« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ;
Anticipation forward points the view :
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears, "Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
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, My loved, my honored, much-respected friend, The younkers a' are warned to obey ;
No mercenary bard his homage pays : And mind their labors wi' an eydent * hand, With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
And ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and
“An' o, be sure to fear the Lord alway! To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
An' mind your duty, duly, norn an' night! The lowly train in life's sequestered scene ; | Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray, The native feelings strong, the guileless ways ; |
Implore his counsel and assisting might; What Aiken in a cottage would have been ; | They never sought in vain that sought the Lord Ah ! though his worth unknown, far happier
aright!" there, I ween.
But, hark !'a rap comes gently to the door. November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ; Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
The shortening winter-day is near a close ; Tells how a neibor lad cam o'er the moor, The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh, To do some errands and convoy her hame. The blackening trains o' craws to their The wily mother sees the conscious flame repose ;
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek ; The toilworn cotter frae his labor goes, – Wi' heart-struck anxious care inquires his This night his weekly moil is at an end,
name, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, While Jenny haftlins + is afraid to speak ;
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, Weel pleased the mother hears it's nae wild, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hame worthless rake. ward bend.
Wi' kindly welcome, Jenny brings him ben ; At length his lonely cot appears in view,
A strappin' youth ; he taks the mother's e'e; Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Blithe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill ta'en; Th' expectant wee things, toddlin', stacher The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. through
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy, To meet their dad, wi' Alichterin' noise an'glee. But blate and lathefu', scarce can weel beHis wee bit ingle, blinking bonnily,
have; His clean hearthstane, his thriftie wifie's The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy smile,
What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
grave; Does a' his weary carking cares beguile, Weel pleased to think her bairn 's respected like And makes him quite forget his labor and his toil. | the lave.
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 nejbor town ; Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers :
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ;
Ohappy love! where love like this is found !
O heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare ! I've pacèd 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, 'T is when a youthful, loving, modest pair
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the
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?
• By and by.
Curse on his perjured arts! dissembling smooth! How his first followers and servants sped;
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled ? The precepts sage they wrote to many a land ; Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
How he, who lone in Patmos banished, Points to the parents fondling o'er their Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, child,
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by Then paints the ruined maid, and their distrac Heaven's command. tion wild ?
Then, kneeling down, to heaven's eternal King, But now the supper crowns their simple board, The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food ;) Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing," The soupe their only hawkie * does afford, That thus they all shall meet in future days ;
That'yont the hallan tsnugly chows hercood; There ever bask in uncreated rays, The dame brings forth, in complimental mood, No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, To grace the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck I Together hymning their Creator's praise, fell,
In such society, yet still more dear ; An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid; While circling Time moves round in an eternal The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
sphere. How 't was a towmond & auld, sin' lint was i' the
Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art, The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face, When men display to congregations wide,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide; Devotion's every grace, except the heart ! The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace, The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
The big ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride : The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
But, haply, in some cottage far apart, His lyart haffets || wearing thin an' bare : May hear, well pleased, the language of the Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, soul ;
He wales a portion with judicious care; And in his Book of Life the inmates poor enroll. And “Let us worship God !” he says with solemn air.
Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest : They chant their artless notes in simple guise ; The parent-pair their secret homage pay, They tune their hearts, by far the noblest And proffer up to Heaven the warm request, aim :
That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest, Perhaps “Dundee's" wild-warbling measures And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, rise,
Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best, Or plaintive “Martyrs," worthy of the name; For them and for their little ones provide ; Or noble “Elgin ” beets the heavenward flame, But, chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays :
preside. Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raiše; From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
That makes her loved at home, revered The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
abroad ; How Abram was the friend of God on high ; Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
“An honest man 's the noblest work of With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
God!" Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly road, Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire; | The cottage leaves the palace far behind : Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry; What is a lordling's pomp? — a cumbrous load, Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Disguising oft the wretch of humankind, Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre. Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined !
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 :
O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !
And, 0, may Heaven their simple lives prevent His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile! Nor number, nor example with him wrought Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent, To sweive from truth, or change his constant
A virtuous populace may rise the while, I mind, And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved Though single. From amidst them forth he isle.
Long way through hostile scorn, which he susO Thou ! who poured the patriotic tide,
tained That streamed through Wallace's undaunted
Superior, nor of violence feared aught; heart;
| And with retorted scorn his back he turned Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
On those proud towers to swift destruction: Or nobly die, the second glorious part,
doomed. (The patriot's God peculiarly thou art,
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !) i 0, never, never Scotia's realm desert; But still the patriot and the patriot bard
THE OTHER WORLD.
It lies around us like a cloud, -
A world we do not see ;
Yet the sweet closing of an eye
May bring us there to be.
Its gentle breezes fan our cheek ;
Amid our worldly cares
Its gentle voices whisper love, Such as do build their faith upon
And mingle with our prayers. The holy text of pike and gun ;
Sweet hearts around us throb and beat, Decide all controversies by
Sweet helping hands are stirred, Infallible artillery,
And palpitates the veil between
With breathings almost heard.
The silence - awful, sweet, and calm A godly, thorough Reformation,
They have no power to break ; Which always must be carried on
For mortal words are not for them
To utter or partake.
So thin, so soft, so sweet they glide,
So near to press they seem,In odd perverse antipathies ;
They seem to lull us to our rest,
And melt into our dream.
And in the hush of rest they bring
"T is easy now to see That with more care keep holiday
How lovely and how sweet a pass The wrong than others the right way;
The hour of death may be. Compound for sins they are inclined to,
To close the eye, and close the ear, By damning those they have no mind to ;
Rapt in a trance of bliss,
And gently dream in loving arms
To swoon to that — from this.
Scarce knowing if we wake or sleep,
Scarce asking where we are,
To feel all evil sink away,
All sorrow and all care.
THE seraph Abdiel, faithful found Sweet souls around us ! watch us still, Among the faithless, faithful only he ;
Press nearer to our side, Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Into our thoughts, into our prayers, Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
With gentle helpings glide.
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.
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
lation of WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT:
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 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.
The social talk, the evening fire,
The homely household shrine, Grow bright with angel visits, when
The Lord pours out the wine.
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!
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
O World, thou choosest not the better part !
GEORGE SANTAYANA. ·