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There is no light in earth or heaven,
But the cold light of stars ;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love?

The star of love and dreams? Oh no! from that blue tent above A hero's armour gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise, When I behold afar,

Suspended in the evening skies,

The shield of that red star.

O star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain;

Thou beckonest with thy mailèd hand, And I am strong again.

Within my heart there is no light,
But the cold light of stars ;
I give the first watch of the night
To the red planet Mars.

The star of the unconquer'd will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,

And calm, and self-possess'd.

And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,
That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,
Be resolute and calm.

Oh, fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know, ere long,
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.




IN the battle o' life when new troubles oppress,
And fortune appears to disdain us;

When the weel-hoarded shillings are fast growin' less,
That only hard toil can regain us,—

We maunna sit doun at the brink o' despair,

But gaze through the cloud that hangs o'er us, And maybe, wha kens, we shall see written there, "There's aye something better before us."

Although o' ae e'enin' o' happiness we
Hae naething ava to assure us,
And though o' the fruits o' ae puir labour-fee
There may be few dainties to spare us---

We maunna indulge in the yaumerer's sin,
Lest angel Content should abhor us,
But croon, wi' a glint at the regions aboon,
"There's aye something better before us."

When castles we build on the houp o' guid health, Aft lameness or sickness deceive us ;

And aften o' wark, aye the chief source o' wealth, The word o' a maister bereave us;

Sair, sair is the grief sic disasters may bring,

E'en though our kind neebours deplore us; But sorrow leans lightly on hearts that can sing, "There's aye something better before us."

Ye great, wha puir Labour can grind at your will, Uncheck'd by a conscience within ye,

I warn ye, defiant we look on ye still,

And free as the lark soar aboon ye.

In vain the north blast o' your anger may blaw,
In vain, perch'd on pride, ye ignore us,
Until ye can tak the sweet solace awa,
"There's aye something better before us.”



THE hinds how blest, who ne'er beguiled
To quit their hamlets' hawthorn-wild;
Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main,
For splendid care, and guilty gain!

When morning's twilight-tinctured beam Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam, They rove abroad in ether blue,

To dip the scythe in fragrant dew:
The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell
That nodding shades a craggy dell.

Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear,
Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear;
On green untrodden banks they view
The hyacinth's neglected hue;

In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds,
They spy the squirrel's airy bounds;
And startle from her ashen spray,
Across the glen, the screaming jay;
Each native charm their steps explore
Of solitude's sequester'd store.

For them the moon with cloudless ray
Mounts, to illume their homeward way:
Their weary spirits to relieve,
The meadows incense breathe at eve.

No riot mars the simple fare

That o'er a glimmering hearth they share;
But when the curfew's measured roar
Duly, the darkening valleys o'er,
Has echo'd from the distant town,
They wish no beds of cygnet-down,
No trophied canopies, to close
Their drooping eyes in quick repose.

Their little sons, who spread the bloom
Of health around the clay-built room,
Or through the primrosed coppice stray,
Or gambol in the new-mown hay;
Or quaintly braid the cowslip-twine,
Or drive afield the tardy kine;

Or hasten from the sultry hill

To loiter at the shady rill;
Or climb the tall pine's gloomy crest
To rob the raven's ancient nest.

Their humble porch with honied flowers
The curling woodbine's shade embowers;
From the small garden's thymy mound
Their bees in busy swarms resound;
Nor fell Disease, before his time,
Hastes to consume life's golden prime;
But when their temples long have wore
The silver crown of tresses hoar;
As studious still calm peace to keep,
Beneath a flow'ry turf they sleep.

THOMAS WHARTON, 1728-1790.

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