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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 does hame
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; Th’expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher thro' To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise and
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.
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 youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee, To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers : The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet;
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the
new ; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
The younkers a' are warned to obey ;
An' ne'er, tho' out o’sight, to jauk or play: 6 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
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; With heart-struck anxious care, enquires his
name, While Jenny haflins is afraid to speak ; Weel pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae wild, worth
kye. The youngster's artless heart o’erflows wi' joy. But, blate and laithfu', scarce can weel be
have; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae
grave; Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like IX. happy love! where love like this is found !
O heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond compare ! I've paced much this weary mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare-
In others' arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev'n
X Is there, in human form, that bears a heart
A wretch ! a villain lost to love and truth! That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth? Curse on his perjur'd arts ! dissembling smooth !
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ? Is there no pity, no relenting ruth, Points to the parents fondling o'er their
child ? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction
XI. But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The healsome parritch, ehief o' Scotia's food : The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood: The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmund auld, sin' lint was i' the
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide ;
The big ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride :
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare ; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care; And “ Let us worship God !” he says, with solemn
XIII. They chaunt their artless notes in simple guise ; They tune their hearts, by far the noblest
aim: Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin beets the heav'n-ward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise ; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
How Abram was the friend of God on high : Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ; Or how the royal bard did groaning lye
Beneath the stroke of heaven's avenging ire ; Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed; How He, who bore in heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay bis head : How his first followers and servants sped,
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land : How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ; And heard great Bab'i 's doom pronounc'd by
XVI. Then kneeling down, to Heaven's eternal king,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays : Hope “ springs exulting on triumphant wing*,
That thus they all shall meet in future days: There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear, While circling time moves round in an eternal
XVII. Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art, When men display to congregations wide,
Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart !
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ;
May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the
And in his book of life the inmates poor enroll.
The youngling cottagers retire to rest :
And proffer up to heaven the warm request
And decks the lily fair in flow'ry pride, Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best,
For them and for their little ones provide ; But, chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine pre
Pope's Windsor Forest,