Puslapio vaizdai


VIRTUE, forever frail as fair below,
Her tender nature suffers in the crowd,
Nor touches on the world without a stain.
The world's infectious; few bring back at eve,
Immaculate, the manners of the morn.
Something we thought, is blotted; we resolv'd,
Is shaken; we renounc'd, returns again.
Each salutation may slide in a sin

Unthought before, or fix a former flaw.

Nor is it strange; light, motion, concourse, noise,
All scatter us abroad. Thought, outward-bound,
Neglectful of our home-affairs, flies off

In fume and dissipation, quits her charge,
And leaves the breast unguarded to the foe.


SOME angel guide my pencil, while I draw,
What nothing less than angel can exceed,
A man on earth devoted to the skies;
Like ships in sea, while in, above the world.

With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares and tumults of this life,
Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.

Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred and the slave,
A mingled mob! a wandering herd! he sees,
Bewilder'd in the vale; in all unlike!

His full reverse in all! What higher praise?
What stronger demonstration of the right?

The present, all their care; the future, his.
When public welfare calls, or private want,
They give to fame; his bounty he conceals.
[Their virtues varnish nature; his, exalt.
Mankind's esteem they court; and he, his own.
Theirs, the wild chase of false felicities;
His, the composed possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent peace;
All of one colour, and an even thread;
While party-colour'd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of fortune blows
The tatters by, and shows their nakedness.

He sees with other eyes than theirs. Where they
Behold a sun, he spies a deity:

What makes them only smile, makes him adore.
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees :
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain.
They things terrestrial worship as divine;
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust,
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in infinite, to lose all bound.
Titles and honors (if they prove his fate,)
He lays aside, to find his dignity:
No dignity they find in aught besides.
They triumph in externals (which conceal
Man's real glory,) proud of an eclipse.
Himself too much he prizes to be proud,
And nothing thinks so great in man, as man.
Too dear he holds his interest, to neglect
Another's welfare, or his right invade :
Their interest, like a lion, lives on prey.
They kindle at the shadow of a wrong:
Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on heaven,
Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe:

Nought, but what wounds his virtue, wounds his peace.
A cover'd heart their character defends;

A cover'd heart denies him half his praise.
With nakedness his innocence agrees;
While their broad foliage testifies their fall.
Their no joys end where his full feasts begins;
His joys create, theirs murder future bliss.
To triumph in existence his alone;
And his alone triumphantly to think

His true existence is not yet begun.

His glorious course was, yesterday, complete ;
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet.


Born 1686-Died 1758.

ALLAN RAMSAY, a native of Scotland, received his early education at the parish school, and, at the age of fifteen, became apprentice to a wigmaker. On finishing his apprenticeship he left this business entirely, and married in his twentyfourth year the daughter of an attorney in Edinburgh, where he established a bookshop. In 1728, he published the drama of the Gentle Shepherd, which was soon admired and re-printed, even beyond the limits of Scotland, to which its obscure dialect would have seemed likely at first to confine

its reputation. So early as 1750 the tenth edition of this comedy was printed at Glasgow.

His disposition was naturally kind, shrewd, and good humoured. He never was seduced, either by his fondness for poetical composition, or by his intimacy with men of rank and talents, to whom his genius gave him access, from a quiet and diligent attention to his trade, which thus yielded him a happy_competence.

Ramsay's claims to a lasting poetical celebrity rest exclusively on the merits of "The Gentle Shepherd." The moral tendency of this pastoral drama is generally excellent, though it contains some gross expressions and allusions, which detract much from the pleasure with which it may be perused. The plot is deeply interesting, and founded on occurrences growing out of the real state of the country, at the period in which it is laid; so that all its incidents are such as might have often happened in actual life. Nothing in it is foreign, imitated, or artificial, but every thing is national and unaffected. Its scenery is that of Scotland, and of Scotland alone; and it is drawn with so much freshness and truth to nature, that the peasants are said to delight in pointing out the very localities which it describes.

It possesses fine humour, and in some scenes a deep pathos. Its characters are all original, and depicted with the hand of a master. By a few artless and simple touches, they are made to stand out from the canvass with a verisimilitude and individuality, not inferior to those of Shakspeare. Its poetry, like that of Burns, has gone down into the heart of a whole nation. Its rural songs may be heard on every mountain-side and in every hamlet; and its sentences of practical wisdom have passed into proverbs among the Scottish peasantry.


Jenny. O, 't is a pleasant thing to be a bride!
Synel whining getts2 about your ingle side,
Yelping for this or that wi' fasheous3 din:
To mak them brats, then, ye maun1 toil an' spin.
Ane5 wean fa's6 sick, ane scalds itsell wi' broo,7
Ane breaks his shin, anither tiness his shoe;
The Deil gaes o'er Jock Wabster, hame grows hell,
An' Pate misca's10 yc, waur1l than tongue can tell.
Peggy. Yes, it's a heartsome thing to be a wife,
When round the ingle12 edge, young sprouts are rife.13
Gif 14 I'm so happy, I shall ha'e15 delight,


To hear their little plaints and keep them right.

