Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower,
And tells the midnight moon her care.
The winds were laid, the air was still,
The stars they shot alang the sky;
The fox was howling on the hill,
And the distant-echoing glens reply.
The stream, adown its hazelly path,
Was rushing by the ruined wa's,
Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
Whase distant roaring swells and fa's.
The cauld blue north was streaming forth
Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din;
Athort the lift they start and shift,
Like fortune's favors, tint as win.
By heedless chance I turned mine eyes,
And by the moon-beam, shook, to see
A stern and stalwart ghaist arise,
Attired as minstrels wont to be.
Had I a statue been o' stane,
His darin look had daunted me: And on his bonnet graved was plain,
The sacred posy -- Libertie!
And frae his harp sie strains did flow,
Might roused the slumbering dead to
But O, it was a tale of woe,
As ever met a Briton's ear!
He sang wi' joy his former day,
But what he said it was nae play,
He weeping wailed his latter times;
I winna ventur't in my rhymes.
As I stood by yon roofless tower,
O, pass not by!
Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy But with a frater-feeling strong,
Here heave a sigh.
A BARD'S EPITAPH.
Is there a whim-inspiréd fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near,
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
Is there a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs himself life's mad career,
Wild as the wave;
Here pause, and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.
This poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,