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CLXIV

ON THE DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET,

A PRACTISER IN PHYSIC.

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Condemned to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.
Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Nor, lettered Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.
When fainting nature called for aid,
And hovering death prepared the blow,
His vigorous remedy displayed
The power of art without the show.
In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish poured his groan,
And lonely Want retired to die.
No summons mocked by chill delay,
No petty gain disdained by pride,
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.
His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the Eternal Master found
The single talent well employed.

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The busy day—the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

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Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

Samuel Johnson.

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CLXV

HIGHLAND MARY.

Ye banks and braes and streams around

The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,

Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,

And there the langest tarry ;
For there I took the last fareweel

O’ my sweet Highland Mary.

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How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,

How rich the hawthorn's blossom, As underneath their fragrant shade

I clasped 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

Was my sweet Highland Mary.

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Wi' mony a vow and locked embrace

Our parting was fu' tender ; And pledging aft to meet again,

We tore oursels asunder ;

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But, oh ! fell Death's untimely frost,

That nipt my flower sae early !
Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,

That wraps my Highland Mary!
O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,

I aft hae kissed sae fondly!
And closed for aye the sparkling glance

That dwelt on me sae kindly ;
And mouldering now in silent dust

That heart that lo'ed me dearly ! But still within my bosom's core Shall live my Highland Mary.

Robert Burns

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CLXVI

THE CAST-AWAY.

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Obscurest night involved the sky;

The Atlantic billows roared,
When such a destined wretch as I,

Washed headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast,

Than he, with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast

With warmer wishes sent.
He loved them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay :
Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away ;
But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.

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He shouted ; nor his friends had failed

To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevailed,

That, pitiless perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

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Some succour yet they could afford ;

And, such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,

Delayed not to bestow.
But he, they knew, nor ship nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

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Nor, cruel as it seemed, could he

Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,

Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld :
And so long he, with unspent power,

His destiny repelled :
And ever as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried—'Adieu !'

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At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast,

Could catch the sound no more.
For then by toil subdued, he drank
The stiffing wave, and then he sank.

No poet wept him; but the page

Of narrative sincere,

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That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear,
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

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I therefore purpose not, or dream,

Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme

A more enduring date;
But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.

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No voice divine the storm allayed,

No light propitious shone,
When snatched from all effectual aid

We perished, each alone :
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

William Cowper.

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CLXVII

THE LAND O'THE LEAL.

I'm wearing awa', John,
Like snaw when its thaw, John,
I'm wearing awa'

To the land o' the leal.
There's nae sorrow there, John,
There's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair

In the land o' the leal.

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Ye were aye leal and true, John,
Your task's ended noo, John,
And I'll welcome you

To the land o' the leal.

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