Verses written with a Pencil over the Chimney-piece
written in 1787
Admiring Nature in her wildest grace, These northern scenes with weary feet I trace; O'er many a winding dale and painful steep, Th' abodes of coveyed grouse and timid sheep, My savage journey, curious, I pursue, Till fam'd Breadalbaine opens to my view. The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides, The woods, wild-scattered, clothe their ample sides; Th' outstretching lake, imbosomed 'mong the hills, The eye with wonder and amazement fills; The Tay meandering sweet in infant pride, The palace rising on his verdant side; The lawns wood-fringed in Nature's native taste; The hillocks dropt in Nature's careless haste, The arches striding o'er the new-born stream; The village glittering in the noontide beam. Poetic ardours in my bosom swell, Lone wandring by the hermit's mossy cell: The sweeping theatre of hanging woods; Th' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods Here Poesy might wake her heaven taught lyre, And look through Nature with creative fire; Here, to the wrongs of Fate half reconcil'd, Misfortune's lightened steps might wander wild; And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds, Find balm to soothe her bitter rankling wounds: Here heart-struck Grief might heavenward stretch her scan, And injured Worth forget and pardon Man.