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LAMENT OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, ON

THE APPROACH OF SPRING.

N

OW nature hangs her mantle green

On every blooming tree,

And spreads her sheets o' daisies white
Out o'er the grassy lea ;
Now Phæbus cheers the crystal streams,

And glads the azure skies ;
But nocht can glad the weary wight

That fast in durance lies.

Now lav'rocks wake the merry morn,

Aloft on dewy wing;
The merle, in his noontide bower,

Makes woodland echoes ring;
The mavis wild, wi' many a note

Sings drowsy day to rest ;
In love and freedom they rejoice,

Wi’ care nor thrall opprest.

Now blooms the lily on the bank,

The primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn's budding in the glen,

And milk-white is the slae;
The meanest hind in fair Scotland

May rove their sweets amang,
But I, the Queen of a' Scotland,

Maun lie in prison strong.

I was the Queen o' bonnie France,

Where happy I ha'e been ;
Fa’ lightly raise I in the morn,

As blythe lay down at e'en;

And I'm the Sovereign of Scotland,

And monie a traitor there ; Yet here I lie in foreign bands,

And never-ending care.

But as for thee, thou false woman!

My sister and my fae,
Grim vengeance, yet, shall whet a sword

That through thy saul shall gae;
The weeping blood in woman's breast

Was never known to thee;
Nor th’ balm that droops on wounds of woe

Fra’ woman's pitying e'e.
My son! my son! may kinder stars

Upon thy fortune shine ;
And may those pleasures gild thy reign,

That ne'er wad blink on mine!
God keep thee from thy mother's faes,

Or turn their hearts to thee;
And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend

Remember her for me!

Oh! soon to me may summer suns

Nae mair light up the morn! Nae mair to me the autumn winds

Wave o'er the yellow corn!
And in the narrow house o' death

Let winter round me rave ;
And the next flowers that deck the spring,
Bloom on my peaceful grave!

Burns. TO THE CUCKOO.

H

AIL, beauteous stranger of the grove !

Thou messenger of spring!

Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.
What time the daisy decks the green,

Thy certain voice we hear;
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,

Or mark the rolling year ?
Delightful visitant! with thee

I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet

From birds among the bowers.
The schoolboy wandering through the wood

To pull the primrose gay,
Starts, the new voice of spring to hear,

And imitates thy lay.
What time the pea puts on the bloom,

Thou fliest the vocal vale,
An annual guest in other lands,

Another spring to hail.
Sweet bird ! thy bower is ever green,

Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,

No winter in thy year.
O could I fly, I'd fly with thee!

We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o’er the globe,
Companions of the spring.

Logan.

FAR, FAR FROM LOVE AND THEE, MARY.

T

HE heath this night must be my bed,
The bracken curtain for my head,

My lullaby the warder's tread,
Far, far from love and thee, Mary ;
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid,
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid !

Ít will not waken me, Mary.

I will not, dare not, fancy now
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow,
I dare not think upon thy vow,

And all it promised me, Mary;
No fond regret must Norman know;
When bursts Clan Alpine on the foe,
His heart must be like bended bow,

His foot like arrow free, Mary.
A time will come with feeling fraught,
For if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover's dying thought

Shall be a thought on thee, Mary.
And if returned from conquered foes,
How blithely will the evening close,
How sweet the linnet sing repose
To my young bride and me, Mary.

Walter Scott.

alter

BASSANIO CHOOSING THE CASKET.

Portia-I am locked in one of them: If you do love me, you will find me out. Bassanio-So may the outward shows be least

themselves : The world is still deceived with ornament. In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt, But, being seasoned with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil ? In religion, What saddest error, but some sober brow Will bless it, and approve it with a text, Hiding the grossness with fair ornament ? There is no vice so simple, but assumes Some mark of virtue on his outward parts. So are those crisped, snaky golden locks, Which make such wanton gambols with the wind, Upon supposed fairness, often known To be the dowry of a second head, The skull that bred them, in the sepulchre. Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea ; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty ; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold, Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee; Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge 'Tween man and man; but thou, thou meagre lead, Which rather threat’nest than doth promise aught, Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence, And here choose I ; joy be the consequence ! What find I here?

(Opening the leaden casket.) Fair Portia's counterfeit? What demi-god Hath come so near creation ? Yet look, how far The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow

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