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Buchanan, Lib. 3. Epig. 1. imitated
FOR heavy crops the farmer prays,
The tradefman but for cent per cent;
For the Bee.
Elegy, occafioned by the Death of a Friend.
WHAT means that doleful knell from yonder fane,
My throbbing heart in quick diforder beats,
A fudden horror fteals upon the mind,
"Ye fons of men this folemn scene attend,
May 25, 1791.}
For the Bee.
Written after giving a Gentleman a Breaft Buckle.
Your Stella's face with blushes glow'd,
Nor did you guess the cause;
For the Bee.
The Harper of Mull, a Tale, written in the year 1780, never before printed.
Ah crudele genus, nec fidum femina nomen!
Tibul. lib. iii. El. 4.
In the days of yore, there lived in the ille of Mull a celebrated harper, who married for love a young woman of exquifite beauty. This musician was fuperior to all his contemporaries in taste and execution; but perhaps he owed part of his fame, to a harp so happily conftructed, that no artist could hope to equal, much lefs furpass it. Next to his wife, it was the pride and joy of his heart, and his companion wherever he went.
This pair had a relation on the oppofite coaft, whom they were called to vifit on a sudden. They who are acquainted with that rugged island, will not wonder, that a woman should fink under the cold and fatigue of the journey. And accordingly, on a high hill, which they could not avoid paffing, the fainted away quite exhaufted. The husband, with the utmost tenderness, exerted himself for the prefervation of a life fo precious; and feeing fome figns of recovery, made hafte to kindle a fire to warm her. He ftruck a flint, and received the fparks among a little. heather which he gathered with difficulty; for the place was too high and expofed, to produce that plant in abun dance, though a native of barren foils. In this penury of fuel, the good man fcrupled not to facrifice his beloved harp, breaking it in pieces, and feeding the flames with its fragments.
Meanwhile a young gentleman remarkably handfome and genteel, happened to be at no great distance a hunting; and fpying the fmoke, made towards it. He appeared to be greatly ftruck on feeing in that wilderness a fine woman in diftrefs, whilft fhe was fo much difordered at the fight of the ftranger, that the bufband dreaded another fit. The
youth made many profeffions of fympathy and concern, and offered to them fome provifions and ufquebagh he had with him. This was too feasonable a proposal not to be accepted with gratitude; for they had fet out in a violent hurry, ill prepared for any accident; and without fome cordial, the wife's ailments might return before they got to an inhabited place.
By degrees however, her agitation fubfided; and the was prevailed on with fome intreaty to partake of the repaft. In a little while her fpirits revived, and the feemed to make light of her late difafter. The joy of the hufband was exceffive; nor did he once regard the lofs of his harp. He was even pleafed to fee his wife exert herfelf with fuch alacrity to entertain the youth, to whofe courtesy they were fo highly indebted. Their converfation became foon fo animated and particular, that a lefs happy husband, with the flightest tincture of jealoufy in his temper, would have fufpected that this was not their first meeting. And indeed they were old acquaintance, though, as the young man faw her not difpofed to recognize him, he chofe to behave as a ftranger.
Our heroine had been bred with a grandmother, whofe name the bore, and from whom her family had expectations. 'The old woman's houfe was a great way to the northward, and very near that of the youth's father. From early in fancy they had been companions; and in all the littic purfuits and paftimes of childhood, had ever chofen each other as affociates. As they advanced in years, their fondness increased, which was not a little encouraged by the idle paftoral life then led by the young Highlanders of both fexes: For at a time when boys of his age in another country would have been confined to a school or college, he was employed in hunting, fishing, or listening to the fongs and tales that were the delight of all ranks of people. courfe, he had numberless interviews with our fair one, whofe beauty and fweetnefs of difpofition daily increased. Their friendship was fait ripening into love, when her grandmother died, and the returned to her father's houfe. From that time to the prefent they had never met, though the was not married till full two years after.