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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
blast!

"O 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 God.

DESPONDENCY.

AN ODE.

I.

OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care,

A burden more than I can bear,

I sit me down and sigh:

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!

II.

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.
III.

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.

IV.

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 needs not, he heeds not,

Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!

V.

O! enviable, early days,

When dancing thoughtless pleasure's maze,

To care, to guilt unknown!

How ill exchanged for riper times,

To feel the follies, or the crimes,

Of others, or my own!

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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 her parents dear, if they in hardship be. V.

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

An' each for others' weelfare 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.

VI.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
"An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,

An' 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!"

VII.

But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neebor 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; With 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.

VIII.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
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 kye.
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy.
But blathe 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 pleased to think her bairn's respected like

the lave.

IX.

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."

X.

Is there, in human form, that bears a heart-
A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!
That can, with studied, sly, insnaring art,

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled?
Is there no pity, no relenting truth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild?

XI.

But now the supper crowns their simple board, The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food: 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, fell, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,

How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.

XII.

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 solemn
air.

XIII.

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.

XIV.

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.

XV.

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:
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 Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.

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

XVII.

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 enrol. XVIII.

Then homeward all take off their several way;
The yougling 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.
XIX.

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 human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!

Pope's Windsor Forest.

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