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A RUSTIC ODE.
Of London pleasures sick :
This endless meal of brick!
I scent no flowery gust:
And turns me “dust to dust."
The path is dry and hot!
But down a chimney's pot!
The dewy meads among!
By folks of vulgar tongue!
With very vile rebuffs !
The turtle made at Cuff's.
My rose blooms on a gown!
That marks the Bell and Crown! Where are ye, birds! that blithely wing From tree to tree, and gayly sing
Or mourn in thickets deep? My cuckoo has some ware to sell, The watchmen is my Philomel,
My blackbird is a sweep!
And tune the various song ?
Are all my “tuneful throng."
And colours of the skies?
Singing in soothing tones :
Though never “ off the stones.”
Where are ye, pastoral, pretty sheep,
Beside your woolly dams?
And skin-not shear—the lambs.
Sweetly, here soundeth not;
The rank weed—“piping hot."
With objects hard to bear : Shades-vernal shades! where wine is sold ! And for a turfy bank, behold
An Ingram's rustic chair!
Wherein the zephyr wons?
And that bare wood, -St. John's.
I hold no leasowes in my lease,
No cot set round with trees :
With brokers, not with bees.
Of city pleasures sick :
This endless meal of brick.
FROM AN ODE TO MELANCHOLY.
Ou! clasp me, sweet, whilst thou art mine,
And do not take my tears amiss ; For tears must now to wash away
A thought that shows so stern as this: Forgive, if somewhile I forget,
In wo to come, the present bliss. As frighted Proserpine let fall
Her flowers at the sight of Dis,
Even so the dark and bright will kiss. The sunniest things throw sternest shade,
And there is even a happiness That makes the heart afraid ! Now let us with a spell invoke
The full-orb’d moon to grieve our eyes; Not bright, not bright, but, with a cloud
Lapp'd all about her, let her rise
Had crept into the skies.
The very face to make us sad; If but to think in other times
The same calm quiet look she had, As if the world held nothing base,
Of vile and mean, of fierce and bad ; The same fair light that shone in streams,
The fairy lamp that charm'd the lad; For so it is, with spent delights
She taunts men's brains, and makes them mad All things are touch'd with melancholy,
Born of the secret soul's mistrust, To feel her fair ethereal wings
Weigh'd down with vile degraded dust; Even the bright extremes of joy
Bring on conclusions of disgust, Like the sweet blossoms of the May,
Whose fragrance ends in must.
Oh give her, then, her tribute just,
There is no music in the life
There's not a string attuned to mirth,
TO A COLD BEAUTY. Lady, wouldst thou heiress be,
To winter's cold and cruel part? When he sets the rivers free,
Thou dost still lock up thy heart ;Thou that shouldst outlast the snow, But in the whiteness of thy brow? Scorn and cold neglect are made
For winter gloom and winter wind, But thou wilt wrong the summer air,
Breathing it to words unkind, Breath which only should belong To love, to sunlight, and to song! When the little buds unclose,
Red, and white, and pied, and blue, And that virgin flower, the rose,
Opes her heart to hold the dew,
Thus in love's peculiar throne ;-
But crystal frosts are all agone, And that which hangs upon the spray, It is no snow, but flower of May !
I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER.
Lives not within the humour of the eye;
Not being but an outward phantasy, That skims the surface of a tinted cheek,Else it would wane with beauty, and grow weak,
As if the rose made summer, -and so lie .
Amongst the perishable things that die, Unlike the love which I would give and seek :
Whose health is of no hue-to feel decay
Love is its own great loveliness alway,
Its bough owns no December and no May,
I REMEMBER, I remember,
The house where I was born, The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn: He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day; But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away! I remember, I remember,
The roses-red and white; The violets and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light !
And where my brother set
The tree is living yet!
Where I was used to swing; And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing: My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now, And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!
The fir trees dark and high;
Were close against the sky:
But now 't is little joy To know I'm farther off from heaven
Than when I was a boy.
BY A LOVER.
By all old martyrdoms and antique smarts,
Left by the drown'd Leander, to endear
Moaneth for pity in the poet's ear;
By Hero's faith, and the forboding tear That quench'd her brand's last twinkle in its fall;
By Sappho's leap, and the low rustling fear
The world shall find such pattern in my act,
ROBERT POLLO K.
