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Still long she nursed him ; tender thoughts, meantime, Were interchang'd, and hopes and views sublime. To her he came to die, and every day She took some portion of the dread away : With him she pray'd, to him his Bible read, Sooth'd the faint heart, and held the aching head ; She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer ; Apart, she sigh’d ; alone, she shed the tear; Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.

One day he lighter seem'd, and they forgot
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot;
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seem'd to think,
Yet said not so—“perhaps he will not sink;"
A sudden brightness in his look appear’d,
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard ;-
She had been reading in the book of prayer,
And led him forth, and placed him in his chair ;
Lively he seem'd, and spoke of all he knew,
The friendly many, and the favourite few;
Nor one that day did he to mind recall,
But she has treasur'd, and she loves them all ;
When in her way she meets them, they appear
Peculiar people—death has made them dear.
He nam’d his friend, but then his hand she prest,
And fondly whisper'd “ Thou must go to rest ;"
“I go,” he said ; but, as he spoke, she found
His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound !
Then gaz'd affrighten'd ; but she caught a last,
A dying look of love, and all was past !

She plac'd a decent stone his grave above, Neatly engrav'd-an offering of her love; For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed, Awake alike to duty and the dead ; She would have griev'd, had friends presum'd to spare The least assistance—'twas her proper care.

Here will she come, and on the grave will sit,
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit;
But, if observer pass, will take her round,
And careless seem, for she would not be found ;
Then go again, and thus her hour employ,
While visions please her, and while woes destroy.

Forbear, sweet maid ! nor be by fancy led, To hold mysterious converse with the dead ; For sure at length thy thoughts, thy spirit's pain, In this sad conflict, will disturb thy brain ; All have their tasks and trials; thine are hard, But short the time, and glorious the reward ; Thy patient spirit to thy duties give, Regard the dead, but, to the living, live. ·

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252. FROM "THE PARISH REGISTER.'

AN ENGLISH PEASANT.

To pomp and pageantry in nought allied,
A noble peasant, Isaac Ashford, died.
Noble he was, contemning all things mean,
His truth unquestioned, and his soul serene:
Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid,
At no man's question Isaac looked dismayed :
Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace ;
Truth, simple truth, was written in his face;
Yet while the serious thought his soul approved,
Cheerful he seemed and gentleness he loved :
To bliss domestic he his heart resigned,
And, with the firmest, had the fondest mind :
Were others joyful, he looked smiling on,
And gave allowance where he needed none :
Good he refused with future ill to buy,
Nor knew a joy that caused reflection's sigh ;
A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast,
No envy stung, no jealousy distressed;
(Bane of the poor! it wounds their weaker mind,
To miss one favour which their neighbours find :)
Yet far was he from stoic pride removed ;
He felt humanely, and he warmly loved :
I marked his action when his infant died,
And his old neighbour for offence was tried ;
The still tears, stealing down that furrowed cheek,
Spoke pity plainer than the tongue can speak.
If pride were his, 'twas not their vulgar pride,
Who, in their base contempt, the great deride ;
Nor pride in learning, though my clerk agreed,
If fate should call him, Ashford might succeed;

Nor pride in rustic skill, although we knew
None his superior, and his equals few :
But if that spirit in his soul had place,
It was the jealous pride that shuns disgrace;
A pride in honest fame, by virtue gained,
In sturdy boys to virtuous labours trained ;
Pride in the Power that guards his country's coast,
And all that Englishmen enjoy and boast;
Pride, in a life that slander's tongue defied,
In fact, a noble passion, misnamed pride.
I feel his absence in the hours of prayer,
And view his seat, and sigh for Isaac there;
I see no more those white locks, thinly spread
Round the bald polish of that honoured head;
Nor more that awful glance on playful wight,
Compelled to kneel and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers all in dread the while,
Till Master Ashford softened to a smile;
No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
Nor the pure faith, (to give it force,) are there ;
But he is blessed, and I lament no more,
A wise good man, contented to be poor.

Robert Burns. 1759-1796. (Manual, p. 392.)

253. FAREWELL TO THE HIGHLANDS. My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart's in the Highlands, a chasing the deer : Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go. Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birthplace valour, the country of worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow; Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods ; Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods : My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart's in the Highlands, a chasing the deer; Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

254. TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour :
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonnie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebour sweet, The bonny Lark, companion meet! Bending thee ʼmang the dewy weet

Wi' speckled breast, When upward-springing, blithe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north,
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, But thou beneath the random bield

O'clod or stane, Adorns the histie stibble field,

Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawy bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise; But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies !

Such is the fate of artless Maid, Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade! By love's simplicity betray'd,

And guileless trust, Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid

Low i' the dust.

Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd,
Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

And whelm him o'er!

Such fate to suffering worth is given, Who long with wants and woes has striven, By human pride or cunning driven

To mis'ry's brink, Till wrench'd of every stay but Heaven,

He, ruin'd, sink!

E'en thou who mourn’st the Daisy's fate, That fate is thine-no distant date; Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,

Full on thy bloom, Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom !

255. To MARY IN HEAVEN.

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,

That lovest to greet the early morn, Again thou usher’st in the day

My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

That sacred hour can I forget,

Can I forget the hallow'd grove, Where by the winding Ayr we met,

To live one day of parting love? Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past; Thy image at our last embrace !

Ah, little thought we 'twas our last !

Ayr gurgling kiss'd his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods thick’ning green: The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene.

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