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Shoots into port at some well-havened
THE POPLAR FIELD Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons The poplars are felled ; farewell to the smile,
shade, There sits quiescent on the floods that show And the whispering sound of the cool colonHer beauteous form reflected clear be
The winds play no longer and sing in the While airs impregnated with incense play
leaves, Around her, fanying light her streamers Nor Ouse on his bosom their image regay;
ceives. So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore,
Twelve years have elapsed since I first took “ Where tempests never beat nor billows a view roar.”
Of my favourite field, and the bank where And thy loved consort on the dangerous they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are Of life long since has anchored by thy I laid, side.
And the tree is my seat that once lent me But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, 100 a shade! Always from port withheld, always distressed —
The blackbird has fled to another retreat, Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest Where the hazels afford him a screen from tost,
the heat, Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and com Aud the scene where his melody charmed pass lost,
me before And day by day some current's thwarting Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no force
more. Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
My fugitive years are all hasting away, Yet, oh, the thought that thou art safe, and And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, he !
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at That thought is joy, arrive what may to my head, me.
Ere another such grove shall arise in its My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
stead. From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth;
'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything But higher far my proud pretensions rise
110 To muse on the perishing pleasures of man; The son of parents passed into the skies ! Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, And now, farewell — Time unrevoked has
Have a being less durable even than he. 20 His wonted course, yet what I wished is
done. By contemplation's help, not sought in vain, ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL I seem to have lived my childhood o'er
GEORGE again; To have renewed the joys that once were
WRITTEN WHEN THE NEWS ARRIVED mine, Without the sin of violating thine :
(Written Sept., 1782] And, while the wings of Fancy still are
To the march in “ Scipio." And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Toll for the brave ! Time bas but half succeeded in his theft
The brave that are no more ! Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me All sunk beneath the wave, left.
Fast by their native shore !
ADDRESS TO THE DEIL
When twilight did my graunie summon, (Publ. 1786]
To say her pray’rs, douce, honest woman!
Aft yont the dyke she's heard you bummin, O Prince! O Chief of many throned pow'rs !
Wi' eerie drone; That led th' embatti'd seraphim to war.
Or, rustlin, thro' the boortrees comin,
Wi' heavy groan.
Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
The star shot down wi' sklentiu light, Clos'd under hatches,
Wi' you mysel, I gat a fright:
Ayont the lough,
Wi' waving sugh.
VIII Hear me, Auld Hangie, for a wee,
The cudgel in my nieve did shake, An' let poor damned bodies be;
Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake; I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
When wi' an eldritch, stoor “quaick, Ev'n to a deil,
quaick," To skelp an’scaud poor dogs like me
Amang the springs, An' hear us squeel. Awa ye squatter'd like a drake,
On whistling wings.
Your wily snares an' fechtin fierce, 110
Down to this time,
Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse,
In prose or rhyme.
To your black Pit;
An' cheat you yet.
But fare-you-weel, Auld Nickie-Ben!
Still hae a stake:
I'm wae to think upo' yon den,
Ev'n for your sake!
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY When youthfu' lovers first were pair'a,
INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ.
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile, Then you, ye auld, snick-drawing dog!
The short and simple annals of the poor. Ye cam to Paradise incog,
GRAY. An' play'd on man a cursed brogue
(Black be your fa'!), An' gied the infant warld a shog,
My lov'd, my honor'd, much respected 'Maist ruin'd a'.
No mercenary bard his homage pays; XVII
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end, D'ye mind that day when in a bizz
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and Wi' reekit duds, an' reestit gizz,
praise: Ye did present your smoutie phiz
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays, 'Mang better folk; 100 | The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene;
100 An' sklented on the man of Uzz
The native feelings strong, the guileless Your spitefu' joke ?
What Aiken in a cottage would have been; XVIII
Ah! tho' his worth unknown, far happier An' how ye gat him i' your thrall,
there I ween!
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh; An' lows'd his ill-tongu'd wicked scaul - The shortning winter-day is near a Was warst ava ?