This poet was born of parents in humble | heavenward ; a bard, once of our earth, sings circumstances at Eaglesham, in Ayrshire, in the story of humanity, from the beginning 1799. He was educated at the University of until time is finished, Glasgow, and in 1827 took orders in the Scot - the righteous saved, the wicked damned, tish Secession Church. In the same year he And God's eternal government approved. published The Course of Time, and, on account | The subject is a noble one, and in the poem of impaired health, left Scotland with an in- there are graphic conceptions and passages of tention to proceed to Italy, but died, on his beauty and tenderness; but it is disfigured by way, at Southampton, on the fifteenth of Sep- amplifications and a redundancy of moral pictember.
tures; it has no continuous interest, and in The Course of Time was written during his parts of it which should have been and which student life, and when, unfriended and un- the author endeavoured to make the most imknown, he offered it to the publishers of Edin pressive, particularly those in which he subburgh, none of them were willing to bring it jects himself to a comparison with DANTE out. The manuscript was fortunately seen by and Milton, he utterly failed. . Professor Wilson, who quickly perceived its The Course of Time has been almost unimerits, and effected an arrangement between versally read. I have been informed that not the poet and Messrs. Blackwood, which re- less than twenty editions of it have been sold sulted in its publication. The plot of the in the United States, and it has been frepoem is very simple: The events of time are quently reprinted in Scotland. For its popufinished, and a being from some remote world larity, however, both here and in Great Britain, arrives in Paradise, where he inquires the it is more indebted to its theology than to its meaning of the hell he has seen on his way merits as a poem.
ADMIRE the goodness of Almighty God!
Take one example, to our purpose quite,
To take another step. Above him seem'd,
And pluck'd the vine that first-born prophets pluck'd,
He touch'd his harp, and nations heard, entranced,
2 F 2
And open'd new fountains in the human heart. Beyond desire, beyond ambition, full,
He died. He died of what? Of wretchedness;In other men, bis, fresh as morning, rose,
Drank every cup of joy, heard every trump And soar'd untrodden heights, and seem'd at home Of fame, drank early, deeply drank, drank draughts Where angels bashful look’d. Others, though great, That common millions might have quench'd; then Beneath their argument seem'd struggling whiles; Of thirst, because there was no more to drink. [died He from above descending stoop'd to touch His goddess, Nature, wooed, embraced, enjoy'd, The loftiest thought; and proudly stoop'd, as though Fell from his arms, abhorrd; his passions died, It scarce deserved his verse. With Nature's self Died, all but dreary, solitary pride; He seem'd an old acquaintance, free to jest And all his sympathies in being died. At will with all her glorious majesty.
As some ill-guided bark, well built and tall, He laid his hand upon the ocean's mane," Which angry tides cast out on desert shore, And play'd familiar with his hoary locks;
And then, retiring, left it there to rot Stood on the Alps, stood on the Apennines, And moulder in the winds and rains of heaven; And with the thunder talk’d, as friend to friend; So he, cut from the sympathies of life, And wove his garland of the lightning's wing, And cast ashore from pleasure's boisterous surge, In sportive twist, the lightning's fiery wing, A wandering, weary, worn, and wretched thing, Which, as the footsteps of the dreadful God, Scorch'd, and desolate, and blasted soul, Marching upon the storm in vengeance, seem'd; A gloomy wilderness of dying thought,Then turn'd, and with the grasshopper, who sung Repined, and groan'd, and wither'd from the earth. His evening song beneath his feet, conversed. His grognings fill'd the land, his numbers fill'd; Suns, moons, and stars, and clouds, his sisters were; And yet he seem'd ashamed to groan: Poor man! Rocks, mountains,meteors,seas and winds and storms Ashamed to ask, and yet he needed help. His brothers, younger brothers, whom he scarce Proof this, beyond all lingering of doubt, As equals deem'd. All passions of all men, That not with natural or mental wealth The wild and tame, the gentle and severe; Was God delighted, or his peace secured; All thoughts, all maxims, sacred and profane; That not in natural or mental wealth All creeds, all seasons, Time, Eternity ;
Was human happiness or grandeur found.
