Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

to me.

my heart.

While my mind was warmed with I'll inaybe thae sweet scenes o' youth see these feelings, another rhyming fit nae mair,

But aye till the cauld han' o' death came upon me, and here follows the result.

shuts my e'e, Where'er I may wander, where'er i

may dwell, Recollections of Youthful Scenes. Dear, dear shall their memory be ever The gale saftly blaws frae the hills o' my hame,

An' oh! the lang gaze o' my fond moAn' oh! how delightfu' its breathings

ther's e'e, to feel !

Sae tenderly bent on her wandering While gently its wing fans my cheek au'

boy ; my breast,

My father's voice struggling wi' kindness What fond recollections o'er memory

an' grief, steal !

An' his bosom's deep heave wi' the sad My father's wee cot rises fresh on my

parting sigh ;view,

An' each glad joyous face, that made An' the lang ash-trce soughing abune

hame doubly dear, the lum-head ;

Sae dowie an' tearfu' to see me depart; My ain green sod-seat by the bourtrees

Oh! that gaze, an' that sigh, an' each o'erhung,

dear waefu' face, Wi' their sweet milky blossoms or ber

Till it ceases to beat shall aye dwell in ries sae red. The clear caller spring, an' its pure rippling stream,

Now, you must not be severe in Wi' a' its wee islands o' cresses sae your criticisms upon my poor verses; green ;

I cannot help it that they are not The bank where the primrose peeps mo better, for they are the best I could destly out,

produce, and they are true represenAn' the violet uplifts to the sun its blue tations, both of the natural scenery cen;

of my dear home, and the warın Where the green woodbine clings to the

feelings of my

heart. auld wither'd tree, While its dark berry nods to the whis. wind, and the agreeable alteration

A few days after the change of the pering gale ;

of weather which followed, I got the The plantings where often I've daunert

offer of a situation some miles beIn the gloamin'; an' listen'd the cushy- yond C-; and as it was consider. do'es' wail :

ably better in every respect than that at H

it appeared to me the most The fields wi' the crimson-tipt gowans be- prudent course to accept it. Accordgemm'd,

ingly I again packed up my little An' skirted wi' hawthorn, sae snawy, trunk, keeping out a small bundle sae green ;

for immediate use, till it should come Where I've watch'd the wee nestlings a' gaping for food,

to me; seized

my gude aik stick” To frighten or herrie them laith wad I

and my umbrella, and prepared for been:

my departure. Though I had been The green spongy mosses, where light. little more than a fortnight at HM, somely waves

yet I felt something like grief or reThe tufted grass, white as the swan's gret at leaving it; particularly when downy breast;

my only companion shook 'hands Or the Crane-burn, that twisting, an' with me affectionately, and kindly boiling, an' wild,

wished me all manner of success and Foaming bursts o'er the Linn frae the happiness. I assure you I felt conhill's woody crest:

siderably at parting with him, and The thick branchy trees where I've nestled setting out on a new journey, alone mysel',

as before, to mingle again amongst An' gaz'd at the scud o' the fast-drive

utter strangers,-Englishmen, too, a ing rain,

nation for which, from my boyhood, There swinging an' rock'd in the wild I have felt no small dislike : and raving blast,

now to be really going into England, But now thae young days o' delight and with the prospect of making my

residence there for some time! it

my lane

[ocr errors]

are a' gane :

seemed to me as if I were labouring each other. To this he very willingly under some strange delusion, which agreed, so on we went together. He I had not the power to dispel. Of- was in person about my own height, ten, in my early youth, while I read but considerably stouter, and appathe history of « Wallace wight," rently three or four years older, and, have I cried with grief and bitter from the paleness of his countenance, hatred at the “ Southrons," and seemed to have been less exposed to wished for power to avenge his mur- the action of the sun and the weather. der upon them,-often longed for a When we reached the village, and, day when the savage butcheries and after making inquiries, left the Dwanton devastations committed after road, and took that leading to L-, the battle of Culloden would be re I proposed having something to eat quited :--and now to feel myself ac and drink, as I had not taken any tually going to England, to live a refreshment since morning, and had mongst Englishmen! I thought upon since then walked upwards of twenty it again and again, and wondered how miles ; he told me plainly that he I would behave when there.

