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With step-dame eye and frown severe

His hapless youth why didst thou view ; For all thy joys to him were dear,

And all his vows to thee were due : Nor greater bliss his bosom knew,

In opening youth's delightful prime, Than when thy favouring ear he drew

To listen to his chanted rhyme.

Thy lonely wastes and frowning skies

To him were all with rapture fraught; He heard with joy the tempest rise

That wak'd him to sublimer thought; And oft thy winding dells he sought,

Where wild flowers pour'd their rathe perfume, And with sincere devotion brought

To thee the summer's earliest bloom.

But, ah! no fond maternal smile

His unprotected youth enjoy'd; His limbs inur'd to early toil,

His days with early hardships tried ; And more to mark the gloomy void,

And bid him feel his misery, Before his infant eyes would glide

Day-dreams of immortality.

Yet, not by cold neglect depress’d,

With sinewy arm he turn'd the soil, Sunk with the evening sun to rest,

And met at morn his earliest smile. Wak’d by his rustic pipe, meanwhile

The powers of fancy came along, And sooth'd his lengthen’d hour of toil

With native wit and sprightly song.

Ah! days of bliss, too swiftly fled,

When vigorous health from labour springs, And bland contentment smooths the bed,

And sleep his ready opiate brings ; And hovering round on airy wings

Float the light forms of young desire, That of unutterable things

The soft and shadowy hope inspire. Now spells of mightier power prepare,

Bid brighter phantoms round him dance ; Let flattery spread her viewless snare,

And fame attract his vagrant glance : Let sprightly pleasure too advance,

Unveil'd her eyes, unclasp'd her zone, Till lost in love's delirious trance

He scorn the joys his youth has known. Let friendship pour her brightest blaze,

Expanding all the bloom of soul; And mirth concentre all her rays,

And point them from the sparkling bowl; And let the careless moments roll

In social pleasures unconfin'd, And confidence that spurns control,

Unlock the ininost springs of mind. And lead his steps those bowers among,

Where elegance with splendour vies, Or science bids her favour'd throng

To more refin'd sensations rise : Beyond the peasant's humbler joys,

And freed from each laborious strife, There let him learn the bliss to prize That waits the sons of polish'd life.

Then whilst his throbbing veins beat high

With every impulse of delight, Dash from his lips the cup of joy,

And shroud the scene in shades of night: And let despair, with wizard light,

Disclose the yawning gulf below, And pour incessant on his sight,

Her spectred ills and shapes of woe :


And show beneath a cheerless shed,

With sorrowing heart and streaming eyes, In silent grief where droops her head,

The partner of his early joys; And let his infants' tender cries

His fond parental succour claim, And bid him hear in agonies

A husband and a father's name,

'Tis done, the powerful charm succeeds ;

His high reluctant spirit bends ; In bitterness of soul he bleeds,

Nor longer with his fate contends.
An ideot laugh the welkin rends

As genius thus degraded lies;
Till pitying Heaven the veil extends

That shrouds the Poet's ardent eyes.

--Rear high thy bleak majestic hills,

Thy shelter'd valleys proudly spread, And, Scotia, pour thy thousand rills,

And wave thy heaths with blossoms red; Iut never more shall poet tread

Thy airy heights, thy woodland reign, Since he the sweetest bard is dead

That ever breath'd the soothing strain.




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