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THE RELIGION OF HUDIBRAS.
HE was of that stubborn crew
And prove their doctrine orthodox
THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO R. AIKEN, ESQ.
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
My loved, my honored, much-respected friend, No mercenary bard his homage pays :
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out amang the farmers roun';
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e,
Wi' Joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers:
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new ;
"An' O, be sure to fear the Lord alway!
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore his counsel and assisting might; They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!"
Their master's an' their mistress's command,
O happy love! where love like this is found!
And sage experience bids me this declare :-
One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair
Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee,
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the even
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,
But blate and lathefu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae
Weel pleased to think her bairn 's respected like the lave.
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Are honor, virtue, conscience, all exiled? Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child, Then paints the ruined maid, and their distrac tion wild?
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
The soupe their only hawkie does afford,
That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood; The dame brings forth, in complimental mood, Tograce the lad, her weel-hained kebbuck fell, An' aft he's prest, an' aft he ca's it guid;
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, Together hymning their Creator's praise, In such society, yet still more dear;
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
flow 't was a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the While circling Time moves round in an eternal
Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,"
Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
Devotion's every grace, except the heart!
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; But, haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul;
And in his Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.
Then homeward all take off their several way;
And proffer up to heaven the warm request,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best,
For them and for their little ones provide; But, chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine pre
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her loved at home, revered abroad; Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, "An honest man's the noblest work of God!" And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind : What is a lordling's pomp? —a cumbrous load, Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet
And, O, may Heaven their simple lives prevent
A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved