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But, mousie, thou art no thy lane,'
In proving foresight may be vain ;
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,2
An' leave us naught but grief an' pain.
For promised joy.
Still thou art blessed, compared with me!
The present only toucheth thee;
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear, —
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear.
WEE, modest, crimson-tippéd flower,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure3
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem!
Alas, it's not thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!
Wi' speckled breast,
When upward springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter, biting north
Upon thy early humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted' forth,
Amid the storm!
Scarce reared above the parent earth
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield2
O' clod or stane,
Adorns the histie3 stibble-field,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starred!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er.
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven;
By human pride or cunning driven
To mis'ry's brink; Till, wrenched of every stay but Heaven, He, ruined, sink.
THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD.
E'en thou who mourn'st the daisy's fate,
That fate is thine, no distant date;
Stern ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom;
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight
Shall be thy doom!
THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD. — Mrs. Hemans.
THEY grew in beauty, side by side,
They filled one home with glee,
Their graves are severed far and wide,
By mount, and stream, and sea.
The same fond mother bent at night
O'er each fair sleeping brow;
She had each folded flower in sight,
Where are those dreamers now?
One, 'midst the forests of the west,
By a dark stream, is laid, -
The Indian knows his place of rest,
Far in the cedar shade.
The sea, the blue, lone sea, hath one,
He lies where pearls lie deep,-
He was the loved of all, yet none
O'er his low bed may weep.
One sleeps where southern vines are drest,
Above the noble slain;
He wrapped his colors round his breast,
On a blood-red field of Spain.
And one,- o'er her the myrtle showers
Its leaves, by soft winds fanned;
She faded 'midst Italian flowers,
The last of that bright band.
And parted thus they rest, who played
Beneath the same green tree;
Whose voices mingled as they prayed
About one parent knee!
They that with smiles lit up the hall,
And cheered with song the hearth,
Alas for love, if thou wert all,
And naught beyond, O Earth!
THE SOLITARY REAPER. Wordsworth.
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O, listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers, in some shady haunt
Among Arabian sands;
Such thrilling voice was never heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago,
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again!
Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;-
I listened, — motionless and still;
And when I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
THE ADOPTED CHILD. - Mrs. Hemans.
"WHY wouldst thou leave me, O gentle child?
Thy home on the mountains is bleak and wild,
A straw-roofed cabin with lowly wall;
Mine is a fair and a pillared hall,
Where many an image of marble gleams,
And the sunshine of picture forever streams."
"O, green is the turf where my brothers play,
Through the long bright hours of the summer day;
They find the red cup-moss where they climb,
And they chase the bee o'er the scented thyme;