Whom, long endear'd, thou leavest by Lavant's

Together let us wish him lasting truth

[side; And joy untainted, with his destined bride.

A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.




Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My shortlived bliss, forget my social name
But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame!
Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand:
To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;

Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe who own thy genial, land.

There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;
Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet,
Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill.
There each trim lass, that skims the milky store,

To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage door,

While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There every herd, by sad experience, knows

How, wing'd with Fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes, Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe the' untutor'd swain:

Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts neglect ;

Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain; These are the themes of simple sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding


E'en yet preserved, how often mayst thou hear, Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run, Taught by the father, to his listening son, [ear. Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's

At every pause, before thy mind possess'd,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around,
With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,

Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave,

When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented


Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel*, Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel, The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny swarms, [arms. And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's

'Tis thine to sing how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer,
Lodged in the wintry cave with Fate's fell spear,
Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells:
How they, whose sight such dreary dreams

With their own visions oft astonish'd droop,
When, o'er the watery strath or quaggy moss,
They see the gliding ghosts' unbodied troop:
Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Their destined glance some fated youth descry,
Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigour seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die.
For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair:
They know what spirit brews the stormful day,

* A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.

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