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I'm wearin' awa', John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'

To the land o' the leal.
There's nae sorrow there, John,
There's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair

In the land o' the leal.

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Sae dear that joy was bought, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought

To the land o' the leal.
Oh! dry your glistening e'e, John,
My soul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me,

To the land o' the leal.

Oh! haud ye leal and true, John,
Your day it's wearin' through, John,
And I'll welcome you

To the land o' the leal.
Now fare-ye-weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we 'll be fain

In the land o' the leal.


(Anna Lætitia Aikin, was born at Kıbworth Harcourt, in Leicestershire. 1743. Published Poems, 1773; Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose by J. and A. L. Aikin, 1773. Married Rev. Rochemont Barbauld, 1774.

Published Poetical Epistle to Mr. Wilberforce, 1791; Hymns in Prose for Little Children, 1811. Died at Stoke Newington, March 9, 1825.]

The poems of Mrs. Barbauld are chiefly written in the elegant pseudo-classic style of the close of the last century. She expresses herself clearly and with grace; a certain artificiality of manner harmonises with her choice of subject. Her poetry is without deep thought or passion ; but it is free from blunders of an avoidable kind. The spirit of self-criticism which prompted her to destroy all her juvenile verses, never permitted her to include with her pub. lished works any ill-considered thought or unsuccessfuleffort. 'I had rather,' she declared, in answer to remonstrance,'that it should be asked of twenty pieces why they are not here, than of one why it is.' The bulk of Mrs. Barbauld's poetry is inspired by the trivial occasions of domestic life ; and when she quits the personal vein, it is of Delia and Damon, of Sylvia and Corin, that she sings ; pretty shepherdesses and tuneful shepherds, whose delicate pretence of loving claims no relation to the passions of reality. Such fancies move her to an airy playfulness, a charming feminine kind of humour. She is gay, but her gayest mood is without abandonment. Frequent allusions to the classic poets, quoted lines of Virgil, remind us that the poetess is also a learned lady, a schoolmistress, and an authority on education.

The fame of Mrs. Barbauld's hymns has outlived the rest of her work. Yet with the exception of her charming Hymns in Prose for Little Children, they seem, to a modern reader, deficient in fervour and in religious emotion. They are pure in tone and lofty, but often singularly cold. There can be no doubt, however, of their sincerity.

Mrs. Barbauld essayed her strength in one or two serious poems and epistles on political subjects. In the treatment of such themes she was not happy. It is only in her lighter moods that she is free from a certain complacent shallowness of sentiment which lessens the value of her work. This fault is less noticeable in her later poems, when age and sad experience had overcome her : yet even here, in only one of her lyrics, in the close of the Ode to Life, do we meet with much real beauty of feeling. Towards the end of her days she composed the longest of her poems, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven. Her subject is the decline of British power, the transfer of European prestige to America; and it is not surprising that it was received with much disfavour. Nor were the public to be soothed by hearing that the ‘ingenuous youth from the Blue Mountains or Ontario's Lake,' forerunners of Lord Macaulay's New Zealander, should, making duteous pilgrimage to London's faded glories, enquire

•Where all-accomplished Jones his race began.' Mrs. Barbauld could not forgive the public its ingratitude. She took a mild revenge in publishing no more poems, and the step, it may be, was a wise one. In the heyday of the Georgian revival, her academic little verses must have missed their accustomed praise. Her vaunted immortelles had already faded ; I fear they will bear no more their golden flowers in any possible future.




Sweet daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child; delightful Spring !

Whose unshorn locks with leaves

And swelling buds are crowned ; From the green islands of eternal youth, Crowned with fresh blooms and ever springing shade;

Turn, hither turn thy step,

O thou, whose powerful voice
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can soothe the madding winds,

And through the stormy deep
Breathe thine own tender calm.

Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove

Thy blooming wilds among,

And vales and dewy lawns,
With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweet,
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow

Of him, the favoured youth

That prompts their whispered sigh.
Unlock thy copious stores,—those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds ;

And silent dews that swell

The milky ear's green stem, And feed the flowering osier's early shoots ; And call those winds which through the whispering boughs

With warm and pleasant breath

Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale,

And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.

O nymph, approach! while yet the temperate sun
With bashful forehead through the cool moist air

Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses wooes

The earth's fair bosom ; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds with wind and frequent shade

Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.

Sweet is thy reign, but short :-the red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe

Thy greens, thy flowerets all

Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell :
For O not all that Autumn's lap contains,

Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,

Can aught for thee atone,
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart

Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.


Animula, vagula, blanduin.'

Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part ;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled
Where'er they lay these limbs, this hea,
No clod so valueless shall be
As all that then remains of me.
O whither, whither dost thou fly,
Where bend unseen thy trackless course,

And in this strange divorce,
Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?

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