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Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ; Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind, The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray ; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture
deck'd, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die. For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
85 This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; 90 E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires. For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate ; If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn ;
“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 105
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove ; Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love
• One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree ; Another came ; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he ;
The next with dirges due in sad array
borne, Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown ; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere ;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send : He gave to Misery all he had, a tear, He gain'd from Heaven, 'twas all he wish'd, a
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
125 Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.
O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour ! Those smiles and glances let me see
That make the miser's treasure poor :
How blythely wad I bide the stoure, A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure, The lovely Mary Morison.
Yestreen, when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing
I sat, but neither heard nor saw :
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw, And yon the toast of a' the town,
I sigh’d, and said amang them a’, 'Ye arena Mary Morison.'
O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace
Wha for thy sake wad gladly dee ? Or canst thou break that heart of his, Whase only faut is loving thee ?
20 If love for love thou wiltna gie, At least be pity to me shown ;
A thought ungentle canna be The thought o' Mary Morison.
O saw ye bonnie Liesley
As she gaed o’er the border ?
To spread her conquests farther.
To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever ;
And never made anither !
Thy subjects we, before thee; Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o' men adore thee.
The deil he couldna scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee; He'd look into thy bonnie face,
15 And say “I canna wrang thee ! The Powers aboon will tent thee ;
Misfortune sha’na steer thee; Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely,
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.
Return to Caledonie !
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June : O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
So deep in luve am I:
Till a' the seas gang dry :
And the rocks melt wi' the sun ;
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve !
And fare thee weel å while
15 Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Ye banks and braes and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery,
Your waters never drumlie !
And there the langest tarry ;
O my sweet Highland Mary.
How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
I clasp'd her to my bosom! The golden hours on angel wings
Flew o'er me and my dearie ; For dear to me as light and life
15 Was my sweet Highland Mary. Wi' mony a vow and lock'd embrace
Our parting was fu' tender ;
We tore oursels asunder ;
That nipt my flower sae early !
That wraps my Highland Mary !
I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly !
That dwelt on me sae kindly ;