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Strange—that they fill not with their tranquil tone
The spirit walking in their midst alone.
There 's no contentment in a world like this,
Save in forgetting the immortal dream;
We may not gaze upon the stars of bliss,
That through the cloud-rifts radiantly stream ;
Bird-like, the prisoned soul will lift its eye
And pine — till it is hooded from the sky.
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN APRIL, 1786.
WEE, modest, crimson-tipped flower!
Thou 's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem :
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem!
Alas! it 's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi's spreckled 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 bield
O'clod or stane,
Adorns the histie 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 artless Maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low i' the dust.
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 misery's brink,
Till, wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruined, sink.
Even thou who mournst 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 !
NOVEMBER's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear:
Late gazing down the steepy linn,
That hems our little garden in,
Low in its dark and narrow glen,
You scarce the rivulet might ken,
So thick the tangled green-wood grew;
So feebly trilled the streamlet through:
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen
Through bush and briar, no longer green,
An angry brook, it sweeps the glade,
Brawls over rock and wild cascade,
And, foaming brown with doubled speed,
Hurries its waters to the Tweed.
No longer Autumn's glowing red
Upon our forest hills is shed ;
No more, beneath the evening beam,
Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam ;
Away hath passed the heather-bell,
That bloomed so rich on Needpath-fell ;
Sallow his brow, and russet bare,
Are now the sister-heights of Yare.
The sheep, before the pinching heaven,
To sheltered dale and down are driven,
Where yet some faded herbage pines,
And yet a watery sun-beam shines :
In meek despondency they eye
The withered sward and wintry sky,
And far beneath their summer hill,
Stray sadly by Glenkinnon's rill :
The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold,
And wraps him closer from the cold;
His dogs no merry circles wheel,
But, shivering, follow at his heel ;
A cowering glance they often cast,
As deeper moans the gathering blast.
SCOTT.-- From "Marmion."]
THERE is continual Spring, and harvest there
Continual, both meeting at one time;
For both the boughs do laughing blossoms bear,
And with fresh colours deck the wanton prime,
And eke at once the heavy trees they climb,
Which seem to labour under their fruits' load;
The whiles the joyous birds make their pastime
Amongst the shady leaves (their sweet abode),
And their true loves without suspicion tell abroad.
Right in the middest of that paradise
There stood a stately mount, on whose round top
A gloomy grove of myrtle trees did rise,
Whose shady boughs sharp steel did never lop,
Nor wicked beasts their tender buds did crop,
But like a garland compassed the height,
And from their fruitful sides sweet gum did drop,
That all the ground, with precious dew bedight, Threw forth most dainty odours and most sweet delight.
And in the thickest covert of that shade
There was a pleasant arbour, not by art,
But of the trees' own inclination made,
Which knitting their rank branches part to part,
With wanton ivy-twine entrayled athwart,
And eglantine and caprefole among,