1 Afterwards. 2 Children, a term of contempt. 3 Vexatious. 4 Must.

5 One. 6 Falls. 7 Broth. 8 Loses. 9 A proverb, meaning, every thing

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11 Worse. 12 Fireside. 13 Plenty.

14 if

Wow! Jenny, can there greater pleasure be,
Than see sic1 wee2 tots toolying3 at your knee;
When a' they ettle4 at, their greatest wish,
Is to be made o', and obtain a kiss.

Can there be toil in tenting,5 day and night,
The like o' them, when love makes care delight?
Jenny. But poortith,6 Peggy, is the warst of a',
Gif o'er your heads ill chance should begg'ry draw ;
For little love or canty7 cheer can come

Fraes duddy9 doublets, an' a pantry toom.10
Your nowtll may die;-the spatel2 may bear away
Frae aff the howms13 your dainty rucks14 o' hay.
The thick blawn wreaths o' snaw, or plashy thows,15
May smoor16 your wethers an' may rot your ewes.
A dyvour17 buys your butter, woo',18 and cheese,
But, or the day o' payment, breaks an' flees.
Wi' glooman19 brow the laird seeks in his rent;
It's no to gie ;20 your merchant's to the bent:21
His honor maunna22 want; he poinds23 your gear:24
Syne,25 driven frae house and hold, where will ye steer?
Dear Meg, be wise, an' live a single life;
Troth, it 's na mows26 to be a married wife.
Peggy. May sic ill luck befa' that silly she
Who has sic fears, for that was never me.
Let folk bode27 weel, an' strive to do their best;
Na mair28 's required; let Heaven mak out the rest.
I've heard my honest uncle often say,

That lads should all, for wives that 's virtuous pray;
For the most thrifty man could never get

A weel stored room, unless his wife wad let:
Wherefore, nought shall be wanting on my part,
To gather wealth to raise my shepherd's heart.
Whate'er he wins I'll guide wi' canny care,
An' win the vogue at market, tron, or fair,
For halesome, clean, cheap and sufficient ware.
A flock o' lambs, cheese, butter, an' some woo'
Shall first be sold, to pay the laird his due;
Syne a' behind 's our ain. Thus without fear,
Wi' love and plenty, through the world we 'll steer;
An' when my Pate in bairns29 and years grows rife,
He 'll bless the day he gat me for his wife.

Jenny. But what if some young giglet30 on the green,
Wi' dimpled cheeks, an' twa31 bewitching een,

1 Such. 2 Little. 3 Struggling. 4 Aim. 5 Attending. 6 Poverty. 7 Merry. 8 From. 9 Ragged. 10 Empty. 11 Cattle. 13 Plains on river sides 17 Bankrupt. 18 Wool. 23 Seizes.



a proverb. 27 Predict. 31 Two.

12 Inundations. 14 Ricks or stacks. 15 Thaws. 16 Smother. 19 Scowling. 20 Give. 21 Open field. 22 Must Property. 25 Then. 26 Sheaves of corn, 30 Laughing damsel.

28 More. 29 Children.

Should garl your Patie think his sober Meg,
An' her kend kisses hardly worth a feg ?3

Peggy. Nae mair o' that.-Dear Jenny, to be free,
There's some men constanter in love than we :
Nor is the ferly4 great, when nature kind
Has blest them wi' solidity of mind.

They'll reason calmly, and wi' kindness smile,
When our short passions wads our peace beguile.
So, whensoe'er they slight their maiks at hame,
It's ten to ane the wives are maist7 to blame.
Then I'll employ wi' pleasure all my art,
To keep him cheerful and secure his heart.
At e'en, when he comes weary frae the hill,
I'll ha'e all things made ready to his will:
In winter, when he toils through wind and rain,
A blazing ingle, and a clean hearth-stane.
An' soon as he flings by his plaid and staff,
The seething pot 'll be ready to take aff;
Clean hag-a-bags I 'll spread upon his board,
An' serve him wi' the best we can afford.
Good humour and white bigonets9 shall be
Guards to my face to keep his love for me.

Jenny. A dish o' married love right soon grows cauld,10 And dosens11 down to nane,12 as folk grow auld. 13

Peggy. But we'll grow auld thegither, and ne'er find
The loss of youth, when love grows on the mind.
Bairns and their bairns mak, sure, a firmer tye,
Than aught in love the like of us can spy.
See yon twa elms, that grow up side by side,

Suppose them, some years gone, bridegroom an' bride;
Nearer and nearer ilka14 year they 've prest,
Till wide their spreading branches are increased,
An' in their mixture now are fully blest.

This shields the other frae the eastlin blast,

That in return defends it frae the west.

Such as stand single, (state so liked by you,)

Beneath ilk storm, frae every earth, maun bow.

Jenny. I've done.-I yield, dear lassie I maun yield; Your better sense has fairly won the field,

With the assistance of a little fae,15

Lies derned16 within my heart this mony a day.

1 Make. 2 Known, accustomed. 3 Fig. 4 Wonder.

5 Would.

6 Matches, wives. 7 Most. 8 Coarse table linen. 9 Linen caps or coifs. 10 Cold, 11 Dwindles. 12 None. 13 Old, 14 Each. 15 Foe. 16 Hidden.

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