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A PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH. LYING AT A REVEREND FRIEND'S HOUSE ONE NIGHT, THE
THE FOLLOWING VERSES
IN THE ROOM WHERE HE SLEPT.
O tHou dread Power, who reign'st above!
I know thou wilt me hear:
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make my prayer sincere.
The hoary sire--the mortal stroke,
Long, long be pleased to spare !
And show what good men are.
She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,
But spare a mother's tears !
Or frailty stept aside,
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In manhood's dawning blush ;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,
Up to a parent's wish !
The beauteous, seraph sister band,
With earnest tears I pray,
When soon or late they reach that coast, Why am I loath to leave this earthly scene?
O’er life's rough ocean driven, Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?
May they rejoice, no wanderer lost,
A family in heaven!
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
THE FIRST PSALM. I tremble to approach an angry God,
The man, in life wherever placed, And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod.
Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!
Nor from the seat of scornful pride Again I might desert fair virtue's way;
Casts forth his eyes abroad, Again in folly's path might go astray ;
But with humility and awe
Still walks before his God.
That man shall flourish like the trees
Which by the streamlets grow;
And firm the root below.
But he whose blossom buds in guilt If I may dare a lifted eye to thee,
Shall to the ground be cast, Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast.
For why? that God the good adore
Hath given them peace and rest, To rule their torrent in th' allowed line ;
But hath decreed that wicked men O aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Divine !
Shall ne'er be truly blest.
A PRAYER UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH,
O THOU Great Being! what thou art
Surpasses me to know:
Are all thy works below.
All wretched and distrest;
Obey thy high behest.
From cruelty or wrath!
Or close them fast in death!
To suit some wise design;
To bear and not repine!
THE FIRST SIX VERSES OF THE NINE
Of all the human race !
Their stay and dwelling place!
Beneath thy forming hand,
Arose at thy command :
This universal frame,
Was ever still the same.
Which seem to us so vast,
Than yesterday that's past.
Is to existence brought:
Return ye into naught !"
In everlasting sleep ;
With overwhelming sweep.
In beauty's pride array'd ;
All wither'd and decay'd.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonnie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!
Wi' spreckled breast.
The purpling east.
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form. The flaunting flowers our gardens yield, High sheltering woods and was 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 snawy bosom sun-ward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
And low thou lies !
And guileless trust,
Low i' the dust.
Of prudent lore,
And whelm him o'er! Such fate of suffering worth is given, Who long with wants and woes has striven, By human pride or cunning driven,
To misery's brink,
He, ruin'd, sink!
Full on thy bloom,
Shall be thy doon !
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonnie gem.
ALL hail ! inexorable lord !
The mightiest empires fall!
A sullen welcome, all!
I see each aimed dart;
And quivers in my heart.
Then lowering, and pouring,
The storm no more I dread ; Though thickening and blackening Round my devoted head.
II. And, thou grim power, by life abhorr'd, While life a pleasure can afford,
0! hear a wretch's prayer!
To close this scene of care !
Resign life's joyless day;
To stain my lifeless face;
Within thy cold embrace !
The real, harden'd wicked,
Are to a few restricked :
An' little to be trusted ;
IV. Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife,
Their fate we should nae censure, For still th' important end of life
They equally may answer ;
Though poortith hourly stare him ; A man may tak a neebor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.
TO MISS L-
JANUARY 1, 1787.
Their annual round have driven,
Are so much nearer heaven.
The infant year to bail;
In Edwin's simple tale.
Is charged, perhaps, too true ;
An Edwin still to you !
The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
Though naething should divulge it! I wave the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard of concealing; But och! it hardens a' within, And petrifies the feeling!
VII. To catch dame Fortune's golden smilo,
Assiduous wait upon her ; And gather gear by every wile
That's justified by honour ; Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Not for a train-attendant ; But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,
A something to have sent you,
Than just a kind memento ;
Let time and chance determine ;
Perhaps turn out a sermon.
VIII. The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip,
To haud the wretch in order; But where ye feel your honour grip,
Let that aye be your border ; Its slightest touches, instant pause-
Debar a' side pretences ; And resolutely keep its laws,
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,
E'en when your end's attained ; And a' your views may come to naught,
Where every nerve is strained.
The great Creator to revere
Must sure become the creature; But still the preaching cant forbear,
And e'en the rigid feature; Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,
Be complaisance extended ; An atheist's laugh's a poor exchango
For Deity offended!
Wi' his proud, independent stomach
Could ill agree ;
So row't his hurdies in a hammock,
An' owre the sea.
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in ;
Wi’ him it ne'er was under hiding;
He dealt it free:
The muse was a' that he took pride in,
That's owre the sea.
Jamaica bodies, 'use him weel,
An' hap him in a cozie biel;
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
And fu' o' glee;
He wad na wrang'd the vera dicl,
That's owre the sea.
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie!
Your native soil was right ill-willie;
I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie, ON A SCOTCH BARD GONE TO THE WEST
Though owre the sea, INDIES.
TO A HAGGIS.
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
As lang's my arm.
; In time o' need, While through your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
Like onie ditch;
Are bent like drums;
Wi’ perfect sconner,
On sic a dinner?
His nieve a nit;
O how unfit!
He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west
Ill may she be !
An' owre the sea.
So, sir, ye see 'twas nae daft vapour, But I maturely thought it proper, When a' my work I did review, To dedicate them, sir, to you: Because (ye need na tak it ill) I thought them something like yoursel.
The patron, (sir, ye maun forgie me, I winna lie, come what will o' me,) On every hand it will allow'd be, He's just-nae better than he should be.
I readily and freely grant, He downa see a poor man want; What's no his ain he winna tak it, What ance he says, he winna break it; Aught he can lend he'll no refuse't, Till aft his guidness is abused : And rascals whyles that do him wrang, E’en that, he does na mind it lang: As master, landlord, husband, father, He does na fail his part in either.
But then, na thanks to him for a' that; Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that; It's naething but a milder feature Of our poor, sinfu', corrupt nature ! Ye'll get the best o' moral works 'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks. Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, Wha never heard of orthodoxy. That he's the poor man's friend in need, The gentleman in word and deed,
Then patronize them wi' your favour, And your petitioner shall everI had amaist said, ever pray, But that's a word I need na say: For prayin I hae little skill o't; I'm baith dead-sweer, an' wretched ill o't; But I'se repeat each poor man's prayer, That kens or hears about you, sir
“May ne'er misfortune's gowling bark Howl through the dwelling o'the clerk! May ne'er his generous, honest heart, For that same generous spirit smart! May K******'s far honour'd name Lang beet his hymeneal flame, Till H*******s, at least a dizen, Are frae their nuptial labours risen: Five bonnie lasses round their table, And seven braw fellows, stout an' able