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Then all I want (0, do thou grant
This one request of mine !) Since to enjoy thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.
COTTER’S SATURDAY NIGHT.
INSCRIBED TO R. A****, Esq.
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
The short but simple annals of the poor.
I. My lov'd, my honour'd, much respected friend !
No mercenary bard his homage pays; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise : To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
What A**** in a cottage would have been ; Ah! tho’ his worth unknown, far happier there, I
The short’ning winter-day is near a close ; "The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh ;
The black’ning trains o' craws to their repose , The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hame
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree ;
'To meet their Dad, wi'flichterin noise an' glee. His wec bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
At service out, amang the farmers roun’; Some ca' the pleugh, some berd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neebor town: Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
An' cach for other's welfare kindly spiers : The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet;
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears;
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame! And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
VIII. See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,
So abject, mean, and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil; And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, tho'a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.
IX. If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,
By nature's law design'd, Why was an independent wish
E’er planted in my mind ? If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty or scorn ? Or why has man the will and pow'r
To make his fellow mourn?
Disturb thy youthful breast:
Is surely not the last !
Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn!
The kindest and the best!
Are laid with thee at rest!
From pomp and pleasure torn;
That weary-laden mourn!
PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
O Trou unknown, Almighty Cause
Of all my hope and fear!
Perhaps I must appear!
Of life 1 ought to shun;
Remonstrates I have done ;
Thou know'st that thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;
Has often led me wrong.
Or frailty stept aside,
In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have err'd,
No other plea I have,
Delighteth to forgive.
STANZAS ON THE SAME OCCASION.
Way am I loth to leave this earthly scene?
Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between :
Some gleams of sunshine ʼmid renewing storms: Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode?
I tremble to approach an angry God,