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LINES ON AN INTERVIEW WITH
THIS wot ye all whom it concerns,
A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,
I've been at drucken writers' feasts,
But wi' a Lord-stand out my shin,
Up higher yet, my bonnet;
But oh for Hogarth's magic pow'r!
To meet good Stuart little pain is,
Thinks I, they are but men!
Crawled, or clambered on the hands and knees.
i. e. He was six feet high.
s Going, or walking. Was stupified.
w Slacken, or quench.
y Bashful look.
a A kind of wooden curb for horses e Knocked together.
d Went into the parlour.
I sidling shelter'd in a nook,
Mair than an honest ploughman.
Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
Left in a room of a Reverend Friend's house, where the Author
dread Pow'r who reign'st above!
I know thou wilt me hear;
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make my pray'r sincere.
Dr. Laurie, minister of Loudoun, from whom the poet received many essential favours, one of which, and none of the least, will be best explained in his own words- I had taken the last farewell of my few friends-my chest was on the road to Greenock, from whence I was to embark in a few days for America. I had composed the last song, I should ever measure in Caledonia. The gloomy night is gathering fast, when a letter from Dr. Blacklock, to a friend of mine, (Dr. Laurie, who had sent to Dr. Blacklock a copy of our poet's works) overthrew all my schemes, by opening new prospects to my poetic ambition. The doctor belonged to a set of critics, for whose applause I had not dared to hope. His opinion that I would meet with encouragement in Edinburgh for a second edition, fired me so much, that away 1 posted for that city, without a single acquaintance, or a single letter of introduction. The baneful star that had so long shed its blasting influence in my zenith, for once made a revolution to the nadir; and a kind providence placed me under the patronage of one of the noblest of men, the Earl of Glencairn.'
The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,
And shew what good men are.
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
The beauteous seraph sister-band,
With earnest tears pray,
Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry hand,
When soon or late they reach that coast,
Under the pressure of violent Anguish.
O THOU, great Being! what thou art
Yet sure I am, that known to Thee
Thy creature here before Thee stands,
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul
Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act
O, free my weary eyes from tears!
Or close them fast in death!
But if I must afflicted be,
To suit some wise design;
In the prospect of Death.
O THOU, unknown, Almighty cause
In whose dread presence, ere an hour
If I have wander❜d in those paths
Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me
Where human weakness has come short,
Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-Good! for such Thou art,
Where with intention I have err'd,
But, Thou art good; and goodness still
STANZAS ON THE SAME OCCASION. WHY am I loath to leave this earthly scene? Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between; Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing Is it departing pangs my soul alarms; [storms: Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms; I tremble to approach an angry God, And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod. Fain would I say, Forgive my foul offence! Fain promise never more to disobey; But, should my Author health again dispense, Again I might desert fair virtue's way; Again in folly's path might go astray;
Again exalt the brute and sink the man : Then how should I for heav'nly mercy pray, Who act so counter heav'nly mercy's plan? Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran?
O Thou, great Governor of all below!
With that controlling pow'r assist ev'n me,
To rule their torrent in th' allowed line;
THE FIRST PSALM.
THE man in life, wherever plac'd,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
But with humility and awe
That man shall flourish like the trees