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Page 407 - It is during the time that we lived on this farm that my little story is most eventful. I was, at the beginning of this period, perhaps the most ungainly awkward boy in the parish — no solitaire was less acquainted with the ways of the world.
Page 408 - Mary! dear departed shade! Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid? Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast? That sacred hour can I forget, Can I forget the hallowed grove, Where by the winding Ayr we met, To live one day of parting love!
Page 70 - Hark ! where the sweeping scythe now rips along : Each sturdy mower emulous and strong ; Whose writhing form meridian heat defies, Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries ; Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet, But spares the rising clover, short and sweet. Come, Health ! come, Jollity ! light-footed, come ; Here hold your revels, and make this your home. Each heart awaits and hails you as its own ; Each moisten'd brow, that scorns to wear a frown : Th...
Page 406 - You know our country custom of coupling a man and woman together as partners in the labours of harvest. In my fifteenth autumn, my partner was a bewitching creature, a year younger than myself. My scarcity of English denies me the power of doing her justice in that language, but you know the Scottish idiom: she was a "bonnie, sweet, sonsie lass.
Page 407 - Latin ; but my girl sung a song which was said to be composed by a small country laird's son, on one of his father's maids, with whom he was in love ; and I saw no reason why I might not rhyme...
Page 69 - Giles to mark her way. Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends, And forms a friendly telescope, that lends Just aid enough to dull the glaring light, And place the wand'ring bird...
Page 68 - Drop one by one upon the bending corn. Giles with a pole assails their close retreats, And round the grass-grown dewy border beats, On either side completely overspread, Here branches bend, there corn o'ertops his head.
Page 406 - My father was advanced in life when he married ; I was the eldest of seven children, and he, worn out by early hardships, was unfit for labour. My father's spirit was soon irritated, but not easily broken. There was a freedom in his lease in two years more, and to weather these two years, we retrenched our expenses.
Page 72 - But naught her rayless melancholy cheers, Or soothes her breast, or stops her streaming tears. Her matted locks unornamented flow; Clasping her knees, and waving to and fro;— Her head bow'd down, her faded cheek to hide ;— A piteous mourner by the pathway side. Some tufted molehill through the livelong day She calls her throne ; there weeps her life away ! And oft the gayly-passing stranger stays His well-timed step, and takes a silent gaze, Till sympathetic drops unbidden...
Page 407 - The collection of Songs was my vade mecum. I pored over them, driving my cart, or walking to labour, song by song, verse by verse ; carefully noting the true tender, or sublime, from affectation and fustian. I am convinced I owe to this practice much of my critic craft, such as it is.