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Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast,
The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed,
Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay,
So thou, with sails how swift, hast reached the shore
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,"
And thy loved consort on the dang'rous tide
Of life long since has anchored by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed,
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-tossed,
Sails ripped, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
Yet, oh, the thought that thou art safe, and he,
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins cnthroned and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise—
The son of parents passed into the skies!

And now, farewell. Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done:
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have lived my childhood o'er again,
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;

And while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.
1790.

THE CASTAWAY

Obscurest night involved the sky,
Th' Atlantic billows roared,
When such a destined wretch as I,
Washed headlong from on board,

1798.

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Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home forever left.

No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast
With warmer wishes sent.

He loved them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld nor her again.

Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay,

Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away,
But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.

He shouted; nor his friends had failed
To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevailed

That, pitiless perforce,

They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

Some succor yet they could afford;
And such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
Delayed not to bestow.

But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

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1799.

And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help or cried "Adieu !”

At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in ev'ry blast,

Could catch the sound no more;
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.

No poet wept him; but the page
Of narrative sincere,

That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:

And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

I therefore purpose not or dream,
Descanting on his fate,

To give the melancholy theme
A more enduring date;
But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.

No voice divine the storm allayed,
No light propitious shone,
When, snatched from all effectual aid,
We perished each alone;

But I beneath a rougher sea,

And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

ROBERT FERGUSSON

THE DAFT DAYS

Now mirk December's dowie face
Glowrs owr the rigs wi' sour grimace,
While, thro' his minimum of space,
The bleer-eyed sun,
Wi' blinkin' light and stealing pace,
His race doth run.

1803.

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From naked groves nae birdie sings;
To shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings;
The breeze nae od'rous flavour brings
From Borean cave;

And dwyning Nature droops her wings,
Wi' visage grave.

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, 'midst his nipping train,
Wi' frozen spear,

Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,
And guides the weir.

Auld Reikie! thou 'rt the canty hole,
A bield for mony a caldrife soul,
Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith warm and couth,

While round they gar the bicker roll
To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule Day comes, I trow,
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou
O' gusty gear

And kickshaws, strangers to our view
Sin' fairn-year.

Ye browster wives, now busk ye bra,
And fling your sorrows far awa';
Then come and gie's the tither blaw
O' reaming ale,

Mair precious than the Well of Spa,
Our hearts to heal.

Then, tho' at odds wi' a' the warl',
Amang oursells we'll never quarrel;
Tho' Discord gie a cankered snarl
To spoil our glee,

As lang's there's pith into the barrel
We'll drink and 'gree.

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Fiddlers, your pins in temper fix,
And roset weel your fiddlesticks;
But banish vile Italian tricks

From out your quorum, Nor fortes wi' pianos mixGie's "Tullochgorum"!

For naught can cheer the heart sae weel
As can a canty Highland reel;
It even vivifies the heel

To skip and dance:
Lifeless is he wha canna feel
Its influence.

Let mirth abound; let social cheer
Invest the dawning of the year;
Let blithesome innocence appear,
To crown our joy;
Nor envy, wi' sarcastic sneer,
Our bliss destroy.

And thou, great god of aqua vita!
Wha sways the empire of this city,—
When fou we're sometimes capernoity,—
Be thou prepared

To hedge us frae that black banditti,
The City Guard.

BRAID CLAITH

Ye wha are fain to hae your name
Wrote in the bonny book of Fame,
Let merit nae pretension claim
To laureled wreath,
But hap ye weel, baith back and wame,
In gude Braid Claith.

He that some ells o' this may fa',
An' slae-black hat on pow like snaw,

1772.

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