could not afford it, as he had but one There was besides another circum- sixpence left, and that he did not stanee which tended to wake feelings dare to break upon it till he knew of a peculiar kind in this journey: where he would get a bed, and what for above twenty miles I was exact, it would cost him. I offered the poor ly retracing the road which I had fellow a share of a bottle of porter, lately come ; so that I knew myself and some bread and cheese, which approaching nearer home every step, he accepted very thankfully. After yet knew that my journey would not eating and drinking a little, he belead me there. I cannot describe to came quite lively and happy, and you how strange it seemed, to be sung me two or three songs while we travelling the very road which led rested ourselves. One of them was homewards, yet with the unavoida. of a Jacobite character, and appable conviction in my mind that I rently not very old; it was so conwould not reach it: I felt as one cordant with my feelings in some feels in a dream, when something is respects, that I was desirous to posjust within his reach could he make sess it, got him to repeat it over the slightest exertion; but he sees slowly, while I wrote it down with the object of his ardent wishes glide my pencil, and here I send you a gradually away from his grasp, with copy of it. the consciousness that a slight effort on his part would be sufficient to ob- Lang, lang shall Caledonia rue tain it, yet feels an utter inability of

That day when owre Culloden's plain making even that slight effort. Thus

The bluid o' her bravest heroes stream'd I drew gradually nearer and nearer Like the torrent-gush o' the wintry bome, yet knew, at the same time,

rain ; that I was drawing nearer the place when the fierce-soul'd victor joy'd to where I must leave the road which

hear leads home, unless, indeed, I should The plaided warrior's dying groan, continue it, as I could do, longed to An' his pitiless e'e grew red an' keen, do, yet would not do.

While he sternly cheer'd his ruffians on. A little before I reached that dread. Then ride ye north, or ride ye south, ed place of separation, I saw a young For the length o' a day, nought wad man sitting by the roadside a little

ye seen before me, as if resting himself. He But the ruin'd wa's a' bluidy stain'd rose as I came forward, and accosted Where the hames o' the luckless brave me very civilly with a “ Here's a fine

had been ; day." I answered, that it was indeed Then Scotia's targe sank frae her arm, a very good day for travelling; he Her gude braid sword was broke in immediately asked me if I could di. twa, rect him the way to L-? I told The tapmost flower o' her thistle droop'd, him that I was acquainted with it,

An' the last o' the Stuarts was driven but was intending to go there myself that night, and that if he was Now she maun sit like a widow'd dame, going there, we might accompany Tv lonely wastes wi' slaughter red,

awa.

sea,

on,

Nac crown to grace her joyless brow, picked up a little Ainty pebble from

Her freedom lost, her glory fled. the Scottish side,-drew my breath The howlet screams in the empty ha's, long and deep, and,quivering through Au' llaps his wing owre the chair o' every limb, withdrew my feet from her kings;

the soil of my dear native land, which In courts chat rang wi' the warrior's tread, it had never before quitted, and to The long grass waves, an' the nettle which I felt as if firmly rooted. As springs.

we were then too deeply wrapped in Sair, sair, abune the bluidy graves, thought for engaging in conversation,

Wi' heavy heart she makes her mane, little more passed between my comWhere lie her best an' bravest sons, rade and mc till we came in view of Wha bled for her rights, but bled in Netherby-hall, when our attention vain.

was immediately drawn to it, no less An' aye when she lifts her wae-bent head by the recollections it awakened, as Out owre the wide an' the weltering the scene of the song of “ Young

Lochinvar,” than by its uncommonly She takes a lang an' a wistful gaze, beautiful situation. Without the But the sails o' her Charlie nae mair least recollection that the whole is glad her e'e.

only a fiction of the poet's fancy, we But the day may come when the light o' endeavoured with great care to ascerher e'e

tain where the young hero had crossed Shall kindle again as it did of yore, the river; and we saw him, in the heat When “ Wallace wight" led her warriors of our awakened imaginations, dash

into the E—, burst through its An' “ the Bruce" her bluidy lion bore: wooded banks, and sweep across An' her spreading thistle bauld an' free “ Cannabie lee" like a falcon, bear

