DUAN FIRST. *
* Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive Poem. See his Cath-Loda, Vol, 2. of M'Pherson's Translation.
1 THE sun had clos'd the winter-day,
2 The Curlers quat their roaring play,
3 And hunger'd Maukin taen her way
4 To kail-yards green,
5 While faithless snaws ilk step betray
6 Whare she has been.
7 The Thresher's weary flingin-tree,
8 The lee-lang day had tir'd me;[Page 88]
9 And when the Day had clos'd his e'e,
10 Far i' the West,
11 Ben i' the Spence, right pensivelie,
12 I gaed to rest.
13 There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek,
14 I sat and ey'd the spewing reek,
15 That fill'd, wi' hoast-provoking smeek,
16 The auld, clay biggin;
17 And heard the restless rattons squeak
18 About the riggin.
19 All in this mottie, misty clime,
20 I backward mus'd on wasted time,
21 How I had spent my youthfu' prime,
22 An' done nae-thing,
23 But stringing blethers up in rhyme
24 For fools to sing.
25 Had I to guid advice but harket,
26 I might, by this, hae led a market,
27 Or strutted in a Bank and clarket
28 My Cash-Account;[Page 89]
29 While here, half-mad, half-fed, half-sarket,
30 Is a' th' amount.
31 I started, mutt'ring blockhead! coof!
32 And heav'd on high my wauket loof,
33 To swear by a' yon starry roof,
34 Or some rash aith,
35 That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof
36 Till my last breath —
37 When click! the string the snick did draw;
38 And jee! the door gaed to the wa';
39 And by my ingle-lowe I saw,
40 Now bleezan bright,
41 A tight, outlandish Hizzie, braw,
42 Come full in fight.
43 Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht;
44 The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht;
45 I glowr'd as eerie's I'd been dusht,
46 In some wild glen;
47 When sweet, like modest Worth, she blusht,
48 And stepped ben.
49 Green, slender, leaf-clad Holly-boughs
50 Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows,
51 I took her for some SCOTTISH MUSE,
52 By that same token;
53 And come to stop those reckless vows,
54 Would soon been broken.
55 A "hare-brain'd, sentimental trace"
56 Was strongly marked in her face;
57 A wildly-witty, rustic grace
58 Shone full upon her;
59 Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space,
60 Beam'd keen with Honor.
61 Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen,
62 Till half a leg was scrimply seen;
63 And such a leg! my BESS, I ween,
64 Could only peer it;
65 Sae straught, sae taper, tight and clean,
66 Nane else came near it.
67 Her Mantle large, of greenish hue,
68 My gazing wonder chiefly drew;[Page 91]
69 Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw
70 A lustre grand;
71 And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
72 A well-known Land.
73 Here, rivers in the sea were lost;
74 There, mountains to the skies were tost:
75 Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast,
76 With surging foam;
77 There, distant shone, Art's lofty boast,
78 The lordly dome.
79 Here, DOON pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods;
80 There, well-fed IRWINE stately thuds:
81 Auld, hermit AIRE staw thro' his woods,
82 On to the shore;
83 And many a lesser torrent scuds,
84 With seeming roar.
85 Low, in a sandy valley spread,
86 An ancient BOROUGH rear'd her head;
87 Still, as in Scottish Story read,
88 She boasts a Race,[Page 92]
89 To ev'ry nobler virtue bred,
90 And polish'd grace.
1 With musing-deep, astonish'd stare,
2 I view'd the heavenly-seeming Fair;
3 A whisp'ring throb did witness bear
4 Of kindred sweet,
5 When with an elder Sister's air
6 She did me greet.
7 'All hail! my own inspired Bard!
8 ' In me thy native Muse regard!
9 'Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard,
10 ' Thus poorly low!
11 'I come to give thee such reward,
12 ' As we bestow.
13 'Know, the great Genius of this Land,
14 ' Has many a light, aerial band,
15 'Who, all beneath his high command,
16 ' Harmoniously,[Page 93]
17 'As Arts or Arms they understand,
18 ' Their labors ply.
19 'They SCOTIA'S Race among them share;
20 ' Some fire the Sodger on to dare;
21 'Some rouse the Patriot up to bare
22 ' Corruption's heart:
23 'Some teach the Bard, a darling care,
24 ' The tuneful Art.
25 ''Mong swelling floods of reeking gore,
26 ' They ardent, kindling spirits pour;
27 'Or, mid the venal Senate's roar,
28 ' They, sightless, stand,
29 'To mend the honest Patriot-lore,
30 'And grace the hand.
