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The Sun of Glory gleamed the ray,
Refined the darkness into day,
And bid the vapours fly:
Impelled by his eternal love,
He left his palaces above,
To cheer our gloomy sky.
How shall we celebrate the day,
When God appeared in mortal clay,
The mark of worldly scorn;
When the archangels' heavenly lays
Attempted the Redeemer's praise,
And hail'd salvation's morn?
An humble form the Godhead wore,
The pains of poverty he bore,
To gaudy pomp
Though in a human walk he trod,
Still was the Man Almighty God,
In glory all his own.
Despised, oppressed, the Godhead bears
The torments of this vale of tears;
Nor bad his vengeance rise ;
He saw the creatures he had made
Revile his power,
He saw with mercy's eyes.
How shall we celebrate his name,
Who groan'd beneath a life of shame,
In all afflictions tried;
The soul is raptured to conceive
A truth, which Being must believe,
The God eternal died.
My soul, exert thy powers, adore,
Upon devotion’s plumage soar,
To celebrate the day:
The God from whom creation sprung
Shall animate my grateful tongue;
From Him I'll catch the lay!
The Sun, revolving on its axis, turns,
And with creative fire intensely burns;
Impelled the forcive air, our Earth supreme,
Rolls with the planets round the solar gleam;
First Mercury completes his transient year,
Glowing, refulgent, with reflected glare;
Bright Venus occupies a wider sway,
The early harbinger of night and day;
More distant still our globe terraqueous turns,
Nor chills intense, nor fiercely heated burns;
Around her rolls the lunar orb of light,
Trailing her silver glories through the night:
On the Earth's orbit see the various signs,
Mark where the Sun, our .year completing, shines;
First the bright Ram his languid ray improves;
Next glaring wat’ry through the Bull he moves;
The am’rous Twins admit his genial ray;
Now burning through the Crab he takes his way;
The Lion flaming, bears the solar power;
The Virgin faints beneath the sultry shower.
Now the just Balance weighs his equal force,
The slimy serpent swelters in his course;
The sabled Archer clouds his languid face;
The Goat, with tempests, urges on his race;
Now in the water his faint beams appear,
And the cold Fishes end the circling year.
Beyond our globe the sanguine Mars displays
A strong reflection of primeval rays;
Next belted Jupiter far distant gleams,
Scarcely enlightened with the solar beams;
With four unfixed receptacles of light,
He tours majestic through the spacious height:
But further yet the tardy Saturn lags,
And five attendant luminaries drags;
Investing with a double ring his pace,
He circles through immensity of space.
These are thy wondrous works, first Source of good! Now more admired in being understood.
[From LOVE AND MADNESS.]
O God, whose thunder shakes the sky;
this atom globe surveys;
To thee, my only rock, I fly,
Thy mercy in thy justice praise ;
The mystic mazes of thy will,
The shadows of celestial light,
Are past the power of human skill-
But what the Eternal acts is right.
O teach me in the trying hour
When anguish swells the dewy tear,
To still my sorrows, own thy power,
Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.
If in this bosom aught but thee
Encroaching sought a boundless sway,
Omniscience could the danger see,
And Mercy took the cause away.
Then why, my soul, dost thou complain?
Why drooping seek the dark recess?
Shake off the melancholy chain,
For God created all to bless.
But ah! my breast is human still;
The rising sigh, the falling tear,
My languid vitals feeble rill,
The sickness of my soul declare.
But yet, with fortitude resigned,
I'll thank the inflictor of the blow;
Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,
Nor let the gush of misery flow.
The gloomy mantle of the night,
Which on my sinking spirit steals,
Will vanish at the morning light,
Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.
ROBERT BURNS Was born at Ayr, in the west of Scotland, A.D. 1759. His parents were of very humble rank, and he was brought up to rustic employment. He published his first volume of poems by subscription, hoping that the profits would pay his passage to Jamaica ; but Dr. Blacklock, struck by their merits, persuaded Burns to relinquish the design, and visit Edinburgh. Here he was received with the greatest hospitality, and obtained a large sum by the second edition of his poems, and also the situation of an exciseman. But the habits of intemperate indulgence which Burns had unfortunately acquired, proved his ruin. He wrote many beautiful songs, but became incapable of the exertion which a poem worthy of his fame and his abilities would have required. He died A.D. 1796.
The poems of Burns display great pathos, humour, and a vigour of thought rarely surpassed ; though written for the most part in a provincial dialect, the style is polished, and the language selected with great care and discrimination.
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
NOVEMBER chill blaws' loud wi’ angry sugh,
The short’ning winter-day is near a close ;
The miry beasts retreating frae? the pleugho;
a blaws, blows.
8 pleugh, plough.
The black’ning trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn cotters frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil® is at an end
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
And weary, o'er the moor, his course does homeward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th’ expectant weer things, todling stachero through
To meet their dad, wi'lo flichterin'1 noise an' glee.
His wee bit ingle's, blinkin : bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie’s smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a”4 his weary carking 5 cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyvel the elder bairns17 come drappin’18 in,
At service out amang the farmers roun’;
Some ca'ls the pleugh, some herd, some tentie2rin21
A cannie22 errand to a neebor23 town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthful bloom, love sparkling in her e’eas,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw25 new gown,
Or deposit her sair-won2 penny-fee??,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers28 ;
The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed fleet!
Each tells the uncos2 that he sees or hears;
The parents, partial, e'e their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view,
18 drappin', dropping.
19 ca', drive.
20 tentie, cautious.
21 rin, run.
22 cannie, skilful, dexterous.
23 neebor, neighbour, neighbouring.
craws, crows. 5
cotter, cottager. 6 moil, labour. 7 wee, little. 8 todlin, tottering in their walk. 9 stacher, stagger. 10 wi,' with. 11 flichterin', flattering. 12 ingle, fire-place. 13 blinkin, shining at intervals. 14 a', all. 13 carking, consuming. 16 belyve, by-and-by. 17 bairns, children.
25 braw, brave, handsome.
26 sair-won, sorely-won, earned with difficulty.
21 penny-fee, wages.
28 spiers, asks.
29 uncos, news.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,
Gars30 auld claes31 look amaist32 as weel's the new:
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's and their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey:
“An mind their labours wi' an eydent33 hand,
An' ne'er, though out o’sight, to jauk34 or play:
An' oh, be sure to fear the Lord alway!
An' mind your duty, duly, morn and night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang 35 astray,
Implore His counsel and assisting might!
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"
But hark! a rap comes gently to tke door;
Jenny, wha36 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 hafflins87 is afraid to speak;
Weel pleased the mother hears it's nae38 wild worthless rake.
Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben39;
A strappan'o youth, he takes the mother's eye;
Blythe" Jenny sees the visit's no ill-ta’en;
The father cracks42 of horses, pleughs, and kye“.
The youngster's artless heart o’erflows wi' joy,
But blate14 and laithfu’45, 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“.
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 heav'nly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,