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They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,
The vera warst.
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,
Wi' something yet.
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 ;
To some hain'd rig,
Wi' sma' fatigue.
TO A MOUSE,
On turning up her nest with the plough,
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
Wi? bickering brattle!
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
thitve; 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 ! Its silly wa's the wins are strewin! An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green! 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 of 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,
Gang aft a-gly,
For promis'd joy.
Still thou art blest, compard wi' me!
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear.
THE WINTER NIGHT.
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
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,
Wild-eddying swirl, Or thro’ the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl.
Listning, the doors an' winnocks ratike,
O' winter war,
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? Vol. III.
Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
My heart forgets,
Sore on you beats.
Now Phæbe, in her midnight reign, Dark muffl'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! And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost ! Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows ! Not all your rage, as now united, shows
More hard unkindness, unrelenting,
Vengeful malice unrepenting,
Or mad Ambition's gory hand,
Woe, Want, and Murder o’er a land!
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Whose toil upholds the glittring show,
Some coarser substance, unrefin'd,
Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe,
The pow'rs you proudly own?
To bless himself alone! Mark maiden-innocence a prey
To love-pretending snares, This boasted Honour turns away,
Shunning soft Pity's rising sway, Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'rs!
Perhaps, this hour, in Mis’ry's squalid nest,
She strains your infant to her joyless breast, And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking
Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep, While thro' the ragged roof and chinky wall, Chill, o'er his slumbers, piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
By cruel fortune's undeserved blow ?
I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
Shook off the pouthery snaw,
A cottage-rousing craw.
But deep this truth impress'd my mind
Thro' all his works abroad, The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God.