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WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES

EVENING

Evening! as slow thy placid shades descend,

Veiling with gentlest hush the landscape still,

The lonely battlement, the farthest hill
And wood, I think of those who have no friend;
Who now, perhaps, by melancholy led,

From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure flaunts,

Retiring, wander to the ringdove's haunts
Unseen; and watch the tints that o'er thy bed
Hang lovely; oft to musing Fancy's eye

Presenting fairy vales, where the tired mind
Might rest beyond the murmurs of mankind,
Nor hear the hourly moans of misery!
Alas for man! that Hope's fair views the while
Should smile like you, and perish as they smile!

DOVER CLIFFS

On these white cliffs, that calm above the flood

Uprear their shadowing heads, and at their feet

Hear not the surge that has for ages beat,
How many a lonely wanderer has stood !
And, whilst the lifted murmur met his ear,

And o'er the distant billows the still eve

Sailed slow, has thought of all his heart must leave To-morrow; of the friends he loved most dear; Of social scenes, from which he wept to part!

Oh! if, like me, he knew how fruitless all

The thoughts that would full fain the past recall, Soon would he quell the risings of his heart, And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide The world his country, and his God his guide.

ROBERT BURNS

MARY MORISON

O Mary, at thy window be;

It is the wished, the trysted hour! Those smiles and glances let me see

That make the miser's treasure poor! How blythely wad I bide the stoure,

A weary slave frae sun to sun, Could I the rich reward secure,

The lovely Mary Morison.

Yestreen, when to the trembling string.

The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing;

I sat, but neither heard nor saw: Tho' this was fair, and that was braw,

And yon the toast of a the town, I sighed, and said amang them a',

‘Ye are na Mary Morison.'

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or canst thou break that heart of his

Whase only faut is loving thee? If love for love thou wilt na gie,

At least be pity to me shown! A thought ungentle canna be

The thought o' Mary Morison.

THE HOLY FAIR

Upon a simmer Sunday morn,

When Nature's face is fair,
I walked forth to view the corn,

An' snuff the caller air.

The rising sun, owre Galston muirs,

Wi' glorious light was glintin;
The hares were hirplin down the furs,
The lav'rocks they were chantin

Fu' sweet that day.

To see

As lightsomely I glowered abroad,

scene sae gay,
Three hizzies, early at the road,

Cam skelpin up the way.
Twa had manteeles o’ dolefu' black,

But ane wi' lyart lining;
The third, that gaed a wee a-back,
Was in the fashion shining

Fu' gay that day.

The twa appeared like sisters twin,

In feature, form, an' claes;
Their visage withered, lang an' thin,

An' sour as onie slaes :
The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp,

As light as onie lambie,
An' wi' a curchie low did stoop,
As soon as e'er she saw me,

Fu' kind that day.

Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, 'Sweet lass,

I think ye seem to ken me;
I'm sure I've seen that bonie face,

But yet I canna name ye.'
Quo' she, an' laughin as she spak,

An' taks me by the han’s,
‘Ye, for my sake, hae gi’en the feck
Of a' the Ten Comman's

A screed some day.

‘My name is Fun—your cronie dear,

The nearest friend ye hae; An' this is Superstition here,

An' that's Hypocrisy.

I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair,

To spend an hour in daffin:
Gin ye'll go there, yon runkled pair,
We will get famous laughin

At them this day.'

Quoth I, 'Wi' a' my heart, I'll do 't:

I'll get my Sunday's sark on, An' meet you on the holy spot;

Faith, we'se hae fine remarkin!
Then I gaed hame at crowdie-time,

An' soon I made me ready;
For roads were clad frae side to side
Wi' monie a wearie body,

In droves that day.

Here farmers gash, in ridin graith,

Gaed hoddin by their cotters; There swankies young, in braw braid-claith,

Are springin owre the gutters.
The lasses, skelpin barefit, thrang,

In silks an' scarlets glitter;
Wi' sweet-milk cheese in monie a whang,
An' farls baked wi' butter,

Fu' crump that day.

When by the plate we set our nose,

Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence,
A greedy glowr black-bonnet throws,

An' we maun draw our tippence.
Then in we go to see the show:

On every side they're gath'rin, Some carrying dails, some chairs an' stools, An' some are busy bleth’rin

Right loud that day.

Here stands a shed to fend the showers,

An' screen our countra gentry,
There Racer Jess, and twa-three whores,

Are blinkin' at the entry.

Here sits a raw of tittlin' jads,

Wi' heavin breasts an' bare neck; An' there a batch o'wabster lads, Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock,

For fun this day.

Here some are thinkin on their sins,

An' some upo' their claes;
Ane curses feet that fyled his shins,

Anither sighs and prays;
On this hand sits a chosen swatch,

Wi' screwed-up grace-proud faces;
On that a set o'chaps, at watch,
Thrang winkin on the lasses

To chairs that day.

O happy is that man an' blest

(Nae wonder that it pride him!) Whase ain dear lass, that he likes best,

Comes clinkin down beside him! Wi' arm reposed on the chair-back,

He sweetly does compose him; Which, by degrees, slips round her neck, An's loof upon her bosom,

Unkend that day.

Now a' the congregation o'er

Is silent expectation;
For Moodie speels the holy door

Wi' tidings o' damnation.
Should Hornie, as in ancient days,

’Mang sons o' God present him,
The vera sight o' Moodie's face
To 's ain het hame had sent him

Wi' fright that day.

Hear how he clears the points o' faith

Wi' rattlin an wi' thumpin! Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,

He's stampin an’ he's jumpin!

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