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Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find:
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy;
The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel,
Zeck's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel,
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO ROBERT AIKEN, ESQ.
"Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
The short but simple annals of the poor.' -GRAY.
My loved, my honor'd, much-respected friend!
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
The lowly train in life's seqester'd 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 short'ning winter-day is near a close;
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee things, toddlin', stacher through
His clean hearthstane, his thrifty wifie's smile,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's and their mistress' command
And mind their labors wi' an eydent1 hand,
And ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauks or play :
1 By and by.
3 Strange things.
"And oh! be sure to fear the Lord alway!
And mind your duty, duly, morn and night!
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"
But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door.
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 eye;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
But blate' and lathefu',2 scarce can weel behave; The mother wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.3
O bappy love!-where love like this is found!-
3 Other people.