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The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
Then homeward all take off their several way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest; The parent-pair their secret homage pay,
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request
And He who stills the raven's clamorous nest, And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best, For them and for their little ones provide, But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside.
From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her loved at home, revered abroad: Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
‘An honest man's the noblest work of God.'. And certes in fair virtue's heavenly road, The cottage leaves the palace far behind:
What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined !
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health and peace and sweet content!
And O may Heaven their simple lives prevent From luxury's contagion, weak and vile!
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent, A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved isle.
O Thou, Who poured the patriotic tide
That streamed thro' Wallace's undaunted heart, Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part!
(The patriot's God peculiarly Thou art, His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
Oh never, never Scotia’s realm desert,
TO A MOUSE
ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH,
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle!
Wi' murdering pattle!
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Which makes thee startle
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
'S a sma' request;
An' never miss 't!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
O’ foggage green!
Baith snell an' keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
Thou thought to dwell-
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
But house or hald,
An' cranreuch cauld!
But mousie, thou art no thy lane
Gang aft agley,
For promised joy!
Still, thou art blest compared wi' me!
On prospects drear!
I guess an' fear!
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786
Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'r,
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi' spreckled breast,
The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
O’ clod or stane,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
In humble guise;
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless maid,
And guileless trust,
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 givin,
By human pride or cunning driv'n
To mis’ry's brink; Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
He, ruined, sink!
Ev'n thou who mourn’st the daisy's fate, That fate is thineno distant date; Stern Ruin's plough-share drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom, Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight
Shall be thy doom!
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND
I lang hae thought, my youthfu’ friend
A something to have sent you, Tho' it shou
serve nae ither 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;
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
The real, harden'd wicked,
Are to a few restricket;
An' little to be trusted;
It's rarely right adjusted!