Page images
PDF
EPUB

And when you read the simple, artless rhymes,

One friendly sigh for him, he asks no more, Who distant burns in flaming, torrid climes,

Or haply lies beneath the Atlantic roar.

TO

A YOUNG LADY,

Miss Jessy L-, Dumfries; with Books which the

Bard presented her.

THINE be the volumes, Jessy fair,
And with them take the Poet's prayer;
That Fate may in her fairest page,
With ev'ry kindliest, best presage
Of future bliss enrol thy name,
With native worth, and spotless fame, .
And wakeful caution still aware
Of ill-but chief, man's selon snare;
All blameless joys on earth we find,
And all the treasures of the mind
These be thy guardian and reward,
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul!
Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society !
I owe thee much.

Blair.

DEAR S****, the sleest, paukie thief,
That e'er attempted stealth or rief,
Ye surely hae some warlock-breef

Owre human hearts;
For ne'er a bosom yet was prief

Against your arts.
For me, I swear, by sun and moon,
And ev'ry star that blinks aboon,
Ye've cost me twenty pair o' shoon

Just gaun to see you ;
And ev'ry ither pair that's done,

Mair taen I'm wi' you. That auld capricious carlin, Nature, To mak amends for scrimpit stature, She's turn'd you aff' a human creature

On her first plan, And in her freaks, on ev'ry feature,

She's wrote, the Man. Just now I've taen the fit o' rhyme, My barmie noddle's working prime, My fancie yerkite up sublime

Wi' hasty summon; Hae ye a leisure-moment's time

To hear what's comin?

Some rhyme, a neebor's name to lash; Some rhyme (vain thought!) for needfu' cash; Some rhyme to court the countra clash,

An' raise a din;
For me, an aim I never fashı;

I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lot,
Has fated me the russet coat,
And damn'd ny fortune to the groat;

But in requit,
Has bless'd ine wi' a random shot

O'countra wit.

This while my notion's taen a sklent,
To try my fate in guide black prent;
But still the mair I'm that way bent,

Something cries, "Hoolie! I red you, honest man, tak tent!

Ye'll shaw your folly. “There's ither poets, much your

betters, Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, Hae thought they had insur'd their debtors,

Å' future ages ;
Now moths deform in shapeless tatters

Their unknown pages."
Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs,
To garland my poetic brows!
Henceforth l’ll rove where busy ploughs

Are whistling thrang,
An' teach the lanely heights and howes

My rustic sang.
I'll wander on wi' tentless heed,
Flow never-halting moments speed,

[ocr errors]

Till fate shall snap the brittle thread;

Then, all unknown,
I'll lay me with the inglorious dead,

Forgot and gone!
But why o' Death begin a tale?
Just now we're living, sound, and hale,
Then top and maintop crowd the sail,

Heave Care o'er-side! | And large, before Enjoyment's gale,

Let's tak the tide.

This life, sae far's I understand,
Is a' enchanted, fairy land,
Where Pleasure is the magic wand,

That, wielded right,
Maks hours like minutes, hand in hand,

Dance by fu' light. The magic wand then let us wield; For, ance that five-an’-forty's speeld, See crazy, weary, joyless Eild,

Wi' wrinkled face, Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,

Wi' creepin pace.
When ance Life'e day draws near the gloamin,
Then fareweel vacant careless roamin;
An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,

An' social noise;
An' fareweel, dear, deluding woman,

The joy of joys!
o Life! how pleasant in thy morning;
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning,

We frisk away,

Like school-boys, at th' expected warning,

To joy and play.
We wander there, we wander here,
We eye the rose upon the brier,
Unmindful that the thorn is near,

Among the leaves;
And though the puny wound appear,

Short while it grieves. Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spot, For which they never toil'd nor swat ; They drink the sweet, and eat the fat,

But care or pain;
And, haply, cye the barren hut

With high disdain.
With steady aim, some Fortune chase;
Keen Hope does every sinew brace;
Thro' fair, thro' foul, they urge the race ;

And seize the prey;
Then canie, in some cozie place,

They close the day.
And others, like your humble servan',
Poor wights! nae rules nor roads observin;
To right or left, eternal swervin,

They zig-zag on;
Till qurst with age, obscure an' starvin,

They aften groan.
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining.--.
But, truce with peevish, poor complaining !
Is Fortune's

fickle Lana waning?

E'en let her gang! Beneath what light she has remaining,

Let's sing our sang.

« PreviousContinue »