And with the unsubstantial shade of time,
As some fierce comet of tremendous size, In peace. The wolf dwelt with the lamb, the bear To which the stars did reverence, as it pass'd,
And leopard with the ox. With looks of love, So he through learning and through fancy took The tiger and the scaly crocodile His flight sublime, and on the loftiest top
Together met, at Gambia's palmy wave. Of fame's dread mountain sat; not soil'd and worn, Perch'd on the eagle's wing, the bird of song, As if he from the earth had labour'd up;
Singing, arose, and visited the sun; But as some bird of heavenly plumage fair, And with the falcon sat the gentle lark. He look'd, which down from higher regions came, The little child leap'd from his mother's arms And perch'd it there, to see what lay beneath. And stroked the crested snake, and rollid unhurt The nations gazed, and wonder'd much, and prais'd. Among his speckled waves, and wish'd him home; Critics before him fell in humble plight,
| And sauntering school-boys, slow returning, play'd Confounded fell, and made debasing signs (selves At eve about the lion's den, and wove, To catch his eye, and stretch'd, and swell’d them Into his shaggy mane, fantastic flowers. To bursting nigh, to utter bulky words
To meet the husbandman, early abroad, Of admiration vast: and many, too,
Hasted the deer, and waved its woody head; Many that aim'd to imitate his flight,
And round his dewy steps, the hare, unscared, With weaker wing, unearthly fluttering made, Sported, and toy'd familiar with his dog. And gave abundant sport to after days. fmuch, The flocks and herds, o'er hill and valley spread,
Great man! the nations gazed, and wonder'd Exulting, cropp'd the ever-budding herb, And praised; and many call’d his evil good. The desert blossom'd, and the barren sung. Wits wrote in favour of his wickedness,
Justice and Mercy, Holiness and Love, And kings to do him honour took delight.
Among the people walk'd, Messiah reign'd, Thus, full of titles, flattery, honour, fame, And earth kept jubilee a thousand years.
THE AUTHOR'S ACCOUNT OF HIM.
In humble dwelling born, retired, remote; In rural quietude, 'mong hills, and streams, And melancholy deserts, where the sun Saw, as he pass'd, a shepherd only, here And there, watching his little flock, or heard The ploughman talking to his steers; his hopes, His morning hopes, awoke before him, smiling, Among the dews and holy mountain airs; And fancy colour'd them with every hue Of heavenly loveliness. But soon his dreams Of childhood fled away, those rainbow dreams, So innocent and fair, that wither'd age, Even at the grave, cleared up his dusty eye, And passing all between, look'd fondly back To see them once again, ere he departed: These fled away, and anxious thought, that wish'd To go, yet whither knew not well to go, Possess'd his soul, and held it still awhile. I He listen'd, and heard from far the voice of fame, Heard and was charm'd; and deep and sudden vow Of resolution made to be renown'd; And deeper vow'd again to keep his vow. His parents saw, his parents whom God made Of kindest heart, saw, and indulged his hope. The ancient page he turn’d, read much, thought
He call'd philosophy, and with his heart
To find some avenue to light, some place
Oh! who can tell what days, what nights he spent,
It was not so with him. When thus he lay, Forlorn of heart, wither'd and desolate, As leaf of autumn, which the wolfish winds, Selecting from its falling sisters, chase, Far from its native grove, to lifeless wastes, And leave it there alone, to be forgotten Eternally, God pass'd in mercy byHis praise be ever new !-and on him breathed, And bade him live, and put into his hands A holy harp, into his lips a song, That roll'd its numbers down the tide of time: Ambitious now, but little to be praised Of men alone; ambitious most, to be Approved of God, the Judge of all; and have His name recorded in the book of life.
Such things were disappointment and remorse ; And oft united both, as friends severe, To teach men wisdom; but the fool, untaught, Was foolish still. His ear he stopp’d, his eyes He shut, and blindly, deafly obstinate, Forced desperately his way from wo to wo.
One place, one only place, there was on earth, Where no man e'er was fool, however mad. “ Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die.” Ah! 'twas a truth most true; and sung in time, And to the sons of men, by one well known | On earth for lofty verse and lofty sense.