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THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

101

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 ; 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 enroll.

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”; 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 of 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 con

tent! 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 poured the patriotic tide
That streamed through Wallace's 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 !

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He that loves a rosie cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires ;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

LAKE, WITH LAWNY BANKS THAT SLOPE.

103

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires.
Where these are not, 1 despise
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.

LAKE, WITH LAWNY BANKS THAT SLOPE.

“ LAKE, with lawny banks that slope

To the water's edge,
Softly rustles the wind thro’

Thy long grass and sedge.

“ Thou hadst been a gem of earth

Couched amid these hills,
But some evil water-sprite
Troubles the

pure

rills

" Whence thy hidden life is drawn.

Why thus fretteth he,
Who should be thy good genie,

Thy tranquillity ?"
Lightly by a ruffling wind

Were the waters pressed,
And a liquid, swaying voice

Issued from their breast.

Be it genie, be it fate,

I know not, - but know
That the waves from yonder stream

Ever turbid flow.

Earth may

smile like Eden round, Heaven may open blue, Child of sullied parentage

Gives not back their hue.

Stream, that feed'st the lake, there beams

On thee a living sun ; Rapid, dark, thou rushest by ;

Wouldst thou doom outrun?"

Hoarsely thus the hurrying wave

Answered, foaming on, “Suns may beam, or skies may lower,

I may stay for none.

“ I am fed by those that draw

From depths hid from me Their mysterious energies,

And I am not free.

“ Peaceful mission is not mine ;

Springs that give me life
Burst from this strange earth, as if

Born with inward strife.”

66 Turbid lake, thou must flow on,

There is no redress, And the river fed by thee

Know unworthiness."

Ignorant, I grieved to see

Nothing could be pure, All must be as all had been,

While it should endure.

DEEP, DEEP WITHIN THE OCEAN'S BREAST.

105

I came again, a river,

Princely, calm, and clear,
Flowed from out the troubled lake,
Like
pure

love from fear.

Heaven and earth were showed therein,

The dark source defiled
To the ocean's large embrace

Sent a noble child.

DEEP, DEEP WITHIN THE OCEAN'S BREAST.

DEEP, deep within the ocean's breast

A coral isle was shrined,
Round which light, water-swayèd nymphs.

Float with white arms entwined.

The centre of this little isle

Was fixed a stony tree;
An outer growth encircled this,

Like foliage, quiveringly.

In rigid pride the coral stone

Surveyed its firm estate,
And said, with gratulating tone,

“ I floated, too, of late.

“ But now no chance or change can come

To me ; mature in form,
I take my place with things of fate;

I cool no more nor warm.

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