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At last, relenting Spring gave flowers to grow,
Gave bees to buzz, and fetter'd streams to flow,
Gave birds to build their nests, and blithely carol, -
Sporting amidst the boughs in amorous quarrel,-
All nature seem'd resolved the year to bliss-
When gentle Grizzy blush'd, and answer'd_“Yes."
The day was fine, it was the bridal dayThe Bridegroom had been messenger'd away To visit sick parishioner—had pray'd, And pour’a heaven's benediction o'er the bed Of sore affliction; scann'd the Peasant's store, Enrich'd his meal tub with a portion more, And, as the Mother spoke the Husband's state, And wept, in augured death, the Orphan's fate, All fatherless, and friendless,--had essay'd To call up Bible comfort to her aid. “ Who feeds the hungry raven, he will feed “ Your helpless children, and supply their need; “ His word is pledged, and when His word is given, “ Sooner shall disappear both earth and heaven, “ Than tittle' of his promise pass away. E'en whilst he spoke, a look of wan dismay Sat on the Mother's face ;-that struggle o'er“ The father is at rest-nor suffers more.” The dead man's face seem'd sharp and ghastly pale, The mother happ'd it o'er, amidst the wail Of helpless Infants; whilst the younger Child Stoop'd, playful o'er the sheeted corpse, and smild. “Oh God, depart not yet," the Mother pled, “ But stay to comfort me!” He had not fledThe “ Man of God” was present every inchEyes, ears, and heart,-he ne'er was known to flinch When woe assail'd. But such a piercing woe! He never meant, he did not seem to go.
The day was fine, it was the bridal day, But long the fretful Bride behoved to stay. Her uncle listen'd oft, no party near, Nor sound of Men nor Horses could he hear. The Brother clear’d with eager step “ the Law," No Bridegroom he, nor Bridal party saw; And Servants travell’d east a mile and more, As tidingless returning as before. All now was discontent; the dinner hour, By mutual compact, had been fix'd at four,And five had struck-and six-all tongues were busy Framing apologies to comfort Grizzy. Who felt indignant that her Pedigree By peasant Son, insulted thus should be, And all her condescension so return'd Her very Nose with indignation burn'd. “ And comes he now at last! he comes too late; “E'en let him go, and wed a humbler Mate.".
Our Minister was married, “ Honest man;"
And Grizzy soon to use her power began !
All home was turn'd to change; his easy Chair
In which he slept or studied, void of care,
Deep sunk in dusty cushions, mounts above,
The first and grcatest sacrifice to love.
His writing-desk no parlour-guest appears,
But yields the field to tl:read-papers, and shears,
And restless clues of cotton, still a-lifting,
And still from female grasp to distance drifting.
New grates are purchased next-new fire “ airns,” fenders,
New cats and dogs too, now of doubtful genders ;
New carpetting, with pattern large and flashy;
New rugs, with swans and leopards, all so dashy,
That Farmer feet, or shoe'd, or booted o'er,
Are apt to bring defilement on the floor,
Round bits of mold, or thinner plates of earth,
Which trod into the carpetting, give birth
To stains unseemly. “This would never do!
“ And then the lumpish Louts were forward too!"
Upon his person next a change she made
She could not tolerate his “ Carnal* plaid,"
But truck'd him out in broad cloth to the chin,
Broad cloth without, but Indian silk within !
His hat, he next was told, he always wore
Too low behind, and far too high before.
And then his toes; but these had got a set,
Which, spite of all her care, they'd ne'er forget.
The Laird was always civil; and her Brother
Was company full good for one or other ;
But if he wish'd Society like this,-
'Twas fit these acre Louts he should dismiss !
6 Woman!” he said,—but seeing wrath arise,
He shut his mouth, and centinelled his eyes,
up. his Grizzy's neck the offended blood
Pour'd through blue stringy rivulets its flood.
“ Whom call you woman? Dare to woman me!
“And how I can avenge me, you shall see.
I am your better, sir! My father's daughter
“ Ne'er omen'd once a Minister had sought her.
But you must speak, and deave me with your scolding-
My faith, but, Zachary, you are a bold one.”
