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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; 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.


On turning up 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' 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,

An' fellow-mortal!

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!
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 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.


Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bid the pelting of this pityles's storm!
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you

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,

Wild-eddying swirl,

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?

Vol. III.


Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
Lone from your savage homes exil'd,
The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd,
My heart forgets,

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!
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,

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,
Woe, Want, and Murder o'er a land!

Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
How pamper'd Luxury, Flatt'ry by her side,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Looks o'er proud property, extended wide,
And eyes the simple rustic hind,

Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring show,
A creature of another kind,

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,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,

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

Oh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's clam'rous call,

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,
Where guilt and poor misfortune pine!
Guilt, erring man, relenting view!
But shall thy legal rage pursue

The wretch, already crushed low

By cruel fortune's undeserved blow?

Affliction's sons are brothers in distress,
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!"

I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
Shook off the pouthery snaw,

And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
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.

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