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T'hen all I want (0, do thou grant

This one request of mine !) Since to enjoy thou dost deny,

Assist me to resign.




Let not ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

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

ween ;

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ;

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

ward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree ;
The' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher throo

'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, An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil,

Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun'; Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, 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, To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet,

An' each for other's welfare kindly spiers : The 'social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd feet ;

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?


Yet, let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast :
This partial view of human-kind

Is surely not the last !
The poor, oppressed, honest man,

Had never, sure, been born,

Had there not been some recompense

To comfort those that mourn!

O death! the poor man's dearest friend,

The kindest and the best!
Welcome the hour my aged limbs

Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,

From pomp and pleasure torn;
But, Oh! a blest relief to those

That weary-laden mourn!




0 Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear!

If I have wander'd in those paths

Of life I ought to shun;
As something, loudly, in my breast,

Remonstrates have done ;

Thou know'st that thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong;
And list’ning to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

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

In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err’d,

No other plea I have,
But, Thou art good! and goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.


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?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms;

I tremble to approach an angry God,
And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod.

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