« PreviousContinue »
A weel-stocket mailen, himsel for the laird,
And marriage aff-hand, were his proffers : I never loot on that I kenned it or cared;
But thought I might hae waur offers, waur offers,
But thought I might hae waur offers.
But what wad ye think? in a fortnight or less-
The Deil tak his taste to gae near her!-
He up the Gate Slack to my black cousin Bess:
Guess ye how, the jad, I could bear her, could bear her!
Guess ye how, the jad, I could bear her!
But a' the niest week as I petted wi’ care,
I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock,
And wha but my fine fickle lover was there?
I glowered as I'd seen a warlock, a warlock,
I glowered as I'd seen a warlock.
But owre my left shouther I gae him a blink,
Lest neebours might say I was saucy :
My wooer he capered as he'd been in drink,
And vowed I was his dear lassie, dear laşsie,
And vowed I was his dear lassie!
I spiered for my cousin fu' couthy and sweet,
Gin she had recovered her hearin,
And how her new shoon fit her auld shachled feet-
But, heavens, how he fell a swearin, a swearin!
But, heavens, how he fell a swearin!
He begged, for Gudesake, I wad be his wife,
Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow;
So, e'en to preserve the poor body in life,
I think I maun wed him to-morrow, to-morrow,
I think I maun wed him to-morrow!
O, WERT THOU IN THE CAULD BLAST
O, wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
Or did misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.
Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a paradise
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I monarch of the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi’ thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my crown
Wad be my queen, wad be my queen.
[PROCUL ESTE, PROFANI] Stay your rude steps! whose throbbing breasts infold The legion-fiends of glory or of gold! Stay! whose false lips seductive simpers part, While cunning nestles in the harlot-heart! For you no Dryads dress the roseate bower, For you no Nymphs their sparkling vases pour; Unmarked by you, light Graces swim the green, And hovering Cupids aim their shafts, unseen.
But thou! whose mind the well-attempered ray
Of taste and virtue lights with purer day;
Whose finer sense each soft vibration owns
With sweet responsive sympathy of tones;
(So the fair flower expands its lucid form
To meet the sun, and shuts it to the storm);
For thee my borders nurse the fragrant wreath,
My fountains murmur, and my zephyrs breathe;
Slow slides the painted snail, the gilded fly
Smooths his fine down, to charm thy curious eye;
On twinkling fins my pearly nations play,
Or win with sinuous train their trackless way;
My plumy pairs, in gay embroidery dressed,
Form with ingenious bill the pensile nest,
To love's sweet notes attune the listening dell,
And Echo sounds her soft symphonious shell.
And if with thee some hapless maid should stray,
Disastrous love companion of her way,
Oh, lead her timid steps to yonder glade,
Whose arching cliffs depending alders shade;
There, as meek evening wakes her temperate breeze,
And moonbeams glimmer through the trembling trees,
The rills that gurgle round shall soothe her ear,
The weeping rocks shall number tear for tear;
There as sad Philomel, alike forlorn,
Sings to the night from her accustomed thorn;
While at sweet intervals each falling note
Sighs in the gale, and whispers round the grot;
The sister-woe shall calm her aching breast,
And softer slumbers steal her cares to rest.
[THE SENSITIVE PLANT] Weak with nice sense, the chaste Mimosa stands, From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands; Oft as light clouds o'erpass the summer-glade, Alarmed she trembles at the moving shade; And feels, alive through all her tender form, The whispered murmurs of the gathering storm; Shuts her sweet eyelids to approaching night, And hails with freshened charms the rising light. Veiled, with gay decency and modest pride, Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride, There her soft vows unceasing love record, Queen of the bright seraglio of her lord.
'O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors :
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.'
He hears me not, but o'er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchained, sheathèd
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes,
For he hath reared his sceptre o'er the world.
Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
He takes his seat upon the cliffs,—the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal'st
With storms!—till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.
Fresh from the dewy hill, the merry year
Smiles on my head and mounts his flaming car;
Round my young brows the laurel wreathes a shade,
And rising glories beam around my head.
My feet are winged, while o'er the dewy lawn,
I meet my maiden risen like the morn:
O bless those holy feet, like angels' feet;
O bless those limbs, beaming with heavenly light.
Like as an angel glittering in the sky
In times of innocence and holy joy;
The joyful shepherd stops his grateful song
To hear the music of an angel's tongue.
So when she speaks, the voice of Heaven I hear;
So when we walk, nothing impure comes near;
Each field seems Eden, and each calm retreat;
Each village seems the haunt of holy feet.
But that sweet village where my black-eyed maid
Closes her eyes in sleep beneath night's shade,
Whene'er I enter, more than mortal fire
Burns in my soul, and does my song inspire.
Whether on Ida's shady brow,
Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceased;
Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
Where the melodious winds have birth;
Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wandering in many a coral grove
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!
How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoyed in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
The sound is forced, the notes are few!
INTRODUCTION TO SONGS OF INNOCENCE
Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me: