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THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ.

"Let not ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

The short but simple annals of the poor." - GRAY.

My loved, my honored, much-respected friend,
No mercenary bard his homage pays :
With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and
praise.

To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequestered scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways; What Aiken in a cottage would have been; Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.

November chill blaws loud wi' 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 toilworn cotter frae his labor goes,

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The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view: The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears, 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; And mind their labors wi' an eydent hand, And ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk 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 and assisting might; They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!'

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But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door. Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neibor 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 hafflins † is afraid to speak; Weel pleased the mother hears it's nae wild, worthless rake.

Wi' kindly welcome, Jenny brings him ben; A strappin' youth; he taks the mother's e'e; Blithe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy, But blate and lathefu', scarce can weel be

have;

The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae

grave;

Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.

O happy love! where love like this is found!
O heartfelt raptures! bliss beyond compare !
I've paced much this weary mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare :-
If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair

In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale.

Is there, in human form, that bears a heart, A wretch, a villain, lost to love and truth, That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art, Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth!

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Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their
child,

Then paints the ruined 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'yout 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 't was a towmond § auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.

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 haffets || 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 sol-
emn 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 heavenward flame, The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;

The tickled ears no heartfelt 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.

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 :

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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 Bab'lon'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 every 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.

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 humankind, 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, 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-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 realm desert;

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

ROBERT BURNS.

THE RELIGION OF HUDIBRAS.

FROM "HUDIBRAS," PART 1.

HE was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints, whom all men grant
To be the true church militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun ;
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery,

And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks ;
Call fire, and sword, and desolation
A godly, thorough Reformation,
Which always must be carried on
And still be doing, never done;
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended.
A sect whose chief devotion lies
In odd perverse antipathies;
In falling out with that or this,
And finding somewhat still amiss;
More peevish, cross, and splenetic,
Than dog distract, or monkey sick;
That with more care keep holiday
The wrong than others the right way;
Compound for sins they are inclined to,
By damning those they have no mind to;
Still so perverse and opposite,

As if they worshipped God for spite;
The self-same thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for.

SAMUEL BUTLER.

THE FAITHFUL ANGEL.
FROM "PARADISE LOST," BOOK V.

THE seraph Abdiel, faithful found Among the faithless, faithful only he; Among innumerable false, unmoved, Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,

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The birds of the thicket shall end their pleasant song,

And the nightingale shall cease to chant the evening long.

The kine of the pasture shall feel the dart that kills,

And all the fair white flocks shall perish from the hills.

The goat and antlered stag, the wolf and the fox, The wild boar of the wood, and the chamois of the rocks,

And the strong and fearless bear, in the trodden dust shall lie ;

And the dolphin of the sea, and the mighty whale, shall die.

And realms shall be dissolved, and empires be

no more,

And they shall bow to death, who ruled from shore to shore ;

And the great globe itself, so the holy writings tell,

With the rolling firmament, where the starry armies dwell,

Shall melt with fervent heat, they shall all

pass away,

Except the love of God, which shall live and last

for aye.

From the Provençal of BERNARD RASCAS. Translation of WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

THE MASTER'S TOUCH.

IN the still air the music lies unheard;
In the rough marble beauty hides unseen :
To make the music and the beauty, needs
The master's touch, the sculptor's chisel keen.

Great Master, touch us with thy skilful hand;
Let not the music that is in us die?
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let,
Hidden and lost. thy form within us lie!

DIFFERENT MINDS.

SOME murmur when their sky is clear And wholly bright to view,

If one small speck of dark appear

In their great heaven of blue; And some with thankful love are filled If but one streak of light, One ray of God's good mercy, gild The darkness of their night.

In palaces are hearts that ask,

In discontent and pride,
Why life is such a dreary task,

And all good things denied ;
And hearts in poorest huts admire
How Love has in their aid
(Love that not ever seems to tire)
Such rich provision made.

RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH.

CANA.

DEAR Friend! whose presence in the house,
Whose gracious word benign,
Could once, at Cana's wedding feast,
Change water into wine;

Come, visit us! and when dull work
Grows weary, line on line,
Revive our souls, and let us see
Life's water turned to wine.

Gay mirth shall deepen into joy, Earth's hopes grow half divine, When Jesus visits us, to make Life's water glow as wine.

The social talk, the evening fire,

The homely household shrine, Grow bright with angel visits, when The Lord pours out the wine.

For when self-seeking turns to love,
Not knowing mine nor thine,
The miracle again is wrought,
And water turned to wine.

JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE

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O World, thou choosest not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise,

And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies;
To trust the soul's invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art.
Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine
By which alone the mortal heart is led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine.

GEORGE SANTAYANA..

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