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They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,
Monie a sair daurk we twa ha wrought, An' wi' the weary warl' fought!
An' monie an anxious day, I thought
We wad be beat!
Yet here to crazy age we're brought,
And think na, my auld, trusty servan', That now perhaps thou's less deservin, An' thy auld days may end in starvin, For my last fou,
A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane
Laid by for you.
We've worn to crazy years thegither; We'll toyte about wi' ane anither;
Wi' tentie care I'll flit thy tether,
To some hain'd rig,
Whare ye may nobly rax your leather,
Wi' sma' fatigue.
TO A MOUSE,
On turning up her nest with the plough,
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring 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,
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may theve; 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,
And never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell and 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 past
Out thro' thy cell
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! Now thou's turn'd 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 a-gly,
An' lea's us nought but grief and pain,
For promis'd joy.
Still thou art blest, compar'd 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.
THE WINTER NIGHT.
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
From seasons such as these?
When biting Boreas, fell and doure, Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r; When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r Far south the lift, Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r, Or whirling drift:
Ae night the storm the steeples rocked, Poor labour sweet in sleep was locked, While burns, wi' snawy wreeths up-choked,
Or thro' the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl.
List'ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
O' winter war,
And thro' the drift, deep-lairing sprattlę,
Beneath a scar.
Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing, That, in the merry months a' spring, Delighted me to hear thee sing,
What comes o' thee?
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
An' close thy e'e?
Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
While pityless the tempest wild
Sore on you beats.
Now Phabe, in her midnight reign, Dark muff'd, view'd the dreary plain; Still crouding thoughts, a pensive train, Rose in my soul,
When on my ear this plaintive strain,
Slow, solemn, stole
"Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
Than heav'n-illumin'd man on brother man be stows!
See stern Oppression's iron grip,
Or mad Ambition's gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring show,
Some coarser substance, unrefin'd,
Plac'd for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below. Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe, With lordly Honour's lofty brow,
The pow'rs you proudly own?
Is there, beneath Love's noble name,
To bless himself alone!
This boasted Honour turns away,
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'rs !
Oh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep,
The wretch, already crushed low
By cruel fortune's undeserved blow?
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress,
I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
But deep this truth impress'd my mind
Thro' all his works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God.