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Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle,
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
NOVEMBER chill blaws loud with angry sugh;
The shortening winter-day is near a close; The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh ;
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose ; The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
To meet their dad wi' flichterinnoise and glee. His wee bit ingle' blinkin bonnilie.
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile,
At service out, amang the farmers roun’;
A cannie errand to a neebour town;
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
i Stagger. 2 Fluttering
Wi' joy unfeign’d brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers :1 The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnoticed fleet;
Each tells the uncos2 that he sees or hears ; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ;
Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers,
Gars3 auld claes4 look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their masters' and their mistresses' command,
The yonkers a' are warned to obey;
An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play;
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might: They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide; The sire turns o’er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big Ha'-Bible, ance his father's pride: His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearin' 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.
Then kneeling down to heaven's eternal King,
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 sphere.
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 request, 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,
For them and for their little ones provide ; But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside.
A MOTHER'S DEATH.
THEN died lamented, in the strength of life,
But all her ties the strong invader broke,
Slowly they bore, with solemn step, the dead :When grief grew loud, and bitter tears were shed: My part began; a crowd drew near the place, Awe in each eye, alarm in every face: So swift the ill, and of so fierce a kind, That fear, with pity, mingled in each mind; Friends with the husband came, their griefs to blend ; For good-man Frankford was to all a friend. The last-born boy they held above the bier, He knew not grief, but cries expressed his fear; Each different age and sex revealed its pain, In now a louder, now a lower strain ; While the meek father, listening to their tones, Swelled the full cadence of the grief by groans. The elder sister strove her pangs to hide, And soothing words to younger minds applied : “Be still, be patient,” oft she strove to say ; But failed as oft, and weeping turned away.
Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug hill,
Arrived at home, how then they gazed around,