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E'en you on murdering errands toild, Lone from your savage homes exiled, The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd,

My heart forgets, While pitiless the tempest wild

Sore on you beats.

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, An' weary winter comin' fast, An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out through thy cell. That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee monie a weary nibble ! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld ! But, mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain : The best laid schemes o' mice an' men,

Gang aft a-gley, Ad' lea'e us naught but grief an' pain,

For promised joy.

Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign Dark muffled, view'd the dreary plain ; Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,

Rose in my soul, When on my ear this plaintive strain,

Slow, solemn, stole

“ Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust! And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost! Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows! Not all your rage, as now united, shows More hard unkindness, unrelenting,

Vengeful malice, unrepenting, Than heaven illumined man on brother man be


O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,

To wretches such as I!
Dim backward as I cast my view,

What sickening scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,

Must be my bitter doom;
My woes here shall close ne'er,

But with the closing tomb !

Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,

No other view regard !
E’en when the wished end's denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,

They bring their own reward: Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,

Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night,
And joyless morn the same ;
You, bustling, and justling,

Forget each grief and pain :
I, listless, yet restless,

Find every prospect vain.

See stern oppression's iron grip,

Or mad ambition's gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,

Wo, want, and murder, o'er a land!
E’en in the peaceful, rural vale,

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
How pamper'd luxury, flattery by her side,

The parasite empoisoning her ear,

With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Looks o'er proud property, extended wide ;
And eyes the simple rustic hind,

Whose toil upholds the glittering show,
A creature of another kind,

Some coarser substance, unrefined,
Placed for her lordly use, thus far, thus vile, below;

Where, where is love's fond, tender throe,
With lordly honour's lofty brow,

The powers you proudly own?
Is there beneath love's noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,

To bless himself alone?
Mark maiden innocence a prey

To love-pretending snares,
This boasted honour turns away,

Shunning soft pity's rising sway,
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing prayers !

Perhaps, this hour, in misery's squalid nest,

She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking

“() ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,

Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill satisfied keen nature's clamorous call,

Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep,
While through the ragged roof and chinky wall,

Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
Where guilt and poor misfortune pine !
Guilt, erring man, relenting view !
But shall thy legal rage pursue
The wretch, already crushed low

By cruel fortune's undeserved blow?
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress,
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss !"

I heard nae mair, for chanticleer

Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And hail'd the morning with a cheer,

A cottage-rousing craw.
But deep this truth impress'd my mind-

Through all his works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind

The most resembles Go

How blest the solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot,

Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,

Beside his crystal well!
Or, haply, to his evening thought,

By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream:
While praising and raising

His thoughts to heaven on high, As wandering, meandering,

He views the solemn sky.

Than I, no lonely hermit placed
Where never human footstep traced,

Less fit to play the part ;
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,

With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,

Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
He nceds not, he heeds not,

Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here,

At perfidy ingrate!



I. OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress’d with care, A burden more than I can bear, I sit me down and sigh:

V. 0! enviable, early days, When dancing thoughtless pleasure's mazo,

To care, to guilt unknown!
How ill exchanged for riper times,
To feel the follies, or the crimes,
Of others, or my own!

Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,

Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish.
The losses, the crosses,

That active man engage !
The fears all, the tears all,

Of dim-declining age.



THE wintry west extends his blast,

And hail and rain does blaw;
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth

The blinding sleet and snaw:
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,

And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

“ The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,»**

The joyless winter day,
Let others fear, to me more dear

Than all the pride of May:
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,

My griefs it seems to join,
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine.

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme

These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,

Because they are thy will!
Then all I want, (0, do thou grant

This one request of mine !)
Since to enjoy thou dost deny,

Assist me to resign.

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 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, And weary,

o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th’expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through

To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin noise an'glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil

Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun':
Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin

A cannie errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,

Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,
To help
parents dear, if they in hardship be.

Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for others' wcelfare kindly spiers:
The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnoticed fleet;

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; 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.



Their master's an' their mistress's command,

The younkers a’are warned to obey ; THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

" An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand, INSCRIBED TO R. A****, ESQ.

An'ne'er, though out o'sight, to jauk or play:

An' 0! be sure to fear the Lord alway!
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
The short but simple annals of the poor.

Implore his counsel and assisting might:

GRAY. They never sought in vain that sought the Lord

1. My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend!

VII. No mercenary bard his homage pays ;

But hark ! a rap comes gently to the door ; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning of the same, My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise ; Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor, To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene ; The wily mother sees the conscious flame The native feelings strong, the guileless ways: Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;

What A**** in a cottage would have been ; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there,

name, I ween.