“ St Paul had something that his rest did spoil,
“ When worn with preaching, and fatigued with toil;
“ Satanic Messenger, he term'd the evil -
“ Which some a Wife account, and some the Devil ;
“ He bore his Cross with patience-so must 1,-
(Thus reason'd Zachary),—at least I'll try.”-
Then drifted, in his peacefulness of soul,
Before the tempest, he might not control.-
But God will work for those who own his sway
In his own silent time-discover'd way.
Evolving still contingencies to shew,
How little of his wondrous plans we know !
“ A Damsel comes her hapless fate to speak,
“ If right I read the language of her cheek,
“That cheek deep tinged with folly's recent shame
“ Retire!”—“ I shall not budge,” replies the Dame.
“ You can't withstand their hypocritic sighs,
“Those tears that trickle down from beaming eyes,
“ Carnal,” so pronounced universally in Scotland, for “ Cardinal,”-a relique, undeniable, of Papal dominion !
“ You love to tamper with the sinful thing,
“ And into disrepute your office bring;,
“ You patronise incontinence- you do
-“Not," quoth the humbled Zachary,“ in you !" .
The Damsel look'd abash'd—the Matron's eye
Flash'd like the lightning of a wintry sky;
“What Fellow, Huzzie! How became you Mother?”
“ That Fellow,” adds the Huzzie,“ is your Brother !"-
One Sabbath morn, Nobility and state
Approach the Church, and figure from the “ Plate;"*
Coaches and servants, livery and lace,
Give quite an air of fashion to the place.
Amidst his “ Guests” the “ Laird resplendent shines,
But condescension with his state combines.
His Wife and Daughters prize their notice higher,
And from the wonted “ Day t'ye Ma’ams” retire.
But see, she comes-the “ Acre-Louts” recede
To right and left, an avenue is made
For Mrs MELDRUM ;-briskly up she flies
But meets a curtsey and averted eyes-
Is taught to know her station by a glance,
Which cuts her to the midriff, like a lance.
Affliction came, which tames the proudest heart,
Heals whilst it wounds, and cures us by the smart,
Which draws the veil of Vanity aside,
Proving the Friend in whom we may confide;
The Laird sent up his “ Compliments,” to know
How Grizzy fared ; his Lady, care to shew,
Stoop'd from her carriage window-listen'd sad,
And hoped her “ Cousin's case was not so bad,"
Then drove away in haste.—The Brother too,
A stranger long, acquaintance to renew,
Presumed to call, inquired, and went away,
But promised to return some future day.”
The Husband stood her friend in hour of need,
Stooping like Angel Guardian o'er her head;
By night and day, with never sleeping care,
All ear and
eye, her Zachary was there.
And when the Fever came, the fitful hour,
Which speaks in frightful phantasy its power,
With soothing voice he whisper'd in her ear,
“ Be calm, my love, your Zachary is near,
The fever left her languid-feeble-low-
In pulse, and spirit-tears began to flow,
And sighs to swell, convulsive throbs to start
Th' imprison'd " Something” struggling at her heart !
That heart—all chasten'd now—and striving still
By winning accents to disclose the will !
“ Forgive my foolish pride !”—The husband saw
Relenting spring the frosts of winter thaw.
In mutual sympathy express'd his joy,
And lived in future bliss without alloy
• The Plate in which the Sabbath collections for the poor are made, all over Scotland, with the exception of a few Presbyteries bordering upon, and unhappily in this respect adopting the manners of, England.
STANZAS ON AN INFANT.
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
The rose-bud, blushing through the morning's tears,
The primrose, rising from the brumal waste,
The snow-drop, or the violet, that appears
Like nun within the myrtles' shadow placed,
Wear not a smile like thine, nor look so chaste,
Fair Innocent! that, from thy mother's knee,
As yet by Earth's despoilment undefaced
Smil'st, and unheeding what the fates decree,
Dream'st not of hapless days, that yet will frown on thee !
Say, o'er thy little frame when slumbers steal,
And watch above thy cradle seraphs keep,
Do they, in love, futurity reveal,
That thus thou sweetly smilest in thy sleep ?-
Thy pure blue eyes were sure ne'er form'd to weep;
Those little lips to breathe the sighs of woe ;-
Alas! in life it may be thine to steep
Thy senses in nepenthe, glad if so
Thy memory may the dreams of wretchedness forego.
