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To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy


There shame to manhood, and opprobriDooms and devotes him as his lawful

Ous more prey.


To France than all her losses and defeats Lands intersected by a narrow frith Abhor each other. Mountains interposed Her house of bondage worse than that of

Old or of later date, by sea or land, 381 Make enemies of nations who had else

old Like kindred drops been mingled into one.

Which God avenged on Pharaoh-the Thus man devotes? his brother, and de

Bastile! stroys; And worse than all, and most to be de

Ye horrid towers, the abode of broken plored,

hearts, As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, That monarchs have supplied from age to

Ye dungeons and ye cages of despair, 383 Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat

age With stripes that Mercy, with a bleeding

With music such as suits their sovereign


The sighs and groans of miserable men, Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.25 Then what is man? And what man

There's not an English heart that would

not leap seeing this,

To hear that ye were fallen at last, to And having human feelings, does not

know blush


That even our enemies, so oft employed And hang his head, to think himself a

In forging chains for us, themselves were man?

free: I would not have a slave to till my ground,

For he that values liberty, confines To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,

His zeal for her predominance within And tremble when I wake, for all the

No narrow bounds; her cause engages wealth

him That sinews bought and sold have ever

Wherever pleaded; 'tis the cause of man. earned. No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation prized above all price,

ON THE RECEIPT OF MY I had much rather be myself the slave

MOTHER'S PICTURE And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.

Oh that those lips had language! Life We have no slaves at home: then why has passed abroad?

With me but roughly since I heard thee And they themselves once ferried o'er the last.

Those lips are thine—thy own sweet That parts us, are emancipate and loosed. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their The same that oft in childhood solaced me; lungs

Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, Receive our air, that moment they are “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears free;


6 They touch our country, and their shackles The meek intelligence of those dear eyes fall.

st be the art that can immortalise, That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud The art that baffles Time's tyrannic And jealous of the blessing. Spread it claim then,

To quench it) here shines on me still the And let it circulate through every vein 45 same. Of all your empire; that where Britain's Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, power

O welcome guest, though unexpected here! Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too. Who bidst me honor with an artless song,

Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I vows to destruction.




smile I see,



our own.


art gone

I will obey, not willingly alone,

15 'Tis now become a history little known, But gladly, as the precept were her own: That once we called the pastoral house And, while that face renews my filial grief, Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief, Short-lived possession! but the record fair Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,

That memory keeps, of all thy kindness A momentary dream that thou art she.


55 My mother! when I learned that thou Still outlives many a storm that has efwast dead,

faced Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I A thousand other themes less deeply shed?

traced. Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, Wretch even then, life's journey just | That thou mightst know me safe and begun?

warmly laid; Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, a kiss:


The biscuit, or confectionary plum; 61 Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss- The fragrant waters on my cheeks beAh, that maternal smile! It answers

stowed Yes.

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day, glowed; I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, All this, and more endearing still than And turning from my nursery window, all, drew

30 | Thy constant flow of love, that knew no A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! fall,

65 But was it such?—It was.—Where thou Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and

brakes Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. That humor interposed too often makes; May I but meet thee on that peaceful All this still legible in memory's page, shore,

And still to be so to my latest age, The parting word shall pass my lips no Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay 70 more!

Such honors to thee as my numbers may; Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, concern,

Not scorned in heaven, though little Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. noticed here. What ardently I wished I long believed, Could Time, his flight reversed, restore And, disappointed still, was still de- the hours, ceived.

When, playing with thy vesture's tissued By expectation every day beguiled,

flowers, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. The violet, the pink, and jassamine, Thus many a sad to-morrow came and I pricked them into paper with a pin went,

(And thou wast happier than myself the Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, while, I learned at last submission to my lot; Would softly speak, and stroke my head But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er for

and smile), got.


Could those few pleasant days again Where once we dwelt our name is


80 heard no more,

Might one wish bring them, would I wish Children not thine have trod my nursery

them here? floor;

I would not trust my heart—the dear deAnd where the gardener Robin, day by day, light Drew me to school along the public way, Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.Delighted with my bauble coach, and But no—what here we call our life is such, wrapped


So little to be loved, and thou so much, In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet That I should ill requite thee to constrain capped,

Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.



75 90




Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's And, while the wings of Fancy still are coast

88 free, (The storms all weathered and the ocean And I can view this mimic show of thee, crossed)

Time has but half succeeded in his theftShoots into port at some well-havened Thyself removed, thy power to soothe isle,

me left. Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons

smile, There sits quiescent on the floods that SONNET TO MRS. UNWIN

show Her beauteous form reflected clear below, Mary! I want a lyre with other strings, While airs impregnated with incense play Such aid from heaven as some have Around her, fanning light her streamers feigned they drew, gay;

95 An eloquence scarce given to mortals, So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore,

And undebased by praise of meaner things! “Where tempests never beat nor billows That, ere through age or woe I shed my roar."

wings, And thy loved consort on the dangerous I may record thy worth, with honor tide

due, Of life long since has anchored by thy In verse as musical as thou art true, side.

