« PredošláPokračovať »
There, watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;
And mark'd with many a seamy scar:
With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,
Haply, my sires have left their shed, And fac'd grim danger's loudest roar, Bold-following where your fathers led!
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs!
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.
"I enclose you two poems," says Burns to Chalmers, “I have carded and spun since I past Glenbuck. One blank in the Address to Edinburgh, Fair B—,' is the heavenly Miss Burnet, daughter to Lord Monboddo, at whose house I have had the honour to be more than once. There has not been any thing nearly like her in all the combinations of beauty, grace, and goodness, the great Creator has formed since Milton's Eve on the first day of her existence." His admiration both of the young lady's loveliness and the grandeur of Edinburgh in verse is as elegant as it is vigorous.
I have heard the second verse quoted as a noble one by an eminent English poet, and the fifth verse repeated with a glowing brow by Sir Walter Scott, who added, "The description is vivid and happy." His own striking lines on the same splendid scene in Marmion came to my mind as he spoke :—
"When sated with the martial show
That peopled all the plain below,
The wandering eye could o'er it go
For on the smoke-wreaths huge and slow,
The morning beams were shed,
And tinged them with a lustre proud
And all the steep slope down,
Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky,
Yonder the shores of Fife you saw,
The gallant Firth the eye might note,
Like emeralds chased in gold."
Burns loved to wander on the hills of Braid, and it was frequently his pleasure to climb Arthur's Seat, and throwing himself down on the green sward on its summit, give way to such rapturous expressions as those which Scott gives to Fitz-Eustace :
"Fitz-Eustace' heart felt closely pent;
As if to give his rapture vent
And raised his bridle-hand;
And making demi-volte in air,
Cried, Where's the coward that would not dare
Other points of the landscape attracted the Poet's notice.- -"He was passionately fond,” says Dugald Stewart, "of the beauties of nature; and I recollect once he told me, when I was admiring a distant prospect in one of our morning walks, that the sight of so many smoking cottages gave a pleasure to his mind which none could understand who had not witnessed, like himself, the happiness and the worth which they contained."
MEETING WITH LORD DAER.
THIS Wot ye all whom it concerns,
I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,
A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,
Sae far I sprachled up the brae,
I dinner'd wi' a Lord.
I've been at druken writers' feasts,
I've even join'd the honour'd jorum,
When mighty Squireships of the quorum,
Their hydra drouth did sloken.
But wi' a Lord-stand out my shin,
A Lord-a Peer-an Earl's son,
Up higher yet my bonnet!
And sic a Lord!-lang Scotch ells twa,
Our Peerage he o'erlooks them a',
As I look o'er my sonnet.
But, oh! for Hogarth's magic pow'r!
And how he star'd and stammer'd,
When goavan, as if led wi' branks,
I sidling shelter'd in a nook,
Like some portentous omen;
I marked nought uncommon.
I watch'd the symptoms o' the great,
The arrogant assuming;
The feint a pride, nae pride had he,
Mair than an honest ploughman.
Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
One rank as weel's another;
Nae honest worthy man need care
For he but meets a brother.