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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,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card

of prudent lore,
'Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

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 !


All bail! inexorable lord !
At whose destruction-breathing word

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The mightiest empires fall!
Thy cruel, woe-delighted train,
The ministers of grief and pain,

A sullen welcome, all !
With stern-resolv'd, despairing eye,

I see each aimed dart;
For one has cut my dearest tie,
And quivers in my heart.
Then low'ring, and pouring,

The storm no more I dread
Tho' thick’ning and black’ning

Round my devoted head.


And thou grim pow'r, by life abhorr'd,
While life a pleasure can afford,

Oh! hear a wretch's pray'r!
No more I shrink appal'd, afraid ;
I court, I beg thy friendly aid,

To close this scene of care !
When shall my soul, in silent peace,

Resign life's joyless day;
My weary heart its throbbing cease,
Cold mould’ring in the clay?
No fear more, no tear more,

To stain my lifeless face;
Enclasped, and grasped

Within thy cold embrace !



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;
I send you more than India boasts

In Edwin's simple tale.

Our sex with guile and faithless love

Is charg’d, perhaps, too true;
But may, dear maid, each lover prove

An Edwin still to you.




I lang hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae other end

Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject-theme may gang,

Let time and chance determine ;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,

Perhaps turn out a sermon.

Ye'll try the world soon, my lad,

And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,

And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,

Ev'n when your end's attained ;
And a’ your views may come to nought,

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

I'll 10 say, men are villains a';

The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,

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;
A man may hae an honest heart,

Tho' poortith hourly stare him ;
A man may tak a neebor's part,

Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

Aye free, aff han' your story tell,

When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel

Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can

Frae critical dissection;
But keek thro' ev'ry other man,

Wi' sharpen'd sly inspection.

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,

Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,

Tho' naething should divulge it ;
I wave the quantum o' the sin,

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.

The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip

To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,

Let that aye be your border:
Its slightest touches, instant pause

Debar a' side pretences ;
And resolutely keep its laws,

Uncaring consequences.

IX. The great Creator to revere,

Must sure become the creature; But still the preaching cant forbear,

And ev'n the rigid feature :
Yet ne'er with wits prophane to range,

Be complaisance extended ;
An atheist's laugh's a poor exchange

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 ;
But when on life we're tempest-driv'n,

A conscience but a canker
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n

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!

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