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The pitying Duchess praised its chime,
And gave him heart, and gave him time,
Till every string's according glee
Was blended into harmony.
And then, he said, he would full fain
He could recall an ancient strain,
He never thought to sing again.
It was not framed for village churls,
But for high dames and mighty earls ;
He had played it to King Charles the Good,
When he kept court in Holyrood ;
And much he wished, yet feared, to try
The long forgotten melody.
Amid the strings his fingers strayed,
And an uncertain warbling made,
And oft he shook his hoary head ;
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face, and smiled ;
And lightened up his faded eye,
With all a poet's exstacy !
In varying cadence, soft or strong,
He swept the sounding chords along ;
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot;
Cold diffidence, and age's frost,
In the full tide of song were lost;
Each blank, in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thoughts supplied ;
And, while his harp responsive rung,
'Twas thus the LATEST MINSTRÉL sung.
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself bath said,
This is my own, my native land !. Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand ! If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no Minstrel raptures swell ; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim: Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentered all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust, from whence he sprungs Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.
O Caledonia ! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child !
Land of brown beath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires—what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand !
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me, of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left ;
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill,
By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my withered cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.
Sir W. Scott.
Upon my father's new closed grave,
Deep lay the winter's snow ;
Green, now, the grass waves o'er bis head,
And tall the tomb-weeds grow.
Along life's road no parent's band
My homeless footsteps led ;
No mother's arm in sickness soothed,
And raised my throbbing head.
But other hearts, Lord! thou hast warmed
With tenderness benign;
And in the stranger's eye. I mark
The tear of pity shine.
The stranger's hand by thee is moved
To be the orphan's stay;
And better far, the stranger's voice
Hath taught us how to pray.
Thou pútt'st a new song in our mouth,
A song of praise and joy,
O may we not our lips alone,
But hearts, in praise employ!
To Him who little children took,
And in his bosom held;
And blessing them with looks of love,
Their rising fears dispelled;
To Him, while flowers bloom on the bank,
Or lambs sport on the lea;
While larks with morning hymns ascend,
Or birds chant on the tree ;
To Him let every creature join
In prayer, and thanks, and praise : Infants, their little anthems lisp;
Age, hallelujahs raise !
Unthinking, idle, wild, and young,
I laughed, and talked, and danced, and sung,
And, proud of health, of freedom vain,
Dreamt not of sorrow, care, or pain ;
Concluding, in those hours of glee,
That all the world was made for me.
But when the days of trial came,
When sickness shook this trembling frame,