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REAS'NING at every step he treads,

Man yet mistakes his way,
While meaner things, whom instinct

Are rarely known to stray.

One silent eve I wander'd late,

And heard the voice of love; The turtle thus address'd her mate,

And sooth'd the list’ning dove :

Our mutual bond of faith and truth

No time shall disengage, Those blessings of our early youth

Shall cheer our latest age.

While innocence without disguise,

And constancy sincere, Shall fill the circles of those eyes,

And mine can read them there;

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.
Some succor 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.
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!"
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 stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him; but the page

Of narrative sincere,
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.
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.
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.

Those ills that wait on all below,

Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt and only so,

As being shared with thee.

When lightnings flash among the trees,

Or kites are hov'ring near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,

And know no other fear.

'Tis then I feel myself a wife,

And press thy wedded side, Resolved an union form'd for life.

Death never shall divide.

But oh! if fickle and unchaste

(Forgive a transient thought) Thou couldst become unkind at last,

And scorn thy present lot,

No need of lightnings from on high,

Or kites with cruel beak, Denied th' endearments of thine eye

This widow'd heart would break.

Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,

Soft as the passing wind, And I recorded what I heard,

A lesson for mankind.

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“Then the progeny that springs

From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command.

“Regions Cæsar never knew

Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew, .

None invincible as they."

Such the bard's prophetic words,

Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre.

Religion! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word ! More precious than silver and gold,

Or all that this earth can afford. But the sound of the church-going bell

These valleys and rocks never heard Never sigh’d at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a Sabbath appear’d. Ye winds that have made me your sport,

Convey to this desolate shore Some cordial endearing report

Of a land I shall visit no more. My friends, do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me? O tell me I yet have a friend,

Though a friend I am never to see.

She, with all a monarch's pride,

Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died;

Dying hurl'd them at the foe.

How fleet is a glance of the mind !

Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,

And the swift-winged arrows of light. When I think of my own native land,

In a moment I seem to be there; But, alas! recollection at hand

Soon hurries me back to despair.

But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest;

The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,

And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy


every place; And mercy, encouraging thought! Gives even affliction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot.

trie :


1735-1803. (JAMES BEATTIE was born at Laurencekirk in 1735, and died at Aberdeen in 1803. He pub lished his first volume of poems in 1761, The Fudgment of Paris in 1765, and Some Lines on the Proposed Monument to Churchill in 1766. The first part of The Minstrel appeared in 1770, the second in 1774.] EDWIN.

And he, though oft with dust and [From The Minstrel.]

sweat besprent, THERE liv'd in gothic days, as legends

Did guide and guard their wandertell,

ings, wheresoe'er they went. A shepherd-swain, a man of low degree;

From labor health, from health contentWhose sires, perchance, in Fairyland ment springs, might dwell,

Contentment'opes the source of every Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady. joy; But he, I ween, was of the north coun- He envied not, he never thought of,

kings; A nation fam'd for song, and beauty's Nor from those appetites sustain'd charms;

annoy, Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though

That chance may frustrate, or indulgence free;

cloy: Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms;

Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes Inflexible in faith; invincible in arms. beguild;

He mourn'd no recreant friend, nor The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made,

For on his vows the blameless Phæbe On Scotia's mountains fed his little snil'd, flock;

And her alone he lov'd, and lov'd her The sickle, scythe, or plough, he never

from a child. sway'd; An honest heart was almost all his No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast, stock;

Nor blasted were their wedded days His drink the living water from the with strife; rock:

Each season, look'd delightful, as it The milky dams supplied his board, past, and lent

To the fond husband, and the faithful Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's wife; shock;

Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life

mistress coy,

They never roam'd; secure beneath

the storm Which in ambition's lofty land is rife, Where peace

and love are canker'd by the worm Of pride, each bud of joy industrious

to deform.

