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Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? 90 Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild!




But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food;
The soupe their only hawkie does afford,

The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,

That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood: The dame brings forth, in complimental mood, To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell, And aft he 's prest, and aft he ca's it guid; The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, How 't was a towmont auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.

The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride;
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,

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His lyart haffets wearing thin and 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.

92. healsome, wholesome; parritch, porridge.

93. soupe, limited supply; hawkie, cow.

94. 'yont, beyond; hallan, partition wall; chows, chews; cood, cud.

96. well-hain'd kebbuck, carefully saved cheese; fell, biting. 97. aft, often; guid, good.

99. towmont, twelvemonth; sin' lint was the bell, since flax was in the flower.

103. ha', hall; ance, once.

105. lyart haffets, gray temples.

107. wales, chooses.


They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest

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 hae 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;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.



Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme —

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed : How He, who bore in heaven the second name,

Had not on earth whereon to lay His head ;

How His first followers and servants sped ;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land :

How he, who lone in Patmos banished,

111-113. Dundee, Martyrs, and Elgin are the names of old hymn-tunes found in many books. The adjectives applied to each are peculiarly fitting.

113. beets, feeds, adds fuel to. 117. hae, have. 133. Saint John.

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 135 And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by

Heaven's command.


Then kneeling down, to HEAVEN'S ETERNAL

The saint, the father, and the husband prays :
Hope “springs exulting on triumphant wing,”

That thus they all shall meet in future days:

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



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 enrol.



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 requ

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,

138. Quoted from Pope's Windsor Forest.


For them and for their little ones provide ;
But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine pre-



From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur

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

Disguising oft 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 sweet con-
And oh! 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, 180 And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved


O Thoul who poured the patriotic tide,
That streamed through Wallace's undaunted


166. Quoted from Pope's Essay on Man.
182. William Wallace, the peer of Robert Bruce among

Scottish heroes.

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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!) Oh never, never, Scotia's realm desert; But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!



The lines To a Mouse seem by report to have been composed while Burns was actually ploughing. One of the poet's first editors wrote: "John Blane, who had acted as gaudsman to Burns, and who lived sixty years afterwards, had a distinct recollection of the turning up of the mouse. Like a thoughtless youth as he was, he ran after the creature to kill it, but was checked and recalled by his master, who he observed became thereafter thoughtful and abstracted. Burns, who treated his servants with the familiarity of fellow-laborers, soon afterwards read the poem to Blane."

WEE, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie !

Thou needna start awa' sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!

5 I wad be laith to rin and chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

Headnote, line 3, gaudsman, ploughboy.
1. sleekit, sleek.

3. needna, need not.

4. bickering brattle, clattering scamper.

5, 6. The boy's attempt to kill the mouse may well have been

in the poet's mind here.

5. wad, would; laith, loath.

6. pattle, plough-staff.

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