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Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise; But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou bes!
Such is the fate of artless maid, Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade! By love's simplicity betray'd,
And guileless trust, 'Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n, Who long with wants and woes has striving By human pride or çunning driy'n,
To mis’ry's brink, 'Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
He, ryin'd, sink!
Ev’n thou who mournst the daişy's fate, That fate is thine-no distant date; Stern ruin's plough-share drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom, 'Tin crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom !
The mightiest empires fall!
A sullen welcome, all !
I see each aimed dart;
The storm no more I dread
Round my devoted head.
Oh! hear a wretch's pray'r!
To close this scene of care !
Resign life's joyless day;
To stain my lifeless face;
Within thy cold embrace !
TO MISS L.,
WITH BEATTIE'S POEMS
As a New Year's Gift, Jan. 1, 1787.
Again the silent wheels of time
Their annual round have driv'n, And you, tho' scarce in maiden prime,
Are so much nearer Heav'n.
No gifts have I from Indian coasts
The infant year to hail;
In Edwin's simple tale.
Our sex with guile and faithless love
Is charg’d, perhaps, too true;
An Edwin still to you.
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
A something to have sent you,
Than just a kind memento;
Let time and chance determine ;
Perhaps turn out a sermon.
And, Andrew dear, believe me,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
Ev'n when your end's attained ;
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
The real, harden'd wicked,
Are to a few restricked :
But och, mankind are unco weak,
An' little to be trusted ; If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted !
IV. Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,
Their fate we should na censure, For still th' important end of life,
They equally may answer;
Tho' poortith hourly stare him ;
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.
When wi' a bosom crony;
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Frae critical dissection;
Wi' sharpen'd sly inspection.
Luxuriantly indulge it;
Tho' naething should divulge it ;
The hazard of concealing; But och! it hardens a' within,
And petrifies the feeling!
VII. To catch dame fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her ; And gather gear by ev'ry wile That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for a train-attendant; But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
To haud the wretch in order;
Let that aye be your border:
Debar a' side pretences ;
IX. The great Creator to revere,
Must sure become the creature; But still the preaching cant forbear,
And ev'n the rigid feature :
Be complaisance extended ;
For Deity offended !
X. When ranting round in pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded ; Or if she gie a random sting,
It may be little minded ;
A conscience but a canker
Is sure a noble anchor !
XI. Adieu, dear, amiable youth !
Your heart can ne'er be wanting! May prudence, fortitude, and truth,
Erect your brow undaunted!