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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 th' infliction 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.
WHEN autumn, bleak, and sun-burnt do appear,
With his gold hand gilding the falling leaf,
Bringing up winter to fulfil the year,
Bearing upon his back the ripened sheaf;
When all the hills with woody seed are white, When levying fires, and lemes, do meet from far the siglit;
When the fair apple, rudde as even sky,
Do bend the tree unto the fructile ground,
When juicy pears, and berries of black dye,
Do dance in air and call the eyne around;
Then, be the even foul, or even fair,
Methinks my hearte's joy is stained with some care.
One gusty day, now stormy and now still,
I stood apart upon the western hill,
And saw a race at sea: a gun was heard,
And two contending boats at length appeared :
Equal a while; then one was left behind :
And for a moment had her chance resigned,
When in that moment, up a sail they drew-
Not used before—their rivals to pursue.
Strong was the gale! in hurry now there came
Men from the town—their thoughts, their fears the same;
And women too! affrighted maids and wives,
All deeply feeling for their sailors' lives.
The strife continued : in a glass we saw
The desperate efforts, and we stood in awe,
When the last boat shot suddenly before,
Then filled, and sank-and could be seen no more!
Then were those piercing shrieks, that frantic flight,
All hurried ! all in tumult and affright!
A gathering crowd from different streets drew near,
All ask, all answer-none attend, none hear!
One boat is safe ; and see ! she backs her sail
To save the sinking—Will her aid avail ?
0! how impatient on the sands we tread,
And the winds roaring and the women led,
As up and down they pace with frantic air,
And scorn a comforter, and will despair ;
They know not who in either boat is gone,
But think the father, husband, lover, one.
And who is she apart? She dares not come
To join the crowd, yet cannot rest at home:
With what strong interest looks she at the waves,
Meeting and clashing o'er the seamen's graves !
'Tis a poor girl betrothed—a few hours more,
And he will be a corpse upon the shore.
An ardent spirit dwells with Christian Love,
The eagle's vigour in the pitying dove;
'Tis not enough that we with sorrow sigh,
That we the wants of pleading man supply ;
That we in sympathy with sufferers feel,
Nor hear a grief without a wish to heal :
Not these suffice-to sickness, pain, and woe,
The Christian spirit loves with aid to go;
Will not be sought, waits not for want to plead,
But seeks the duty-nay, prevents the need;
Her utmost aid to every ill applies,
And plants relief for coming miseries.
DANGER OF A FIRST TRANSGRESSION.
Still there was virtue ;—but a rolling stone
On a hill's brow is not more quickly gone;
The slightest motion-ceasing from our care
A moment's absence—when we're not aware
When down it rolls, and at the bottom lies,
Sunk, lost, degraded, never more to rise !
Far off the glorious height from whence it fell,
With all things base and infamous to dwell.
FROM "THE COTTAR'S SATURDAY NIGHT.”
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee things, toddlin', stacher thro',
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise an' glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a’ his weary carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, among the farmers roun';
Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neibour town;
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman-grown,
In youthfu’ bloom, love sparkling in her e’e, Come hame perhaps to show her braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's welfare kindly speirs : The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed, fleet;
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears :
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forwards points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an’ her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide ; The sire turns o’er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride: His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare ; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide
He wales a portion with judicious care; And, “Let us worship God!” he says with solemn air
They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim; Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,
Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin beets 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 ha’e they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high; Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny; Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire; Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;