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Thus resign'd and quiet, creep
To the bed of lasting sleep;
Sleep, whence thou shalt ne'er awake,
Night, where dawn shall never break,
Till future life, future no more,
To light and joy the good restore,
To light and joy unknown before.

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quoth the beadsman of Nithside.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

Inscribed to Robert Aiken, Esq. My loved, my honor'd, much respected friend!

No mercenary bard his homage pays; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end ;

My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise : To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;

What Aiken in a cottage would have been; Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;

The shortening winter-day is near a close; The miry beasts retreating frae2 the pleugh;

The blackening trains o' craws to their repose; The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor goes,

This night his weekly moil 3 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 hameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee4 things, toddlin,5 stacher6 through

To meet their dad, wi' flicterin’noise an' glee.
His wee bit ingle,8 blinkin' bonnily.

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a'10 his weary carking 11 cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labor and his toil.
Belyve 12 the elder bairns come drappin in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Some ca'13 the pleugh, some herd, some tentie 14 rin

A cannie 15 errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw 16 new gown,

Or deposit her sair-won 17 penny-fee, 18
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

1 These beautiful lines were written in “Friars-Carse" Hermitage, on the banks of the Nith. 2 From. 8 Labor. 4 Little. 6 Tottering in their walk. 6 Stagger. 7 Fluttering. 8 Fire. 9 Shining at intervals. 10 All. 11 Consuming. 12 By-and-by. 18 Drive. 14 Cautious. 15 Kindly, dexterous. 16 Fine, handsome. 17 Sorely won. 18 Wages.

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1 Asks.
7 Tal and handsome.
12 The rest, the others.

3 Makes.
8 Converses.

4 Diligent.
9 Kine, cows.

5 Partly.
10 Bashful.

6 Into the pariur.
11 Reluctant.

Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling smooth!

Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled ? Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild? But now the supper crowns their simple board!

The healsome parritch, chief o’Scotia's food : The soupe3 their only hawkie4 does afford,

That 'yonts the hallan 6 snugly chows her cood : The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,

To grace the lad, her weel-hain’d? kebbuck, fell,9 An' aft he's press'd, an' aft he ca's it good;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 'twas a towmond 10 auld, 11 sin 12 lint was i' the bell.13 The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

They round the ingle form a circle wide; The sire 14 turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,

The big Ha'-Bible, 15 ance his father's pride; His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart 16 haffets 17 wearin' thin an' bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,

He wales 18 a portion with judicious care;
And “Let us worship God,” he says, wi' solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
Perhaps Dundee's 19 wild warbling measures rise,

Or plaintive Martyrs, 19 worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin 19 beats the heavenward flame,

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;

The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

1 Mercy, kind feeling. 2 Oatmeal-pudding. 8 Sauce, milk. 4 A pet-name for a cow 6 Beyond. 6 A partition wall in a cottage. 7 Carefully preserved.

8 A cheese 9 Biting to the taste. 10 Twelve months. 11 Old. 12 Since. 18 Flax was in blossom.

14 This picture, as all the world knows, he drew from his father. He was himself, in imagination, again one of the “wee things" that ran to meet him; and “the priest-like father” had long worn that aspect before the poet's eyes, though he died before he was threescore. "I have always considered William Burns," (the father,) says Murdoch, “as by far the best of the human race that I ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with, and many a worthy character I have known. He was a tender and affectionate father, and took pleasure in leading his children in the paths of virtue. I must not pretend to give you a description of all the manly qualities, the rational and Christian virtues of the venerable Burns. I shall only add, that he practised every known duty, and avoided every thing that was criminal." The following is the “Epitaph" which the son wrote for him:

O ye, whose cheek the tear of pity stains,

Draw near, with pious reverence, and attend !
Here le the loving husband's dear remains,

The tender father, and the generous friend :
The pitying heart that felt for human woe;

The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride;
The friend of man, to vice alone a foe,

“For e'en his failings lean'd to virtue's side." 16 The great Bible kept in the hall. 16 Gray. 17 The temples, the sides of the head 18 Chooses.

10 The names of Scottish psalm-tunes.

The priest-like father reads the sacred page,

How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage

9
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ; 9 de
Or, how the Royal Bard I did groaning liet Estado

Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or, Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry;

Or, rapt Isaiah's wild seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
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 3 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,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,

In such society, yet still more dear,
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
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; 4
But haply, in some cottage far apart,

May hear, well-pleased, the language of the soul;
And in His book of life the inmates poor enrol.
Then homeward all take off their several way;

The youngling cottagers retire to rest;
The parent-pair their secret homage pay,

And proffer up to Heaven the warm request
That He, who stills the raven's clamorous nest,

And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,

For them and for their little ones provide;
But, chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside.
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad;
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,

“An honest man's the noblest work of God;"

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1 David.

2 Saint John. 8 An island in the Archipelago, where John is supposed to have written the book of Revelation, 4 Priestly vestment.

And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,

The cottage leaves the palace far behind: What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load,

Disguising oft the wretch of human-kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined !

O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil

Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content! And, O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent

From luxury's contagion, weak and vile!
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,

A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand, a wall of fire, around their much-loved isle.
O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide

That stream'd through Wallace's 2 undaunted heart.
Who dared to, nobly, stem tyrannic pride,

Or nobly die, the second glorious part, (The patriot's God peculiarly Thou art,

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
O never, never, Scotia's realm desert:

But still the patriot, and the patriot bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !

MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN.

When chill November's surly blast

Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wander'd forth

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step

Seem'd weary, worn with care;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,

And hoary was his hair.
Young stranger, whither wanderest thou?

(Began the reverend sage ;)
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasures rage?
Or haply, prest with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began,
To wander forth, with me, to mourn

The miseries of man!
The sun that overhangs yon moors,

Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labor to support

A haughty lordling's pride;
I've seen yon weary winter-sun

Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs

That man was made to mourn.

1 Certainly.

% Sir William Wallace, the celebrated Scottish patriote

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