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Recreations for Solitary Hours


page 79

Sweet Home.

Sweet home! how I hail thee, though humble and low,
For rich are thy pleasures 'bove splendour or show;
Thy charms all allure me, wherever I roam,
With fondness to seek thy enjoyments, sweet home!
Home! home! sweet, sweet home!
There is no place on earth like my dear native home.

As landscapes of mountains, and woodlands all green,
More pleasant appear when at distance they're seen,
Than when on their summits we carelessly roam,
So felt by the soul are the pleasures of home.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

Yes, home, thou art prized with a hallow'd delight,
Where friendship and peace as twin sisters unite,
In kindest embraces, still blest from above,
Whose social delights give endearments to love.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

page 80

All hail! Caledonia, dear to my breast,
Sweet land of my fathers, in thee how I'm blest!
Though storms on the wing of the dark rolling year,
Ride round thy bleak mountains, as barren, so drear.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

Still dear are thy scenes of each homely delight,
Where wildness and picturesque grandeur unite,
With wide spreading plains and high hazy hills hoar,
While down the deep glens foaming cataracts roar.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

Lo! such are thy glories where Freedom doth rove,
As free as the mountain breeze, meek as the dove;
While brave are thy sons, independent, and free,—
Thy valiant protectors by land or by sea.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

Though groves of rich spices were never thy boast,
The slave is made free when he reaches thy coast,
Where thistles grow wild, and nod proudly each plume,
To breezes full fraught with the heather's perfume.
Home! home! sweet, &c.

page 81

Sweet land of my sires! where their ashes now rest,
Though me from thy bosom stern Fortune should thrust,
Heav'n grant me the pleasure, where'er I may roam,
Of spending in peace my last moments at home.
Home! home! sweet; &c.

Langsyne Anticipated.

Addressed To Mr. A. S.

Tune,—"Auld Langsyne."

May friendship ever be revered,
When hearts to each incline,
'Twill pleasure give to future days,
To think on langsyne.
  This heart will beat to friendship's tune,
    Though cease to beat should thine,
Remembrance still shall cheer my soul,
    To think on langsyne.

page 82

When worn with toil, and bent with age,
We weary must recline,
May we with pleasure then review
The days of langsyne.
  A hapless wretch he is indeed
    Who friendless must repine,
  And ne'er can cast a pleasing thought
    On days of langsyne.

When seas, wide rolling, 'tween us roar—
Though fortune cease to shine,
I'll happy be to think of joys,
And friends of langsyne.
  But should we ever meet again,
    Then hand in hand we'll join,
  And welcome to each throbbing breast,
    The friend of langsyne.

page 83

A Song.

Ah Fate! ye'll ne'er disheart' me,
Though fortune should desert me,
My muse shall still alert be,
Till Heaven calls me home.
Though friends and all should scorn me,
Yet never I'll forlorn be;
My heart by Hope shall borne be,
Till better days shall come.

Oh hope! thou giv'st me pleasure—
Industry, thou'rt my treasure,
Contentment, thou'rt my measure,
__ Of happiness and love:
For though misfortunes fear me,
Those friends with joy to cheer me,
To comfort they'll draw near me,
Their faithfulness to prove.

page 84

The Lover's Request.

Tune,—"Flora and Charlie."

Ah! who can feel that tender passion,
Glowing in a lover's breast,
Inspired with joys at love's persuasion
Felt but cannot be express'd?
Though often slighted most severely,
Her's my heart doth still remain,
Fondly enquiring most sincerely,
Shall we never love again.

How Cupids round my slumbers hover,
Pointing me her likeness fair!
But fancy's freaks, I soon discover,
Fly, to change my joys to care.
While glows my breast, to love her dearly,
Fate why should'st thou me refrain;—
Let me but ask this once sincerely,
Shall we never love again.

page 85

Oh! cease to tease me, perturbation,
Retrospection loves to scan
My joys and cares in close rotation,
Since that hour our loves began.
Hopeful fancy—blissful vision—
Fondly I your joys retain;—
Hasten, O Time! that blest decision
When we'll dearly love again.

Fair Helen's Dirge.

Tune,—"Ye Banks and Braes, &c."

Oh, what is life?—A shadow fleet,
That flies at ev'ry beaming ray,
So lovers' joys are oft like dreams
That vanish quite ere break of day.
I've truly felt this hapless truth,
Since death, thou didst our love arrest;
How soon ye've blasted in her bloom,
The sweet companion of my breast.

page 86

Now dim's the eye, that beam'd so bright,
In which I love did first disclose,
Pale, pale's the lip I often kiss'd,
Her cheek's are like the faded rose.
Now still and motionless she lies,
How changed the aspect once she bore!
Her sands have run—her spirit's fled—
So now her bosom throbs no more.

Ah! hapless wretch, where can I fly,
My soul corroding cares to shun;
Oh! would oblivion lend its aid,
'Twould soothe my soul with grief undone.
For when I think upon our vows,
It swells my heart with grief and care,
Till like to split my throbbing breast,
Though wand'ring with my bosom bare.

Oh! mourn with me ye soaring larks
That mat aloft on airy wing,
Bewail my sorrows songsters all,
That make the woodlands gladly ring,
page 87 For now my Helen lives no more,
Ah she lies mould'ring in her urn;
With her my hopes and joys have gone
Ah me! they're fled ne'er to return.

The Maiden's Lament.

Tune,—"Green Grows the Rashes O."

When wint'ry win's are blawin' cauld,
Wi' lang nichts sae dreary O,
Ilk blast does chill my very saul,
An' mak's me wae and eerie O.
  Och hey! my laddie O,
  Och hey! my laddie O,
  Should ony come, how fainly I
  Wad row him in my plaidie O.