Its arıned head may uplift again : An' the race o' her Stuarts wear the and ballads of a similar tendency kept

ing off his prey in triumph. Tales crown, An' yet in their father's ha' may reign. the E, and entered L

us in conversation till we recrossed

- just When we found ourselves well re gloamin'" displayed its finest freshed, we set out on our journey shade, neither light nor dark, but again, my lively companion much that dusky greyness so favourable to improved in spirits, and keeping me calm and solemn contemplation. I from indulging in gloomy reveries. had, however, another thing to enSome miles below L

gage my attention,-quarters for the ed the E-by a very fine romantic night were to be sought, which I bridge, or rather two bridges, one procured after a good deal of trouble, upon the other, occasioned by the occasioned by a fair in the town, exceeding depth of the craggy banks which had filled nearly all the houses between which the river is confined, of public entertainment. I then partand boils, and wheels, and foams, ed with my fellow-traveller, after an and thunders through with great agreement to meet next morning, beauty and grandeur. My compa- and continue our journey together. nion beguiled the way

with
many a

In the house where I stopped I met song and many a merry tale, till at with a doctor and a painter, two length we came where the road is very singular characters in various crossed by a small stream, not so points of view, but both distinguishlarge as the stream of your little cd for cordial good fellowship over spring-well, but which is said to be the “ barley-bree,” and warm-heartthe boundary between Scotland and ed genuine kindness. If it were in England. On approaching it, all my power to relate to you their conour mirth instantly vanished ;-we versation, and describe the peculilooked at the small stream—into arities of their behaviour, it would England-back into Scotland-a- make ample amends for the weari. round on its hills, and glens, and some dullness of this letter. I have green fields, and waving hazels and never seen a pair of such frank, kind, brushwood, -then on each other, eccentric men. The doctor, in parbut spoke not a word. I placed a ticular, is a delightful oddity ; but foot on each side of the stream, all that I could say about him must pulled a small tuft of grass, and be reserved till I have the pleasure

as

we cross

of a real conversation with you ; for, obscured by the distance ; yet Burnswere I to tell you all in my letters, wark was distinctly visible, lifting I would have nothing new and his singular, and, as it were, artstrange to talk about when we mect, formed brow above the rest, and faras I hope we yet may, though i ther west my own Criffel, which raiscannot guess when.

ing its giant size above the Solway, After a very comfortable night's met my view, and awoke the fondest rest I continued my journey, but feelings of my heart. I gazed upon it without meeting my companion of till my eyes grew dim, iny bosom heathe preceding day: on I went, how. ved deeply, and my head swam with ever, alone, and something "dowie;" a sickening and confused pain; then often looking back upon the retiring drawing a long farewell sigh, I broke hills of my dear native land, be off my reverie, and bent my steps coming fainter and fainter, and fore toward the town. I was not then ward upon the lofty Cambrian in a capacity to make any imparmountains, becoming gradually more tial remarks, therefore you must and more distinct. The morning not look for any at this time. My was beautiful, calm, and mildly sun heart panted, my whole frame py; the wind just strong enough to shuddered, and the blood burned be heard whispering and breathing o'er my cheek and brow, when I enthrough the young green unfolding tered the Scotch-gate, where formerbuds of the earlier trees; the lark ly the heads of my gallant, though sung loud, clear, and melodious, misled countrymen, blackened in the high among the purple-streaked sun and storm. I did not make any clouds ; and the jolly Cambrian stop in the town,-I could not,-it "hynd” was raising his rude strain was not a place for me; but as I in a ruder voice as he followed his was struggling through the crowd in plough. The day passed on, the the market-place, my ear was assail. sun reached the middle of the sky, ed by the well-known sound of a and shone warm and strong, when I bagpipe. linstantly drew near, and came at last in view of C, and saw and heard an old man in tarstopped on a height to take a survey tan dress, with a true weather-beaten of it at leisure ; but my powers of Highland face, playing "Lochaber no description are completely inadequate more." I stood as if petrified; a thou. to give you any thing like an idea sand burning recollections Aashed of its appearance. From the place across my brain, rousing me to frenwhere I stood, the first object that zy ; then the long wailing fall smote attracted my attention was the ma upon my heart, till my blood chilled jestic and beautiful flow of the E-, with the agony of woe. winding past the city with a gentle of the old man cast a supplicating bend, spanned by a newly-built and glance around the crowd; the unstately bridge. The banks of the feeling brutes heeded it not; his river on the north side are adorned strain quivered, sunk, and changed ; with a number of elegant mansions; I threw something into his hat, held the south bank, in one part, bristles by a little boy, grasped my stick with a variety of houses, lanes, and firmly in hand, and rushed through streets, of all dimensions, but all the crowd like a maniac, scarcely disorderly, dirty, and apparently in able to restrain my maddened feel convenient ; in another, the grey ings from venting themselves in fue battlements of the castle, and the rious words and frantic actions. narrow windows of the prison, frown Nothing worth mentioning occur“ grim and horrible ;" over all float- red to me after leaving till ed a dark mass of smoky vapour, I reached my present residence; and penetrated in a few places by the as I imagine you are by this time spires of a church or a cathedral. more than satisfied with the length In the distance appeared the mighty of my packet, (for it is more than a forms of Skiddaw and Saddleback, letter,) I shall reserve the description huge and high. Turning round, of the place, its inhabitants, and behind me, I beheld the hills of those in particular with whom I am R-shire, and the neighbouring more immediately connected, till apart of D-shire, mellowed and nother opportunity.

