Obrazy na stronie
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Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool;
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe,
The housewife's spindle whirling round,

*These expressions, it is almost unnecessary to say, are not true to natural facts, as the Pole Star has not a quotidian rising anywhere, and it shines on the whole northern hemi

sphere in common with England.—Ed.

Or thread, or straw, that on the ground

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The featest tumbler, stage-bedight,
To thee is but a clumsy wight,
Who every limb and sinew strains
To do what costs thee little pains;
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd
Requites him oft with plaudits loud.
But, stopped the while thy wanton play,
Applauses, too, thy feats repay:
For then beneath some urchin's hand,
With modest pride thou tak'st thy stand,
While many a stroke of fondness glides
Along thy back and tabby sides.
Dilated swells thy glossy fur,
And loudly sings thy busy pur,
As, timing well the equal sound,
Thy clutching feet bepat the ground,
And all their harmless claws disclose,
Like prickles of an early rose;
While softly from thy whiskered cheek
Thy half-closed eyes peer mild and meek.
But not alone by cottage-fire
Do rustics rude thy feats admire;
The learned sage, whose thoughts explore
The widest range of human lore,
Or, with unfettered fancy, fly
Through airy heights of poesy,
Pausing, smiles with altered air
To see thee climb his elbow-chair,
Or, struggling on the mat below,
Hold warfare with his slippered toe.
The widowed dame, or lonely maid,
Who in the still, but cheerless shade
Of home unsocial, spends her age,
And rarely turns a lettered page;
Upon her hearth for thee lets fall
The rounded cork, or paper-ball,
Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch
The ends of ravelled skein to catch,
But lets thee have thy wayward will,
Perplexing oft her sober skill.
Even he, whose mind of gloomy bent,
In lonely tower or prison pent,
Reviews the coil of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways;
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam
Doth rouse him from his moody dream,
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat,
His heart with pride less fiercely beat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find

That joins him still to living kind.

Whence hast thou, then, thou witless Puss, The magic power to charm us thus : Is it, that in thy glaring eye, And rapid movements, we descry, While we at ease, secure from ill, The chimney-corner snugly fill, A lion, darting on the prey, A tiger, at his ruthless play ?

Or is it, that in thee we trace,
With all thy varied wanton grace,
An emblem viewed with kindred eye,
Of tricksy, restless infancy
Ah! many a lightly sportive child, |
Who hath, like thee, our wits beguiled,
To dull and sober manhood grown,
With strange recoil our hearts disown.
Even so, poor Kit ! must thou endure,
When thou becomest a cat demure, |
Full many a cuff and angry word,
Chid roughly from the tempting board. o
And yet, for that thou hast, I ween,
So oft our favoured playmate been,
Soft be the change which thou shalt prove,
When time hath spoiled thee of our love;
Still be thou deemed, by housewife fat,
A comely, careful, mousing cat,
Whose dish is, for the public good,
Replenished oft with savoury food. |
Nor, when thy span of life is past,
Be thou to pond or dunghill cast;
But gently borne on good man's spade,
Beneath the decent sod be laid,
And children show, with glistening eyes,
The place where poor old Pussy lies.
|

Address to Miss Agnes Baillie on her Birthday.

[In order thoroughly to understand and appreciate the fol. lowing verses, the reader must be aware that the author and her sister, daughters of a former minister of Bothwell on the | Clyde, in Lanarkshire, have lived to an advanced age constantly in each other's society.] Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and dashed with tears O'er us have glided almost sixty years Since we on Bothwell's bonny braes were seen, By those whose eyes long closed in death have been— Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to gather The slender harebell on the purple heather; | No taller than the foxglove's spiky stem, That dew of morning studs with silvery gem. Then every butterfly that crossed our view With joyful shout was greeted as it flew; And moth, and lady-bird, and beetle bright, o In sheeny gold, were each a wondrous sight. | Then as we paddled barefoot, side by side, Among the sunny shallows of the Clyde," Minnows or spotted parr with twinkling fin, Swimming in mazy rings the pool within. A thrill of gladness through our bosoms sent, | Seen in the power of early wonderment. |

A long perspective to my mind appears, Looking behind me to that line of years; And yet through every stage I still can trace Thy visioned form, from childhood's morning grace To woman's early bloom—changing, how soon! To the expressive glow of woman's noon; And now to what thou art, in comely age, Active and ardent. Let what will engage Thy present moment—whether hopeful seeds In garden-plat thou sow, or noxious weeds . From the fair flower remove, or ancient lore In chronicle or legend rare explore, Or on the parlour hearth with kitten play, Stroking its tabby sides, or take thy way To gain with hasty steps some cottage door, On helpful errand to the neighbouring poor— Active and ardent, to my fancy's eye Thou still art young, in spite of time gone by. Though oft of patience brief and temper keen, Well may it please me, in life's latter scene, To think what now thou art and long to me hast been.