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;

Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, * Dr. Young,

worthless rake.


Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben ; The priest-like father reads the sacred page,

A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye; How Abram was the friend of God on high ;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta’en ; Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.

With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy. Or how the royal bard did groaning lie

But blathe and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire; The mother, wi’a woman's wiles, can spy Or, Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry ;

What makes the youth sae bashfu'an'sae grave; Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
the lave.


Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme, 0 happy love! where love like this is found !

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed; O heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare !

How He, who bore in heaven the second name, I've paced much this weary mortal round,

Had not on earth whereon to lay his head: And sage experience bids me this declare

How his first followers and servants sped; * If heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,

The precepts sage they wrote to many a land: One cordial in this melancholy vale,

How he, who lone in Patmos banished, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ; In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,

And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the even

Heaven's command.
ing gale.”


Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King, Is there, in human form, that bears a heart

The saint, the father, and the husband prays : A wretch! a villain ! lost to love and truth!

Hope " springs exulting on triumphant wing,”* That can, with studied, sly, insnaring art,

That thus they all shall meet in future days : Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?

There ever bask in uncreated rays, Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling smooth!

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?

Together hymning their Creator's praise, Is there po pity, no relenting truth,

In such society, yet still more dear ; [sphere. Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? While circling time moves round in an eternal Then paints the ruind maid, and their distraction


Compared with this, how poor religion's pride, But now the supper crowns their simple board,

In all the pomp of method, and of art, The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :

When men display, to congregations wide, The soupe their only hawkie does afford,

Devotion's every grace, except the heart! That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood :

The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert, The dame brings forth in complimental mood,

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ;

But haply, in some cottage far apart,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain’d kebhuck, fell,
An'aft he's prest, an'aft he ca's it guid;

May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul;

And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol. The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.


Then homeward all take off their several way; XII.

The yougling cottagers retire to rest : The cheerfu' supper done, wi’ serious face, The parent pair their secret homage pay, They round the ingle form a circle wide ;

And proffer up to Heaven the warm request The sire turns o’er, wi' patriarchal grace,

That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest, The big ha’ Bible, ance his father's pride : And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best, His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare ;

For them and for their little ones provide; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside. He wales a portion with judicious care ;

XIX. And " Let us worship God !” he says, with solemn

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur air. XIII.


That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;

Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:

* An honest man's the noblest work of God:" Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,

And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road, Of plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name:

The cottage leaves the palace far behind ; Or noble Elgin beets the heavenward flame,

What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays :

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;

Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined ! The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

* Pope's Windsor Forest.

wild ?


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 bless'd 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.

XXI. 0 Thou ! who pour'd the patriotic tide

That stream'd 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 !

V. “ Look not alone on youthful prime,

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right:
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn,
Then age and want, О ill match'd pair !
Show man was made to mourn.

“ A few seem favourites of fate,

In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think, not all the rich and great

Are likewise truly blest.
But, O! what crowds in every land

Are wretched and forlorn ;
Through weary life this lesson learn,
That man was made to mourn.

“Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame !
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!

whose heaven-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn !

“See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,

So abject, mean, and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth

To give him leave to toil; And see his lordly fellow worm

The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, though a weeping wife

And helpless offspring mourn.

And man,




WHEN chill November's surly blast

Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wander'd forth

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step

Seem'd weary, worn with care ;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,
And hoary was his hair.

II. “ Young stranger, whither wanderest thou ?”

Began the reverend sage;
“ Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasure's rage ;
Or haply, press'd with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me, to mourn
The miseries of man !

“ The sun that overhangs yon moors,

Out-spreading far and wide, Where hundreds labour to support

A haughty lordling's pride ;
I've seen yon weary winter sun

Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs,
That man was made to mourn.

“O man! while in thy early years,

How prodigal of time! Mispending all thy precious hours,

Thy glorious youthful prime!
Alternate follies take the sway;

Licentious passions burn ;
Which tenfold force gives nature's law,

That man was moade to mourn.

“ If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,

By nature's law design'd, Why was an independent wish

E’er planted in my mind ?
If not, why am I subject to

His cruelty or scorn ?
Or why has man the will and power
To make his fellow mourn?

« Yet let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast :
This partial view of human kind

Is surely not the last !
The poor, oppressed, honest man,

Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn!

XI. “O death! the poor man's dearest friend,

The kindest and the best! Welcome the hour my aged limbs

Are laid with thee at rest! The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,

From pomp and pleasure torn; But 0! a bless'd relief to those

That weary-laden mourn!"

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