For passion is a tyrant fierce and wild,
Leading the thoughts from Virtue's pure career ;
And spirits, in their natures calm and mild,
Are duped by Flattery, or subdued by Fear ;
Love, that with promise to illume and cheer
The path of life, oft lures us to betray ;
And hopes that, robed in iris hues, appear
When the heart swells in Youth's exulting day,
Dreaming sweet dreams alone, in darkness melt away!
Sweet child, thy artlessness and innocence
Kindle deep thought, and cause my heart to bleed;
For even to the best the Fates dispense
Sorrow and pain, nor are the happiest freed
From ills, that make existence pocr indeed ;
Sadness doth of its lustre rob the eye;
And those who ever, in the hour of need,
To mitigate our griefs were kindly nigh,
Like shot stars, one by one, all disappear and die !
Earth is at best a heritage of grief,
But oh ! fair cherub, may its calm be thine;
May Virtue be thy solace and relief,
When Pleasure on thy lot disdains to shine!
There was a time, when being was divine,
No sin, no sorrow,-paradise the scene ;
But man was prone to error, and his line
In frailty like their sire have ever been;
How happy mightst thou be, were Eden's bowers still green!
Ah! may I guess,
years have o'er thy head
Their passage winged, maturity thine own,
How may on Earth thy pilgrimage be led ? -
Shall public cares, or privacy alone
Thy life engage? or shall thy lot be thrown
Where timbrel, horn, and martial drum inspire ?
Or, soothed to softness, and a holier tone,
Draw down aërial spirits to thy lyre,
Or call upon the muse to arm thy words with fire?
Thy flaxen ringlets, and thy deep blue eyes,
Bring to my mind the little God of Love;
The last outvie the azure of the skies,
The first are like the clouds that float above
The Spring's descending sun. The boy whom Jove
Wrapt from the earth-fair Ganymedeto dwell
Above the realms where Care has wing to rove,
Thy cherub features may betoken well;
Or if the one excell’d, perchance thou mightst excel.
Even now, begirt with utter helplessness,
Tis hard to think, as on thy form I gaze,
(Experience makes me marvel not the less,)
That thou to busy man shalt rise, and raise
Thyself, mayhap, a nation's pride, and praise ;
'Tis hard to let the truth my mind employ,
That he, who kept the world in wild amaze,
That Cæsar in the cradle lay-a boy,
Soothed by a nurse's kiss, delighted with a toy !
That once the mighty Newton was like thee;
The awful Milton, who on Heaven did look,
Listening the councils of Eternity;
And matchless Shakespeare, who, undaunted, took
From Nature's shrinking hand her secret book,
And page by page the wondrous tome explored ;
The fearless Sidney; the adventurous Cook ;
Howard, who mercy for mankind implored ;
And France's despot chief, whose heart lay in his sword!
How doth the wretch, when life is dull and black,
Pray that he were, pure Innocent, like thee !
Or that again the guileless days were back,
When Childhood leant against a parent's knee !
'Tis meet that Sin should suffer-it must be:
To such as at the shrine of Virtue mock,
Remorse is what the righteous Fate's decree ;
On conquest bent, Sennacherib awoke,
But Heaven had o'er his camp breathed death in the Siroc.
The unrelenting tyrant, who, unmoved,
Lays for a sweet and smiling land his snares,
Whose callous, unimpassion'd heart hath proved
Beyond the impulse of a mother's prayers,
Though not for Beauty's tearful eye he cares,
A tyrant among tyrants he must be
A Herod with a Hydra soul, who dares
To spill the blood of innocents, like thee,
All smiling in his face, and from a parent's knee !
Adieu ! fair Infant, be it thine to prove
The joy, of which an earnest thou wert sent ;
And, in thy riper years, with looks of love,
Repay thy mother for the hours she spent
In fondness o'er thy cradle ; thou wert meant
To be her solace in declining years ;
Raise up the mind, with age and sorrow bent;
Assuage with filial care a parent's fears,
Awake her heart to joy, and wipe away her tears !