The wight, whose tales these artless

lines unfold, Was all the offspring of this humble

pair : His birth no oracle or seer foretold:

No prodigy appear'd in earth or air, Nor aught that might a strange event

declare. You guess each circumstance of Ed

win's birth; The parent's transport, and the parent's

care; The gossip's prayer for wealth, and

wit, and worth; And one long summer-day of indo

lence and mirth.

And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy;

Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his

Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd

stream To deep untrodden groves his footsteps

There would he wander wild, till

Phoebus' beam,
Shot from the western cliff, releas'd

the weary team. Th'exploit of strength, dexterity, or

speed, To him nor vanity nor joy could

bring: His heart, from cruel sport estrang'd,

would bleed To work the woe of any living thing, By trap or net, by arrow or by sling; These he detested, those he scorn'd

to wield; He wish'd to be the guardian, not the

king, Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field : And sure the sylvan reign unbloody

joy might yield. Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in won

der, roves Beneath the precipice o'erhung with

pine; And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling

groves, From cliff to cliff the foaming tor

rents shine: While waters, woods, and winds, in

concert join, And Echo swells the chorus to the

skies. Would Edwin this majestic scene resign For aught the huntsman's puny craft

supplies? Ah! no: he better knows great

Nature's charms to prize. And oft he trac'd the uplands, to

survey, When o'er the sky advanc'd the kind

ling dawn, The crimson cloud, blue main, and

mountain gray, And lake, dim gleaming on the

smoky lawn; Far to the west the long long vale with


infant eye:

Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor

toy, Save one short pipe of rudest min

strelsy. Silent, when glad; affectionate, though

shy; And now his look was most demurely

sad, And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none

knew why; The neighbors star'd and sigh’d, yet

bless'd the lad; Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and

some believ'd him mad. But why should I his childish feats dis

play? Concourse, and noise, and toil he ever

fled; Nor car'd to mingle in the clamorous

fray Of squabbling imps, but to the forest

spcd, Or roam’d at large the lonely mountain's


Where twilight loves to linger for a “Your flowers, your verdure, and your while;

balmy gloom, And now he faintly kens the bounding Of late so grateful in the hour of fawn,

drought! And villager abroad at early toil. - Why do the birds, that song and rapture But lo! the sun appears! and heaven, brought earth, ocean, smile.

To all your bowers, their mansions

now forsake? And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to

Ah! why has fickle chance this ruir. climb,

wrought? When all in mist the world below was

For now the storm howls mournful lost :

through the brake, What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand And the dead foliage flies in many a sublime,

shapeless flake. Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,

“ Where now the rill, melodious, pure, And view th’ enormous waste of vapor and cool, tost

And meads, with life, and mirth, and In billows, lengthening to th' horizon

beauty crown'd! round,

Ah! see, th’ unsightly slime, and slugNow scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains

gish pool, now emboss'd!

Have all the solitary vale imbrown'd; And hear the voice of mirth and song Fled each fair form, and mute each rebound,

melting sound, Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the The raven croaks fororn on naked hoar profound !

spray: In truth he was a strange and wayward And, hark! the river, bursting every wight,


Down the vale thunders; and with Fond of each gent) 2, and each dread

ful scene: In darkness, and in storm, he found

Uproots the grove, and rolls the shat

ter'd rocks away. delight; Nor less, than when on ocean-wave

“ Yet such the destiny of all on earth; The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling

So Aourishes and fades majestic

man! shene,

Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul : And if a sigh would sometimes inter


And fostering gales a while the nursvene, And down his cheek a tear of pity

ling fan: roll,

O smile, ye heavens, serene; ye mil. A sigh, a tear so sweet, he wish'd not to control.

Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his

balmy prime, Nor lessen of his life the little span:

Borne on the swift, though silent wings EDWIN'S MEDITATIONS IN

of Time, AUTUMN.

Old age comes on apace to ravage all “O YE wild groves, O where is now the clime.

your bloom!” (The Muse interprets thus his tender “And be it so. Let those deplore their thought)


wasteful sway,


dews wan,

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