*The Manse of Bothwell was at some considerable distance from the Clyde, but the two little girls were sometimes sent there in summer to bathe and wade about.

'Twas thou who woo'dst me first to look Upon the page of printed book, That thing by me abhorred, and with address Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness, When all too old become with bootless haste In fitful sports the precious time to waste. Thy love of tale and story was the stroke At which my dormant fancy first awoke, | And ghosts and witches in my busy brain Arose in sombre show a motley train. This new-found path attempting, proud was I Lurking approval on thy face to spy, Or hear thee say, as grew thy roused attention, ‘What! is this story all thine own invention?’

Then, as advancing through this mortal span,
Our intercourse with the mixed world began;
Thy fairer face and sprightlier courtesy
(A truth that from my youthful vanity
Lay not concealed) did for the sisters twain,
Where'er we went, the greater favour gain;
While, but for thee, vexed with its tossing tide,
I from the busy world had shrunk aside.
And now, in later years, with better grace,
Thou help'st me still to hold a welcome place
With those whom nearer neighbourhood have made
The friendly cheerers of our evening shade.

With thee my humours, whether grave or gay, Or gracious or untoward, have their way. Silent if dull—oh precious privilege!— I sit by thee; or if, culled from the page Of some huge ponderous tome which, but thyself, None e'er had taken from its dusty shelf, Thou read'st me curious passages to speed The winter night, I take but little heed, And thankless say, ‘I cannot listen now,” 'Tis no offence; albeit, much do I owe To these, thy nightly offerings of affection, Drawn from thy ready talent for selection; For still it seemed in thee a natural gift The lettered grain from lettered chaff to sift.

By daily use and circumstance endeared, Things are of value now that once appeared Of no account, and without notice passed, Which o'er dull life a simple cheering cast; To hearthy morning steps the stair descending, Thy voice with other sounds domestic blending; After each stated nightly absence, met To see thee by the morning table set, Pouring from smoky spout the amber stream Which sends from saucered cup its fragrant steam: To see thee cheerly on the threshold stand, On summer morn, with trowel in thy hand For garden-work prepared; in winter's gloom From thy cold noonday walk to see thee come, In furry garment lapt, with spattered feet, And by the fire resume thy wonted seat; Ay, even o'er things like these soothed age has thrown A sober charm they did not always own— As winter hoarfrost makes minutest spray Of bush or hedgeweed sparkle to the day In magnitude and beauty, which, bereaved

Of such investment, eye had ne'er perceived.

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And he above them all, so truly proved
A friend and brother, long and justly loved,
There is no living wight, of woman born,
Who then shall mourn for me as thou wilt mourn.

Thou ardent, liberal spirit quickly feeling The touch of sympathy, and kindly dealing With sorrow or distress, for ever sharing The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow caring— Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day, An unadorned, but not a careless lay. Northink this tribute to thy virtues paid From tardy love proceeds, though long delayed. Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed, The latest spoken still are deemed the best: Few are the measured rhymes I now may write; These are, perhaps, the last I shall indite.

* WILLIAM kNox.

WILLIAM KNox, a young poet of considerable talent, who died in Edinburgh in 1825, aged thirty-six, was author of The Lonely Hearth; Songs of Israel; The Harp of Zion, &c. Sir Walter Scott thus mentions Knox in his diary:-" His father was a respectable yeoman, and he himself succeeding to good farms under the Duke of Buccleuch, became too soon his own master, and plunged into dissipation and ruin. His talent then showed itself in a fine strain of pensive poetry.” Knox spent his latter years in Edinburgh, under his father's roof, and, amidst all his errors, was ever admirably faithful to the domestic affections—a kind and respectful son, and an attached brother. He experienced on several occasions substantial proofs of that generosity of Scott towards his less fortunate brethren, which might have redeemed his infinite superiority in Envy's own bosom. It was also remarkable of Knox, that,

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I have loved thy thrilling numbers,
Since the dawn of childhood's day;
Since a mother soothed my slumbers
With the cadence of thy lay;
Since a little blooming sister
Clung with transport round my knee,
And my glowing spirit blessed her
With a blessing caught from thee!

Mother—sister—both are sleeping
Where no heaving hearts respire,
Whilst the eve of age is creeping
Round the widowed spouse and sire.
He and his, amid their sorrow,
Find enjoyment in thy strain:
Harp of Zion, let me borrow
Comfort from thy chords again

[Conclusion of the ‘Songs of Israel."]

My song hath closed, the holy dream
That raised my thoughts o'er all below,
Hath faded like the lunar beam,
And left me 'mid a night of wo—
To look and long, and sigh in vain
For friends I ne'er shall meet again.

And yet the earth is green and gay;
And yet the skies are pure and bright;
But, 'mid each gleam of pleasure gay,
Some cloud of sorrow dims my sight:
For weak is now the tenderest tongue
That might my simple songs have sung.

And like Gilead's drops of balm,
They for a moment soothed my breast; .
But earth hath not a power to calm
My spirit in forgetful rest,
Until I lay me side by side
With those that loved Ine, and have died.

They died—and this a world of wo,
Of anxious doubt and chilling fear;
I wander onward to the tomb,
With scarce a hope to linger here:
But with a prospect to rejoin
The friends beloved, that once were mine.

Dirge of Rachel. [Genesis, xxxv. 19.] And Rachel lies in Ephrath's land, Beneath her lonely oak of weeping; With mouldering heart and withering hand, The sleep of death for ever sleeping.

The spring comes smiling down the vale,
The lilies and the roses bringing;
But Rachel never more shall hail

The flowers that in the world are springing.

The summer gives his radiant day,
And Jewish dames the dance are treading;

But Rachel on her couch of clay,
Sleeps all unheeded and unheeding.

The autumn's ripening sunbeam shines,
And reapers to the field is calling;

But Rachel's voice no longer joins
The choral song at twilight's falling.

The winter sends his drenching shower,
And sweeps his howling blast around her;

But earthly storms possess no power
To break the slumber that hath bound her.

A Virtuous Woman. [Proverbs, xii. 4.]

Thou askest what hath changed my heart,
And where hath fled my youthful folly?

I tell thee, Tamar's virtuous art
Hath made my spirit holy.

Her eye—as soft and blue as even,
When day and night are calmly meeting—

Beams on my heart like light from heaven,
And purifies its beating.

The accents fall from Tamar's lip
Like dewdrops from the rose-leaf dripping,

When honey-bees all crowd to sip,
And cannot cease their sipping.

The shadowy blush that tints her cheek,
For ever coming—ever going,

May well the spotless fount bespeak
That sets the stream aflowing.

Her song comes o'er my thrilling breast
Even like the harp-string's holiest measures,

When dreams the soul of lands of rest
And everlasting pleasures.

Then ask not what hath changed my heart,
Or where hath fled my youthful folly— |

I tell thee, Tamar's virtuous art
Hath made my spirit holy.

Thomas PRINGLE.

Thomas PRINGLE was born in Roxburghshire in 1788. He was concerned in the establishment of

Blackwood's Magazine, and was author of Scenes of Teviotdale, Ephemerides, and other poems, all of which display fine feeling and a cultivated taste. Although, from lameness, ill fitted for a life of roughness or hardship, Mr Pringle, with his father, and several brothers, emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope in the year 1820, and there established a little township or settlement named Glen Lynden. The poet afterwards removed to Cape Town, the capital; but, wearied with his Caffreland exile, and disagreeing with the governor, he returned to England, and subsisted by his pen. He was some time editor of the literary annual, entitled Friendship's Offering. His services were also engaged by the African Society, as secretary to that body, a situation which he continued to hold until within a few months of his death. In the discharge of its duties he evinced a spirit of active humanity, and an ardent love of the cause to which he was devoted. His last work was a series of African Sketches, containing an interesting personal narra