31 'Hence, FULLARTON, the brave and young;
32 ' Hence, DEMPSTER'S truth-prevailing tongue;
33 'Hence, sweet harmonious BEATTIE sung
34 ' His "Minstrel lays;"[Page 94]
35 'Or tore, with noble ardour stung,
36 ' The Sceptic's bays.
37 'To lower Orders are assign'd,
38 'The humbler ranks of Human-kind,
39 ' The rustic Bard, the lab'ring Hind,
40 'The Artisan;
41 ' All chuse, as, various they're inclin'd,
42 'The various man.
43 'When yellow waves the heavy grain,
44 ' The threat'ning Storm, some, strongly, rein;
45 'Some teach to meliorate the plain,
46 ' With tillage-skill;
47 'And some instruct the Shepherd-train,
48 ' Blythe o'er the hill.
49 'Some hint the Lover's harmless wile;
50 ' Some grace the Maiden's artless smile;
51 'Some soothe the Lab'rer's weary toil,
52 ' For humble gains,
53 'And make his cottage-scenes beguile
54 ' His cares and pains.
55 'Some, bounded to a district-space,
56 ' Explore at large Man's infant race,
57 'To mark the embryotic trace,
58 'Of rustic Bard;
59 ' And careful note each op'ning grace,
60 'A guide and guard.
61 'Of these am I — COILA my name;
62 ' And this district as mine I claim,
63 'Where once the Campbell's, chiefs of fame,
64 ' Held ruling pow'r:
65 'I mark'd thy embryo-tuneful flame,
66 ' Thy natal hour.
67 'With future hope, I oft would gaze,
68 ' Fond, on thy little, early ways,
69 'Thy rudely-caroll'd, chiming phrase,
70 ' In uncouth rhymes,
71 'Fir'd at the simple, artless lays
72 ' Of other times.
73 'I saw thee seek the sounding shore,
74 ' Delighted with the dashing roar;[Page 96]
75 'Or when the North his fleecy store
76 ' Drove thro' the sky,
77 'I saw grim Nature's visage hoar,
78 ' Struck thy young eye.
79 'Or when the deep-green-mantl'd Earth,
80 ' Warm-cherish'd ev'ry floweret's birth,
81 'And joy and music pouring forth,
82 ' In ev'ry grove,
83 'I saw thee eye the gen'ral mirth
84 ' With boundless love.
85 'When ripen'd fields, and azure skies,
86 ' Call'd forth the Reaper's rustling noise,
87 'I saw thee leave their ev'ning joys,
88 ' And lonely stalk,
89 'To vent thy bosom's swelling rise,
90 'In pensive walk.
91 'When youthful Love, warm-blushing, strong,
92 ' Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along,[Page 97]
93 'Those accents, grateful to thy tongue,
94 ' Th' adored Name,
95 'I taught thee how to pour in song,
96 'To soothe thy flame.
97 'I saw thy pulse's maddening play,
98 ' Wild-send thee Pleasure's devious way,
99 'Misled by Fancy's meteor-ray,
100 ' By Passion driven;
101 'But yet the light that led astray,
102 ' Was light from Heaven.
103 'I taught thy manners-painting strains,
104 ' The loves, the ways of simple swains,
105 'Till now, o'er all my wide domains,
106 'Thy fame extends;
107 ' And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
108 'Become thy friends.
109 'Thou canst not learn, nor I can show,
110 'To paint with Thomson's landscape-glow;
111 ' Or wake the bosom-melting throe,
112 'With Shenstone's art;[Page 98]
113 ' Or pour, with Gray, the moving flow,
114 'Warm on the heart.
115 'Yet all beneath th'unrivall'd Rose,
116 ' The lowly Daisy sweetly blows;
117 'Tho' large the forest's Monarch throws
118 ' His army shade,
119 'Yet green the juicy Hawthorn grows,
120 ' Adown the glade.
121 'Then never murmur nor repine
122 ' Strive in thy humble sphere to shine;
123 'And trust me, not Potosi's mine,
124 ' Nor Kings regard,
125 'Can give a bliss o'ermatching thine,
126 'A rustic Bard
127 'To give my counsels all in one,
128 'Thy tuneful flame still careful fan;
129 ' Preserve the dignity of Man,
130 'With Soul erect;
131 ' And trust, the UNIVERSAL PLAN
132 'Will all protect.
133 'And wear thou this' — She solemn said,
134 And bound the Holly round my head:
135 The polish'd leaves, and berries red,
136 Did rustling play;
137 And, like a passing thought, she fled,
138 In light away.