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an ode WHAT constitutes a State 7 Not high-raised battlement or laboured mound, Thick wall or moated gate; Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned; Not bays and broad-armed ports, Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride; Not starred and spangled courts, Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride. No ;—men, high-minded men, With powers as far above dull brutes endued In forest, brake, or den, As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude; Men, who their duties know, But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain, Prevent the long-aimed blow, And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain: These constitute a State, And sovereign Law, that State's collected will, O'er thrones and globes elate
Sits Empress, crowning good, repressing ill;
Smit by her sacred frown
The fiend dissension like a vapour sinks,
And e'en th’ all dazzling crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.
Such was this heaven-loved isle,
Than Lesbos fairer and the Cretan shorel
No more shall Freedom smile !
Shall Britons languish, and be men no more?
Since all must life resign,
Those sweet rewards which decorate the brave,
'Tis folly to decline,
And steal inglorious to the silent grave.
THE COTTER’s SATURDAY NIGHT.
My loved, my honoured, much respected friend,
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scotish lays,
The lowly train in life's sequestered scene;
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways,
What Aiken in a cottage would have been ;
Ah! tho' his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The shortening winter-day is near a close
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
And weary o'er the moor, his course doeshameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
The expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dad, wi' flictherin noise an' glee.
His wee-bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a his weary carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drappin in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun’;
Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neebor-town :
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthful bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi’ joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's welfare kindly speers:
The social hours, swift winged, unnoticed fleet;
Each tells the unco that he sees and hears;
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view :
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new,
The father mixes a” wi' admonition due.
Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey ;
“An' mind the labours wi'an eydent hand,
An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play;
An' O, be sure to fear the Lord alway !
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an’ night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neebor-lad cam o'er the moor,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; [rake.
Weel pleased, the mother hears, its nae wild, worthless
Wi’ kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
A strappan youth; he takes the mother's eye :
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi'joy,
But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave ;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashful an' sae grave;
Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.