tive, interspersed with verse. Mr Pringle died on the 5th of December 1834. |

Afar in the Desert. Afar in the Desert I love to ride,

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast, 1.
And, sick of the present, I turn to the past; |
And the eye is suffused with regretful tears,
From the fond recollections of former years;
And the shadows of things that have long since fled,
Flit over the brain like the ghosts of the dead—
Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon— -
Day-dreams that departed ere manhood's noon—
Attachments by fate or by falsehood reft—
Companions of early days lost or left—
And my Native Land! whose magical name -
Thrills to my heart like electric flame;
The home of my childhood—the haunts of my prime;
All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time,
When the feelings were young and the world was new,
Like the fresh bowers of Paradise opening to view:
All–all now forsaken, forgotten, or gone;
And I, a lone exile, remembered of none,
My high aims abandoned, and good acts undone—
Aweary of all that is under the sun;
With that sadness of heart which no stranger may
scan,
I fly to the Desert afar from man.

Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side ;
When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,
With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and strife;
The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear; -
And the scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear;
And malice, and meanness, and falsehood, and folly,
Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy;
When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high,
And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh— -
o,

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Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively;

Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane,
In fields seldom freshened by moisture or rain;
And the stately koodoo exultingly bounds,
Undisturbed by the bay of the hunter's hounds;
And the timorous quagha's wild whistling neigh
Is heard by the brak fountain far away;
And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste
Speeds like a horseman who travels in haste;
And the vulture in circles wheels high overhead,
Greedy to scent and to gorge on the dead;
And the grisly wolf, and the shrieking jackal,
Howl for their prey at the evening fall ;
And the fiend-like laugh of hyenas grim,
Fearfully startles the twilight dim.

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ROBERT MONTGoMERY.

The REv. Robert Montgomrery has obtained a numerous circle of readers and admirers. His works, The Omnipresence of the Deity, Satan, Luther, &c., display great command of poetical language and fluent versification, but are deficient in originality and chasteness of style. The literary labours of Mr Montgomery seem to have been wholly devoted to the service of religion, of the truths of which he is an able and eloquent expounder in the pulpit.

[Description of a Maniac.]

Down yon romantic dale, where hamlets few Arrest the summer pilgrim's pensive view— The village wonder, and the widow's joy— Dwells the poor mindless, pale-faced maniac boy: He lives and breathes, and rolls his vacant eye, To greet the glowing fancies of the sky; But on his cheek unmeaning shades of wo Reveal the withered thoughts that sleep below ! A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods, He loves to commune with the fields and floods: Sometimes along the woodland's winding glade, He starts, and smiles upon his pallid shade; Or scolds with idiot threat the roaming wind, But rebel music to the ruined mind Or on the shell-strewn beach delighted strays, Playing his fingers in the noontide rays: And when the sea-waves swell their hollow roar, He counts the billows plunging to the shore; And oft beneath the glimmer of the moon, He chants some wild and melancholy tune; Till o'er his softening features seems to play A shadowy gleam of mind's reluctant sway.

Thus, like a living dream, apart from men, From morn to eve he haunts the wood and glen; But round him, near him, wheresoe'er he rove, A guardian angel tracks him from abovel Nor harm from flood or fen shall e'er destroy The mazy wanderings of the maniac boy.

[The Starry Heavens.]

Ye quenchless stars so eloquently bright,
Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night,
While half the world is lapped in downy dreams,
And round the lattice creep your midnight beams,
How sweet to gaze upon your placid eyes,
In lambent beauty looking from the skies!
And when, oblivious of the world, we stray
At dead of night along some noiseless way,
How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour,
As if the starry heavens suffused a power!
Full in her dreamy light, the moon presides,
Shrined in a halo, mellowing as she rides;
And far around, the forest and the stream
Bathe in the beauty of her emerald beam;
The lulled winds, too, are sleeping in their caves,
No storiny murmurs roll upon the waves;
Nature is hushed, as if her works adored,
Stilled by the presence of her living Lord!
And now, while through the ocean-mantling haze
A dizzy chain of yellow lustre plays,
And moonlight loveliness hath veiled the land,
Go, stranger, muse thou by the wave-worn strand :
Centuries have glided o'er the balanced earth,
Myriads have blessed, and myriads cursed their birth;
Still, yon sky-beacons keep a dimless glare,
Unsullied as the God who throned them there !
Though swelling earthquakes heave the astounded
world,
And king and kingdom from their pride are hurled,
Sublimely calm, they run their bright career,
Unheedful of the storms and changes here.
We want no hymn to hear, or pomp to see,

For all around is deep divinity l

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