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Oh, fickle Fortune!

Why this cruel sporting ?
Oh, why still perplex us, poor sons of a day?

Nae mair your smiles can cheer me,

Nae mair your frowns can fear me;
For the flowers of the forest are a' wede away.

JANE ELLIOT

[1727-1805]

300

LAMENT FOR FLODDEN

I've heard them lilting' at our ewe-milking,

Lasses a' lilting before dawn o' day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning

For the flowers of the forest are a' wede away.

At bughts,' in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,

Lasses are lonely and dowie® and wae;
Nae daffin', nae gabbin', but sighing and sabbing,

Ilk ane lifts her leglin ® and hies her away.

1

10

In har'st,' at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,

Bandsters are lyart," and runkled," and gray;
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching ".

The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

At e'en, in the gloaming, nae younkers are roaming

'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play; But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie

The Flowers of the Forest are weded away.

Dool and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border !

The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the fore-

most,

The prime of our land, are cauld in the clay. 1 Singing. 2 Lane. : Withered. • Pens, folds.

Doleful. • Toying. Jeering. 8 Milking-stool. Harvest. 10 Makers of strawbands for the sheaves. 11 Withered.

12 Wrinkled. 11 Flattering.

7

We'll hear nae mair lilting at the ewe-milking;

Women and bairns are heartless and wae; Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning

The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

1

CHRISTOPHER SMART

[1722-1770]

301

A SONG TO DAVID

O THOU, that sitt'st upon a throne,
With harp of high, majestic tone,

To praise the King of kings:
And voice of heaven, ascending, swell,
Which, while its deeper notes excel,

Clear as a clarion rings:

To bless each valley, grove, and coast,
And charm the cherubs to the post

Of gratitude in throngs;
To keep the days on Zion's Mount,
And send the year to his account,

With dances and with songs:

O servant of God's holiest charge,
The minister of praise at large,

Which thou mayst now receive;
From thy blest mansion hail and hear,
From topmost eminence appear

To this the wreath I weave.

Great, valiant, pious, good, and clean,
Sublime, contemplative, serene,

Strong, constant, pleasant, wise !
Bright effluence of exceeding grace;
Best man ! the swiftness and the race,

The peril and the prize!

Great-from the lustre of his crown,
From Samuel's horn, and God's renown,

Which is the people's voice;
For all the host, from rear to van,
Applauded and embraced the man-

The man of God's own choice.

Valiant-the word, and up he rose;
The fight-he triumphed o'er the foes

Whom God's just laws abhor;
And, armed in gallant faith, he took
Against the boaster, from the brook,

The weapons of the war.

Pious-magnificent and grand,
'Twas he the famous temple plann'd,

(The seraph in his soul:) Foremost to give the Lord his dues, Foremost to bless the welcome news,

And foremost to condole.

Good—from Jehudah's genuine vein,
From God's best nature, good in grain,

His aspect and his heart:
To pity, to forgive, to save,
Witness En-gedi's conscious cave,

And Shimei's blunted dart.

Clean—if perpetual prayer be pure,
And love, which could itself inure

To fasting and to fear-
Clean in his gestures, hands, and feet,
To smite the lyre, the dance complete,

To play the sword and spear.
· Sublime-invention ever young,
Of vast conception, towering tongue,

To God the eternal theme;
Notes from yon exaltations caught,
Unrivalled royalty of thought,

O'er meaner strains supreme.

Contemplative-on God to fix
His musings, and above the six

The Sabbath-day he blessed; 'Twas then his thoughts self-conquest pruned, And heavenly melancholy tuned,

To bless and bear the rest.

Serene-to sow the seeds of peace,
Remembering, when he watched the fleece,

How sweetly Kidron purled-
To further knowledge, silence vice,
And plant perpetual paradise,

When God had calmed the world.

Strong—in the Lord, who could defy,
Satan, and all his powers that lie

In sempiternal night;
And hell, and horror, and despair
Were as the lion and the bear

To his undaunted might.

Constant-in love to God, the Truth,
Age, manhood, infancy, and youth:

To Jonathan his friend
Constant, beyond the verge of death;
And Ziba, and Mephibosheth,

His endless fame attend.

Pleasant and various as the year;
Man, soul, and angel without peer,

Priest, champion, sage, and boy;
In armour or in ephod clad,
His pomp, his piety was glad;

Majestic was his joy.

Wise-in recovery from his fall,
Whence rose his eminence o'er all,

Of all the most reviled;
The light of Israel in his ways,
Wise are his precepts, prayer, and praise,

And counsel to his child.

His muse, bright angel of his verse,
Gives balm for all the thorns that pierce,

For all the pangs that rage;
Blest light, still gaining on the gloom,
The more than Michal of his bloom,

The Abishag of his age.

He sang of God--the mighty source
Of all things--the stupendous force

On which all strength depends;
From Whose right arm, beneath Whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise

Commences, reigns, and ends.
Angels--their ministry and meed,
Which to and fro with blessings speed,

Or with their citterns wait;
Where Michael, with his millions, bows,
Where dwells the seraph and his spouse,

The cherub and her mațe.

Of man—the semblance and effect
Of God and love the saint elect

For infinite applause-
To rule the land, and briny broad,
To be laborious in his laud,

And heroes in his cause,

The world the clustering spheres He made,
The glorious light, the soothing shade,

Dale, champaign, grove, and hill;
The multitudinous abyss,
Where Secrecy remains in bliss,

And Wisdom hides her skill.

Trees, plants, and flowers—of virtuous root; Gem yielding blossom, yielding fruit,

Choice gums and precious balm; Bless ye the nosegay in the vale, And with the sweetness of the gale

Enrich the thankful psalm.

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