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And oh for Thee, by pitying grace

Checked oft-times in a devious race,

May He, who halloweth the place 75

Where Man is laid, Receive thy Spirit in the embrace

For which it prayed!

Sighing I turned away; but ere

Night fell I heard, or seemed to hear, 80

Music that sorrow comes not near,

A ritual hymn,
Chanted in love that casts out fear

By Seraphim.

III.
THOUGHTS

SUGGESTED THE DAT FOLLOWING, ON THE BANKS
OF NITH, NEAB THE POET'S RESIDENCE.

Too frail to keep the lofty vow

That must have followed when his brow

Was wreathed—" The Vision" tells us how—

With holly spray, He faultered, drifted to and fro, 5

And passed away.

Well might such thoughts, dear Sister, throng
Our minds when, lingering all too long,
Over the grave of Burns we hung

In social grief— 10

Indulged as if it were a wrong

To seek relief.

But, leaving each unquiet theme
Where gentlest judgments may misdeem,
And prompt to welcome every gleam 15

Of good and fair,
Let us beside the limpid Stream

Breathe hopeful air.

Enough of sorrow, wreck, and blight;
Think rather of those moments bright 10
When to the consciousness of right

His course was true,
When Wisdom prospered in his sight

And virtue grew.

Yes, freely let our hearts expand, 25

Freely as in youth's season bland,
When side by side, his Book in hand,

We wont to stray,
Our pleasure varying at command

Of each sweet Lay. 30

How oft inspired must he have trod
These pathways, yon far-stretching road!
There lurks his home; in that Abode,

With mirth elate,
Or in his nobly-pensive mood, 35

The Rustic sate.

Proud thoughts that Image overawes,
Before it humbly let us pause,
And ask of Nature from what cause

And by what rules 40

She trained her Bums to win applause

Tha.t shames the Schools.

Through busiest street and loneliest glen

Are felt the flashes of his pen;

He rules 'mid winter snows, and when 45

Bees fill their hives;
Deep in the general heart of men

His power survives.

What need of fields in some far clime Where Heroes, Sages, Bards sublime, 50 And all that fetched the flowing rhyme

Prom genuine springs, Shall dwell together till old Time

Folds up his wings?

Sweet Mercy! to the gates of Heaven 53
This Minstrel lead, his sins forgiven;
The rueful conflict, the heart riven

With vain endeavour,
And memory of Earth's bitter leaven,

Effaced for ever. 60

But why to Him confine the prayer,
When kindred thoughts and yearnings bear
On the frail heart the purest share

With all that live ?—
The best of what we do and are, 65

Just God, forgive!1

1 See note.

IV.

TO THE SONS OP BURNS,

AFTEK VISITING THE GEAVE OF THEIR FATHER.

"The Poet's grave is in a corner of the churchyard We looked at it with melancholy and painful reflections, repeating to each other his own verses—

'Is there a man whose judgment clear,' etc."

Extract from the Journal of my Fellow-traveller.

'mid crowded obelisks and urns

I sought the untimely grave of Burns;

Sons of the Bard, my heart still mourns

With sorrow true; And more would grieve, but that it turns 5

Trembling to you!

Through twilight shades of good and ill

Ye now are panting up life's hill,

And more than common strength and skill

Must ye display; 10

If ye would give the better will

Its lawful sway.

Hath Nature strung your nerves to bear
Intemperance with less harm, beware!
But if the Poet's wit ye share, 15

Like him can speed
The social hour—of tenfold care

There will be need;

For honest men delight will take

To spare your failings for his sake, 20

Will flatter you,—and fool and rake

Your steps pursue;
And of your Father's name will make

A snare for you.

Far from their noisy haunts retire, 15

And add your voices to the quire
That sanctify the cottage fire

"With service meet;
There seek the genius of your Sire,

His spirit greet; 30

Or where 'mid "lonely heights and hows,"
He paid to Nature tuneful vows;
Or wiped his honourable brows

Bedewed with toil,
While reapers strove, or busy ploughs 35

Upturned the soil;

His judgment with benignant ray
Shall guide, his fancy cheer, your way;
But ne'er to a seductive lay

Let faith be given; 40

Nor deem that " light which leads astray

Is light from Heaven."

Let no mean hope your souls enslave;

Be independent, generous, brave;

Your Father such example gave, 45

And such revere;
But be admonished by his grave,

And think, and fear!

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