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The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh; | The mother, wi' her needle and her The black’ning trains o' craws to their

sheers, repose:

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor goes —

new; This night his weekly moil is at an end, The father mixes a' wi' admonition due. Collects his spades, bis mattocks, and his hoes,

VI Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, Their master's and their mistress's comAnd weary, o'er the moor, his course does

mand hameward bend.

The younkers a' are warned to obey;

And mind their labours wi' an eydent hand, III

And ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or At length his lonely cot appears in view,

play: Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; 20 “And Ó! be sure to fear the Lord alTh' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher

way, through

And mind your duty, duly, morn and To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise

night; and glee.

Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray, His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonilie,

Implore His counsel and assisting might: His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie’s | They never sought in vain that sought the smile,

Lord aright.” The lisping infant, prattling on his knee, Does a' his weary kiaugh and care beguile, And makes him quite forget his labor and | But hark ! a rap comes gently to the door; his toil.

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the


Tells how a neebor lad came o'er the moor, Belyve, the elder bairns come drapping To do some errands, and convoy her in,

bame. At service out, amang the farmers roun'; The wily mother sees the conscious flame Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some ten Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; tie rin

30 With heart-struck anxious care, enquires A cannie errand to a neebor town:

his name, Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman While Jenny bafflins is afraid to speak; grown,

Weel-pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her wild, worthless rake.

e'e, Comes hame; perhaps, to shew a braw new gown,

With kindly welcome, Jenny brings him Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,

ben; To help her parents dear, if they in hard A strappin' youth, he takes the mother's ship be.

eye; Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill taen;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and With joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

The youngster's artless heart o'erflows And each for other's weelfare kindly

wi' joy, spiers:

But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel beThe social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd have; fleet;

The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can Each tells the uncos that he sees or

spy hears.

40 What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae The parents partial eye their hopeful grave; years;

Weel-pleas'd to think her bairn's respected Anticipation forward points the view;

like the lave.




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The big ha’-Bible, ance bis father's pride. O happy love! where love like this is His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside, found:

His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare; O heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond com Those strains that once did sweet in Zion pare!

glide, I've paced much this weary, mortal round,

ich this weary, mortal round, I He wales a portion with judicious care. And sage experience bids me this de- | And “Let us worship God!” he says, with clare:

solemn air. “If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleas

XIII ure spare, One cordial in this melancholy vale, They chant their artless notes in simple 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest guise, pair,

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest In other's arms, breathe out the tender tale

aim; Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents Perhaps Dundee's wild-warbling measures the ev'ning gale."

rise, Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the

name; Is there, in human form, that bears a heart, Or noble Elgin beets the heaven-ward A wretch! a villain ! lost to love and

flame, truth!

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art, Compar'd with these, Italian trills are Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?

tame; Curse on his perjur'd arts i dissembling, | The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise; smooth!

Nae unison hae they, with our Creator's Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ?

praise. Is there no pity, no relenting ruth, Points to the parents fondling o'er their

XIV child ?

The priest-like father reads the sacred Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their

page, distraction wild ?


How Abram was the friend of God on


Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage 120 But now the supper crowns their simple

With Amalek's ungracious progeny; board,

Or, how the royal Bard did groaning lie The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging food;

ire; The soupe their only hawkie does afford, Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry; That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire; cood;

Or other holy Seers that tune the sacred The dame brings forth, in complimental lyre.

mood, To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck,

XV fell;

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme: And aft he's prest, and aft he ca's it How guiltless blood for guilty man was

guid; The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How He, who bore in Heaven the second How it was a towmond auld, sin' lint was i'

name, the bell.

Had not on earth whereon to lay His


How His first followers and servants The chearfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

sped; They, round the ingle, form a circle The precepts sage they wrote to many a wide;


land: The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace, How he, who lone in Patmos banished,





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Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, Princes and lords are but the breath of And heard great Bab’lon's doom pronounc'd

kings, by Heaven's command.

