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TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN APRIL

1786.

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WEE, modest, crimson-tipped dow'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 Lark, companion meet!
Bending thee ʼmang 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 flowʻrs 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-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 flow'ret 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 bard,

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!

TO RUIN.

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

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11.

And, thou grim pow'r, by life abhorr'd,
Wbile life a pleasure can afford,

0! hear a wretch's pray’r !
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 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 !

TO MISS ,

WITH BEATTIE'S POEMS AS A NEW YEAR'S GIFT,

JANUARY 1, 1787.

AGAIN the silent wheels of time

Their annual round have driv'n,
And you, though scarce in maiden prime,

Are so much nearer Heav'n.

No gifts have I from Indian coasts

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

In Edwin's 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!

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

MAY

1786.

I.
I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae other end

Then 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.

II.
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,

Ev’n when your end's attained ; And a’your views may come to nought,

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

III.
l'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,

Its rarely right adjusted!

IV.
Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,

Their fate we should na censure,
For still th' important end of life,

They equally may answer;
A man may hae an honest heart,

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

Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

V.

Ay free, aff han' your story tell,

When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel

Ye scarcely tell to ony.

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