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Wi' joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet,

An each for others' weelfare kindly spiers;?
The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed fleet;

Each tells the uncos” that he sees or hears :
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ;

Anticipation forward points the view.
The mither, wi' her needle an' her shears,

Gars3 auld claes look amaist as weel's the new ;-
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,

The younkers a' are warned to obey ;
An' mind their labours wi' an eydenti hand,

An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauks or play ;
“An' O! be sure to fear the Lord alway;

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,

Implore His counsel, an' assisting might;
They never sought in vain, that sought the Lord aright!"
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door:

Jenny wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
Wi' heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,

While Jenny haftlins6 is afraid to speak;
Weel pleased the mother hears its nae wild worthless rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;?

A strappan youth: he taks the mother's eye;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill-ta’en;

The father cracks o' horses, pleughs, and kye.S
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,

But blate and laithfu,9 scarce can weel behave;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy,

What maks the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave;
Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.''

2

4

5

6

|Spiers-inquires. Uncos-uncommon things, news.

3 Gars-makes. Eydent-diligent. Jauk-trifle. Hafflins-partly, half. Ben-in.

Kye-Cows. Blate and laithfu'- bashful and sheepish. 10 The lare- the rest, others.

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But now the supper crowns their simple board,

The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :
The soupe their only hawkiel does afford,

That 'yont the hallan? snugly chows her cood:
The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,

To grace the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck, fell;
An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
How 'twas a towmond4 auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.5

The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,

The big ha’-bible, ance his father's pride :
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets6 wearing thin an' bare ;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,

He wales? a portion with judicious care ;
And “ Let us worship God !” he says, with solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
Perhaps “ Dundee's" wild warbling measures rise,

Or plaintive “ Martyrs,” worthy of the name;
Or noble “ Elgin" beets the heaven-ward flame,

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays :
Compared with these, Italian trills are tame:

The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

The priest-like father reads the sacred page,

How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage

With Amalek's ungracious progeny:
Or how the royal Bard did groaning lie

Beneath the stroke of heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;

Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Or other holy Seers that tune the sacred lyre.

1 Hawkie-cow.

2

Hallan-cottage wall. 3 Weel-hained ketbuck— well-kept cheese. 4 Towmond-twelvemonth. 5 Sin' lint, &c.—Since flax was in the flower. Lyart haffets-grey temples.

7

Wales - chooses, 8 Beets-adds fuel to.

6

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed; How He, who bore in Heaven the second name,'

Had not on earth whereon to lay his head: How his first followers and servants sped;

The precepts sage they wrote to many a land : How he, who lone in Patmos banished,

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ; And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's

command. Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King,

The saint, the father, and the husband, prays: Hope “springs exulting on triumphant wing,'

That thus they all shall meet in future days: There ever bask in uncreated rays,

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,

In such society, yet still more dear ;
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,

In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display to congregations wide

Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart ! The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; But haply, in some cottage far apart,

May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul; And in his Book of Life the inmates poor enroll. Then homeward all take off their several way;

The youngling cottagers retire to rest : The parent-pair their secret homage pay,

And proffer up to Heaven the warm request That He, who stills the raven's clamorous nest,

And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best,

For them, and for their little ones, provide ;
But, chiefly, in their hearts, with grace divine preside.

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From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs,

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: Princes and Lords are but the breath of Kings,

• An honest man's the noblest work of God : And certes," in fair virtue's heavenly road,

The cottage leaves the palace far behind : What is a lordling's pomp?-a cumbrous load,

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined !

O Scotia! my dear, my native soil !

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent ! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil

Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content! And, oh may Heaven their simple lives prevent

From Luxury's contagion, weak and vile ! Then howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,

A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved isle.

O Thou! who poured the patriotic tide

That streamed through Wallace's undaunted heart; Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,

Or nobly die, the second glorious part, (The patriot's God peculiarly thou art,

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!) O never, never, Scotia's realms desert;

But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !

VERSES LEFT AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE.

O Thou dread Power, who reign'st above,

I know thou wilt me hear;
When for this scene of peace and love

I make my prayer sincere.

Certes-certainly.

466

STUDIES IN ENGLISH POETRY.

The hoary sire—the mortal stroke,

Long, long, be pleas'd to spare !
To bless his little filial flock,

And show what good men are.

She, who her lovely offspring eyes

With tender hopes and fears,
O, bless her with a mother's joys,

But spare a mother's tears!

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,

In manhood's dawning blush ;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,

Up to a parent's wish!

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