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MUSINGS.

37

And persecution, obloquy, and wrong,
Until my heart grew bitter. I have made
The desert, and the mountain snow, my bed-
Spoken strange tongues, and congregated with
The lameless savage of the wilderness,
Until I felt as tameless as himself.
The morning of my life has passed away,
And clouds and dimness rest upon its shapes
Of pain or pleasure. I am well content.
The golden stars that smile above my head
The planel-peopled heaven-and the sea
Glorious in terror or in beauty-all
or brilliant and magnificent on earth,
Have yet a charm for me--and more than all,
My quiet home ;-and she who makes that home
A living paradise, will cheer me on-
And I will live, and sing my humble strain,
Although the cold world close its careless ears
Unto the quiet music of my song.

ALBERT PIKE.

38

AN EPISTLE.

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to hae sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae other end

Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject-theme may gang,

Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,

Perhaps turn out a sermon.

Ye'll try the world fu’ soon, my lad,

And, Andrein, dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,

And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,

E'en when your end's attained :
And a' your views may come to nought,

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
The great Creator to revere,

Must sure become the creature ;
But still the preaching cant forbear,

And e'en the rigid feature:
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,

Be complaisance extended;
An Atheist's laugh 's a poor exchange

For Deity offended!

AN EPISTLE.

39

When ranting round in pleasure's ring,

Religion may be blinded ;
Or if she gie a random sting,

It may be little minded;
But when on life we're tempest driv'n,

A conscience but a canker
A correspondence fixed wi' Heaven,

Is sure a noble anchor!

Adieu, dear amiable youth!

Your heart can ne'er be wanting; May prudence, fortitude, and truth,

Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman's phrase, “God send you speed,"

Still daily to grow wiser !
And may you better reck the rede,
Than ever did the adviser !

ROBERT BURNS.

40

A VISION.

A VISION. In visions which are not of night, a shadowy vale

I see, The path of pilgrim tribes, who are, who have been,

or shall be ; At either end are lowering clouds, impervious to

the sight, And frequent shadows veil, throughout, each gleam

of passing light. A path it is of joys and griefs, of many hopes and

fears; Gladdened at times by sunny smiles, but oftener

dimmed by tears.

Greon leaves are there, they quickly fade-bright

flowers, but soon they die; Its banks are lav'd by pleasant streams, but soon

their bed is dry; And some that roll on to the last with undiminish'd

force, Have lost that limpid purity which graced their

early source; They seem to borrow in their flow the tinge of dark

ening years, And e'en their mournful, murmuring sound befits

the vale of tears,

A VISION.

41

Pleasant that valley's opening scenes appear to

childhood's view, The flowers are bright, the turf is green,

the sky above is blue; A blast may blight, a beam may scoreh, a cloud

may intervene, But, lightly marked and soon forgot, they mar not

such a scene; Fancy still paints the future bright, and Hope the

present cheers, Nor can we deem the path we tread leads through

a vale of tears.

But soon, too soon, the flowers that deck'd our

early pathway side Have drooped and withered on their stalks, and one

by one have died; The turf by noon's fierce heat is sear'd, the sky is

overcast, There's thunder in the torrent's tone, and tempest

in the blast; Fancy is but a phantom found, and hope a dream

appears, And more and more our hearts confess this life a

vale of tears.

Darker and darker seems the path! how sad to

journey on, When hands and hearts which gladdened ours ap

pear forever gone!

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