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Farewell again; and yet,
Must it indeed be so-and on this shore Shall you and I no more
Together see the sun of the summer set?
For me, my days are gone :
No more shall I, in vintage times, prepare Chaplets to bind my hair,
As I was wont: oh 'twas for you alone.
But on my bier I'll lay
Me down in frozen beauty, pale and wan, Martyr of love to man,
And, like a broken flower, gently decay.
ON A SEQUESTERED RIVULET. There is no river in the world more sweet, Or fitter for a sylvan poet's dream, Than this romantic solitary stream, Over whose banks so many branches meet, Entangling:-a more shady bower or neat
Was never fashioned in a summer dream,
Nor in that land where gods, 'tis said, have been;
Perhaps the lady of my love is now Looking upon the skies. A single star Is rising in the east, and from afar Sheds a most tremulous lustre: silent night Doth wear it like a jewel on her brow: But see, it motions, with its lovely light, Onwards and onwards thro' those depths of blue, To its appointed course stedfast and true. So, dearest, would I fain be unto thee, Stedfast for ever,-like yon planet fair; And yet more like art thou a jewel rare. Oh! brighter than the brightest star, to me, Come hither, my young love; and I will wear Thy beauty on my breast delightedly.
ROBERT BURNS.-A. D. 1759-96.
THE TWA DOGS.
'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
When wearing through the afternoon,
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar,
His breast was white, his touzie back
Nae doubt but they were fain o' ither,
And there began a lang digression
About the Lords o' the Creation.
I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath, What sort o' life poor dogs like you have; An' when the gentry's life I saw, What way poor bodies liv'd ava.
Our laird gets in his racked rents, His coals, his kain, and a' his stents: He rises when he likes himsel; His flunkies answer at the bell: He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse; He draws a bonie silken purse As lang's my tail, where, through the steeks, The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.
Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling, At baking, roasting, frying, boiling; An' though the gentry first are stechin, Yet ev❜n the ha' folk fill their pechan Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie, That's little short o' downright wastrie. Our whipper-in, wee blastit wonner, Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner, Better than ony tenant man
His honour has in a' the lan':
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own it's past my comprehension.
Trowth, Cæsar, whyles thy're fasht enough;
An' when they meet wi' sair disasters,
But then to see how ye're negleckit, How huff'd, and cuff'd, and disrespeckit! L-d, man, our gentry care as little For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle; They gang as saucy by poor folk, As I wad by a stinking brock.
I've notic'd, on our laird's court-day, An' mony a time my heart's been wae, Poor tenant bodies, scant o'cash, How they maun thole a factor's snash: He'll stamp an' threaten, curse an' swear, He'll apprehend them, poind their gear; While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble; An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble!
I see how folk live that hae riches; But surely poor folk maun be wretches.
They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think;
Then chance an' fortune are sae guided,
The dearest comfort o' their lives;
An' whyles twalpennie-worth o' nappie
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmas returns,
That merry day the year begins,
Still its owre true that ye hae said,
Haith, lad, ye little ken about it;
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading;
To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
To make a tour, an' tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton an' see the worl'.
There, at Vienna or Versailles, He rives his father's auld entails; Or by Madrid he takes the rout, To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt; Or down Italian vista startles, Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles: Then bouses drumly German water, To mak himsel look fair and fatter, An' clear the consequential sorrows, Love-gifts of carnival signoras.
For Britain's guid! for her destruction! Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.
Hech man! dear sirs! is that the gate They waste sae mony a braw estate! Are we sae foughten an' harass'd For gear to gang that gate at last!
O would they stay aback frae courts, An' please themselves wi' countra sports, It wad for ev'ry ane be better,
The laird, the tenant, an' the cotter!
But will you tell me, Master Cæsar, Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure? Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.
L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
It's true, they need na starve or sweat, Through winter's cauld, or simmer's heat; They've nae sair wark to craze their banes, An' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes: But human bodies are sic fools, For a' their colleges and schools, That when nae real ills perplex them, They make enow themsels to vex them; An' ay the less they hae to start them, In like proportion less will hurt them. A country-fellow at the pleugh, His acres till'd, he's right enough; A country girl at her wheel, Her dizzen's done, she's unco weel: But gentlemen, an' ladies warst, Wi' ev'ndown want o' wark are curst. They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy; Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy; Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless; Their nights unquiet, lang, and restless: An' e'en their sports, their balls, an' races, Their galloping through public places. There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art, The joy can scarcely reach the heart. The men cast out in party matches, Then sowther a' in deep debauches;
Ae night thy're mad wi' drink an' wh-ring,
There's some exception, man an' woman; But this is gentry's life in common.
By this, the sun was out o'sight,
THE COTTERS' SATURDAY NIGHT. November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh; The short'ning winter-day is near a close; The miry beats retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose; The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does homeward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Th' expectant wee-things, todlin, stacher through
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drappin in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun'; Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin A cannie errand to a neebor town: Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown, Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee, To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet, An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers; The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet; Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Gars 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;
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name, While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; Weel pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae wild worthless rake.
Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
A strappan youth; he takes the mother's eye; Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;
The father craks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy, But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashfa' an' sae grave; Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.
O happy love! where love like this is found! O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare I've paced much this weary, mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare"If heaven a draught of heav'nly pleasure spare, One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
In others' arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev❜ning gale."
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart-
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild!
But now the supper crowns their simple board! The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food: The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cud: The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck fell,
How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.
The big Ha'-Bible, ance his father's pride:
His lyart haffets wearin thin an' bare;
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head:
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronoun'd 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; [sphere. While circling time moves round in an eternal Compar'd 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 Pow'r, incens'd, the pageant will desert, The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole; But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul; And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.
Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way;
For them and for their little ones provide; But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside. From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
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 refin'd!
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil, [tent! Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet conAnd, O! 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-lov'd isle.
O thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide
That stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted heart; Who dar'd 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 realm desert:
But still the patriot and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!
LAMENT FOR JAMES, EARL OF
The wind blew hollow frae the hills,
By fits the sun's departing beam Look'd on the fading yellow woods
That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding stream: Beneath a craigy steep, a bard,
Laden with years and meikle pain,
He lean'd him to an ancient aik,
His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears!
"Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing,