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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, his mattocks, and his
hoes, 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;
“And O! be sure to fear the Lord al. Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher
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,
hame. 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
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 youthfa' 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 kye. meet,
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows And each for other's weelfare kindly 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
What makes the youth sae bashfu’and sae The parents partial eye their hopeful
Weel-pleas'd to think her bairn 's respected Anticipation forward points the view;
like the lave.
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
glide, I've pacèd much this weary, mortal round, 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
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
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 tickld 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 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 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 spugly 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, 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;
shed; 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' patriarcbal grace, How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
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; King,
What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous The saint, the father, and the husband
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, 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
180 desert, The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
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:
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reThen homeward alltake 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,
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,
(), 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 loy'd at home, rever'd I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, abroad:
Wi' murdering pattle!
O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
The blastie's makin! Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
An' foolish notion:
An' ev'n devotion!
SONG: COMPOSED IN AUGUST
HA! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie ?
Owre gauze and lace,
On sic a place.
Sae fine a lady!
On some poor body.
III Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle: There ye may creep, and sprawl, and
sprattle, Wi'ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations; Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.
IV Now haud you there! ye're out of sight, Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight;