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With stern-resolv'd, despairing eye,
I see each aimèd dart;
Then low'ring, and pouring,
And thou grim Pow'r by life abhorr'd,
My weary heart its throbbing cease,
Within thy cold embrace!
Occasioned by the unfortunate issue of a Friend's Amour.
Alas! how oft does goodness wound itself,
And sweet affection prove the spring of woe!
O THOU pale orb that silent shines
While care-untroubled mortals sleep!
And mourn, in lamentation deep,
I joyless view thy rays adorn
The faintly-markèd, distant hill;
I joyless view thy trembling horn,
No idly-feign'd, poetic pains,
My sad, love-lorn lamentings claim: No shepherd's pipe-Arcadian strains; No fabled tortures, quaint and tame. The plighted faith, the mutual flame, The oft-attested pow'rs above,
The promis'd father's tender name; These were the pledges of my love! Encircled in her clasping arms,
How have the raptur'd moments flown! How have I wish'd for fortune's charms, For her dear sake, and her's alone! And, must I think it! is she gone,
My secret heart's exulting boast?
And does she heedless hear my groan?
And is she ever, ever lost?
Oh! can she bear so base a heart,
So lost to honour, lost to truth,
As from the fondest lover part,
The plighted husband of her youth? Alas! life's path may be unsmooth! Her way may lie thro' rough distress!
Then, who her pangs and pains will soothe
Her sorrows share, and make them less?
Ye winged hours that o'er us pass'd,
My fondly-treasur'd thoughts employ'd:
Ev'n ev'ry ray of hope destroy'd, And not a wish to gild the gloom!
The morn, that warns th' approaching day, Awakes me up to toil and woe;
I see the hours in long array,
That I must suffer, lingering, slow: Full many a pang, and many a throe, Keen recollection's direful train,
Must wring my soul, ere Phœbus, low, Shall kiss the distant western main.
And when my nightly couch I try,
Sore harass'd out with care and grief,
O thou bright queen, who o'er th' expanse
Observ'd us, fondly-wand'ring, stray!
Oh! scenes in strong remembrance set!
Again I feel, again I burn!
From ev'ry joy and pleasure torn,
OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I set me down and sigh;
O life! thou art a galling load,
To wretches such as I!
Dim backward as I cast my view,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom;
Happy! ye sons of busy life,
Ev'n when the wishèd end's denied,
How blest the solitary's lot,
Within his humble cell,
The cavern, wild with tangling roots,
Or haply, to his ev'ning thought,
of men are distant brought,
A faint, collected dream;
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to heav'n on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely hermit plac'd
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
O, enviable, early days,
When dancing thoughtless pleasure's maze,
How ill exchang'd for riper times,
Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,
That active man engage;
TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ., MAUCHLINE,
Recommending a Boy.
Mossgaville, May 3, 1786.
I HOLD it, sir, my bounden duty
To warn you how that Master Tootie,
Was here to hire yon lad away
An' wad hae don't aff han';