صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold harangue
While through that public organ of report
He hails the clergy, and, defying shame,
Announces to the world his own and theirs.
He teaches those to read whom schools dismissed,
And colleges untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score; and gives to prayer
The adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use, transforms old print
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware ?
Oh, name it not in Gath! it can not be
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before,
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the Church !

I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Co-incident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause:
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say that they respect themselves.
But loose in morals, and in manners vain;
In conversation frivolous; in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse;
Frequent in park with lady at his side,
Ambling, and prattling scandal as he goes ;
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routs ; familiar with a round
Of ladyships; a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepared by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity, and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures, and his patrons' pride,
From such apostles, () ye mitered heads !
Preserve the Church, and lay not careless hands
On skulls that can not teach, and will not learn.

Would I describe a preacher such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture ; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds

May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture! Is it like ? — like whom ?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again; pronounce a text;
Cry" Hem !” and, reading what they never wrote
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene.



Chiefly renowned for his pathetic and spirit-stirring songs. Other proofs.of his high rank as a poet are “ The Cotter's Saturday Night," “ Elegy on Captain Matthew Henderson,

,” “The Jolly Beggars,” “ Tam O'Shanter," and others.


My loved, my honored, much-respected friend,

No mercenary bard his homage pays :
With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;

My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise.
To you I sing in simple Scottish lays

The lowly train in Life’s sequestered scene,
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways,

What Aiken in a cottage would have been:
Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I ween.
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ;

The shortening winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frael the pleugh ;

The blackening trains o' craws to their repose ;
The toil-worn cotter frae his labor 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 bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree:
The expectant wees things, toddlin', stachers through

To meet their dad wi' flicterin' noise and glee.

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His wee bit ingle' blinkin' bonnily,

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

Does a” his weary, carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget bis labor and his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drappin' in,

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

A cannies errand to a neebor-town.
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a brawo-new gown,

Or deposit her sair-wono penny-fee!!
To help her parents dear if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers :12
The social ho swift-winged, unnoticed 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 an' her shears,

Gars14 auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's and their mistress's command

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

An' ne'er, though out o’ sight, to jauk or play:
An', oh! 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.”
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

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and Aush her cheek;
With heart-struck anxious care inquires his name;

While Jenny hafflinse is afraid to speak :
Weel pleased, the mother hears it's nae wild, worthless rake.
Wi’ kindly welcome, Jenny brings him ben ;17

A strappan' youth, he taks the mother's eye:
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks'' of horses, pleughs, and kye.20

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1 Fire. 2 Shining at intervals.

3 All. 4 Consuming. 5 By and by. 6 Drive. 7 Cautious. 8 Kindly dexterous. 9 Fine, handsome.

11 Wages.

10 Sorely-won. 12 Asks, 13 News. 14 Makes. 15 Diligent.

17 Into the parlor.

16 Partly
18 Tall and handsome. 19 Converses. 20 Kine, cows.

The youngster's artless heart o’erflows wi' jov,

But, blate' an' laithtu',- scarce can weel behave:
The mother, wi’ a woman's wiles, can spy

What makes the youth sae bashtu' an’ sae grave;
Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the lave.3

O happy love, where love like this is found !

O heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare !
I've paced much this weary mortal round,

And sage experience bils me this declare,
66 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 evening gale.”

Is there in human form that bears a heart,

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

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

Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their chill,
Then paints the ruined maid, and their distraction wild?

But now the supper crowns their simple board,

The healsome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food :
The soupe“ their only hawkiedoes afford,

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

To grace the lad, her weel-hainedo kebbuck, fell ;12
An’aft he's pressed, an' aft he ca's it good :

The fi'ugal wifie, garrulous, will tell
How 'twas a towmond13 auld 14 sin15 lint was i' the bell.16

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 lyarts haffets's wearin' thin an’ bare:
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide

He wales” a portion with judicious care ;
And “Let us worship God” he says wi' solemn air.

1 Bashful.

2 Reluctant 3 The rest, the others. 4 Mercy, kind feeling. 5 Oatmeal-pudding. " Sauce, milk. ? pet name for a cow. 8 Beyond. 9 A partition-wall in a cottage.

10 Carefully-preserved.

11 I cheese. 12 Biting to the taste. 13 Twelve-month.

14 Old. 11 Siner 16 Flax was in blosson. 17 The great Bible kept in the hall.

18 Gray.

19 The temples, the sides of the head. 20 Chooses.

They chant their artless notes in simple guise;

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim: Perhaps Dundee’st wild, warbling measures rise;

Or plaintive Martyrs,' worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin' beats the heavenward flame,

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;

The tickled ear no heartfelt 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 ; Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage

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

Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry;

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

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, And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.

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.

Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,

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

Devotion's every grace except the heart ! The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,

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

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

1 The names of Scottish psalni-tunes.

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