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Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Would I describe a preacher such as Paul,
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
Chiefly renowned for his pathetic and spirit-stirring songs. Other proofs.of his high rank as a poet are “ The Cotter's Saturday Night," “ Elegy on Captain Matthew Henderson,
,” “The Jolly Beggars,” “ Tam O'Shanter," and others.
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO ROBERT AIKEN, ESQ.
No mercenary bard his homage pays :
My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise.
The lowly train in Life’s sequestered scene,
What Aiken in a cottage would have been:
The shortening winter-day is near a close;
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose ;
(This night his weekly moil” is at an end,)
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend;
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree:
To meet their dad wi' flicterin' noise and glee.
His wee bit ingle' blinkin' bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile,
Does a” his weary, carking cares beguile,
At service out amang the farmers roun':
A cannies errand to a neebor-town.
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Or deposit her sair-wono penny-fee!!
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers :12
Each tells the uncos" that he sees or hears.
Anticipation forward points the view:
Gars14 auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
The younkers a’ are warned to obey;
An' ne'er, though out o’ sight, to jauk or play:
An’mind your duty duly, morn an' night.
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and Aush her cheek;
While Jenny hafflinse is afraid to speak :
A strappan' youth, he taks the mother's eye:
The father cracks'' of horses, pleughs, and kye.20
1 Fire. 2 Shining at intervals.
3 All. 4 Consuming. 5 By and by. 6 Drive. 7 Cautious. 8 Kindly dexterous. 9 Fine, handsome.
10 Sorely-won. 12 Asks, 13 News. 14 Makes. 15 Diligent.
17 Into the parlor.
The youngster's artless heart o’erflows wi' jov,
But, blate' an' laithtu',- scarce can weel behave:
What makes the youth sae bashtu' an’ sae grave;
O happy love, where love like this is found !
O heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare !
And sage experience bils me this declare,
One cordial in this melancholy, vale,
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale
Is there in human form that bears a heart,
A wretch, a villain, lost to love and truth,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Points to the parents fondling o'er their chill,
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :
That 'yont the hallan' snugly chows her cood.
To grace the lad, her weel-hainedo kebbuck, fell ;12
The fi'ugal wifie, garrulous, will tell
The cheerfu' supper done, wi’ serious face
They round the ingle form a circle wide.
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride.
His lyarts haffets's wearin' thin an’ bare:
He wales” a portion with judicious care ;
2 Reluctant 3 The rest, the others. 4 Mercy, kind feeling. 5 Oatmeal-pudding. " Sauce, milk. ? pet name for a cow. 8 Beyond. 9 A partition-wall in a cottage.
11 I cheese. 12 Biting to the taste. 13 Twelve-month.
14 Old. 11 Siner 16 Flax was in blosson. 17 The great Bible kept in the hall.
19 The temples, the sides of the head. 20 Chooses.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim: Perhaps Dundee’st wild, warbling measures rise;
Or plaintive Martyrs,' worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin' beats the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ear no heartfelt 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 baru did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
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.
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,
In such society, yet still more dear,
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 bear, well pleased, the language of the soul, And in his book of life the inmates poor enroll.
1 The names of Scottish psalni-tunes.