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Slight cause have I to grieve, if I may win

A better immortality; nor yet

Need I lament that all my better years

Have thus been lost to verse, since graver cares

And pastoral labours, not, I trust, unblest,

And study of stern truth, according ill

With fond imagination's fervent dreams,

And daily intercourse with real grief,

Not to be soothed or solaced by the skill

Of vain and airy phantasy, have fill'd

The hours which else I might have dream'd away

On Helicon's green marge, in converse blest

With those celestial mistresses of song.

Not for these years I grieve, albeit defiled

With imperfections numberless, with much

Unfaithfulness of heart, and cold neglect

Of duties great and many; as I grieve

For that, the spring and seed-time of my life,

Wasted, alas, in academic shades,

Through blind self-love and indolence supine,

And rash misuse of all those better gifts

Wherewith my spirit was or seem'd endued;

While, all regardless of its youthful needs

And seasonable culture, owning not

The obligation of a higher law

Than my own will, I travell'd uncontroll'd

Through all the fields of song, as fancy led,

Or passionate caprice, from idle hearts

Winning vain praise, and solacing my own

With what was wasting all its better strength,

And leaving it unstored and unprepared
For future tasks of duty.

For all this

I am content to be what now I am,
And deem such retribution meet and right:
Nor blame I any, save myself alone,
For aught that hath been done, or left undone,
Now or in earlier days; yet I rejoice
To think that now a brighter day hath risen
On Granta's reverend towers than I beheld;
(For so thy lays assure me);—that the free
And noble spirit of her sons hath burst
The trammels of that false philosophy
Which fetter'd, in my day, her strongest hearts
And most capacious intellects to low
And sensual contemplations, shutting out
From youth's perverted and polluted gaze
All spiritual glories, God and Heaven,
All that exalts and purifies the will,
And teaches us to feel and know oven here
Our everlasting destiny.

Not long

Might such pollution dwell in fane so pure;
And years, I trust, have swept away all trace
Of mischief then widespread; beneath those shades
A purer generation feeds its thought,
And trains its mental energies for deeds
Of great and Christian daring, undefiled
By base alloy of superstitious zeal
And bigot fury, such as on the banks

Of Isis darkens the meridian beams

Of piety and truth, and grossly mars

Their beauty with obscene companionship.

So may our Mother nourish while the name

Of England holds its proud preeminence

Among the nations: in her ancient halls

And venerable cloisters be our youth

Invigorated by salubrious draughts

Of free and fervent thought, and let the mind

Of our great country, like a mighty sea,

Be fed and freshen'd by perpetual streams

Of pure and virtuous wisdom, from those springs

Gushing unceasingly.

But thou meanwhile,

In youth, in hope, in faith, in genius strong,
Fulfil thy noble doom: attune thy song
To themes of glorious daring; feed thy mind
On contemplations pure and peaceable
Of heavenly truth and beauty; ever cheer'd
And strengthen'd for thy high and holy task,
By constant increase of domestic love,
And fireside joys and comforts, and the sweets,
Many and pure, with ministerial toil
Inseparably link'd, and rendering back
Into the labourer's bosom rich reward.
So doubt not that thy name shall find a niche
Among the names of Earth's illustrious sons;
Nor that, when earth itself shall be burnt up
With all its works, and, in the fervent heat,
Its elements dissolve and fade away,

Thou shalt receive the recompense of one

Who put his talent out to usury,

And render'd to his lord, when he return'd,

A great and glorious interest of souls

Won to his love; helping to accomplish here

The number of the elect, and lead them back

With songs of triumph to their home in Heaven.


Come with us, and we will go
Where the Clyde's broad waters flow;
Where the cloud-capp'd mountains rise
To the dim north western skies;
Where, through many a creek and bay,
Doth the salt sea find its way
Into those recesses deep
Where the mountain-shadows sleep,
And the dreary dark pine woods
Frown o'er watery solitudes,
Framing in those wilds, I ween,
Many a strange and witching scene,
Far to find, but fair to see,
For such folks as you and me.

Come with us, and we will go
Where the peaks of Arran glow,
In the sunset bright and clear

Through the sweet months of the year.
There the light of evening lies
Longer than in southern skies;
There the northern meteors glare
Through the murky midnight air,
Till, when morn returns once more,
Rock and mountains, sea and shore,
Glen and valley, lake and stream,
Bask in the refreshing beam,
With more gorgeous light and shade,
Than midsummer ever made,
In these fertile plains of ours;
There old Goatfel proudly towers
O'er his brother mountains wild,
In sublime confusion piled
Crag on crag, and peak on peak,
Where the eye in vain may seek
One green spot whereon to rest;
There the eagle builds her nest
In Glen Rosa's ebon rocks,
Rent, as seems by earthquake shocks,
Into many a chasm and cleft,
In such huge disorder left,
That you might suppose, in sooth,
The old gossip's guess was truth—
That the sweepings here were hurl'd
Of the new-created world.

Gome with us, and we'll repair
To the " bonny shire of Ayr,"

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