« AnteriorContinuar »
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.
The younkers a’ are warned to obey;
*An' ne'er, tho' 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
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
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; With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name,
While Jenny haflins is afraid to speak; Weel pleasd the mother hears, it's nac wild, worth
A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye! Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en ;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kve 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 bashfu’an' sae grave ; Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the
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 heavenly 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 ey’n
A wretch! a villain ! lost to love and truth!
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth? Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ? is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child! Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction
XI. But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch, chief o’Scotia's food : VOL. XXXVIII. P
The soupe their only Hawkie does afford,
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood : The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid; [fell,
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide ;
'The big ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride : His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,
His lyart baffets 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 heav'nward Aame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : Compard with these, Italian trills are tame ;
The tickld ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
How Abram was the friend of God on high ;
Ol, Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire ;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, séraphic fire ;
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 Bab'lon's doom pronounc'd by
XVI. 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
* Pope's Windsor Forest.
XVII. Compard 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 ; Bat haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul; And in this book of life the inmates poor enrol.
XVIII. Then homeward all take off their sev'ral 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 clam'rous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flow'ry 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 pre
XIX. From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur
springs, That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd 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 heav'nly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind; What is a lording's pomp! a cumbrous load,
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refind!