« PreviousContinue »
• But why o' death begin a tale ?
When ance life's day draws near the Just now we're living sound and hale,
gloamin', Then top and maintop crowd the sail, Then fareweel vacant careless roamin'; Heave care o'er side!
And fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin', And large before enjoyment's gale,
And social noise ;
And fareweel dear, deluding woman,
The joy of joys:
O Life! how pleasant in thy morning, Where pleasure is the magic wand.
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning,
We frisk away,
Like school-boys, at the expected warn
To joy and play.
We eye the rose upon the brier,
Unmindful that the thorn is near,
Among the leaves !
And though the puny wound appear
Short while it grieves. From the Epistle to W. Simpson. We'll sing auld Coila's plains and fells, Even winter bleak has charms to me Her moors red-brown wi' heather bells, When winds rave through the naked tree; Her banks and braes, her dens and dells, Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree Where glorious Wallace
Are hoary gray :
Or blinding drifts wild furions flee,
Darkening the day !
To feeling, pensive hearts hae cha ms! Oft have our fearless fathers strode
Whether the summer kindly warms, By Wallace' side,
Wi’ life and light, Still pressing onward, red-wat shod, Or winter howls in gusty storms Or glorious died !
The lang, dark night!
Oh, sweet are Coila's hanghs and woods, The Muse, nae poet ever fand her, When lintwhites chant amang the buds, Till by himsel he learned to wander, And jinkin' hares in amorous whids, Adown some trotting burn's meander, Their loves enjoy,
And no think lang;
A heart-felt sang!
On turning one down with a plough in April 1786.
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
Alag! it's no thy neebor sweet
The purpling east !
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
O clod or stane,
i serie de com bied
There in thy scanty mantle clad,
Of prudent lore, Thy snawie bosom sunward spread, Till billows rage, and gales blow hard, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
And whelm him o'er! In humble guise ; But now the share uptears thy bed. Such fate to suffering worth is given, And low thou lies!
Who long with wants and woes has
striven, Such is the fate of artless maid,
By human pride or cunning driven Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
To misery's brink, By love's simplicity betrayed,
Till wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruined, sink !
Even thou who mourn'st the daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-ho distant date; Such is the fate of simple bard,
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate, On life's rough ocean luckless starred !
Full on thy bloom, Unskilful he to note the card
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom. On Captain Matthew Henderson. A gentleman who held the patent for his honours immediately from Almighty God.
But now his radiant course is run,
For Matthew's course was bright;
A matchless, heavenly light!
Droops with a diamond at its head,
1' the rustling gale, And like stock-fish come o'er his studdie Ye maukins, whiddin' through the glade, Wi' thy auld sides!
Come join my wail.
Mourn, ye wee songsters o' the wood;
Ye whistling plover;
He's gane for ever!
Mourn, sooty coots, and speckled teals,
Circling the lake;
Rair for his sake.
Ye hills, near neebors o' the starns,
Where Echo slumbers !
My wailing numbers !
Wi' toddlin' din,
Frae lin to lin!
Mourn, clamering craiks at close o' day,
Frae our cauld shore,
Wham we deplore.
Sets up her horn,
Till waukrife morn!
Mourn, little harebells o'er the lea;
In scented bowers;
The first o' flowers.
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,' Untie these bands from off my hands, The wretch's destine!
And bring to me my sword; Macpherson's time will not be long
And there's no a man in all Scotland, On yonder gallows-tree.
But I'll brave him at a word.
I've lived a life of sturt and strife;
It burns my heart I must depart
And not avenged be.
Ae Fond Kiss. These exquisitely affecting stanzas contain the essence of a thousand love-tales.' -Scott.' Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Had we never loved sae kindly, Ae fareweel, alas ! for ever!
Had we never loved sae blindly, Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge Never met-or never parted, thee,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted. Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee. Who shall say that fortune grieves him, Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest ! While the star of hope she leaves him? Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest! Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me; Thine be ilka joy and treasure, Dark despair around benights me.
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure !
