Simple Poems on Simple Subjects.

Milne, Christian Ross, b. 1773

Henry Yeh, -- creation of electronic text.

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British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. MilnCSimpl

Copyright (c) 2001, Nancy Kushigian

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 72
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

Simple poems on simple subjects

Milne, Christian Ross

Printed for the author by J. Chalmers & Co.

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:838. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:838mf.]

The editors thank the Shields Library, University of California, Davis, for its support for this project.

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[Title Page]

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Printed for the Author, by J. Chalmers & Co.

And sold by all the Booksellers.


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her Grace

Is Inscribed,

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SINCE yet no Author e'er did introduce
His Works to notice, without some excuse,
And "books had better want a title page,
"Than want a PREFACE," cries each learn'd sage,
Be't known--'mid all who pant for public fame,
That one more modest ne'er put in a claim
To be enroll'd an Author, than the mean
Unletter'd--female Bard of ABERDEEN !
In BURNS and BLOOMFIELD , Poets fondly prized,
'Tis only wond'rous that, when criticis'd,
Their works should Nature's brightest charms display,

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In verse correct as MILTON , POPE , or GAY ;
For tho' to "poortith cauld" both doom'd to yield,
Tho' "GILES * " did harrow, while "RAB " plough'd the field,
Those cares+ they felt not which distract the mind,
And not a "wreck of genius" leave behind.
But "menial maid," with no release from toil,
And quite estrang'd from Nature's 'witching smile,
Thro' lanes and dirty streets sent out to roam,
Or set, like "bottle in the smoke," at home:
Sure state more adverse to poetic skill
(With apathy more apt the mind to fill),
The world knows not, save its counterpart,
That state, more irksome to the feeling heart,
When MENIAL MAID becomes a wedded wife,
Her TERM of slav'ry then the TERM of life!

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Yet, 'mid these frowns of Fortune here detail'd,
Without her having e'er in duty fail'd
To parent, master, child, or husband dear,
The following Compositions now appear.
Let no stern critic "mark them for his own,"
And talk of RULES , when RULES are all unknown,
That RULE except, which fails not to suppress
Whate'er might Virtue's sacred bound transgress.
A classic stream, the Dee, still flows along,
Its banks the birth-place still of tuneful song;
Yet, faint the praise to which the Bard lays claim,
She dwells at FOOT -Dee--reader, mark the name!

In cases similar to the present* , the writer of the above prefatory Address is aware, that great critical skill has been displayed in arranging the

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materials of the author, and in pointing out, as they arise, the beauties of composition, and the force of genius; but, it is presumed, that the gifts of Nature, like Nature itself, have only, in order to excite admiration, to be left in possession of their original simplicity, being
        --"When unadorn'd, adorn'd the most."

For, in the language of AKENSIDE ,

        "What is Taste--but the internal pow'rs,
        "Active and strong, and feelingly alive
        "To each fine impulse! a discerning sense
        "Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
        "From things deform'd!"

In order, however, to indulge the laudable curiosity of the reader, eager, no doubt, to be made acquainted with the history of a female who, without EXTERNAL aid from birth or education,

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        --"Must look WITHIN to find
        "The secret turns of Nature in the mind,* "

the following artless and affecting narrative, from the pen of CHRISTIAN MILNE herself, is submitted to public notice, and the truth of her statement of facts, as far as it regards her present situation and circumstances, will be readily attested by gentlemen of character in the place where she resides; among whom it may be sufficient to mention the following person:--Bishop SKINNER , of the Scotch Episcopal Church; WILLIAM LIVINGSTON , M.D. Professor of Medicine in Marischal College; Rev. JOHN THOMSON , Minister of Footdee; and Messrs. JOHN EWEN and ROBERT GIBBON , Merchants in Aberdeen.

"I was born in the town of Inverness, on the 15th of May, 1773. My father, THOMAS ROSS , a native of Aberlour, and son of a farmer in that

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parish, was a house-carpenter and cabinet-maker: he was esteemed by his acquaintance as a good tradesman, and one possessed of great natural talents. My mother, MARY GORDON , was daughter of CHARLES GORDON , for many years schoolmaster at Slains, and next at Cruden, in Aberdeenshire, and afterwards in the town of Forres, in the county of Moray. When age and want of sight unfitted him for the office of a teacher, he became a tide-waiter at Inverness, in which situation he died. My father and mother, after their marriage, settled also in the town of Inverness, where my mother, with eight of her children, lies interred.

"From Inverness my father removed to the New Town of Auchintoul, in Banffshire. I was put to school in that village, and my father often told me that I read well at five years of age. I remember, when only six years old, to have had great delight in reading the poetry in MASON 's COLLECTIONS ; and, even at that early age, attempt-

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ed to make words for the tunes most familiar to my youthful ear. When any visitor gave me a few halfpence, I laid them out in purchasing paper, on which, when I could write, I copied all the scraps of poetry that came in my way, but never did I think of writing down my own compositions; on the contrary, I made it a rule to conceal my having such things imprinted on my memory.

"When about twelve years of age, I recollect having repeated a song to a person of my acquaintance, but, no reply being made, when I told her I had composed it, I was led to suspect that she did not believe me; on this account I never again made a similar discovery.

"Having come to Aberdeen, however, when about fourteen years of age, I began to write down my little pieces; though, having no opportunity of shewing them to people of education, I had the mortification to find myself laughed at, and called idle by my fellow servants.

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"About a year after I left my father's house at Auchintoul, he was induced to settle at Stonehaven, in the county of Kincardine, by a gentleman in that neighborhood, who, finding his affairs in confusion, left the country; at the same time leaving my father, whom he had induced to join him in some money transactions, to suffer for his credulity, by having all his property, his body clothes only excepted, seized for the behoof of creditors. To add to our distress, we were at this very period informed of the death of my only surviving brother, he being drowned on his first voyage, as a sailor, on board the John of Aberdeen, Captain STOREY , master.

"The death of my brother, and his own embarrassed situation, threw my father into a state of melancholy and disease, of which he never entirely got the better. His spirit could not brook the idea of working as a journeyman in a country where once he had had servants under him; in consequence of which he and I went to Edinburgh.--

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I was long ill after such a journey on foot; and, having always a thoughtful turn of mind, regret for my brother--the sight of my father in a state of grief and depression--and my own great bodily weakness, protracted from want of medicine, and even of the necessaries of life, gave my mind that plaintive, dejected cast, which has ever since been its prominent feature. Health, however, in part, returning, and my father having got into employment, I procured a place for myself, and went to service.*

"I had only left him for space of a fortnight, when my father, having one night retired to rest, without locking his door, had all his body clothes stolen, with his week's wages! Bereft of the whole property which he had in the world, disease recurred upon him, which, disabling him from work, obliged him, amidst the most melancholy reflections, to depend for support on what I could earn as a common servant.

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"At this period, I regularly passed my Sunday evenings in his apartment; and, on these occasions, his manner of receiving my little earnings stung me to the quick: with tears running down his pale melancholy face, he was wont to say--"Poor thing! you are robbing yourself to support me! and I fear, CHRISTY , I shall never be able to repay you!"

"The little hired room in which he lived was never swept nor trimmed till I came to visit him; a circumstance which, as it served to bring to mind the comfortable home of which, with his family around him, he had long been master, contrasted now his inability to keep the last of his ten children with him, raised in my breast sensations of the most heart-rending nature. *   Consumption

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in my 19th year was the consequence, and I was obliged to quit service.

"Being now deprived of the pitiful support afforded to an exhausted parent, our real, yet silent distress, was reported to to the managers of, what has well been termed, a "FRIENDLY SOCIETY ," who generously allowed us three shillings a week. This, for a time, was all our means of support, some trifles excepted, received by my father for picture frames, made as he best could, in his chair!

"In the spring spring season of that year, I returned by sea to the north country. The voyage had the wished-for effect; and, though weak, soon after

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my arrival at Aberdeen I went to service.*    I received several letters from my father, telling me that he was better; but, although I regularly wrote to him, I had, for six months, no return. At last I had a note, in the hand writing of a stranger, announcing to me the death of my father as having happened months previous to that date! I had reason to dread the effects of such affecting news on a mind and frame constituted as mine is; but, though much afflicted at the event, yet it pleased GOD to enable me to continue in my humble employment until, at twenty-four years of age, I became the wife of PATRICK MILNE , a journeyman ship-carpenter at Footdee, and am now the mother of four promising children.

"My little poetical productions being a few months ago accidentally shewn to a gentleman of great professional respectability in Aberdeen, he

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has not only himself afforded me every encouragement, but has had the goodness to recommend me to his friends, as an object worthy of notice. Their friendship and patronage, when offered, gave me much more surprize than the public can feel in perusing the productions of my humble untaught Muse! for I never dared to think that I could compose any thing likely to excite public notice, much less approbation. Although to "rhyme my thought" was ever such a source of amusement to me, that I could not abstain from endeavouring (in the words of our immortal Bard) with

    --"Poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
    "To glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    "And, as Imagination bodied forth
    "The form of things unknown, the Poet's pen
    "Turn'd them to shape, and gave to airy nothing
     "A local habitation and a name!"

     "Nor can I now, in concluding this narrative,

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refrain from adopting the original strains of one whose memory, both as a philosopher and a poet, must ever be dear to my readers in general, but to my readers in the city of Aberdeen in particular:

    "All hail! ye mighty masters of the lay!
    "Nature's true sons--the friends of man and truth,
    "Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay,
    "Amus'd my CHILDHOOD and inform'd my YOUTH ,
    "O! let your spirit STILL my BOSOM soothe!
    "Inspire my dreams, and my wild wand'rings guide;
    "Your voice each rugged path of life can smoothe;
    "For WELL I KNOW , WHEREVER ye reside,
    "THERE HARMONY , and PEACE , and INNOCENCE abide!"


The "simple annals of the poor" have never, in any age, excited greater interest than in the present.

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It is not, therefore, to be doubted, that the above eventful little history, where enough is detailed to "chill the genial current of the soul," will have the effect of awakening in the reader's breast (whatever be his sentiments of her merit as a poet) some desire to promote the object of the author, whose heart indulges an honest wish to be possessed of the pecuniary means of giving her children in early life such education as, if they shall be found possessed of talents for distinguishing themselves, may enable them to

    --"Learn the bliss to prize,
    "That waits the sons of polish'd life."

"Nothing, methinks, has more the power of awakening benevolence," says a much admired writer, "than the consideration of genius depressed by situation, suffered to pine in obscurity; and sometimes it may be for want of those comforts and conveniencies, which might have fostered a delicacy of frame or of mind ill calculated to

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bear the hardships which poverty lays upon both. For my own part, I never pass the place (a little hamlet, skirted with a circle of old ash trees, about three miles on this side of Kinross) where MICHAEL BRUCE resided--I never look on his dwelling, a small thatched house, distinguished from the cottages of the other inhabitants only by a SASHED WINDOW at the end, instead of a LATTICE , fringed with a honeysuckle plant, which the poor youth had trained around it--I never find myself in that spot, but I stop my horse involuntarily, and, looking on the window, which the honeysuckle has now almost covered, in the dream of the moment I picture out a figure for the gentle tenant of the mansion; I wish, and my heart swells while I do so, that he were alive, and that I were a GREAT MAN , to have the luxury visiting him, and bidding him be happy!* "

MICHAEL BRUCE is no more; but a "TE -

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NANT " of equal "GENTLENESS ," and, it is humbly hoped, of equal merit, may be found in a lowly "MANSION " in the village of FOOTDEE , whom it is a "luxury to visit," and whom, though happy even now, it is in the power of a generous public to make still more happy!

An apology may be due for this APPEAL ; but it is first APPEALED to the hearts of the benevolent, whether the apology ought to be made.--Confident of their decision, the following "word to the wise," rather than apology to the benevolent, may serve for an appropriate conclusion:--"The man of taste endeavours to place himself in the EXACT SITUATION of the person whose productions he contemplates; makes due allowance for the peculiar habits of life, and prejudices of education, both of the artist and his countrymen, and, at the same time, imposes a due restraint on his own feelings; for he represses the envy of a rival, the petulance of a sciolist, the partiality of a

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friend, and the acrimony of an enemy. If he is influenced by any bias, it is always IN FAVOUR OF GENIUS , and the severity of his judgment is allayed by candour and good nature.''*

*The name given by BLOOMFIELD to his FARMER'S BOY, as descriptive of his own early occupation.

+"Though our Poet gave the powers of his body to the labours of the farm, he refused to bestow on them his thoughts or cares." CURRIE'S LIFE OF BURNS, vol. I. p. 100.

*See CURRIE's edition of BURNS, and CAPEL LOFFT's edition of BLOOMFIELD.

*Duke of Buckingham's ESSAY ON POETRY.

*In the family of MR. STEWART, a Writer in Edinburgh.

*This part of the narrative will recall to the mind of the reader the following beautiful lines of POPE --

    "Me let the tender office long engage,
    "To rock the cradle of reposing age;
    "With lenient arts extend a mother's breath--
    "Make a languor smile, and smoothe the bed of death;
    "Explore the thought--explain the asking eye,
    "And keep a while one parent from the sky!"


*In the family of Baillie CRUICKSHANK, Old Aberdeen, and afterwards in that of Professor JACK, King's College and Mrs. MOIR, a widow lady.

*See the periodical paper, the MIRROR No. 36.

*KETT's ELEMENTS OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, vol. ii. p. 224. 3d. edit.

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WHILE worth and taste with generous hand entwine
A wreath to bind this humble brow of mine,
Kind ABERDONIA 's sons and daughters fair
Add each a twig or leaf with friendly care;
Nor scorn the simple works of one whose name
Has never swell'd the rolls or trump of Fame.
I'm griev'd to think, that those whose lot is thrown
Upon an equal level with my own,
Should view her now with envy, scorn, or hate,
Whose little gift lay buried till of late!

    At six years old I felt my artless Muse
Begin her rays of fancy to diffuse;
Even then I felt my inclination strong
To pour my feeble, infant thoughts, in song.

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Still, as I grew, in solitude I sought
An opportunity to rhyme my thought.
Clear was my memory, and retentive then,
The aid it wanted not of ink and pen:--
As thought maturer grew, and years increas'd,
I threw the former produce from my breast,
And put what I deem'd better in their place,
Which were discarded at a future space.--
For servitude, with its incessant toil,
Harsh damp'd my Muse, when she inclin'd to smile:
Tho' she at times would dart a sickly light,
To shew she was not yet extinguish'd quite.
When love, or gratitude, sorrow press'd,
I sought the Muses to relieve my breast;
I pour'd my thoughts in numbers by their aid;
They scorn'd not to assist the menial maid.
Whose rhymes I tore, from fear of rude abuse,
Tho' some were better than I now produce;
For those were wrote in cheerful lively strain,
Ere care and hardship taught me to complain.
But PROVIDENCE at last my footsteps led
To one fair Lady, who my bias fed;
She deign'd her favours on my verse to pour,
And told her friends she'd found a Bard obscure.

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They, like herself, to generous acts inclin'd,
Drew forth the offspring of my untaught mind,
From where they long in embryo had dwelt,
Such fost'ring hands ne'er hoping to have felt.
Yet Spite and Ignorance, with sneering looks,
Assert my songs are drawn from printed books:
They're quite unfit to judge the simple flow,
The gift that Nature only can bestow.
Malicious Envy tries to brand my name,
Its false aspersions cloud my infant fame;
And Folly thinks such notice from the great
Will cause me to forget my humble state.
My mind she measures by her empty own,
Whose brain would turn were she such kindness shown.
Sure Folly cannot think that Heav'n bestows
On Fortune's sons alone such gifts as those:
To rich and poor all mental gifts are free,
And mark the fruitful from the barren tree.

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WHY am I destin'd here to stay,
Excluded from the world that's gay;
Confinement, and a brawling tongue,
My spirits curb'd, and I so young!
I thought them pious who were old;
I thought they were nor proud nor bold:
But sure her equals are but rare,
Or who would hoary age revere?
To find such trifles stir to rage
A blasted form, quite spent with age;
I'm shock'd her lifted crutch to see
Stretch'd out to strike a child like me.
"You're inexperienced, vain, and young,"
Flows oft in vollies from her tongue!

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Yet this she knew before I came;
Why is it now a cause of blame?
When she engag'd me for her maid,
She valu'd not my work, she said;
If I could novels read, and plays,
And printed news on paper days.
Nay, I must knit the stocking too,
The book above, my hands below
The table, where I work'd and read,
'Till twelve o'clock I went to bed!

    She cannot move without my aid,
Nor turn without her little maid;
Yet she must shew her pride and spleen,
She cries "I'm great, and you are mean!"
She boasts she's sister to a Lord,
But can he health or Heaven afford?
Her peevish, proud, and fretful mind,
Makes him and all her friends unkind.
Though Death looks ghastly in her face,
None comes to claim her last embrace--
To close her eyes, or catch her breath,
Or do what's friendly at her death!
I tend her with unweary'd care;

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For months I have not tasted air!
I sleepless watch her every night!
I oft extinguish too the light;
That she may sleep I sit in gloom,
Nor sees the Sun the darken'd room!

    At times she calls me very kind,
And says, in Heav'n reward I'll find:
She'll mark me in her latter will,
To pay my care of her when ill.
I tend her not from selfish art;
But Conscience and a feeling heart
Still rule me with respect to her;
Nor influenc'd by love nor fear.
If Fate would send a blacken'd barge,
To rid me of my fretful charge,
And she embark'd in it, I'd pray
That e'en to bliss she'd find her way:
For her I'd mourn with outward show,
Equipp'd in black from top to toe.

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WHY all this haste, unhappy Maid,
    To reach the goal of shame?
Why rush so fast from fault to fault,
    Nor think yourself to blame?

Your beauty's but a whited wall,
    When Virtue's laid aside;
When Prudence or a sage advice
    No more you make your guide.

Unmov'd you see your Mother's eyes
    Weep floods to wash your stains,
To cleanse your lost polluted fame,
    Their source she ceaseless drains.

You're now your widow'd Mother's curse,
    Tho' late her pride and hope;
She fondly thought your growing years
    Would be her age's prop.

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In vain she strain'd your infant limbs
    Within her tender arms,
And pray'd your Heavenly GUIDE to keep
    Her much lov'd child from harms.

You've wander'd like the foolish Lamb,
    That loath'd the fold's restraint,
And languish'd liberty to taste
    When other flocks were pent:

Who, while her fleecy kindred slept,
    Run, wanton'd, frisk'd, and play'd,
But soon became a prey to Wolves,
    Like you, deluded Maid!

O! think, before you meet the grave;
    Reflect, repent, and live;
With penitence your steps retrace,
    And GOD will yet forgive.

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YOU ask my counsel how you ought to live;
Unfit am I the needful rules to give
For female conduct, which requires much art,
To guard and fortify the female heart
Against seducers, who, with guileful tongue,
Delight to ruin and ensnare the young!
The poor and credulous Vice marks as prey;
With baits it lures them out of Virtue's way.
Thus gay apparel and alluring coin
Make females break thro' ev'ry law divine;
They shun reflection, and they scorn advice,
Buying their pleasures at a deadly price;
While souls immortal, and their bodies frail,
They give for baubles that must instant fail.
Not so the Maid who makes her early care
To court Religion with a mind sincere;

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If Vice invite her, she disgusted turns--
'Gainst base seducers her resentment burns;
Nor gold, nor grandeur, can persuade to stray,
Whom GOD supports in vile temptations day.
With pure affection she regards the Youth
Who walks with Virtue in the paths of Truth!
Age creeps on happy, as their offspring rise--
She lives respected, and regretted dies.
What's Youth and Beauty? But a passing flow'r,
More short and transient than the fleeting show'r;
Old age and sickness lay its honours waste;
But Virtue's beauties will for ever last.

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WHY heave my sighs, and thus my tears
    Why do they flow so fast?
Why swells my mind with former grief,
    And woes that long are past?

Why has not time ere now eras'd
    Reflections from my breast,
That prove thus baneful to my ease,
    And break my wonted rest!

Where are my once pretended friends?
    Alas! too plain I see
Self int'rest blended with the love
    That they profess'd for me.

Nineteen revolving years past on,
    Without a single frown;
Time flow'd serene, and Fortune seem'd
    To "mark me for her own."

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But, ah! the transitory joys
    That Fortune's smiles can give,
Who trusts to them, and think they'll last,
    Themselves how they deceive!

By Fate's decree my youth was left
    To one kind parent's care;
Nor were my infant smiles allow'd
    A Mother's love to share.

Heav'n call'd her to that fix'd abode,
    Whence mortals come no more;
She early join'd eight little babes,
    Whom Death had claim'd before.

She fled, and left my tender age
    To meet a world of care;
A Father and a Brother still,
    Tho' Heav'n vouchsaf'd to spare.

While yet a boy, this Brother sought
    To plough the boundless wave;
We met no more, poor luckless youth,
    He found a "wat'ry grave."

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I wail'd the partner whom I lov'd,
    We shar'd each childhood's joy;
My Father droop'd his sorrowing head,
    And mourn'd his darling boy.

We still retain'd what Av'rice thinks
    Can happiness afford--
Yet with our minds, then touch'd with grief,
    Such thoughts but ill accord.

Alas! too soon of all we had
    We were entirely 'reft;
Constrain'd to pay another's debts,
    We indigent were left.

I try'd each tender anxious art,
    To soothe my parent's woe;
But bitter grief possess'd his soul,
    And caus'd his tears to flow.

Death came, and broke his woe-worn heart,
    Now I lament him gone;
He's blest, I trust, tho' I be left
    Poor, friendless, and alone!

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HAIL ! beauteous Spring; thy smiling face
    Once made me more than blest,
When Fancy taught me that I held
    A place in DAMON 's breast.

He said, he lov'd me passing well;
    But why did I believe?
My artless mind did ne'er suggest,
    He meant but to deceive.

He kindly pour'd Love's healing balm,
    When Grief my bosom swell'd;
'Twas thus he won my honest heart,
    By Gratitude impell'd.

Then green-ey'd Jealousy be gone,
    Nor cloud with doubts my mind;
For sure the Swain can ne'er prove false,
    Who once was true and kind.

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THIS gift I prize all things above,
'Twas given me by the Man I love,
            An emblem of his mind;
'Tis pure and spotless as the truth,
That fills the bosom of the Youth
        For whom my hand's design'd.

My Wedding Gown! O! charming thought!
With needle-work 'tis finely wrought,
            And white as driven snow:
At death may we as spotless rise,
Then we'll ascend the azure skies,
        And leave this world below.

If Fate propitious has design'd,
Our hands with wedlock's tie to bind,
            May Love our hearts unite!
While thus our minds in union move,
We'll sweeten ev'ry care with love--
        'Twill make life's burden light.

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To love these Books, and harmless Tea,
    Has always been my foible,
Yet will I ne'er forgetful be
    To read my Psalms and Bible.

Travels I like, and Hist'ry too,
    Or entertaining Fiction;
Novels and Plays I'd have a few,
    If sense and proper diction.

I love a natural harmless Song,
    But cannot sing like HANDEL ;
Depriv'd of such resource, the tongue
    Is sure employ'd--in scandal.

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FOUR times the Sun has cross'd the Line,
Since Love and HYMEN made you mine:
Tho' we be lowly, poor, and mean,
We feel nor discontent nor spleen.
We love and live in harmless joy,
No worldly cares our peace destroy;
We envy not the rich refin'd,
With empty pomp, tho' polished mind;
Our pleasures purer far than theirs--
More light our purse, more light our cares.
Years glide along--yet, as they roll,
I think thou'rt dearer to my soul;
Each year I feel I love thee more
Than I could do a year before.

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Two infant Daughters, cement sweet
Of wedded love and joy complete,
Have, by the bounteous hand of Heav'n,
To crown our worldly bliss, been giv'n.
One wish remains, my Friend, that thou
May'st live so long, as oft to view,
With tearful eye, and lab'ring breath,
The verdant turf I lie beneath!

Page 51


THIS life still teems with real ills,
    To give complaining scope;
Then why should I anticipate,
    While there's a ray of hope?

Why comes Despair, with cloudy brow,
    To sink a heart oppress'd?
Kind Hope, I'm lost without thine aid,
    O! smile, and make me blest!

Say to my sad desponding heart,
    Thou hast no cause to mourn;
Say that my valued Husband lives,
    And hasten his return!

Deceit and flattery I detest;
    If aught confirm my fear,
I'll drive thee out, illusive Hope,
    And welcome dark Despair.

Page 52

If he be gone, no more to meet
    My fond expecting eye,
Where shall I hide my wretched head;
    To whom for comfort fly?

I'll lend pale Death my hand with joy,
    To lead me to my Love;
Who calls me from this wretched state
    To share his peace above.

But stay, lov'd Shade! how can we leave
    Our Children dear behind?
Will this cold world, that frown'd on us,
    To helpless babes be kind?

Yet GOD himself will be their Friend;
(To thee I'll quickly press)
GOD 's promise is ne'er to forsake
    The Orphan in distress.

No dashing rock, or yawning wave,
    Shall part us any more;
No howling winds, no beating rains,
    Assail that happy shore.

Page 53


Now Winter's chilling frosts are o'er,
And cold bleak winds assail no more;
The fleecy snow no more is seen,
But Spring comes drest in mantle green.
See how the blooming flow'rets rise,
While all around them wither'd lies,
The wreck of others fair as they--
So these in Autumn must decay.
A calm and serious thinking mind,
Would here a noble moral find:
In Nature's garden, richly stor'd
By, Nature's Universal LORD ,
Each shrub and plant do mortals teach,
And wither'd leaves and blossoms preach:
They much resemble Youth and Age--
One quits, while 'tother mounts life's stage!
Would my weak Sex, proclaim'd "the Fair,"
One moment think, and think sincere,

Page 54

That Beauty's of such transient power,
The fleeting fav'rite of an hour!
In youth and health its bloom is priz'd,
But (Virtue wanting) soon despis'd!

    Then come, ye Females, let us join,
And our united force combine,
To drive away each trifling foe,
That courts us for our outward show.
We need no more but lay aside
Each vacant smile and gaudy pride;
And, while we aim at winning grace,
Let Prudence fill weak Folly's place:
Then Men of Virtue will approve,
And woo our minds with lasting love.

Page 55



I'M gratify'd to think that you
    Should wish to see my Songs,
As few would read my Book, who knew
    To whom this Book belongs.

My mean estate, and birth obscure,
    The ignorant will scorn;
Respect, tho' distant, from the good,
    Makes that more lightly borne.

Tho' I could write with Seraph pen--
    Tho' Angels did inspire,
None but the candid and humane
    My writings would admire.

Page 56

The proud wou'd cry, "Such paltry works
    "We will not deign to read;
"The Author's but a Shipwright's Wife,
    "And was a serving Maid."

Inur'd to hardships in my youth,
    If want my age should crown,
I'll never beg the haughty's bread;
    Death's milder than their frown.

You'll think but little of my Songs,
    When you have read them o'er;
But say, "They're well enough from her"--
    And I expect no more.

Page 57



Now thou art gone, O BURNS ! to thy last bed,
Where Kings and Ploughmen, Wits and Fools, are laid;
Nor softer lie the Kings than hardy hinds--
They sleep most calm who wore the purest minds!
I've heard that thou, like others, hadst thy faults,
And, like myself, didst hear life's rude assaults,
Alas! these nipt, O BURNS ! my rhyming powers,
As April frost nips tender budding flowers.
Right well thou know'st how Poverty's despis'd,
And poor folks wit by few is fairly priz'd;
Yet there are some, as thou may'st frankly own,
Will do us justice, if our merit's known.
Well wert thou countenanc'd by rich and great;
Hadst thou but known aright to prize the state,
To which they rais'd thee, by the golden show'r
Thy gleeful numbers mov'd their hearts to pour!

Page 58

Intoxicating praises made thee glide
Down Vice and Folly's ruinating tide:
Bright hadst thou shone, if thou hadst rightly us'd
The shining talents which thou hast abus'd.
But, let me ask thee (for thou now canst tell),
If subjects fit for jest were Death and Hell?
Tho' me excelling, as the Eagle King
Excells the Bat that flies on pow'rless wing,
Yet my weak Muse ne'er ventur'd to deride

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

The Man, commission'd from above to chide
The vain aspiring thoughts of human pride.
'Tis this will cheer me when my vital breath
Escapes its prison by the stroke of Death.
My Guardian Angel knows my wish to sing,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]

He'll plant each shoulder with a Poet's wing,
To soar in praise to Heaven's Almighty KING .

Page 59

, 1804.

SEE how Britannia droops her head,
    This gloomy hour she sees,
And weeps to find AUGUSTUS laid
    Depriv'd of health and ease.

She anxious waits till Gallia's fleet
    Its mad-brain'd Chief obeys,
Who bids it cut the briny wave,
    Where she her sceptre sways.

Great GOD of Health! vouchsafe thine aid,
    Britannia's King restore;
O give him long to fill his throne
    With health, and peace, and power.

Drive the proud Tyrant and his hordes
    Far from Britannia's shore;
Strike them with terror, that they may
    Their vain attempts give o'er.

Page 60

The Sons of Britain, free and brave,
    Will scorn presumptuous foes;
If they approach, they'll meet and feel
    Sound hearts and home-struck blows.

What countless heroes stand prepar'd
    To guard Britannia's isle,
Who scorn, like them, to stain their steel,
    Like rav'ning wolves, for spoil.

While GOD and Man thus guard our isle,
    The Gauls shall boast in vain;
We'll tell them what ere this they knew--
    "Britannia rules the Main!!"

Page 61


O Thou great POWER ! who deign'd to form
    This feeble frame of mine,
Infusing, with my breath, a soul,
    Which animates each vein!

My infant years, with watchful care,
    Were kept from every ill;
Bright guardians through life's various scenes
    Are my attendants still.

Accept my humble, grateful thanks,
    For all Thy mercies given;
To hear my prayer, O! gracious deign
    To bow Thine ear from Heaven.

Bless me with faith, that I may trust
    In Thine almighty power;
Bless me with prudence, grace, and truth,
    And I can ask no more.

Page 62



THAT ne'er-to-be-forgotten day
    You came to see my cottage,
My honest Mate adores you since,
    With fervor next to dotage.

He said, you could have done no more,
    Had I been POPE or WALLER ;
He walk'd on tiptoe, rais'd his hat,
    And thought he felt much taller:

Then 'gan to pick the tarry spots,
    That glisten'd on his jacket,
And found the tailor much in fault,
    Who did not neater make it.

Page 63

"But stay," quoth I, "my honest friend,
    "You must not slight your jerkin,
"Tho' you could dress yourself in silk,
    "Tis not so fit to work in!

"And, take my word, I love you more
    "In that blue frock and trouser,
"Than if you wore lac'd hat and cloaths,
    "That won you 'How d'ye do, Sir.'

"Ne'er folks like us shew'd foolish pride,
    "But worth and sense despis'd them,
"And justly threw them from the height
    "To which such notice rais'd them."

Now pardon, Ma'am, this silly tale;
    I've often wish'd to drop it;
But when my pen begins to run,
    I try in vain to stop it.

Page 64



I'VE sent my empty pot again,
    To beg another slip;
The last you gave, I'm griev'd to tell,
    December's frost did nip.

I love fair FLORA and her train,
    But nurse her children ill;
I tend too little or too much;
    They die from want of skill.

I blush to trouble you again,
    Who've serv'd me oft before;
But, should this die, I'll break the pot,
    And trouble you no more.

Page 65


A SAGE , much skill'd in classic lore,
And eager still t' increase his store,
Did punctual come each day to dinner,
But never left his study sooner.
One day, so says my little tale,
His wife, surpriz'd to find him fail
In coming at the hour precise,
Went to his study with surprize;
And said, with archness in her look,
"I wish, my dear, I were a book."
"Why so?" her learn'd spouse reply'd;
"Because you'd still be by my side."
"If you an Almanack could be
"I'd wish you then a book," said he;
"Pray why an Almanack, my dear?"
"I'd have a new one every year."

Page 66


MY Lads of Oak, pray why so soon
    Tir'd out with doing well?
Don't drop your pikes, but persevere,
    Be ardent to excel:

Nor think your manual feats to learn
    By transient awkward trips;
Yet sure it is a lighter task,
    Than building hardy ships.

For, should your country's foes invade,
    Pray who would fight for you,
Who will not learn to fight yourselves,
    And do as others do?

See all your countrymen in arms,
    Cockades and scarlet coats;
Support your country's ancient fame,
    Prove fearless, loyal Scots.

Page 67

Your hardy hands raise vessels tall,
    From shapeless planks and logs,
And could with ease drive home the French
    To eat their soup of frogs.

Make haste to learn to face and wheel,
    Acquire a soldier's air;
You'll find one service in't at least,
    'Twill please your fav'rite fair!

To serve in arms, shew as much joy
    As in your building docks;
Join heart and hand, and strength to strength,
    Be one of Britain's rocks.

Our Wooden Walls and Armed Bands
    Make distant foes afraid;
When Fame informs them of our force,
    They'll tremble to invade.

Old Scotia's records hand to us
    Her sons' bright fame of old;
Let not one coward act disgrace
    The name of fathers bold.

Page 68



WELL may you droop your pretty head,
    You'll press the teat no more,
Your halcyon days of unmix'd bliss,
    Poor little babe, are o'er.

Your days have hitherto been sweet,
    Hugg'd, dandled, and caress'd;
But, as your limbs, and passions grow,
    Your cares will be increas'd.

A twelvemonth hence, your little faults
    Will meet the training rod;
For tatter'd doll, or broken toy,
    You'll pour a briny flood.

In grief, in joy, in pain, in health,
    Alternate will be past
Your future yours, and none be crown'd
    With pleasures like the last!

Page 69



BLESS'D Piety! meek, peaceful maid,
    Descend in robes of snowy white;
Come, in thy brightest form array'd,
    And thro' my soul dart heavenly light.

Teach me to tread the thorny path
    With patience, fortitude, and joy,
And bless me still with heav'nly faith,
    That fear no more may hope annoy.

Page 70


BEFORE pale Envy who can stand,
    So keenly sharp her forky tongue?
E'en harmless mirth as guilt she'll brand--
    My peace of mind she oft has stung.

With wary steps I've try'd to tread,
    And Prudence ever kept in view;
But wrong constructions still were laid
    On all that I could say or do.

Ye Good! ye Great! I feel for you,
    What must ye suffer from her sting!
When she to torture me will bow,
    Will she regard or Saint or King?

May He who Virtue does befriend,
    Protect me from her dang'rous power;
Drive to her dark abode the fiend,
    And all His vengeance on her shower.

Page 71


COME , holy Spirit, to my aid,
To Thee be every homage paid;
Inhabit Thou my darken'd mind,
And there, unfeign'd, a welcome find!
Remove the veil that clouds my sight,
And saving shew Thy heav'nly light,
That beams throughout this sacred page,
The guide divine of youth and age.
Teach me to shun the devious path
Of vice, that draws deserved wrath:
Dwell with me thro' my fleeting race,
And, with Thee, bring the saving grace
Of Faith, and Hope, and pious Fear,
That I Thy "temple" may appear.
Transform my soul from gloomy cell,
To mansion bright, where Thou dost dwell;
Drive Vice and Folly from my breast,
And live Thou there, celestial Guest!

Page 72


STAY here, my worldly Works and cares,
    Till I, approaching, see,
And taste how good is Jacob's GOD ,
    Who meets this day with me!

Stay here all thoughts, but such as tend
    To lead my soul above,
And raise my heart, by lively hope,
    To sup with Him in love.

Help me, my GOD ! that I no more
    To former folly turn;
I see my sin, I loath the sight,
    And with contrition mourn.

I have no garment of my own,
    Fit for Thy wedding dress;
For JESUS ' sake give me a robe
    Of JESUS ' righteousness.

Page 73

Forbid, this day, that I should put
    His symbols in my mouth,
Till my weak soul be first resolv'd
    No more to swerve from truth.

Give me a heart to pardon those,
    Who hate me void of cause;
Shew me the path that leads to life--
    Help me to keep thy laws.

In that great day, when Thou mak'st up
    The "jewels of Thy love,"
May all who follow JESUS here
    Be plac'd with Him above!

Page 74


I'VE ate this day of JESUS ' feast,
    And own'd Him for my King,
My Priest, my Prophet, and my GOD ,
    Who did salvation bring!

With sorrow's tear in either eye,
    My soul enraptur'd hung
On every accent, as it flow'd
    From my lov'd pastor's tongue.

Man must with holy wonder hear,
    That GOD did leave his throne,
To bear the weight of human guilt,
    And meet its curse alone!

So well He lov'd the human race,
    His cross He patient bore;
And shall not man reflect on this,
    And vow to sin no more?

Page 75

Those who have ask'd new hearts this day,
    May GOD their suit approve,
And give them hearts replete with grace,
    With charity and love!



PREFER this Book to idle toys,
Or romps with naughty girls and boys--
Let Learning be thy chief delight,
'Twill find thee work from morn to night;
And ne'er be backward to pursue
The path it points out to thy view:
Attend thy book, and don't be naught;
Strive to retain, whate'er thou'rt taught.

Page 76



ON her lov'd infant, as it sleeping lies,
    Ah! little does the tender mother know,
While fondly gazing with delighted eyes,
    What thorns thro' life its footsteps may bestrew!

She fondly paints for it a flow'ry road,
    Tho' she herself finds nought but briers there;
Life, wealth, and health for it she asks from GOD ,
    In feeble age she hopes 'twill pay her care.

Poor MARIAMNE , bent with age and grief,
    Was once a mother blest, and happy wife,
But soon o'erclouded was the prospect brief,
    That gilded once her sweet, tho' humble life,

Her husband built the cottage where she lives,
    Its walls are turf, its roof is thatch'd with heath;
All that content in poverty e'er gives,
    With him she tasted,till depriv'd by Death.

Page 77

One child, a Daughter, Heav'n on them bestow'd,
    To crown their love, and fill with joy their cot;
With ev'ry grace exterior endow'd,
    With ev'ry gift of Nature to her lot.

Her hair was auburn, playfully it hung
    Around her neck and bosom smooth and fair;
Ne'er brighter features were by Poet sung,
    Her form was slender, graceful was her air.

Bright was her soul, tho' in a cottage rear'd--
    No thought got shelter in her spotless mind,
That might have sham'd her, tho' it had appear'd
    In view of Angels, or of all mankind.

Her name was MIRA , only fourteen years
    Had o'er her stole, when death her father snatch'd:
She mourn'd him--tho', to dry her Mother's tears,
    With cheerfulness assum'd, she hourly watch'd.

Long did the widow'd MARIAMNE mourn,
    Her grief at length sunk to a placid calm;
For comfort she did to her MIRA turn,
    From her she sought sweet consolation's balm.

Page 78

This charming Maid by turns would knit and read,
    To earn subsistence, and inform her mind;
The wound that in her Mother's bosom bled,
    She strove to heal by her deportment kind.

A charming Youth, from wealthy parents sprung,
    On lovely MIRA long had cast an eye;
Love's pleasing pain his youthful bosom wrung,
    Yet he in secret did admire and sigh.

Soft was his heart, alive to Pity's call,
    Distress to him did ne'er complain in vain;
Each manly grace to WILLIAM 's share did fall--
    Each manly virtue in his soul did reign.

Join'd by a wall to MARIAMNE 's cot,
    A little garden spread its simple store,
The charming MIRA , in this favour'd spot,
    Oft prun'd or weeded, when her task was o'er.

A seat of turf her own fair hands had rear'd,
    Which she with honeysuckle shaded round;
The verdant margin, which so trim appear'd,
    With scented herbs and choicest flowers was crown'd.

Page 79

One evening there she knitted in the sun,
    The wall was low, and WILLIAM caught her eye,
CUPID till then to break her rest did shun,
    But now his shaft at her soft heart let fly.

Young WILLIAM stood, attracted by her charms,
    While MIRA wonder'd at the pain she felt;
Her tender bosom beat with strange alarms,
    Which ne'er before had taught her heart to melt.

"Wilt thou permit me, O! thou charming Maid!
    "To view this garden, which I've long admir'd,
"Its low wall fav'ring?" love-sick WILLIAM said;
    She, blushing, granted what the Youth desir'd.

He stept the wall, and to the arbour came
    Where MIRA sat, her grassy seat to share;
Most rigid virtue could not mark with blame
    The modest converse of this harmless pair.

They mutual blush'd--he round his fingers twin'd
    Her knitting thread, irresolute to speak;
They felt confus'd--each found the throbbing mind
    Alike unable silence first to break.

Page 80

"This spot is fertile, useful plants and fair
    "Luxuriant grow," the Youth at length observ'd;
Then, viewing MIRA with a tender air,
    Said, "Its fair Mistress better far deserv'd."

"My Mother taught me to desire no more,"
    Sweet MIRA said, and hung her lovely head--
"I tend with joy our vegetable store,
    "Content I knit, to earn our scanty bread."

"Yon stately mansion, and yon garden wide,"
    Young WILLIAM said, "sweet maiden, shall be thine;
"On that blest morn, when you become my bride,
    "All shall be yours which now is reckon'd mine.

"Long have I lov'd you with an ardent flame,
    "Each eve I languish'd for th' accustom'd hour,
"When you to trim your little garden came,
    "To knit or read within your little bower.

"Unseen, I stood and gaz'd upon your charms,
    "My eyes I feasted, rivetting more fast
"The chains that, while life's blood my bosom warms,
    "Shall bind me close and closer to the last."

Page 81

This kind avowal much amaz'd the maid,
    Who ne'er before had heard the voice of love;
She felt she lov'd him, yet was sore afraid
    To breathe the thoughts that in her bosom strove.

She deeply blush'd, with modest downcast eyes,
    To speak she oft endeavour'd, but in vain;
She nought could utter--but her struggling sighs
    Oft found their way, which spake her bosom's pain.

"Speak, lovely maid! and give me leave to hope,
    "That you my passion do not disapprove;
"My love-sick soul will sink, unless you prop
    "Its drooping strength with kind returns of love."

"Alas! what can I speak?" sweet MIRA said,
    "Dissimulation's flimsy veil I scorn;
"To one like you how can a simple maid
    "Avow her love, so poor and meanly born?"

"I wish not wealth, no sordid soul I own,"
    The youth reply'd; "that lovely form of thine
"Displays such charms, array'd in russet gown;
    "No bliss I seek but this--to call thee mine."

Page 82

The blushing MIRA rais'd her lovely eyes,
    That beam'd with softness--stranger she to art,
Stretch'd out her hand; he seiz'd it--she by sighs,
    Than words more eloquent, reveal'd her heart.

But they must part; for now the setting sun
    Was almost sunk beneath the western wave:
In that sweet bower, where now their love begun,
    They vow'd to meet on every coming eve.

As WILLIAM went, he often look'd behind,
    His limbs mov'd onward, but his heart remain'd:
To her dear Mother MIRA pour'd her mind,
    And artless told the struggle just sustain'd.

She felt no joy, unless her mother shar'd--
    No guile she knew, therefore no frown could dread;
Yet, tho' all harsh reproofs her mother spar'd,
    She doubting look'd, and shook her aged head.

But ev'ry ev'ning, when she saw them part,
    She wou'd admonish with maternal smile;
And warn'd the maid against seducers art,
    Who woo and flatter only to beguile.

Page 83

But WlLLIAM 's father came at last to hear,
    That he admir'd and woo'd a maid so mean:
With harsh intent, he summon'd to appear
    The destin'd victim of his pride and spleen.

Yet to his son a word he never breath'd
    Of his attachment to so mean a maid;
But said--"To me a fortune stands bequeath'd
    "Far hence in India, in our way of trade;

"I hear the vessel ready is to sail,
    "Therefore I beg you instantly will go,
"And aid my claim; now fav'ring is the gale,
    "So waste not time in seeking friend or foe."

With step irregular, and heavy heart,
    Poor WILLIAM sought his MIRA in her bower,
He wish'd, yet fear'd, the tidings to impart;
    She flew to meet him at the happy hour.

The eye of love soon saw his alter'd look,
    She saw him press'd with what he fear'd to tell;
With sweet solicitude his hand she took,
    And sighing said--"I fear all is not well."

Page 84

"Ah! dearest maid, alas! how can I speak
    "The cruel news which I reluctant bring!
"I fear some snare is laid our hearts to break,
    "Our love to ruin, and our souls to wring.

"My sire commands on bus'ness, as he says,
    "That I for India must instant sail;
"For me alone the loaded vessel stays,
    "And I am come to take a sad----farewell!

"Stern was his look, and clouded was his brow,
    "When he to me deliver'd this command;
"I fear, my MIRA , he has heard of you,
    "And takes this scheme to break the tender band."

"Ah! dearest WILLIAM ! rather let me pine
    "A love-lorn maid, and meet an early grave,
"Than live to hear of that lov'd form of thine
    "Untimely swallow'd in a stormy wave.

"Go to your Sire, and fall upon your knee,
    "Your ill-placed passion--O! to him confess,
' And vow to him, you will abandon me,
    "If he no more the dire command will press."

Page 85

"Yes! I will tell him, if you bid me so,
    "That you my love deservedly have won;
"But ev'ry danger I can undergo,
    "If I at last can call but you my own."

"Ah! gen'rous youth!" the mournful MIRA cry'd,
    While from her eyes a pearly torrent flow'd--
"I hope not now on earth to be your bride,
    "I fear I'll only wed you in my shroud."

"Give Hope, sweet maid, a mansion in thy breast;
    "Who can abandon innocence like thine?
"Perhaps my voyage may, for your sake, be blest,
    "Heav'n may restore me thro' its care benign."

All drench'd in tears, her sorrow-clouded face
    On WILLIAM 's bosom MIRA did recline;
He ardent strain'd her in his chaste embrace,
    And call'd, to guard her, ev'ry Power Divine.

But they must part!--the time was now run out,
    When WILLIAM 's sire expected him to go;
Their boding hearts o'erclouded were with doubt,
    And saw, prophetic, scenes of coming woe.

Page 86

He went on board, and soon the vessel sail'd;
    Upon the beach the weeping MIRA stood;
The loss of WILLIAM bitterly she wail'd--
    With streaming eyes the less'ning ship she view'd.

But, scarcely had the vessel gain'd the sea,
    When strong an adverse wind began to blow;
So loud it bellow'd to a fierce degree,
    The billows boil'd and toss'd them to and fro!

With furious blast they soon were driv'n back;
    'Twas midnight now, and none appear'd to save!
Ere morning dawn'd, the vessel was a wreck,
    And ALL her inmates buried in the wave!!!

Soon as the day-dawn glimmer'd in the east,
    From sleepless bed the wretched MIRA rose;
Ill-omen'd dreams had broke her little rest--
    T' indulge her sorrow to the beach she goes.

O! scene of horror!--nothing did appear
    But floating planks, and breathless bodies there!
At last, she recogniz'd--her WILLIAM dear!!
    Her reason fled--and left her to despair!

Page 87

By chance, a peasant stood upon the beach,
    And wrung his hands at sight of so much woe;
To him she cry'd (wild was her power of speech),
    "O! help my lovely WILLIAM ere you go!"

The peasant bore him to her mother's cot;
    She laid his body dripping on the bed:
"My darling sleeps, my mother! wake him not!"
    To woe-struck MARIAMNE soft she said.

She laid her by him; in her arms she took
    Tho sea-drench'd corse, and to her mother said--
"O! let not Envy's blasting eye-balls look
    "On me and WILLIAM in our bridal bed!"

No force could tear her from her lover's side;
    His matted tresses in her robe she wrung:
She still persisted that she was his bride--
    To soothe his rest, wild frantic airs she sung!

His father instant heard the mournful tale,
    Too late he griev'd his harshness to his son;
The hapless maiden too he did bewail,
    Who lost sweet reason for the love shewon .

Page 88

The youth was borne to his father's house,
     His funeral honours only now to crave;
Where'er they mov'd him, frantic MIRA goes,
    Nor left his side, till parted by the grave!

His father pray'd her homeward to return,
    The sun was set, and night began to lour:
"I will not go," said she, "my love would mourn,
    "I vow'd sincere I would not leave him more.

"The ocean, Sir, was kinder far than you;
    "You forc'd him from me to a distant land--
"The seas the sorrows of my bosom knew,
    "And kindly laid him on the naked strand!"

She from her garden culls the choicest flowers,
    And strews them fancifully on his grave;
There ev'ry eve she spends the passing hours,
    And sings of WILLIAM and the fatal wave!

Page 89



JACK HARDY long for lovely NANCY
    Had sigh'd sincere, on sea and shore;
She danc'd, she sung, she drest with fancy;
    And seamen seldom look for more.

Her face shew'd youth and beauty's blossom,
    Her form was graceful, slender, tall;
Fair truth dwelt in her lovely bosom,
    The best, the choicest grace of all.

JACK was a youth of worth and merit,
    Ne'er Britain rear'd a braver tar;
He lov'd, with truth and loyal spirit,
    His King and NAN , in peace and war.

When last for sea brave JACK departed,
    He sought his NANCY at her home;
"Dear girl," said he, "don't be down hearted,
    "Tho' I a while from you must roam.

Page 90

"When I'm at sea, and landsmen near you,
    "O! yield not to their flattering art;
"No distant beauty e'er shall tear you
    "From your own sailor's faithful heart.

"If Fortune crown with wealth my labour--
    "If Heav'n propitious be my guide;
"At my return, with pipe and tabor,
    "With joy I'll make sweet NAN my bride.

"When peace shall come, and Britain's navy
    "Unrigg'd, shall rest from hostile harms--
"If I'm preserv'd from France, and DAVY ,
    "I'll happy rush to NANCY 's arms."

NAN sobb'd aloud, her head reclining
    Upon her sailor's manly breast,
Her snowy arms around him twining,
    Unfeign'd, her love and grief confess'd.

"Dear JACK ," she sigh'd, "since you must leave me,
    "For love exchanging ocean's roar,
"If you should fall, or e'er deceive me,
    "Poor constant NAN will smile no more.

Page 91

"From France's dungeons Heav'n preserve you;
    "No stranger's love to mine prefer,
"For none but NANCY can deserve you,
    "As none can ever love like her."

The Boatswain pip'd, and they must sever,
    'Twas hard such hearts apart to tear!
Ah! little thought they 'twas for ever--
    Hope from their mind drove Doubt and Fear.

He join'd the crew on board the Nero,
    A goodly first rate ship of war;
NAN pray'd, with tears, that Heav'n her hero
    Would safe restore without a scar.

'Twas their immediate destination
    To face the foe--they fearless went,
Each seaman bravely fill'd his station--
    They fought till every shot was spent.

O'erpower'd by numbers, they must yield her,
    Rude bands of Frenchmen rush'd on board,
Now British courage could not shield her--
    "Seize the captives" was the word.

Page 92

They quick ashore to jail were hurry'd,
    No pity shew'd the cruel foe;
By HIS command in darkness bury'd,
    Whose soul delights in human woe.

Hands bound in steel, on straw to languish,
    Coarse bread and water were their fare;
Thoughts of his NAN fill'd JACK with anguish--
    Thus to be parted rous'd despair.

Sigh heav'd on sigh, sharp tears descending
    Down his graceful manly cheek;
His prayers the while to Heav'n up sending,
    For balm to NANCY 's bosom meek.

"Ah! dearest NAN ," he oft would mutter,
    While on the straw fell many a tear,
"Methinks I hear the cries you utter,
    "When this sad news shall reach your ear!"

Fame bore to NAN a mournful story
    Of wounds, whence fled her sailor's breath--
That while he fought for Britain's glory,
    His brave career was stopt by death.

Page 93

Her form decay'd, fair, soft, and tender--
    Pale grew her cheek--deep sunk her eye;
Life's load with joy she did surrender,
    To meet her JACK she wish'd to die.

A captive crew to JACK 's dark prison
    One night with sorrow did descend;
His dear old shipmate, good TOM MIZEN ,
    There recogniz'd his alter'd friend.

"And is it here, dear JACK , I greet you!"
    TOM said, and threw him by his side;
"Since now in like distress I meet you,
    "Death only shall our fate divide."

"Was NANCY well when last you left her?'
    JACK ask'd; TOM sigh'd, and dropt a tear--
"She heard you died, and quickly after
    "The grave receiv'd your NANCY dear."

JACK heav'd a groan--o'er him (long wasted
    By cold and want, by love and grief),
The chill damp dews of death soon hasted,
    The slave's and captive's sure relief.

Page 94

"I come! dear NAN !--since Death's cold finger
    "Has clos'd your eyes," JACK faintly said--
"Why should I here behind you linger?"
    Then sunk upon his wretched bed.

Page 95



THE ship unmoor'd, the anchor weigh'd,
    Full tide the vessel laves;
While busy hands the canvas spread,
    To wing her on the waves:
The capstan with "Yeo--Yea" they turn--
Tho' all seem gay, some inward mourn.

A group of female friends aside
    Stand mournful on the pier,
With each a handkerchief applied,
    To wipe the starting tear;
And pray that Heav'n safe home may send,
In life and health, each valued friend.

And now the vessel under way,
    Tears fresh the bleeding heart;
But THOMAS , till she reach'd the bay,
    From SALLY could not part:

Page 96

Tho' seven long years she'd been his wife,
Still THOMAS lov'd her more than life.

Apart from others' vain alarms,
    They to the beach withdrew--
There, circled in each others arms,
    They sighed their fond--ADIEU.
One babe at SALLY 's bosom hung,
The rest round her and THOMAS clung.

"My dearest TOM ! and must you go!"--
    The mournful SALLY cry'd;
"Was it to drink such draughts of woe
    "That I became your bride!
"For some short moments spent in joy,
"What hours in tears must I employ!

"O TOM ! what shall your SALLY do,
    "If ought confirm my fears?
"Ah! who will bind my aching brow,
    "Or dry my bitter tears?
"Her nearest friends but distant are,
"To one who mourns her shipwreck'd tar.

Page 97

"If any harm should you befal,
    "On sea, or foreign shore,
"The faithful bosom of your SALL
    "Will beat with life no more:
"The life that throbs in SALLY 's heart,
"Beats but for you, here or apart!"

"My dearest SALLY ," THOMAS said--
    "To win you wealth I go;
"When I am rock'd on ocean's bed,
    "Indulge not fruitless woe;
"If you continue thus to mourn,
"Your heart must sink e'er I return.

"My bosom, now harrass'd as thine,
    "Throbs forth its love sincere;
"Not in that hour you first were mine,
    "To me you were more dear:
"Nor time nor distance e'er shall prove
"A foe to SALL in THOMAS ' love.

"Be cheer'd for these dear infants' sake,
        "The pledges of our love;

Page 98

"Let Hope in your sad breast awake,
    "And trust in GOD above:
"The GOD that guards me on the shore,
"Can safe from sea your TOM restore."

But now the boat approaches near,
    And TOM must leave the land;
From SALLY 's cheek he wip'd the tear,
    And grasp'd her chilly hand;
His ling'ring heart still wish'd to stay--
He kiss'd each babe, and--rush'd away!

He gain'd the boat; the dashing oar
    Reluctantly he plies,
That bore him from his native shore,
    Where SALLY constant sighs:
The vessel waits with fav'ring wind,
And TOM , at length, his shipmates join'd.

'Twas now she cast a wistful look--
    Down flow'd the briny tears;
With hat in hand, the seamen took
    Their leave with three loud cheers:

Page 99

SALL wav'd her handkerchief in air,
To shew her TOM she still was there,

Swift out to sea the vessel flies,
    And leaves the "less'ning" shore,
And SALLY mournful homeward hies,
    Her THOMAS to deplore:
She laid her little babes to sleep,
Then sat her down to think and weep.

"How chang'd this ev'ning from the last!"
    The weeping mourner said--
"Last eve in converse sweet I past
    "With him who now is fled!
Blest Powers! that good mens' guardians are,
Protect my TOM ! my much lov'd tar!"

Now "storms arise, and light'nings fly,"
    And bursting thunders roll;
Poor SALLY sees her THOMAS die,
    In her fear-brooding soul!
Oft thinking in the roaring blast
She hears her THOMAS groan his last!

Page 100

Nor when the howling storm is o'er,
    Does peace to her return;
Fear tells her still he is no more--
    She still persists to mourn:
"This calm," she cry'd, no pleasure gives,
"Till I'm assur'd that THOMAS lives."

At length she hears the post boy's horn,
    With mingled hopes and fears;
Her anxious breast alternate torn--
    Now smiling--now in tears:
The letter comes--she breaks the seal,
And find, with joy, that TOM is well!

A thousand times did SALLY read,
    The joyful news it brought--
Then in her faithful bosom laid
    The welcome, wish'd-for note;
"Lie there! to cheer my heart and home"--
Said happy SALL , "till THOMAS come.'

Page 101



WHILE tyrants sit enthron'd in state,
    With trophies at their feet,
And fawning courtiers round them wait,
    With adulation sweet!

Informing them in pompous strain,
    Of feats atchieved in war,
That will immortalize their reign,
    And spread their fame afar.

Ah! little reckon they the woe
    To many thousands wrought,
Who bleed and die, to crown their brow
    With laurels dearly bought!

They think not of the bitter tears
    By soldiers' widows shed,
When round a helpless group appears,
    Imploring them for bread.

Page 102

I met this morn a beggar maid,
    She stop'd, and try'd to speak;
Then turn'd away, as if afraid,
    While tears ran down her cheek.

Her silent anguish mov'd my heart,
    "What mean these heaving sighs?"
But nothing more could she impart
    Than--"Ah! my mother lies!"

"What ails thy mother, little maid?
    "Lies she on sickness' bed?"
"O yes! my mother's sick," she said,
    "We die for want of bread!"

"Has she more children, pray, than you?"
    "O yes, Sir! other three;
"There's little HENRY , JEM , and SUE ,
    "They're younger all than me."

"But where's thy father, maiden, tell?"
    "Ah! Sir, my father's dead;
"Since then, my mother's ne'er been well,
    "She weeps and hangs her head!"

Page 103

I hasten'd to her mother's cot:
    She, of no common mien,
Sat pale and languid, as I thought,
    The shade of what she'd been.

Two lovely infants sleeping lay,
    Upon their mother's bed;
Another romp'd in lively play,
    Around the beggar maid!

I put some money in his hand,
    And stroak'd his flaxen head;
He ask'd, at hunger's dire command,
    "If these would buy him bread?"

The feeble mother rais'd her eyes,
    With thankful air to Heav'n,
Then look'd with pleasure and surprize,
    On what I just had given.

"Ah! Sir," said she, "sure GOD has sent
    "You opportunely here,
"To save me and my babes from want,
    "Which frightful did appear!"

Page 104

"Want," I reply'd, "shall fly your door,
    "If you will let me know,
"How you became so very poor;
    "Say, have you long been so?"

"My husband, Sir, a soldier was,
    "And fell in honours's field;
"He was my only friend, alas!
    "My comforter and shield!

"We listen'd not to Prudence' voice,
    "When wedded we became,
"Our parents frown'd upon our choice,
    "And charg'd us both with blame.

"We to this little cot withdrew,
    "From their indignant frowns,
"My HENRY drove yon farmer's plough--
    "I sew'd the maidens' gowns.

"By this we earn'd our little bread,
    "Our family grew apace;
"At last a musket and cockade,
    "My HENRY did embrace.

Page 105

"He hop'd in battle's chance to gain
    "Some honour, as he said;
"But, ah! I mourn for him in vain,
    "He's cold in honour's bed!

"Proud is my heart, I cannot bear
    "To let my parents' know,
"That I have lost my HENRY dear,
    "And am thus plung'd in woe.

"Whate'er my neighbours kindly brought,
    "I to my children gave;
"On my own wants I never thought,
    "Till now I'm near the grave!

"This morning, as a beggar maid,
    "My oldest child I sent;
"But she, ill suited to her trade,
    "Ask'd nothing as she went.

"Now Providence, who my great need
    "And all my sorrows knew,
"Me from the demon Want has freed,
    "By kindly sending you.''

Page 106

'Twas thus the soldier's widow drew
    A picture of her harms,
When one appear'd who eager flew,
    And caught her in his arms!

"My dear ELIZA ! why so pale?"
    The youthful soldier said;
"Tell me, my love, the mournful tale,
    "Why you thus low are laid!"

But poor ELIZA heard him not,
    Her feeble breath was fled;
How soon she saw the scarlet coat,
    She sunk upon the bed!

"ELIZA ! are you void of breath?"
    He frantic did exclaim--
"O! fly not to the arms of death,
    "I bring you wealth and fame!

"ELIZA !--O! my love, awake!
    "Or I must yet be poor;
"The heat of battle, for your sake,
    "I joyful did endure!"

Page 107

Her eyes she ope'd, and faintly said,
    "Does yet my HENRY live!
"I heard that you in battle bled,
    "And do you yet survive!

"O say! how came that false report--
    "Tell me! how came you here?
"How you, who still were Fortune's sport,
    "So splendid now appear?"

The soldier said--"My Gen'ral long
    "Distinguish'd me with love;
"And I resolv'd, in battle's throng,
    "My gratitude to prove:

"In battle's heat, when furious foes
    "Around him hostile press'd,
"I rush'd between him and their blows--
    "A bay'net pierc'd my breast!

"I fell! the foe advantage took,
    "And slash'd the Gen'ral's side--
"Care for my wound my mind forsook.
    "I rose to be his guide

Page 108

"I griev'd to see him drench'd in blood,
    "And dreading further harms,
"I bore him off, as well's I could,
    "Between my bleeding arms.

"He mov'd not, but by my support,
    "I watch'd beside his bed;
"We both recover'd, tho' report
    "Declar'd your HENRY dead.

"When my Commander health regain'd,
    "He sent for me, and said--
"You've sav'd me from the grave, my friend,
    "For me you fought and bled:

"This purse accept--I freely give
    "This token of regard;
"The King's commission you'll receive,
    "A still more proud reward!"

"I raptur'd threw me on my knee,
    "And thank'd him for his boon,
"Then begg'd his leave to visit thee,
    "By poverty press'd down."

Page 109

His spouse rejoin'd--"Be Heav'n ador'd--
    "This stranger bade me live;
"My HENRY too I grasp restor'd,
    "What more can Mercy give!"

Page 110


A THOUSAND joys has happy Age,
    When Youth has left no sting;
A conscience sound makes life's last stage
    Glide smooth on lighter wing.

'Twas eve, and aged JOHN and JEAN
    Sat by their cottage door,
Who wedded fifty years had been,
    Blest with content, tho' poor.

"When first," quoth JOHN , "your blooming face
    "I mark'd, and graceful air,
"All other maidens gave you place
    "At rural wake or fair.

"To you I breath'd my artless love,
    "Nor was my suit deny'd;
"Heav'n seem'd our union to approve,
    "And you became my bride.

Page 111

"O! these were blissful days my JEAN !
    "What pleasures did we quaff!
"I with delight retrace each scene,
    "Now leaning on my staff!

"Two busy months I joyful spent,
    "To build this humble cot;
"From that bless'd day you gave consent
    "To share my humble lot!

"When Heav'n benignant on us shone,
    "And me a father made,
"To mark the birth of JOHN my son,
    "I form'd this seat and shade.

"The slender ivy there I plac'd,
    "That clasps our cottage wall,
"That morn when Heav'n me further bless'd,
    "By giving smiling SALL .

"Nor can I well describe my joy,
    "When on paternal knee
"I held my darling girl or boy,
    "Caress'd in turns by thee!

Page 112

"Their offspring now around me set
    "My aged bosom warms
"With joy alternately I get
    "Each prattler in my arms!

"I tell them stories of my youth--
    ''I point their road to bliss;
"For my reward, each pretty mouth
    "Presents me with a kiss!"

A thousand joys has happy Age,
    When Youth has left no sting;
A conscience sound makes life's last stage
    Glide smooth on lighter wing!

Page 113


JANUARY 1st, 1805.

TO-DAY , when compliments are flying,
    Each wishing each "a good new year,"
Kind Madam, ever most complying,
    Lend the poor Bard your willing ear.

Sincere "a good new year" I wish you!
    Health, wealth, and joy be ever yours!
May GOD with peace and comfort bless you!
    May care and sorrow shun your doors!

Heav'n guard the partner of your bosom,
    On whom your soul's chief wish is hung!
May grace and truth adorn each blossom
    That from your mutual love is sprung!

A new-born year to some brings pleasure--
    To others fraught it comes with woe;
Yet, while swift time its years shall measure,
    May each on you some gift bestow!

Page 114

May future, like past days, be pleasant--
    Earth's chiefest blessings may you prove,
Till HE , who guards the Prince and peasant,
    Shall bring you to your home above!

Page 115


'TIS painful to a Briton's eyes,
To see a tyrant in disguise
    Usurping LOUIS ' throne;
While Peers and Prelates round him crowd,
And incense pour, 'mid praises loud,
    To prop his brittle crown!

Are his vile features drest in smiles,
While in his breast ambition boils,
    Black cruelty and pride?
Equipt in royalty he stands--
A guilty heart and bloody hands
    He vainly thinks 'twill hide.

When Gaul with royalty was cloy'd,
She BOURBON 's hapless race destroy'd
    With fierce remorseless hand!

Page 116

For Liberty so loud she cry'd,
The hideous sound spread far and wide
    Thro' many a distant land.

'Twas then the Corsican drew nigh,
And view'd, with deep designing eye,
    Gaul's sad disjointed frame;
He fed the frenzy of the times,
And led them on, thro' blood and crimes,
    By Freedom's empty name.

He strove around licentious hearts
To wind himself, by all the arts
    Ambition could suggest:
"On! Gauls," he cry'd; "let us tread down
"Each head that wears a regal crown,
    "And set the world at rest!"

From shore to shore he Frenchmen drew,
And still to their deluded view
    The shade of Freedom held:
Nay, onwards still his hordes he leads
With--"Freedom will reward your deeds,
    "Atchiev'd in battle's field!"

Page 117

But boots it aught the blood ye spilt,
And battle's hardships keenly felt,
    Ye changeful sons of France?
Where is the boon for which ye've fought?
Instead of Liberty, ye've bought
    A tyrant's murd'ring lance!

Yet, maugre all his vengeful spite,
Draw the vile Corsican to light,
    And pull his mask aside;
Ye groan beneath tyrannic sway--
Quick! throw oppression's load away,
    And dash the tyrant's pride.

Set virtuous LOUIS on his throne;
You give him still but what's his own
    By undisputed right:
O'er Gallia's war-beclouded land,
Then peace once more, by Heaven's command,
    Will bless your ravish'd sight.

Page 118


SEE ! round yon rock the bellowing waves
    In quick succession spread!
Their dashing spray the summit laves;
    While ANNA , wretched maid!
With mournful voice and streaming eyes--
"O GOD ! preserve my love"--now cries,
    "From 'mid the shipwreck'd dead!"

But WILLIAM 's bark, with furious bound,
    Is from her anchor torn!
The shiv'red masts, with crashing sound,
    O'er her smooth sides are borne!
The groaning hull, with bursting shock,
See! rudely dash'd against the rock
    Where stands the maid forlorn!

    Mark ANNA 's grief! 'tis now despair!
    Her tears refuse to flow!
Her eyes are fix'd, with frantic stare,
    Upon the wreck below!

Page 119

Behold! the parting surge disylays
Her DYING LOVER to her gaze,
    In agonizing throe!!

"And is it THUS , my WILLIAM dear,
    "That we are doom'd to meet!"
Hear ANNA say--"so very near
    "Our tranquil, lov'd retreat!
"You shall not long for ANNA stay;
"You've been a tedious time away--
    " 'Twill make our meeting sweet!"

This said--on WILLIAM 's wat'ry grave
    Hard gazing as before,
His corse, upon a coming wave,
    She sees approach the shore!
The rock she leaps! and, in his arms,
Quick yielding to grim Death her charms,
    She sinks!--to rise no more!!

Page 120


Now Winter is o'er, and sweet Spring is returning,
Green buds are expanding to deck ev'ry tree;
My BILLY 's return'd! no more I'll go mourning,
To pour my love plaint on a bank of the Dee!
The loud trump of War no more is heard blowing--
All hail to sweet Peace! its calm blessings bestowing:
Now I, while my BILLY is whistling and ploughing,
Light-hearted can sing with my flocks on the Dee!

Long, long were we parted by yon roaring ocean,
Loud War long detain'd my dear BILLY from me:
While he was embroil'd in the battle's commotion,
I wept, lest he ne'er should return to the Dee!
I threw by my crook, while my lambkins were feeding,
And mourn'd in despair, still some dire mishap dreading;
My fancy still shew'd me my BILLY laid bleeding
On some sandy desart remote from the Dee!

Page 121

But Peace has restor'd me my BILLY , my lover,
And made me as blest as a maiden can be:
In affection I'm sure he has ne'er been a rover--
Tho' absent in person, his heart was on Dee!
No more on this bank a lone maid I'll sit pining;
He offers his hand--mine I'm clear for resigning;
Let HYMEN to-night his soft band be entwining,
To bind, e'er to-morrow, dear BILLY and me!

Page 122



AT eve, when Dee's transparent stream
Flows trembling 'neath the moon's pale beam,
Lone on its banks I sit and mourn,
For him who now will ne'er return!
How blest was I each cheerful morn,
Ere he from me by War was torn!
But now my tears must ever flow
For him who far, far hence lies low!

He grasp'd me to his manly breast--
His love in softest strains exprest,
While down his cheek there stole a tear,
Which spoke his parting pang sincere:
"My love!" said he, "O do not mourn!
"Think on our joys, when I return
"With blooming laurel round my brow!"
But, ah! he far, far hence lies low!

Page 123

Had we been bound with HYMEN 's chain,
With freedom then I might complain;
But now the maidens mock my pain,
Who love my dear lamented, swain.
Here ev'ry eve I sit alone--
To Dee's soft murmurs tell my moan,
While sighing zephyrs join my woe,
For him who far, far hence lies low!

Page 124



SWEET lass of Aberdeen,
    Let me not sue in vain,
My proffers long have been
    Rejected with disdain:
Let me no more complain
    Of haughty scorn and pride;
Sweet lass of Aberdeen,
    Be kind, and be my bride.

Tho' little be my wealth,
    As love is all my store,
I'll strive, while blest with health,
    To make that little more:
As riches ne'er have been
    The chiefest bliss of life,
Sweet lass of Aberdeen,
    Consent, and be my wife.

Page 125

Thine eyes, of lovely blue,
    Where sense and sweetness shine,
Are powerful to subdue
    A harder heart than mine:
Thy form, like Beauty's queen,
    Hath fix'd me ne'er to rove;
Sweet lass of Aberdeen,
    Requite my constant love.

Page 126



            DEIGN to love me, charming MARY !
            Deign to love me, charming MARY !
            Ease this love-sick heart of mine
            By kind returns of love, sweet MARY !

Long at thy beauty's shrine I've bow'd,
    With love unfeign'd and true, sweet MARY !
To offer incense there I've vow'd,
    Tho' I'm repuls'd by you, sweet MARY !

        Deign to, &c.

I often try to break the chain
    That binds my heart to thee, sweet MARY !
But, ah! the effort gives such pain,
    'Tis death must set me free, sweet MARY !

        Deign to, &c.

Page 127

Ere I became thy beauty's slave,
    My bosom knew no care, sweet MARY !
But now I seek the lonely cave,
    Which echo's my despair, sweet MARY !

        Deign to, &c.

O! lay aside the cold disdain
    That clouds thy lovely brow, sweet MARY !
And smile consenting on your swain,
    Whose bliss depends on you, sweet MARY !

        Deign to love me, charming MARY !
        Deign to love me, charming MARY !
        Ease this love-sick heart of mine
        By kind returns of love, sweet MARY !

Page 128



WHILE summer laughs in ev'ry grove,
    And paints in gayest hues each flower,
Dear charmer, come! my constant love,
    To share and grace my rural bower:
There little birds, in sprightly strain,
    Still chaunt their loves the boughs among;
While there you ramble with your swain,
    They'll cheer you with their artless song.

My garden smiles in fairest dress--
    Each shrub and tree their blooms display;
Walks, where the meeting boughs embrace,
    Will shield you from the noon-tide ray.
For you I've dress'd my little cot,
    Its walls with honeysuckle bound;
O! come and share my humble lot,
    And let my hours with love be crown'd!

Page 129

When Ev'ning, with her robe of grey,
    Clothes Nature in a dusky hue,
We'll seek our flocks that homeward stray,
    And nip the blade that droops with dew:
Our sheep we joyfully will pen,
    With careful hand the fold we'll close;
Then to our peaceful cot again
    I'll lead you, to invite repose!

Page 130


LOUD beats the drum--to arms! to arms!
    Bright bands in steel are glancing!
See PEGGY drest in sorrow's charms,
    With mournful step advancing.

"Dear maid! wipe off that pearly drop,
    "That in its source is swelling;
"Let these fair eyes look bright with Hope--
    "Drive Fear to her dark dwelling!

"The brave alone deserve the fair,
    "I go that you may prize me;
"Should I remain inglorious here,
    "You justly might despise me."

"I yield, brave youth! to war proceed;
"May all that's good defend you!
"Since Scottish heroes must succeed,
"May fairest Fame attend you!"

Page 131


COOL evening invites--let us stray,
    Where the moon sweetly chequers the grove,
While her beams on Tweed's wave gaily play,
    And PHILOMEL warbles her love.
Come, my love! as we walk I will tell
    How your beauty first ravish'd my heart--
How your mind, where the Virtues do dwell,
    Incurably rivets Love's dart!

While the nymphs on May eve, crown'd with flow'rs,
    Array'd in their holiday dress,
Pass'd festive their innocent hours
    In mirth, on the new shorn grass--
Enraptur'd I gaz'd upon you,
    Peace fled this fond bosom of mine,
Accept, lovely MARY ! my vow,
    And kindly repay me with thine!

Page 132


When twilight sheds its parting ray,
On Don's sweet banks I lonely stray,
Indulging thought's dejected train,
That paints my absent lover slain!
Each flow'ret's lovely head with dew
Hangs down, since Phoebus' beams withdrew;
Now silence reigns: the owl alone
In this still hour is heard on Don!

When Night her gloomy mantle throws,
O'er the sweet scenes this river shows,
Methinks I hear each murmuring wave
And zephyr talk of JEMMY 's grave!
What beams celestial dart this way?
Ah! cheering sight! 'tis Hope's blest ray,
That kindly bids me cease my moan,
For soon he'll cheer the banks of Don.

Page 133


WHAT shouts of rejoicing were heard from our crew,
When the dear sea-girt island appear'd to our view!
Each arranging delighted his sea borne store,
As gifts to the friends whom he valued on shore;
But the foe intercepting his flag did display!
As Britons, we fear'd not to fall in his way:
Yet Fortune forsook us, and sided with Spain,
And I ne'er shall see ANNA or Scotland again!

Captivity's hardships a tear never drew,
But, alas! I shed many, dear ANNA , for you;
Thy well try'd affection, with sorrow I fear,
Will lay thee too early on death's chilly bier:
'Tis this bitter thought which gives birth to my sighs!
'Tis a tear of remembrance that falls from these eyes!
I but dreaded the thunder of France and proud Spain,
Lest I ne'er should see ANNA or Scotland again!

Page 134


DEAR MARY ! while youth's summer lasts,
    Come, taste life's pleasures in our bloom,
Ere age, with its corroding blasts,
    Lay beauty's honours in their tomb!
The rose, that hangs its blushing head,
    And sheds its balmy breath around,
Is now admir'd; but, summer fled,
    Its flagrant leaves must strew the ground!

Thus age contracts the polish'd brow,
    And dims the lustre of the eye;
The rose and lily's beauteous hue
    Must fail to hold their conq'ring sway!
Then, MARY dear! no more be coy--
    Accept from me the nuptial ring;
Pure virtuous love can never cloy,
    Since friendship grows as youth takes wing!

