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Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle,
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
NOVEMBER chill blaws loud with angry sugh;
The shortening winter-day is near a close; The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The blackening 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, weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Th' expectant wee-things, todlin, stacher thro',
To meet their dad wi' flichterin2 noise and glee. His wee bit ingle3 blinkin bonnilie,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile,
Belyve the elder bairns come drappin in,
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers:1
Gars3 auld claes look amaist as weel's the new ; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their masters' and their mistresses' command,
An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play;
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might : They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
The big Ha'-Bible, ance his father's pride:
His lyart haffets wearin' thin and 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.
Then kneeling down to heaven's eternal King,
Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,'
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.
Then homeward all take off their several way;
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
A MOTHER'S DEATH.
THEN died lamented, in the strength of life, A valued Mother, and a faithful Wife; Call'd not away, when time had loosed each hold On the fond heart, and each desire grew cold; But when to all that knit us to our kind, She felt fast bound, as charity can bind ;Not when the ills of age, its pain, its care, The drooping spirit for its fate prepare; And, each affection failing, leave the heart Loosed from life's charms, and willing to depart;
But ALL her ties the strong invader broke,
Slowly they bore, with solemn step, the dead :When grief grew loud, and bitter tears were shed: My part began; a crowd drew near the place, Awe in each eye, alarm in every face: So swift the ill, and of so fierce a kind, That fear, with pity, mingled in each mind; Friends with the husband came, their griefs to blend; For good-man Frankford was to all a friend. The last-born boy they held above the bier, He knew not grief, but cries expressed his fear; Each different age and sex revealed its pain, In now a louder, now a lower strain; While the meek father, listening to their tones, Swelled the full cadence of the grief by groans. The elder sister strove her pangs to hide, And soothing words to younger minds applied: "Be still, be patient," oft she strove to say; But failed as oft, and weeping turned away.
Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug hill,
Arrived at home, how then they gazed around, In every place where she no more was found ; The seat at table she was wont to fill ;
The fire-side chair, still set, but vacant still;