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A temple of light,

All heavenly brightO, virtuous love is the soul's delight !



Cease your funning, James, and give us a song.

SHEPHERD sings. I Lookit east, I lookit west,

I saw the darksome coming even ; The wild bird sought its cozy nest,

The kid was to the hamlet driven;

But house nor hame aneath the heaven, Except the skeugh o' greenwood tree,

To seek a shelter in, was given To my three little bairns an' me.

I had a prayer I couldna pray,

I had a vow I couldna breathe, For aye they led my words astray,

And aye they war connected baith

Wi' ane wha now was cauld in death :

I lookit round wi' watery ee,

Hope wasna there—but I was laith To see my little bairnies dee.

Just as the breeze the aspen stirr’d,

And bore aslant the falling dew, I thought I heard a bonny bird

Singing amid the air sae blue

It was a lay that did renew The hope deep sunk in misery ;

It was of ane my waes that knew, And some kind hearts that cared for me.

O sweet as breaks the rising day,

Or sunbeam through the wavy rain, Fell on my soul the cheering lay

Was it an angel pour'd the strain ?

Whoe'er has kend a mother's pain, Bent o'er the babe upon her knee,

O they will bless, and bless again The generous hearts that cared for me!



A cot was rear'd by Mercy's hand,

Amid the dreary wilderness;
It rose as if by magic wand,

A shelter to forlorn distress.

And weel I ken that Heaven will bless

The heart that issued the decree;

The widow and the fatherless

Can never pray, and slighted be.


Very touching, James, indeed. You are a tragic poet after Aristotle's own heart; for well you know how to purge the soul by pity and terror.


Ay, that I do, sir; an' by a sorts of odd humour too. Snap your thumbs.—Noctes AMBROSIANÆ, No. XXVIII.

Some explanation is necessary still towards the understanding of the above song. It was written many years ago, at the joint request of Mr Galt and some other literary friends, for singing at the first meeting of some benevolent society in London, the denomination of which I have forgot; but it was for

The song

the purpose of relieving the wives and families of Scottish soldiers who had fallen in our sanguine wars abroad. was well received, having been sung by professional singers to the Scottish air of “ The Birks of Invermay.”

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