Verse that immortalizes whom it sings. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, But thou hast little need. There is a book, Always from port withheld, always dis- By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly tressed

light, Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest On which the eyes of God not rarely look; tossed,

A chronicle of actions just and bright; Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, compass lost,

shine, And day by day some current's thwarting And since thou ownest that praise, I spare force

thee mine. Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.

105 Yet, oh, the thought that thou art safe,

TO MARY and he! That thought is joy, arrive what may The twentieth year is well-nigh past, to me.

Since first our sky was overcast; My boast is not, that I deduce my birth Ah, would that this might be the last! From loins enthroned and rulers of the

My Mary! earth; But higher far my proud pretensions Thy spirits have a fainter flow, rise

I see thee daily weaker grow; The son of parents passed into the skies! 'Twas my distress that brought thee low, And now, farewell-Time unrevoked has

My Mary!



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His wonted course, yet what I wished is Thy needles, once a shining store,


sake restless heretofore, By contemplation's help, not sought in Now rust disused, and shine no more, vain,

My Mary! I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again;

115 For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil To have renewed the joys that once were The same kind office for me still, mine,

Thy sight now seconds not thy will, Without the sin of violating thine:

My Mary!


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And still to love, though pressed with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

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He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld;
And so long he, with unspent power,
His destiny repelled;

And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried “Adieu!”
At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast, 45

Could catch the sound no more:
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him; but the page
Of narrative sincere,

50 That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

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I therefore purpose not, or dream, 55

Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme

Upon a simmer Sunday morn,
A more enduring date:

When Nature's face is fair, But misery still delights to trace

I walked forth to view the corn Its semblance in another's case.


An' snuff the caller air.
The rising sun owre Galston muirs

5 No voice divine the storm allayed,

Wi' glorious light was glintin, No light propitious shone,

The hares were hirplin 10 down the furs,"
When, snatched from all effectual aid, The lav'rocks12 they were chantin
We perished, each alone:

Fu' sweet that day.
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

As lightsomely I glowered 13 abroad

To see a scene sae gay,

Three hizzies, 14 early at the road,
ROBERT BURNS, (1769–1796)

Cam skelpin1 up the way.

Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' black, From LINES TO JOHN LAPRAIK But ane wi' lyart16 lining;


The third, that gaed a wee a-back, I am nae poet, in a sense,

Was in the fashion shining But just a rhymer like by chance,


Fu' gay that day.
An' hae to learning nae pretence;
Yet what the matter?

The twa appeared like sisters twin


Muse does on me glance, In feature, form, an' claes;17
I jingle at her.

Their visage withered, lang an' thin,

An' sour as onie slaes, 18 Your critic-folk may cock their nose, 55 The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp,19 And say, “How can you e'er propose, As light as onie lambie, You wha ken hardly verse frae prose, An' wi' a curchie20 low did stoop, 25 To mak a sang?”

As soon as e'er she saw me,
But, by your leaves, my learned foes,

Fu' kind that day.
Ye're maybe wrang.


Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, “Sweet lass,
What's a' your jargon o' your schools, I think ye seem to ken me;
Your Latin names for horns an’ stools? I'm sure I've seen that bonie face, 30
If honest Nature made you fools,

But yet 'I canna name ye."
What sairs your grammars? Quo' she, an' laughin as she spak,
Ye'd better taen up spades and shools, 65 An' taks me by the han's,
Or knappin-hammers.2

“Ye, for my sake, hae gien the feck21
Of a' the Ten Comman's

35 A set o' dull, conceited hashes3

A screed22 some day. Confuse their brains in college classes! They gang in stirks and come out asses, “My name is Fun-your cronie dear, Plain truth to speak;

70 The nearest friend ye hae; An' synethey think to climb Parnassus An' this is Superstition here, By dint o' Greek!

An' that's Hypocrisy.

I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair, Gie me aeR spark o’ Nature's fire,

To spend an hour in daffin:23 That's a' the learning I desire;

Gin24 ye'll go there, yon runkleda pair, Then, tho' I drudge thro' dub' an' mire 75

We will get famous laughin
At pleugh or cart,

At them this day.” 45 My Muse, tho' hamely in attire,


o fresh. 10 hopping.

11 furrows. 14 young women.

15 hurrying May touch the heart. 2 sledge-hammers. 3 idiots.

19 hop-step-and-jump. 20 courtesy.

21 majority 5 afterwards.

7 puddle.
23 larking. 24 if.

25 wrinkled.

8 summer
12 larks.
16 grey

13 stared.
li clothes.

18 sloes.

1 serve.

4 oxen.

6 one,

22 rip.

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