The win' roars owre the hie lum tap,—
The nicht is cauld and dreary O—
The cat lies purrin' in my lap,
But oh! it canna cheer me O.
  Och hey! &c.

page 88

There's no a lad comes 'bout the house
At een tae mak' me cheery O,
Sae here I sit alane fu' douse,
Aye gauntin' lang an' weary O.
  Och hey! &c.

'Twas ance wi' lads I was amused,
When offers I had mony O,—
But sers them a' I aye refused,
An waited for my Johnny O.
  Och hey! &c.

My fields were then baith braid and lang,
My corn-riggs were bonny O,
When happily I've sung ilk sang,
About my lovely Johnny O.
  Och hey! &c.

But now my Johnny's dead an gane,
So are my Mam an' Daddy O;
An' here, puir thing! I'm left alane,—
But still I hae my plaidie O.
  Come! then some laddie O,
  Come! then some laddie O,
page 89   I canna be as I hae been,
  Ye're welcome to my plaidie O.


(Written At The Age Of Thirteen.)

Tune,—"Auld Langsyne,"

Oh! now ye're far awa my love,
Ye're far awa frae me,
O'er woodland glens, and rocky dens,
And o'er the raging sea.
I stand upon the sandy shore,
The lofty hills behind,
I spy the distant ship afar,
That's driven with the wind.

I see the waves around her rise,
Ten thousand billows roar;
The foaming surges lash the skies,
Behind her and before.
page 90 Unto the winds I give a sigh,
Unto the waves a tear;
Up to the skies I send my cry,
For her my dearest dear.

Kind Providence, oh! hear my voice,
Oh! wilt thou her life save,
Oh! keep her from the sunken rocks,
And from a wat'ry grave.
For though she's borne awa frae me,
Across the raging main,
Our hapless loves may yet revive,
Were we to meet again.

The Flower Of Clyde.

Tune,—"Clean Pea Strae."

Was I the lord of great estates,
And wealthy to extreme,
I'd let all wond'ring people see,
Who I do most esteem.
page 91 But would I e'er my love confess,
She'd never deign to me,
For I'm an humble shepherd swain,
And she's of high degree.

The rose that blows on Sharon's vale
I never can compare,
With the sweet flower of winding Clyde,
That blooms so fresh and fair,
She in her garden to the sun
Of fortune smiles so fair,
And nodding loads the passing breeze
With sweet perfumes so rare.

O could I reach her lofty stalk,
She would not long be there;
For I would plant her in my breast,
And bless her beauty fair.
Though I at distance may admire,
And never can enjoy;—
Oh! Heaven shield her from each storm,
That would her charms destroy.

page 92

The Hapless Lover's Soliloquy.

Tune,—"Burns' Soldier's Return."

Now woe's my heart! since such must be,
O'ercome with love and beauty;
But would she deign to such as me
'Twould scorn all filial duty.
Had I been blind, and could not see,
Thus painful I'd been never;
But I'm undone—now woe is me!
My heart is gone for ever.

Were I a lord of titles great,
'Mid wealth's unbounded treasure;
And she a maid of low estate,
She'd be my only pleasure.
But ah! this contrast is not mine,
Which pains my throbbing bosom;
Must I in hapless love repine,
And waste life's tender blossom?

page 93

Oh! could I clasp her to my breast,
My joy would know no measure,
In her alone would I be blest
My greatest earthly treasure.
But ah! the time is drawing nigh,
When she'll be call'd another's;
Ah, hapless me! I can't but sigh,
With care unknown to others.

But judgment rise, and draw thy sword,
And quell my hopeless passion,
And reason strong, do thou accord,
To cool me with thy caution.
But happy, happy may she be,
Though I forlorn should wander;
And though she ne'er should deign to me,
Still on her charms I'll ponder.

page 94

Donald's Return.

Tune,—"The Flowers of the Forest."

Far over yon mountain, and down by a fountain,
Whose dark winding waters roll down to the sea,
There sat a young lady row'd up in her plaidie,—
' Twas bonny young Mary the flower of the lea.
She lean'd 'neath a willow, the soft fog her pillow,
With heart fill'd with sorrow, the tear in her e'e,
While watching the motion of the restless ocean,
For Donald her true love was far on the sea.

The skies widely darken'd as Mary still hearken'd
To hear what she could through the roar of the main,—
But still sorely weeping, as watch she was keeping,
Oft sighing "I'll ne'er see my Donald again."
The waves high were lashing, 'gainst rocks loudly dashing,
While thus his returning despairing the more,
"Oh, is he returning"—she cried sadly mourning—
"Or will he be lost 'mid the storm's angry roar.

page 95

"Ah, surely he's wrecked;"—but soon she was checked,
By spying a boatie much tossed on the sea,
"But oh! 'tis his spirit," she cried "and does merit
My love in return for his true love to me."—
The time soon elapsed, young Mary was clasped,
Fast unto the bosom of Donald again.—
"Oh, is this my Mary! oh, speak, why so eerie!
For I am thy Donald come safe from the main."

"When waves big were swelling, 'twas sadly repelling,
As hope sunk in sorrow, and tempests did roar,
To mind when we parted ye seemed broken hearted,
I grieved lest I'd meet thee my Mary no more."—
"My Donald ye cheer me,—thank Heav'n now ye're near me,
I long thought ye'd been by some danger o'ercome."
"Be hush'd now my dearie, and dry ev'ry tearie,
I'm safe in thy arms and nae mair will I roam."