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sarily, be devoid either of high intellectual thought, or of a steady persevering will to carry his thoughts, whatever these may be to a definite and practical conclusion,"
"I agree entirely with our good friend the Smith," remarked the Chairman, "who has stated the case with his usual clearness and good sense
"The forester tells me, too," interruptingly persisted the Miller, "that if a wee bit birdie happens to gie a bit liltie, that nae ither body wid tak' the least notice o', the electrified Student will listen to it in rapture, as if it were an angel fae Heaven that sang upon the tree
"You do me by far too much honour," said the Student, quietly interrupting the Miller in his turn. "The light and shade of which you speak are the result of inward emotions implanted by the great Creator, doubtless to serve some useful and beneficent purpose hereafter. If I sometimes revel in a visionary land of golden dreams, surrounded by an atmosphere of melodious song, it is equally my delight to dwell with my fellow-men upon this fair and beautiful earth, and to exhibit as far as I can all the traits and feelings of an intensely human, tender, loving heart. But, dismissing this subject, as too personal for the present, permit me to say that I have noticed with great interest that the sentiments expressed in the songs you have so creditably sung to-night refer almost exclusively to the past: and, strange to say, I have unconsciously struck the same key-note in the verses which, with your leave, brother members, I will now read to you." Reads.)
THE DAYS O' LANGSYNE.
As in the gloaming's eerie calm,
Our thoughts in unison revert
All fondly to the past,
So in the evening soft of life,
The scenes that brightest shine
Are the days o' langsyne.
Now, as beside the fire I sit,
The gowans, whins, the buttercups,
That skirts the homestead dear-
No! gem with liquid silvery pearls
My father's manly form I see,
I hear my mother's voice,
And the rhymes of some old melody
How fresh the sough of wild-woods green
Recalling whisperings from afar
Of memories ever dear!
How clear the bleating of the sheep,
The lowing of the kine!
Alas! how dear, how very dear
The days o' langsyne.
The mill-wheel dashes round and round,
The miller spruce and gay,
The lads and lasses lilting loud,
I e'en as glad as they;
As, on the sunny knowe, beside
The tufts of golden broom,
'Midst songs of birds, soft hymns of streams
Wild flowers of richest bloom-
I sit and read the ancient lays
Or sing with abbot, monk, and nun
Again the exulting soul is full
Of early memories,
All revelling blissful in the strains
The cherished odour of the fir,
Perfumes the mountain air,
The same glad hymn the lav'rock sings, The uplands bloom as fair.
The ripening grain, so golden bright,
Is waving all around,
The brook runs lapping o'er the stones
With its ancient silver sound.
Lo! there in corner of the glen,
Of hanging woods on Hunter Hill,
And here old Rover wags his tail,
As from my pony I dismount,
Or when from distant village school,
I come at eve's decline,
I hear his joyous bark as in
The days o' langsyne.
The blessed Sabbath peaceful dawns
Hark! sweet arise the morning prayer,
Again within the village church
My pastor's voice I hear;
Oft bringing fond the tear.
The breezes fresh from heather hills
And all is fair and beautiful,
Each sound, each sight divine;
Alas! how dear, how very dear,
No response coming from his friends, the Student, while folding up his manuscript, looked inquiringly around the table to ascertain the cause of the strange silence. To his surprise the several members were in tears. Tears are sympathetic, and in the eyes of the amazed and bewildered Student, the tears came quickly and unbidden, although he yet could scarcely tell the reason why. All at once this thought struck him with startling effect-"Have I through my imaginary hero given, by anticipation, expression to the feelings which I may experience in after-life, after having passed through the storms of sixty winters, and suffered all the ills which flesh is heir to? and are these the calm, yet melancholy reflections, which will, at that decade of my existence, occupy my mind when about to gird up my loins for the passage across the dark river, to the unknown world beyond?" The Student, overcome with his emotions, covered his face with his hands, and wept long and bitterly, as one who would not be comforted.
"I think we've been a' greetin' thegither," at last said the Miller, at the same time wiping, with his coat-sleeve, the big tears that still stood in his humid eyes. "That was very affectin', though, Maister Student; it cam' to the heart at
ance, an' although I strove hard to hide my feelin's, I was fairly overcome at the last."
"It is such touches of Nature," solemnly remarked the President, "that makes the whole world kin.'"
"It's ten minutes ayont the twal," resumed the Miller. "We'll just hae deuchin doris, then, 'Auld Langsyne,' an' syne we'll part-happy to meet, sorry to part, and happy to meet again."
The stirrup-cup was duly handed round, the worthy Chairman remarking during its progress that he hoped they would have many more such happy and profitable meetings in the days that were to come.
All now rose to their feet, and, led by the stentorian voice of the Miller, sung with fine effect, and with considerably greater feeling than their wont, the grand old national anthem, so dear to the heart of every Scotchman, whether at home or abroad.
Descending to the lobby, they found the worthy hostess ready to hand them their greatcoats and mufflers; and the process of wrapping up having been completed to their entire satisfaction, they issued forth from the comfortable hostelrie into the cold air of a frosty winter night.
The winds were now hushed into a calm, the snow had ceased to fall, and the stars shone out in all their brilliancy and splendour. In the little square in front of the inn, the members of the Club bade each other an affectionate adieu, with many good and heart-felt wishes for their future welfare; and with another warm shake of the hand, they reluctantly separated, and went on their several ways homewards—a raven in his flight over them ominously whispering in the air
"WHEN WILL THESE FIVE MEET AGAIN?"