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Ae fareweel, alas ! for ever! Naething could resist my Nancy;
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge But to see her was to love her;
thee, Love but her and love for ever.
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
My Bonny Mary.
Go fetch to me a pint o wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie; That I may drink, before I go,
A service to my bonny lassie;
Fu’ loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry;
The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are ranked ready ; The shouts o' war are heard afar,
The battle closes thick and bloody; But it's not the roar o sea or shore
Wad make me langer wish to tarry; Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar
It's leaving thee, my bonny Mary.
Mary Morison. One of my juvenile works.'-BURNS. Of all the productions of Burns, the pathetic and serious love-songs which he has left behind him in the manner of old ballads, are perhaps those which take the deepest and most lasting hold of the mind. Such are the lines of "Mary Morison," &c.'-HAZLITT. O Mary, at thy window be,
Though this was fair, and that was braw, It is the wished, the trysted hour!
And yon the toast of a' the town,
That make the miser's treasure poor: Ye are na Mary Morison.'
O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace, Could I the rich reward secure,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die ? The lovely Mary Morison.
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee? Yestreen when to the trembling string If love for love thou wilt na gie,
The dance gaed through the lighted ha', At least be pity to me shewn; To thee my fancy took its wing,
A thought ungentle canna be I sat, but neither neard nor saw.
The thought o' Mary Morison.
Bruce's Address. Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Wha will be a traitor knave ? Scots, wham Bruce has aften led
Wha can fill a coward's grave ? Welcome to your gory bed,
Wha sae base as be a slave ? Or to victory!
Let him turn and flee!
Now's the day, and now's the hour;
Chains and slavery!
Wha for Scotland's king and law
Let him follow me!
By oppression's wocs and pains ! Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow! But they shall be free!
Let us do or die!
A Vision. * As I stood by yon roofless tower,
By heedless chance I turned mine cyes, Where the wa' flower scents the dewy And, by the moonbeam, shook to see
A stern and stalwart ghaist arise, Where the howlet mourns in her ivy Attired as minstrels wont to be.
bower, And tells the midnight moon her care; Had I a statue been o'stane,
His darin' look had daunted me; The winds were laid, the air was still, And on his bonnet graved was plain, The stars they shot alang the sky;
The sacred posy-Libertie !' The fox was howling on the hill, And the distant echoing glens reply. And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
Might roused the slumbering dead to The stream, adown its hazelly path,
hear; Was rushing by the ruined wa's,
But, oh! it was a tale of woe, Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
As ever met a Briton's ear. Whose distant roaring swells and fa's.
He sang wi' joy the former diy, The cauld blue north was streaming forth He weeping wailed his latter times; Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din;
But what he said it was nae playAthort the lift they start and shift,
I winna ventur 't in my rhymes. Like fortune's favours, tint as win.
To Mary in Heaven.
That lov'st to greet the early morn,
My Mary froin my soul was torn.
Where is thy place of blissful rest ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?
That sacred hour can I forget,
Can I forget the hallowed grove,
To live one day of parting love!
'l hose records dear of transports past;
Ah! little thought we 'twas our last !
orative architect his eldest so the south of there, in two of the
* A favourite walk of Burns, during his residence in Dumfries, was one anong the right bank of the river above the town, terminating at the ruins of Lincluden Abbey and Church, which occupy a romantic situation on a piece of rising ground in the angle at the junction of the Cluden ater with the Nith. These ruins include many fine fraginents of ancient decorative architecture, and are enshrined in a natural scene of the utmost beauty. Burns, according to his eldest son, often mused amidst the Lincluden ruins. There is one position on a little mount to the south of the church, where a couple of landscapes of witching loveliness are obtained. set, as it were, in two of the windows of the ancient building. It way probably the Calvary of the ancient church precinct. This the younger Burns remembered to have been a favourite resting place of the poet.
Such is the locality of the grand and thrilling ode, entitled A Vixion, in which he hints--for more than a hint could not be ventured upou-his sense of the degradation of the ancient manly spirit of his country under the conservative terrors of the passing era.
ng lo ven probably there been a favoentitled