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Blithe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill-ta’en;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
The youngster's artless heart o’erflows wi' joy, But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel behave;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn 's respected like the
Oh, happy love! where love like this is found !
Oh, heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare ! I've pacèd much this weary, mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare:
If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare, One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart,
A wretch, a villain, lost to love and truth,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
“ And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale."
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ? 90 Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food; The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
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 cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride ;
His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care, And “Let us worship God!” he says, with sol.
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 i' the bell, since flax was in the flower.
103. ha', hall ; ance, once.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;
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
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
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.
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 135 And heard great Bab’lon's doom pronounced by
Then kneeling down, to HEAVEN'S ETERNAL
That thus they all shall meet in future days:
There ever bask in uncreated rays,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
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 :
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest,
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
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,
O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
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 Thou ! who poured the patriotic tide,
166. Quoted from Pope's Essay on Man.
182. William Wallace, the peer of Robert Bruce among Scottish heroes.