Page 135


THY lovely laughing twa black een,
    Sae sweet a face adorning,
Hae stown my heart, my bonny JEAN !
    I sigh frae night to morning.
Thy auburn locks, that gaily play
    Aroun' thy neck an' bosom;
Thy lip an' cheek, that do display
    The rose an' peach's blossom--
Hae rais'd saft wishes in my breast,
    Ilk' ruder thought disarming;
Smile! bonny JEAN ! an' mak' me blest--
    Be kind as thou art charming.

Yon cot is mine aneath the brae,
    Whar bright the sun is shining;
An' yon sweet glen, what woodbines gay
    Aroun' tall trees are twining;
Yon little flock upo' the hill,
    What bees for sweets are straying;

Page 136

Yon snaw-white lambs that by the rill
    Aroun' their dams are playing;
Yon lowing heifers too are mine--
    Yet a' can yield nae pleasure,
Till they an' I, sweet JEAN ! are thine,
    Thou dearest, richest treasure!

Page 137


O! DAMON ! how much thou art chang'd--
     How cold that false bosom of thine;
Since late, on Dee's banks as we rang'd,
    You vow'd you would ever be mine!

The language that flow'd from your tongue
    Was artful, engaging, and sweet;
My praises you constantly sung;
    And, when absent, we languish'd to meet!

You prais'd the soft beam of my eyes,
    My tresses that play'd in the gale;
The rose on my cheek, which now dies--
    Since DAMON was false, it grows pale!

You vow'd till life's glass ceas'd to run,
    That you ne'er would be false, nor deceive;
But when my fond heart you had won,
    You left me to weep and to grieve!

Page 138

When the shrill sounding trumpet was heard
    In our valleys, late peaceful and bless'd,
All the youths of our village appear'd,
    And to GEORGE 's fam'd standard they press'd;

The sickle indignant you threw
    From your hand, as you reap'd in the field--
Plac'd a helmet and plumes on your brow,
    Now resolv'd warlike weapons to wield.

When we parted, you fondly declar'd
    That, tho' absent, you still would be true;
But, ah! to my sorrow I've heard
    That you're false, and have broken your vow!

Tho' credulous hearts you may wring,
    Yet soon you will find to your cost,
That the visits of conscience will sting,
    When the zest of false pleasure is lost.

I struggle in vain to get free,
    Still, alas! my fond heart is your slave!
I can love, dear, false DAMON ! but thee,
    Till, by grief, I'm laid low in the grave!

Page 139


THE quills and kind epistle came,
    Which you in goodness sent me;
I'm at a loss due thanks to frame
    For such a favour lent me.

Since Nature taught my Muse to please
    Without the school's instructions,
I ne'er possess'd such pens as these
    To mark my small productions.

As oft as I'm allow'd to taste
    The Heliconian fountain,
Such fair made quills will aid my haste
    To climb PARNASSUS ' mountain.

Page 140


    PEACE ! with thy placid mien,
    Who'st long a stranger been
To Freedom's sons on Britain's rocky shore--
    O come! and with thee bring
    Sweet comfort 'neath thy wing,
To sorrowing hearts, which fallen friends deplore!

    Pray mankind's Heavenly FRIEND ,
    On whom thou dost attend,
To send thee here! pacific, smiling maid!
    Bid War's discordant voice
    Be still; and all rejoice,
From harm secure, and none to make afraid.

    Say to the KING of Heaven--
    "Be erring man forgiven!
"In mercy lay the scourging rod aside,
    "Which, from thy avenging hand,
    "Stretch'd out on Gallia's land,
"Usurping reigns, big-swell'd with pomp and pride!"

Page 141

    Britannia, sorrowing, mourns,
    And bathes with tears the urns
Of her brave sons, whom death alone could quell!
    Whose valour was her boast--
    And Fame, from coast to coast,
Has spread their praise with loud resounding shell!

    See sires and mothers weep,
    And drooping virgins steep
Their cheeks, late blooming, in pale sorrow's tear!
    The widow's earthly prop,
    The darling of her hope,
See! horrid War has laid upon the bier!

    Then come! angelic Peace!
    Let war and carnage cease;
Then shall the sword the verdant glebe up tear;
    The spear we then shall use
    To prune luxuriant boughs;
War's horrid din no more shall grate the ear.

Page 142


BROWN Autumn's come, dispersing leaves
On all the winds--and nodding sheaves
She brings, with reapers in her train,
Who gather in the yellow grain.
In AMALTHEA 's teeming horn
She brings the choicest fruits and corn.
Rich plenty smiles among the fields--
Its blushing fruits the orchard yields;
Each blessing sprung from earthly clod,
Does loudly praise the bounteous GOD ,
From whose great power each plant has birth,
And grows to feed the sons of earth.
The forest's leafy honours fade--
They brown and yellow strew the shade:
See yon rich spot, where lately grew,
In gaudy pride of every hue,
The fairest flowers; their beauty fled--
Now nought remains but podded seed!

Page 143

Yon thorny shrub still fragrance throws,
Where droops the lately blooming rose;
The faded rose and wither'd thyme
As fragrant breathe as in their prime.
The human race, tho' youth be past--
Tho' age their bloom and vigour blast--
Still lovely seem, if from their youth
They've kept the pleasant paths of truth.
When from their lips their mortal breath
Shall 'scape, and leave their dust in death,
Still fragrance will perfume their name--
From age to age 'twill bloom the same.

Page 144


THIS happy change will teach the pious mind
What all should own, that GOD is ever kind!
How very late you mourn'd your darling's death--
With heartfelt woe you saw her latest breath!
Your human nature wish'd to grasp her still--
Religion taught submission to His will,
Who orders all for our eternal good,
And sends affliction for our mental food.
Her infant prattle and engaging arts,
Had bound her fast to your paternal hearts;
From such a source, how could your tears but flow!
The hand that rais'd, now mitigates your woe.
May this sweet stranger, whom you have receiv'd,
Now heal the wounds of minds so lately griev'd;
Wise may she tread on life's vexatious stage,
Your youth to comfort, and support your age!

Page 145


DEAR partner of my soul, adieu!
I go! and see, the ship's in view--
    The streamers flutt'ring play,
The hardy crew unbend each sail,
With busy hands, to catch the gale
    That curls the wat'ry way.

Thy lovely face, suffus'd in tears--
Thy tender heart, weigh'd down with fears,
    Arrest my pow'r to go;
Yet, go I MUST !--my love, farewell!
That grief does thus my bosom swell,
    See! briny tokens flow!

While we're apart, if death appear,
To think that you will drop a tear
    On hearing I am gone,
Will soothe me in my dying hour,
When ocean's terrors round me pour,
    And suff'ring shipmates groan!

Page 146

"Adieu, my love!" ELIZA cry'd,
Her snowy arms extended wide
    To grasp the parting tar--
"May chosen Angels guard you round--
"May winds and waves be fav'ring found
    "To waft you safe from far!"

He went! ELIZA 's tearful eyes
Pursu'd him still--her sobs and sighs
    Increase the gentle gale,
Which round her absent EDWARD blows!
As oft to think of her he goes
    Aloft, while under sail!

Page 147


SINCE WILLIAM cross'd the roaring seas,
I cannot taste a moment's ease;
Imagination's busy train
Presents him buried in the main!

At times, I see him climb the mast,
To reef a sail amid' the blast--
The rope gives way! he's quickly hurl'd
To the tempestuous wat'ry world!

Again, I see the rushing tide
Rude dash him 'gainst a rock's rough side!
Torn by the shock, the gushing blood
Distains around the angry flood!

Ah! now, methinks, I see him borne
(From kindred, wife, and children torn)--
A lifeless corse by strangers kind,
While sighs of feeling swell the wind!

Page 148

Consoling Hope at times will dart
A ray to cheer my pensive heart;
But, more inclin'd to harbour Fear,
Soon Hope's suggestions disappear.

Thus impious why should I despair?
Is he not 'neath his MAKER 's care,
Who can, with kind and powerful hand,
Protect at sea as well as land!

Page 149


    How joyless I sit,
    While for nothing I'm fit,
A part from the kindest of men!
    When my babes lie asleep,
    My lone vigils I keep,
Killing time with a book or a pen.

    When DAMON is near,
    He wipes off sorrow's tear--
But all friendless am I when he's gone!
    I pensive must move
    With the babes of our love,
Without whom I should still be alone.

    Blow briskly, ye gales!
    Swell proudly the sails,
And waft him again to his home,
    For ne'er in my cell
    Can happiness dwell,
Nor can pleasure smile here, till he come.

Page 150


COME ! rosy Health, with smiling face!
Thou chiefest gift to human race--
Tinge with thy glow my pallid cheek,
And brace my limbs, emaciate, weak!
Exhale thy fragrant healing breath--
Remove disease, and banish death,
At least a while, till youth be o'er;
Be thou my guest till near threescore.
But with me oft, blest, cheering Health,
I'd have thee stay (not as by stealth,
Come now and then to gild an hour,
Then leave me months in Sickness pow'r),
Tho' I've nor wealth, nor land, nor rent,
Yet with me lives thy friend Content;
Wouldst thou thy added blessing give,
'Twould then be happiness, to live!

Page 151

If thou'rt commission'd to withdraw,
And leave me in the tyrant's jaw,
That GOD has robb'd him of his sting,
Shall swell the dirge I latest sing!

Page 152



    SAYS pert Miss PRUE ,
    There's something new
In CHALMERS ' weekly papers--
    A Shipwright's Wife,
    In humble life,
Writes RHYME by nightly tapers!!

    That folks of taste
    Their time should waste
To read them, makes me wonder!
    A low-born fool,
    Ne'er bred at school,
What can SHE do but blunder?

Page 153

    Write rhyme, forsooth!
    Upon my truth
'Twill put it out of fashion;
    She can but paint,
    In colours faint,
Rude Nature's lowest passion.

    A wife so mean
    Should nurse, and clean,
And mend her husband's jacket;
    Not spend her time
    In writing rhyme,
And raising such a racket!

Page 154


"I wonder," said a friend of mine,
"How many names of taste will shine
    "On your Subscription List?"
"Two hundred, Sir, perhaps, or so;
"There can't be more, as few can know,
    "My Songs or I exist:

"Besides, the great, no doubt, will think
"I write and waste my time and ink,
    "Without or sense or rule;
"A female, train'd to care and toil--
"Her mind unnurs'd in Learning's soil,
    "Can never touch the soul."

"But sure you'll publish," said my friend,
"The names of those who condescend
    "To raise your humble fame?"

Page 155

"Ah no!" said I, "they'll be too few,
"M'NEIL and BURNS had ten for two;
    "I cannot then for shame."

But now, to my most sweet surprize,
How many hundreds meet my eyes!
    Unlook'd for smile of Fate!
To see so many names of worth
Here join'd, to draw their Poet forth
    From her obscure estate!

My num'rous friends, accept my thanks,
Where, to my pride, in goodly ranks,
    Ye grace my simple page;
The sight of each respected name
Will raise my little volume's fame,
    And shame the critic's rage.

MAY 20th, 1805.


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Her Grace the DUCHESS of GORDON, 4 copies.

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Additional Subscribers.

J. Chalmers & Co. Printers, Aberdeen.