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Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and Aush her cheek;
60 With heart-struck anxious care enquires his name, While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; Weel-pleased the mother hears it's nae wild, worthless rake.
With kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben:
65 Blythe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill-taen;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
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
70 What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave, Weel-pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.
Oh happy love, where love like this is found !
Oh heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond compare! I've pacèd much this weary, mortal round,
75 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,
80 Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale.”
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?
Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling, smooth! Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth, Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ? Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild? 90
But now the supper crowns their simple board:
The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food:
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood.
95 To grace the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck, fell,
And aft he's prest and aft he ca's it guid;
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 rev'rently is laid aside,
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
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 heart-felt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
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
Or Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme:
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land;
How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
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,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
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 ev'ry grace except the heart!
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
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,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,
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,
What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load,
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil !
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent !
Be blest with health and peace and sweet content! 175
And O may Heaven their simple lives prevent
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
O Thou, Who poured the patriotic tide
That streamed thro' Wallace's undaunted heart,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part!
(The patriot's God peculiarly Thou art,
Oh never, never Scotia's realm desert,
TO A MOUSE
ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST, WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER, 1785
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle!
Wi' murdering pattle !
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
'S a sma' request;
An' never miss 't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
O’ foggage green!
Baith snell an' keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
Thou thought to dwell-
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
But house or hald,
An' cranreuch cauld!
But mousie, thou art no thy lane
Gang aft agley,
For promised joy!