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REST AND BE THANKFUL, AT THE HEAD OF
DOUBLING and doubling with laborious walk,
Who, that has gained at length the wished-for Height,
This brief this simple way-side call can slight,
And rests not thankful ? Whether cheered by talk
With some loved Friend, or by the unseen Hawk
Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams, that shine
At the sun's outbreak, as with light divine,
Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk
Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose,
Will we forget that, as the Fowl can keep
Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air,
And Fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep, -
So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows,
Win rest, and ease, and peace, with bliss that
wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot, Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may, Shines in the greeting of the Sun's first ray Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot. The limpid mountain rill avoids it not; And why shouldst thou ? If rightly trained and bred, Humanity is humble, --- finds no spot Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread. The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof, Undressed the pathway leading to the door ; But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor; Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong
proof, Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer, Belike less happy. — Stand no more aloof!
[Upon a small island not far from the head of Loch Lomond,
are some remains of an ancient building, which was for several years the abode of a solitary Individual, one of the last survivors of the Clan of Macfarlane, once powerful in that neighbourhood. Passing along the shore opposite this island in the year 1814, the Author learned these particulars, and that this person then living there had acquired the appellation of “ The Brownie.” (See “ The Brownie's Cell,” in the Author's Poems, vol. ii. p. 237. ed. of 1832, to which the following Sonnet is a sequel.]
6 How disappeared he?” Ask the newt and toad;
Ask of his fellow men, and they will tell
How he was found, cold as an icicle,
Under an arch of that forlorn abode ;
Where he, unpropp’d, and by the gathering flood
Of years hemm'd round, had dwelt, prépared to try
Privation's worst extremities, and die
With no one near save the omnipresent God.
Verily so to live was an awful choice -
A choice that wears the aspect of a doom;
But in the mould of mercy all is cast
For Souls familiar with the eternal Voice;
And this forgotten Taper to the last
Drove from itself, we trust, all frightful gloom.
TO THE PLANET VENUS, AN EVENING STAR,
Though joy attend thee orient at the birth
Of dawn, it cheers the lofty spirit most
To watch thy course when Day-light, fled from earth,
In the grey sky hath left his lingering Ghost,
Perplexed as if between a splendour lost
And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun,
The absolute, the world-absorbing One,
Relinquished half his empire to the Host
Emboldened by thy guidance, holy Star,
Holy as princely, who that looks on thee
Touching, as now, in thy humility
The mountain borders of this seat of care,
Can question that thy countenance is bright,
Celestial Power, as much with love as light ?
IMMURED in Bothwell's Towers, at times the Brave
(So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn
The liberty they lost at Bannockbourn.
Once on those steeps I roamed at large, and have
In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;
The river glides, the woods before me wave;
But, by occasion tempted, now I crave
Needless renewal of an old delight.
Better to thank a dear and long-past day
For joy its sunny hours were free to give
Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost.
Memory, like Sleep, hath powers which dreams obey,
Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive:
How little that she cherishes is lost !