“An honest man's the noblest work of


And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly road, Then kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal The cottage leaves the palace far behind;

What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous The saint, the father, and the husband load,

169 prays:

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Hope « springs exulting on triumphant Studied in arts of Hell, in wickedness rewing,”

fin'd! That thus they all shall meet in future

days, There, ever bask in uncreated rays, 140 O Scotia! my dear, my native soil ! No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear, For whom my warmest wish to Heaven Together hymning their Creator's praise,

is sent! In such society, yet still more dear;

Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil While circling Time moves round in an Be blest with health, and peace, and eternal sphere.

sweet content! And O! may Heaven their simple lives

prevent Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's From Luxury's contagion, weak and vile! pride,

Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be In all the pomp of method, and of art;

rent, When men display to congregations wide A virtuous populace may rise the while,

Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart, And stand a wall of fire around their The Power, incens'd, the pageant will much-lov'd Isle.

180 desert, The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;

XXI But haply, in some cottage far apart, 151 O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide, May hear, well-pleas'd, the language of the That stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted soul,

heart, And in His Book of Life the inmates poor | Who dar'd to, nobly, stem tyrannic pride, enroll.

Or nobly die, the second glorious part:

(The patriot's God, peculiarly Thou art, XVIII

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reThen homeward all take off their sev'ral way;

ward !) The youngling cottagers retire to rest: | O never, never Scotia's realm desert; The parent-pair their secret homage pay, But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard And proffer up to Heaven the warm re- In bright succession raise, her ornament quest,

and guard ! That He who stills the raven's clam'rous

nest, And decks the lily fair in flow'ry pride,

TO A MOUSE Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,

160 ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH For them and for their little ones provide; THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER, 1785 But, chiefly, in their hearts with Grace Divine preside.


WEE, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie, XIX

0, what a panic's in thy breastie! From scenes like these, old Scotia's gran Thou need na start awa sae hasty deur springs,

Wi' bickering brattle! That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, abroad:

Wi' murdering pattle!

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I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opiniou

Which makes thee startle 10 At me, thy poor, earth-born companion

An' fellow mortal!

III I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma' request; I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

An' never miss 't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,

Baith snell an' keen!

WEE, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckl'd breast! 10 When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth

Thy tender form.

20When on,


Thon saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.




IV The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, 19 High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield; But thon, beneath the random bield

O'clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou 's turned out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld!


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But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,

For promis'd joy!

VIII Still thou art blest, compared wi' me! The present only toucheth thee: But och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear! An' forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear!

Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betray'd,

And guileless trust;
Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid

Low i' the dust.

VII Such is the fate of simple Bard, On Life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!

Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

And whelm him o'er!

Na, faith ye yet! ye 'll no be right,

Till ye 've got on it | The vera tapmost, tow'ring height

O'Miss's bonnet.

Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n, My sooth! right bauld ye set yer nose out,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n, As plump an' grey as onie grozet:
By human pride or cunning driv'n

O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
To mis’ry's brink;

Or fell, red smeddum,
Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n, I'd gie ye sic a hearty dose o't,
He, ruin'd, sirk!

Wad dress your droddum. 30

Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, I wad na been surpris'd to spy
That fate is thine — no distant date; 50 You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate, Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
Full on thy bloom,

On's wyliecoat;
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight | But Miss's fine Lunardil fye!
Shall be thy doom!

How daur ye do't ?


O Jenny, dinna toss your head,

An' set your beauties a' abread!
ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY'S BONNET Ye little ken what cursèd speed

The blastie's makin!
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,

Are notice takin!
HA! wbare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly,

I canna say but ye strunt rarely

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
Owre gauze and lace,

To see oursels as ithers see us!
Tho' faith! I fear ye dine but sparely It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
On sic a place.

An' foolish notion:

What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us, II

An' ev'n devotion!
Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her — SONG: COMPOSED IN AUGUST

Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Now westlin winds and slaught'ring guns

Bring Autumn's pleasant weather;

The gorcock springs on whirring wings Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle: I Amang the blooming heather: There ye may creep, and sprawl, and | Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain, sprattle,

Delights the weary farmer; Wi'ither kindred, jumping cattle,

The moon shines bright, as I rove by night
In shoals and nations;

To muse npon my charmer.
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

The paitrick lo'es the fruitfu' fells,
The plover lo'es the mountains;

10 Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight, | The woodcock haunts the lonely dells, Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight; 20 The soaring hern the fountains;




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