With musing-deep, astonish'd stare,
I view'd the heavenly-seeming Fair;
A whispering throb did witness bear
Of kindred sweet,
When with an elder sister's air
She did me greet.
"All hail! my own inspired bard!
In me thy native Muse regard;
Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard,
Thus poorly low;
I come to give thee such reward,
As we bestow!
"Know, the great genius of this land
Has many a light aerial band,
Who, all beneath his high command,
As arts or arms they understand,
Their labours ply.
"They Scotia's race among them share:
Some fire the soldier on to dare;
Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Some teach the bard—a darling care—
The tuneful art.
"'Mong swelling floods of reeking gore,
They, ardent, kindling spirits pour;
Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar,
They, sightless, stand,
To mend the honest patriot-lore,
And grace the hand.
"And when the bard, or hoary sage,
Charm or instruct the future age,
They bind the wild poetric rage
Or point the inconclusive page
Full on the eye.
"Hence, Fullarton, the brave and young;
Hence, Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue;
Hence, sweet, harmonious Beattie sung
His 'Minstrel lays';
Or tore, with noble ardour stung,
The sceptic's bays.
"To lower orders are assign'd
The humbler ranks of human-kind,
The rustic bard, the lab'ring hind,
All choose, as various they're inclin'd,
The various man.
"When yellow waves the heavy grain,
The threat'ning storm some strongly rein;
Some teach to meliorate the plain
And some instruct the shepherd-train,
Blythe o'er the hill.
"Some hint the lover's harmless wile;
Some grace the maiden's artless smile;
Some soothe the lab'rer's weary toil
For humble gains,
And make his cottage-scenes beguile
His cares and pains.
"Some, bounded to a district-space
Explore at large man's infant race,
To mark the embryotic trace
Of rustic bard;
And careful note each opening grace,
A guide and guard.
"Of these am I—Coila my name:
And this district as mine I claim,
Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power:
I mark'd thy embryo-tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.
"With future hope I oft would gaze
Fond, on thy little early ways,
Thy rudely, caroll'd, chiming phrase,
In uncouth rhymes;
Fir'd at the simple, artless lays
Of other times.
"I saw thee seek the sounding shore,
Delighted with the dashing roar;
Or when the North his fleecy store
Drove thro' the sky,
I saw grim Nature's visage hoar
Struck thy young eye.
"Or when the deep green-mantled earth
Warm cherish'd ev'ry floweret's birth,
And joy and music pouring forth
In ev'ry grove;
I saw thee eye the general mirth
With boundless love.
"When ripen'd fields and azure skies
Call'd forth the reapers' rustling noise,
I saw thee leave their ev'ning joys,
And lonely stalk,
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise,
In pensive walk.
"When youthful love, warm-blushing, strong,
Keen-shivering, shot thy nerves along,
Those accents grateful to thy tongue,
Th' adored Name,
I taught thee how to pour in song,
To soothe thy flame.
"I saw thy pulse's maddening play,
Wild send thee Pleasure's devious way,
Misled by Fancy's meteor-ray,
By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray
Was light from Heaven.
"I taught thy manners-painting strains,
The loves, the ways of simple swains,
Till now, o'er all my wide domains
Thy fame extends;
And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
Become thy friends.
"Thou canst not learn, nor I can show,
To paint with Thomson's landscape glow;
Or wake the bosom-melting throe,
With Shenstone's art;
Or pour, with Gray, the moving flow
Warm on the heart.
"Yet, all beneath th' unrivall'd rose,
T e lowly daisy sweetly blows;
Tho' large the forest's monarch throws
His army shade,
Yet green the juicy hawthorn grows,
Adown the glade.
"Then never murmur nor repine;
Strive in thy humble sphere to shine;
And trust me, not Potosi's mine,
Nor king's regard,
Can give a bliss o'ermatching thine,
A rustic bard.
"To give my counsels all in one,
Thy tuneful flame still careful fan:
Preserve the dignity of Man,
With soul erect;
And trust the Universal Plan
Will all protect.
"And wear thou this"—she solemn said,
And bound the holly round my head:
The polish'd leaves and berries red
Did rustling play;
And, like a passing thought, she fled
In light away.