Page images

That Pow'r which rais'd and still upholds

This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time

Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vaet, Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.

Thou giv'st the word; Thy creature, man,

Is to existence brought;
Again thou say'st, 'Ye sons of men,

'Return ye into nought;' ,

Thou layest them, with all their cares

In everlasting sleep:
As with a flood Thou tak'st them off

With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flow'rj

In beauty's pride array'd;
But long ere night cut down it lies

All wither'd and decay'd.

Qn" turning one down ivith the Plough in April 1780.

Wee , modest, crimson-tipped 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 bonnie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonnie Las I, companion meet! Bending thee "mang the dewy weet!

Wi' spreckl'd breast, When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling East.

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

Amid" the storm,
Scarce rear'd 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-fic'.d.

Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scantie mantle clad, Thy snawie bosom sun-ward 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, Such fiuivrrt of the rural shade! By Love's simplicity betray'd,

And guileless trust, Till she, like thee, all foil'd, is laid

Low i' the dnst,

Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On Life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
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 giv'n, 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, ruin'd, sink!

Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine—no 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!


All hail! inexorable lord!

At whose destruction-breathing word,

The mightiest empires fall! Thy cruel, woe-delighted train, The ministers of Grief and Pain,

A sullen welcome, all!

With stern-resolv'd, despairing eyc(

I see each aimed dart;
For one has cut my ilearest tye,
And quivers in my heart.

Then low'ring, and pouring,

The Storm no more I dread;
Tho' thick'ning, and black'ning,
Round my devoted head.


And thou grim Pow'r, by Life abhorr'i,
While Life a pleasure can afford,

Oh! hear a wretch's pray'r!
No more I shrink apall'd, afraid;
I court, I beg thy friendly aid,
To close this scene of care!
When shall my soul, in silent peace,

Resign Life's joyless day?
My weary heart it's throbbings cease,
Cold-mould'ring in the clay!

No fear more, no tear more,
To stain my lifeless face,
Enclasped, and grasped,
Within thy cold embrace!


With Beattie's Poems for a New-Year i Gift. January 1, 1787.

Again the silent wheels of time

Their annual round have driven, And you, tho' scarce in maiden prime,

Are so much nearer Heaven.

No gifts have I from Indian coasts

The infant year to hail;
I send you more than India boasts

In Edwins simple tale.

Our Sex with guile, and faithless love,

Is charg'd, perhaps, too true ^
But may, dear Maid, each Lover prove

An Edwin still to you.


May 1786.


I Lang hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A Something to have sent you,
Tho' it shouid 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'l l try the world soon, my lad,

And Andrew dear, believe me, Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,

And muckle they may grieve ye;
Tor care and trouble set your thought,

Ev'n when your end's attained:
And a' your views may came to nought,

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

« PreviousContinue »