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Though like as was ever twin brother to brother, Possessing the one shall imply you 've the other.
A LITTLE, upright, pert, tart, tripping wight,
And still his precious self his dear delight;
Who loves his own smart shadow in the streets,
Better than e'er the fairest she he meets,
A man of fashion too, he made his tour,
Learn'd vive la bagatelle, et vive l'amour;
So travell'd monkeys their grimace improve,
Polish their grin, nay, sigh for ladies' love.
Much specious lore but little understood;
Veneering oft outshines the solid wood;
His solid sense-by inches you must tell,
But mete his cunning by the old Scots ell;
His meddling vanity, a busy fiend,
Still making work his selfish craft must mend.
For Mr. Sutherland's Benefit Night, Dumfries. WHAT needs this din about the town o' Lon❜on, How this new play an' tnat new sang is comin'? Why is outlandish stuff sae mickle courted? Does nonsense mend like whisky, when imported? Is there nae poet, burning keen for fame, Will try to gie us sangs and plays at hame? For comedy abroad he need na toil,
A fool and knave are plants of every soil;
iThis Sketch seems to be one of a series, intended for a projected work, under the title of The Poet's Progress.' This character was sent as a specimen, accompanied by a letter, to Professor Dugald Stewart, in which it is thus noticed. The fragment beginning "A little, upright, pert, tart,' &c. I have not shewn to any man living, till I now shew it to you. It forms the postulata, the axions, the definition of a character, which, if it appear at all, shall be placed in a variety of lights. This parti cular part 1 send you nierely as a sample of my hand at portraitsketching.'
Nor need he hunt as far as Rome and Greece,
To gather matter for a serious piece;
There's themes enough in Caledonian story,
Would shew the tragic muse in a' her glory.-
Is there no daring bard will rise, and tell
How glorious Wallace stood, how hapless fell?
Where are the muses fled that could produce
A drama worthy o' the name o' Bruce;
How here, even here, he first unsheath'd the sword
'Gainst mighty England and her guilty lord;
And after mony a bloody, deathless doing,
Wrench'd his dear country from the jaws of ruin?
O for a Shakspeare or an Otway scene,
To draw the lovely, hapless Scottish Queen!
Vain all th' omnipotence of female charms
'Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Rebellion's arms.
She fell, but fell with spirit truly Roman,
To glut the vengeance of a rival woman:
A woman, tho' the phrase may seem uncivil,
As able and as cruel as the devil!
One Douglas lives in Home's immortal page,
But Douglases were heroes every age:
And though your fathers, prodigal of life,
A Douglas follow'd to the martial strife,
Perhaps if bowls row right, and Right succeeds,
Ye yet may follow where a Douglas leads!
As ye hae generous done, if a' the land,
Would take the muses' servants by the hand;
Not only hear, but patronize, befriend them,
And where ye justly can commend, commend
And aiblinsk when they winna stand the test,
Wink hard and say, the folks hae done their best;
Would a' the land do this, then I'll be caution'
Ye'll soon hae poets o' the Scottish nation,
Will garm Fame blaw until her trumpet crack,
And warsle Time an' lay him on his back!
k Perhaps. l Security. m Make. n To struggle.
For us and for our stage should ony spier, Whase aught thae chielsP maks a' this bustie My best leg foremost, I'll set up my brow, [here?' We have the honour to belong to you!
We 're your ain bairns, e'en guide us as ye like,
But like good mithers, shores before you strike,-
An' gratefu' still I hope ye 'll ever find us,
For a' the patronage and meikle kindness
We've got frae a' professions, sets and ranks :
God help us' we 're but poor-ye 'se get but
Spoken at the Theatre, Dumfries, on New-Year-Day Evening.
No song nor dance I bring from yon great city
That queens it o'er our taste-the more 's the pity:
Tho', by the bye, abroad why will you roam?
Good sense and taste are natives here at home:
But not for panegyric I appear,
I come to wish you all a good new year!
Old Father Time deputes me here before ye,
Not for to preach, but tell his simple story:
The sage grave ancient cough'd, and bade me say,
You 're one year older this important day,'
If wiser too-he hinted some suggestion,
But 'twould be rude you know, to ask the
And with a would-be-roguish leer and wink,
He bade me on you press this one word-'think!
Ye sprightly youths, quite flush with hope and
Who think to storm the world by dint of merit,
To you the dotard has a deal to say,
In his sly, dry, sententious, proverb way!
He bids you mind, amid your thoughtless rattle,
That the first blow is ever half the battle;
That tho' some by the skirt may try to snatch him,
Yet by the forelock is the hold to catch him;
That whether doing, suffering, or forbearing,
You may do miracles by persevering.
Last, tho' not least in love, ye youthful fair,
Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar care!
To you old Bald-pate smoothes his wrinkled brow,
And humbly begs you'll mind th' important-now!
To crown your happiness he asks your leave,
And offers, bliss to give and to receive.
For our sincere, tho' haply weak endeavours, With grateful pride we own your many favours; And howsoe'er our tongues may ill reveal it, Believe our glowing bosoms truly feel it.
Spoken by Mr. Woods, on his Benefit Night,
Monday, April 16, 1787.
WHEN by a generous public's kind acclaim,
That dearest meed is granted-honest fame;
When here your favour is the actor's lot,
Nor even the man in private life forgot;
What breast so dead to heav'nly virtue's glow,
But heaves impassion'd with the grateful throe!
Poor is the task to please a barb'rous throng,
It needs no Siddons' power in Southern's song:
But here an ancient nation, fam'd afar
For genius, learning high, as great in war--
Hail, Caledonia! name for ever dear!
Before whose sons I'm honour'd to appear!
Where every science, every nobler art-
That can inform the mind, o: mend the heart,
Is known; as grateful nations oft have found,
Far as the rude barbarian marks the bound.
Philosophy, no idle, pedant dream,
Here holds her search, by heaven-taught Reason's
Here History paints with elegance and force,
The tide of Empire's fluctuating course:
Here Douglas forms wild Shakspeare into plan,
And Harley rouses all the god in man.
When well-form'd taste, and sparkling wit unite,
With manly lore, or female beauty bright
(Beauty, where faultless symmetry and grace,
Can only charm us in the second place),
Witness my heart, how oft with panting fear,
As on this night, I've met these judges here'
But still the hope Experience taught to live,
Equal to judge-you 're candid to forgive.
No hundred-headed Riot here we meet,
With decency and law beneath his feet,
Nor Insolence assumes fair Freedom's name;
Like Caledonians, you applaud or blame. [hand
O Thou, dread Power! whose empire-giving Has oft been stretch'd to shield the honour'd land, Strong may she glow with all her ancient fire; May every son be worthy of his sire;
Firm may she rise with generous disdain
At Tyranny's, or direr Pleasure's chain;
Still self-dependent in her native shore,
Bold may she brave grim Danger's loudest roar,
Till Fate the curtain drop on worlds to be no more.
[The following verses were written when our Poet was in his eighteenth or nineteenth year. It is an exclamation by a great character on meeting with a child of misery.]
ALL devil as I am, a damned wretch,
A harden'd, stubborn, unrepenting villain,
Still my heart melts at human wretchedness;
And with sincere tho' unavailing sighs,
I view the helpless children of distress.
With tears indignant I behold th' oppressor
Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction,
Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime.
Even you, ye helpless crew, I pity you;
The Man of Feeling, written by Mr. Mackenzie.