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SAY,

MASON.

ODE TO TRUTH.

will no white-rob'd Son of Light,
Swift-darting from his heavenly height,
Here deign to take his hallow'd stand;
Here wave his amber locks; unfold
His pinions cloth'd with downy gold;
Here smiling stretch his tutelary wand?

And you, ye host of Saints, for ye have known
Each dreary path in Life's perplexing maze,
Tho' now ye circle yon eternal throne
With harpings high of inexpressive praise,
Will not your train descend in radiant state,
To break with Mercy's beam this gathering cloud
of Fate ?

'Tis silence all. No Son of Light

Darts swiftly from his heavenly height:
No train of radiant Saints descend.
"Mortals, in vain ye hope to find,

"If guilt, if fraud has stain'd your mind, "Or Saint to hear, or Angel to defend." So Truth proclaims. I hear the sacred sound Burst from the centre of her burning throne: Where aye she sits with star-wreath'd lustre crown'd:

A bright Sun clasps her adamantine zone.

So Truth proclaims: her awful voice I hear: With many a solemn pause it slowly meets my ear.

"Attend, ye Sons of Men; attend, and say, Does not enough of my refulgent ray

Break thro' the veil of your mortality? Say, does not reason in this form descry Unnumber'd, nameless glories, that surpass The Angel's floating pomp, the Seraph's glowing grace?

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Shall then your earth-born daughters vie
With me? Shall she, whose brightest eye

But emulates the diamond's blaze,

Whose cheek but mocks the peach's bloom,
Whose breath the hyacinth's perfume,

Whose melting voice the warbling woodlark's lays,
Shall she be deem'd my rival? Shall a form
Of elemental dross, of mould'ring clay,

Vie with these charms empyrial? The poor worm
Shall prove her contest vain. Life's little day

Shall pass, and she is gone: while I appear Flush'd with the bloom of youth thro' Heav'n's eternal year.

Know, Mortals know, ere first ye sprung,
Ere first these orbs in æther hung,
I shone amid the heavenly throng,
These eyes beheld Creation's day,
This voice began the choral lay,

And taught Archangels their triumphant song.
Pleas'd I survey'd bright Nature's gradual birth,
Saw infant Light with kindling lustre spread,
Soft vernal fragrance clothe the flow'ring earth,
And Ocean heave on his extended bed;
Saw the tall pine aspiring pierce the sky,
The tawny lion stalk, the rapid eagle fly.

Last, Man arose, erect in youthful grace,
Heaven's hallow'd image stamp'd upon his face,
And, as he rose, the high behest was giv'n,
"That I alone, of all the host of heav'n,

'Should reign Protectress of the godlike youth:' Thus the Almighty spake: he spake and call'd me Truth."

EPITAPH ON MRS. MASON.

TAKE, holy Earth! all that my soul holds dear!
Take that best gift which heav'n so lately gave!
To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form :-she bow'd to taste the wave,

And died! Does youth, does Beauty read the line?
Does sympathetic Fear their breasts alarm?
Speak, dead Maria,-breathe a strain divine:
E'en from the grave thou shalt have power to
charm!

Bid them be chaste, be innocent like thee;
Bid them in Duty's sphere as meekly move;
And if so fair-from Vanity as free;-

As firm in friendship, and as fond in love

Tell them, tho' 'tis an awful thing to die,

('Twas e'en to thee!) yet the dread path once trod,

Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,

And bids the pure in heart behold their God!

ROBERT BURNS.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.

Inscribed to Robert Aiken, Esq.

Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short but simple annals of the poor.

Gray.

MY lov'd, my honour'd, much respected friend!

No mercenary bard his homage pays;

With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene;
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
What Aiken in a cottage would have been ;
Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there,

I ween!

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The shortening winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,

This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

The' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher thro' To meet their Dad, wi' flitcherin noise an' glee.

His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,

An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil.

Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, amang the farmers' roun';
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neebor town:

Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown, Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,

To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet; Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view: The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
'An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,
An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play;
An' O! be sure to fear the Lord alway!

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord
aright!'

But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.

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