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SELECTIONS FROM HIS POEMS AND LETTERS.
BY ALFRED HOWARD, ESQ.
PRINTED BY T. DAVISON,
FOR THOMAS TEGG, NO. 73, CHEAPSIDE;
R. GRIFFIN AND CO. GLASGOW;
J. CUMMING, DUBLIN.
A BARD'S EPITAPH.
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Here pause and, through the starting tear, Survey this grave.
poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control,
THE BRIGS OF AYR.
The simple bard, rough at the rustic plough,
By arly Poverty to hardship steel'd,
With heart-felt throes his grateful bosom swells,
"Twas when the stacks gat on their winter hap, And thack and rape secure the toil-won crap; Potatoe-bings are snugged up fra skaith Of coming Winter's biting, frosty breath; The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils, Unnumber'd buds an' flowers' delicious spoils, Seal'd up wi' frugal care in massive waxen piles, Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, The death o' devils smoor'd wi' brimstone reek: The thundering guns are heard on every side, The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide; The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's tie, Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie: (What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!) Nae mair the flower in field or meadow springs; Nae mair the grove wi' airy concert rings, Except perhaps the Robin's whistling glee, Proud o' the height o' some bit half-lang tree: The hoary morns precede the sunny days, Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide blaze, While thick the gossamour waves wanton in the rays. 'Twas in that season, when a simple bard, Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward, Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr, By whim inspired, or haply prest wi' care, He left his bed, and took his wayward route, And down by Simpson's* wheel'd the left about: (Whether impell'd by all-directing Fate, To witness what I after shall narrate;
* A noted tavern at the Auld Brig end.