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Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin', stacher thro'

To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin' noise an’ glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, 25 The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary, carking care beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labor and his toil.

Belyve, the elder bairns come drappin' in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun':
30 Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin

A cannie errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparklin' in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown, 35

Or deposit her sair-won penny fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

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Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

And each for other's welfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-winged, unnotic'd fleet:

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;

Anticipation forward points the view; The mother, wi' her needle and her shears,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; 45 The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an’ their mistress's command,

The yonkers a' are warned to obey; “An’ mind their labors wi’ an eydent hand,

An' ne'er, tho' out o’ sight, to jauk or play: 50 An’O! be sure to fear the Lord alway!

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!”

55 But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neebor lad cam' o'er the moor,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame.

The wily mother sees the conscious flame 60 Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak; Weel pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae wild, worthless rake.

Wi' kind'y welcyme, Jenny brings him ben: 65 A strappin' youth; he takes the mother's eye; Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta’en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,

But blate and laithfu’, scarce can weel behave, 70 The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy

What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave; Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.

O happy love! where love like this is found!

O heart-felt raptures! -- bliss beyond compare! 75 I've paced much this weary, mortal round,

And sage experience bids me this declare “If heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,

One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,

In other's arms, breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev'ning gale.”

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Is there, in human form, that bears a heart

A wretch, a villain! lost to love and truth! That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth? Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!

Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ? Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ? 90 Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild ?

But now the supper crowns their simple board,

The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food: The sowpe their only Hawkie does afford,

That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood; 95 The dame brings forth in complimental mood,

To

grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck fell

An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i’ the bell.

100 The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er with patriarchal grace,

The big ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride;
His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare;
105 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.

IIO

They chant their artless notes in simple guise;

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim:
Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,

Or plaintive Martyr's, worthy of the name,
Or noble Elgin beets the heav'nward flame,

She sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
115 Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame;

The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.

The priest-like father reads the sacred page,

How Abram was the friend of God on high; 120 Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage

With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie

Beneath the stroke of Heav'n's avenging ire;

Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry; I 25 Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;

Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;

How He, who bore in heaven the second name, 130 Had not on earth whereon to lay his head;

How his first followers and servants sped;

The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
How he, who lone in Patmos banished,

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 135 And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounc'd by Heaven's com

mand.

Then kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal King,

The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
Hope "springs exulting on triumphal wing,”

That thus they all shall meet in future days: 140 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.

145 Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,

In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display to congregations wide,

Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart!
The Pow'r, incensed, the pageant will desert,

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole; 150 But, haply, in some cottage far apart,

May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul;
And in the book of life the inmates poor enroll.

Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way; 155 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 clam'rous nest,

And decks the lily fair in flow'ry pride, 160 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.

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From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs,

That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad: 165 Princes and lords are but the breath of kings.

"An honest man's the noblest work of God!”
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,

The cottage leaves the palace far behind;
What is a lordling's pomp? - a cumbrous load,

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Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!

O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent!

Long may thy hardy sons of rusty toil 175 Be bless’d with health, and peace, and sweet content!

And, O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent

Froin luxury's contagion, weak and vile!
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,

A virtuous populace may rise the while, 180 And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov'd isle.

O Thou! who poured the patriotic tide

That steam'd thro’ Wallace's undaunted heart,
Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,

Or nobly die, the second glorious part: 185 (The patriot's God peculiarly thou art,

His friend, inspired, guardian, and reward!)
O never, never, Scotia's realm desert;

But still the patriot, and the patriot bard,
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!

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NOTES
2 No mercenary bard. A poet not actuated by the hope of reward.
4 Meed. Reward.
6 Sequester'd. Secluded.
9 Ween. Think, imagine.
10 Sugh. Continued rushing noise of wind; rough breathing sound.
12 Miry. Soiled with mud.
12 Pleugh. Plough.
15 Moil. Drudgery, hard labor.
16 Mattocks.

Pick-axes.
Stacher. Stagger.

Flichterin'. Fluttering
23 Ingle. Fire.
26 Carking. Distressing.
28 Belyve. By and by, soon.
30

Ca'. Drive. 30 Tentie rin. Diligently run -- heedfully, cautiously. 31 Cannie. Trustworthy, easy. 35 Sair-won penny fee. Hard won wages. 38 Spiers. Asks, inquires.

40 Uncos. News, uncommon incidents; as an adjective unco means strange, uncouth; and as an adverb is used intensitively, as unco little. 44

Gars. Make.

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