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O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
Perhaps I must appear!

O tHou dread Power, who reign'st above!

I know thou wilt me hear:

When for this scene of peace and love,
If I have wander'd in those paths

I make my prayer sincere.
Of life I ought to shun,

As something, loudly, in my breast,

The hoary sire--the mortal stroke,
Remonstrates I have done ;

Long, long be pleased to spare !
To bless his little filial flock,

And show what good men are.
Thou know'st that thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;

And listening to their witching voice

She, who her lovely offspring eyes
Has often led me wrong.

With tender hopes and fears,

O bless her with a mother's joys,

But spare a mother's tears !
Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,
Do thou, All-Good! for such thou art,

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In shades of darkness hide.

In manhood's dawning blush ;

Bless him, thou God of love and truth,

Up to a parent's wish !
Where with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have,
But thou art good; and goodness still

The beauteous, seraph sister band,
Delighteth to forgive.

With earnest tears I pray,
Thou know'st the shares on every hand,
Guide thou their steps alway!


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,
Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between :

A family in heaven!
Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing storms:
Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?

Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms;

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,
Fain would I say, “ Forgive my foul offence!"
Fain promise never more to disobey;

Nor learns their guilty lore!
But, should my Author health again dispense,

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
Again exalt the brute and sink the man;

Still walks before his God.
Tben how should I for heavenly mercy pray,
Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan?

That man shall flourish like the trees
Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation

Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,

And firm the root below.
O thou, great Governor of all 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
Or still the tumult of the raging sea :

Before the sweeping blast.
With what controlling power assist e'en me,
Those headlong, furious passions to confine ;

For why? that God the good adore
For all unfit I feel my powers to be,

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.

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O THOU Great Being! what thou art

Surpasses me to know:
Yet sure I am, that known to thee

Are all thy works below.
Thy creature here before thee stands,

All wretched and distrest;
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul,

Obey thy high behest.
Sure thou, Almighty, canst not act

From cruelty or wrath!
O free my weary eyes from tears,

Or close them fast in death!
But if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design;
Then man my soul with firm resolves

To bear and not repine!


O THOU, the first, the greatest Friend

Of all the human race !
Whose strong right hand has ever been

Their stay and dwelling place!
Before the mountains heaved their heads

Beneath thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself

Arose at thy command :
That power which raised 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 vast,
Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.
Thou givest the word : Thy creature, man,

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

Return ye into naught !"
Thou layest them, with all their cares,

In everlasting sleep ;
As with a flood thou takest them off

With overwhelming sweep.
They flourish like the morning flower,

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

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.
When upward-springing, blythe to greet

The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth ;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

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 ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies !
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betray'd,

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

Low i' the dust.
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 of suffering worth is given, Who long with wants and woes has striven, By human pride or cunning driven,

To misery's brink,
Till wrench'd of every stay but Heaven,

He, ruin'd, sink!
E'en thou who mourn'st the daisy's fate
That fate is thine-no distant date ;
Stern ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,

Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight

Shall be thy doon !



WEE, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
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 power,

Thou bonnie gem.

ALL hail ! inexorable lord !
At whose destruction-breathing word,

The mightiest empires fall!
Thy cruel wo-delighted train,
The ministers of grief and pain,

A sullen welcome, all!
With stern-resolved, despairing eye,

I see each aimed dart;
For one has cut my dearest tie,

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!
No more I shrink appall’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 its throbbing cease,
Cold mouldering in the clay?
No fear more, no tear more,

To stain my lifeless face;
Enclasped, and grasped

Within thy cold embrace !

I'll no say, men are villains a';

The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,

Are to a few restricked :
But och! mankind are unco weak,

An' little to be trusted ;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted !

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 ;
A man may hae an honest heart,

Though poortith hourly stare him ; A man may tak a neebor's part,

Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

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JANUARY 1, 1787.
AGAIN the silent wheels of time

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

Are so much nearer heaven.
No gifts have I from Indian coasts

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

In Edwin's simple tale.
Our sex with guile and faithless love

Is charged, perhaps, too true ;
But may, dear maid, each lover prove

An Edwin still to you !

The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love,

Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,

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.


MAY, 1786.

I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you,
Though it should serve nae other 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.

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,

Uncaring consequences.


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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 ;
When ranting round in pleasure's ring,

So row't his hurdies in a hammock,
Religion may be blinded ;
Or if she gie a random sting,

An' owre the sea.
It may be little minded;

He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
But when on life we're tempest-driven,

Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in ;
A conscience but a canker

Wi’ him it ne'er was under hiding;
A correspondence fix'd wi' heaven

He dealt it free:
Is sure a noble anchor !

The muse was a' that he took pride in,

That's owre the sea.
Adieu, dear, amiable youth !

Jamaica bodies, 'use him weel,
Your heart can ne'er be wanting :

An' hap him in a cozie biel;

Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
May prudence, fortitude, and truth

And fu' o' glee;
Erect your brow undaunting!

He wad na wrang'd the vera dicl,
In ploughman phrase,“ God send you speed,"

That's owre the sea.
Still daily to grow wiser:
And may you better reck the rede

Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie!
Than ever did th' adviser.

Your native soil was right ill-willie;
But may ye flourish like a lily,

Now bonpilie!

I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie, ON A SCOTCH BARD GONE TO THE WEST

Though owre the sea, INDIES.

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Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o'the puddin race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace

As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill

; In time o' need, While through your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic labour dight,
An' cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin, rich!
Then horn for horn they stretch an’strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a'their weel-swall'd kytes belyve

Are bent like drums;
Then auld guidman, maist like to ryve,

Bethankit hums.
Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that would staw a sow,
Or fricasee wad make her spew

Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view

On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His 'spindle shank a guid whip lash,

His nieve a nit;
Through bloody flood or field to dagh,

O how unfit!

He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west
Lang mustering up a bitter blast;
A jillet brak his heart at last,

Ill may she be !
So took a birth afore the mast,

An' owre the sea.
To tremble under fortune's cummock,
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock,

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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

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