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For this, the muse that sings unknown
Shall strew thy evening path with flowers ; And halcyon peace her olive crown
Shall hang on thy sequester'd bowers.
For this from India's bright domains
Thy sons the blood-stain'd laurel bring, For this again their native plains,
With loud acclaim trinmphant ring !
While in thy kind maternal shade
We see another WALLACE * rise, Whose early steps, to honour led,
His country views with kindling eyes :
And while his deep indented spears
Protect her thistle's hallow'd stem; And while her rampant lion rears
To guard the British diadem :
And while a Scottish pulse beats high,
Accordant to her hero's name, And while in Valour's ardent eye,
Oppression wakes th' indignant flame:
* Alluding to a most promising grandson who bears that
And while, through all her winding vales
Sad Scotia for her poet mourns, And far as Britain's conquering sails
Extends the deathless name of BURNS :
And while kind Friendship’s generous breast
Swells with the tide of sympathy, Or suns declining gild the west,
VALLESIA's name shall never die !
When wealth and pride, without a name,
Are swept to drear oblivion's gloom, The muse's never-dying flame
Shall kindle odours on thy tomb.
There, Praise shall purest incense breathe,
And Fancy fairest garlands twine, And CALEDONIA bless the wreath
That decks VALLESIA's simple shrine.
DOMESTIC Muse! if such a Muse there be, or whatever power presides over pathetic simplicity, over the tender, endearing intercourse of humble life, over those virtues that bloom unseen, and wither unlamented, enable me, in appropriate terms, to convey some idea of that worth to which I have endeavoured to hang up a votive tablet in the temple of Memory!
The person who is the subject of the following verses, was Highland to extravagance, and possessed all the cha-racteristic virtues of that enthusiastic race, without their debasing mixtures. She was hospitable without ostentation; -she bore hardships and poverty without a malignant jealousy of the wealthy ;-she adored her own Clan and Chief, without disliking or undervaluing any other,—and her family-pride merely served as an outguard to her innate dignity of mind ;—she was all I have described,
« And still it was her dearest charm,
She was our neighbour, had been married to an old
gentleman, who left her a widow, slenderly provided, with one son, now doing well in the West Indies. By romantic generosity she reduced her circumstances, but with amazing spirit, struggled to support, and did support, not only a decent appearance, but a liberality to the distressed that was astonishing. She never visited the sick poor, without carrying something to them, and was an excellent sick nurse, to which charitable office she gave much of her time. She was my constant gossip, loved my children with maternal affection, and was so much beloved by them, that they always called her Moome, an endearing appellation in the Gaelic language, signifying a person, who without being actually a mother, performs the duties of one. In the year 1795, I had a long alarming illness, during which she took care of an infant I then had, and watched me for above a month, without ever sleeping except in an easy chair, after sunrise. Mr G. grateful for this affectionate exertion, ordered a present of a mantle for her ; but CharLOTTE, to whom the poem is addressed, having neglected to forward it immediately, the good Lady did not live to see it, being soon after carried off by a sudden violent illness. The morning after her death I poured forth extempore, I may say, this tribute to her memory, which flowed indeed
" Warm from the heart, and faithful to its fires."
In vain my eye-lids seek repose
While midnight spreads her thickest gloom, My heart, a stranger to repose,
Still bleeds o'er poor departed MOOME !
No gossip in my faithful heart
Shall ever occupy her room ; They live by flattery and by art,
But Truth and Nature dwelt with MOOME,
Her fate awakes