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The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;

But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul,
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.

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,
But still the patriot and the patriot-bard
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !

TO A MOUSE

ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH,

NOVEMBER, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,

Wi' murdering pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion

Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

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I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin' wi’ the lave,

An' never miss 't!

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Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething now to big a new ane,

O’ foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,

Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell-
Till, crash! the cruel coulter passed

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld!

But mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft agley,
An' lea’e us naught but grief an' pain

For promised joy!

Still, thou art blest compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear!

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786

Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour,
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,

Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckled breast,
When upward springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce reared above the parent-earth

Thy tender form.

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield

O’ clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise;
But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies!

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 soiled is laid,

Low i' the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starred !
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 givin,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,

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;
And a' your views may come to nought,

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
I'll no say men are villains a';

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

Are to a few restricket;
But, och! mankind are unco weak,

An' little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,

It's rarely right adjusted!

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