E

The eyes

VOL. Xy.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

There are few who have reached it a high honour to have been pertheir grand climacteric with hae mitted to appear in his presence. ving renounced many of their early Still more uncertain are our schemes opinions, and viewed men and things for promoting the happiness of our in a very different light from that posterity; the father starves himself, in which they appeared to the ju- that his son may die of a surfeit ;venile mind; and there are perhaps the mother destroys her daughter's still fewer, at that stage of life, who, health by empirical cosmetics, to im. were it in their power to retrace their prove her beauty ;-Mary Queen of steps, would pursue exactly the same Scots was left heiress to a crown track on the journey. But that know which conducted her to the scaffold ; ledge which we derive from expe- --the Earl of Chesterfield wrote four rience comes generally too late to be large volumes for the instruction of applied to any efficient purpose ; our

his son, whom the fond father exchoice of a profession, or a business, pected to see the most accomplished has been made, and it is too late to gentleman of his age, and the disa change; and our habits have been so appointed parent had the mortificalong formed, that, in the quaint style tion to find him turn out a fool. So of the proverb, they have become true is the couplet of Burns second nature. Although it must The best-laid schemes of mice and men be confessed that too many adopt

Gang aft a-gley. no plan, but pass recklessly forward, or rather allow themselves to be im These reflections occurred to me, pelled by their passions, which are when glancing over the obituary of often excited by trivial circumstan an old Magazine, in which the death ces; yet it must also be admitted, of my friend, the Reverend Andrew that specious theories for the regu. Baxter, was recorded. Of this man lation of our conduct, however plau. I think myself warranted in saying, sible they may appear, and however that whatever might be his foibles, obstinately they may be maintained, they were the errors of the head, often fail in producing the expected rather than of the heart. Andrew result. The effeminate slave of Plea- had, from his earliest years, a most sure, and the mad votary of Ambi- insatiable thirst for learning; he tion, often find the paths which they was an excellent classic at twelve, tread lead to objects very different and went to College in his fifteenth froin those which were anticipated. year, where he pursued his studies Mark Antony, in the arms of Cleo- with unremitted assiduity, and alpatra, thought not of suicide, after most unrivalled success. Early in being betrayed and deserted by those the first session he formed an acin whom he had confided. Did quaintance with Francis Halliday, Charles V., when dictating to the a student, also in his noviciate. As Sovereigns of Europe, calculate upon both were intended for the church, closing life by counting his beads in there was much similarity in their a cloister ? Buonaparte, when leade studies: Francis was at least two ing five hundred thousand warriors years older than Andrew, and of into Russia, never imagined that he course had reflected more upon his was pursuing the direct road to an future progress in life. Both, like insulated rock in the Indian Ocean, race-horses nearly matched, pressed where he was to be doomed to writhe hard on each other in their progresunder the petty insults and caprice sive studies; but they were generous of a satellite of power, who, a short rivals, influenced by no passion less while before, would have reckoned dignified than a laudable emulation.

« AnteriorContinuar »