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O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent !
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be bless'd with health and peace, and sweet

content! And o may Heaven their simple lives prevent

From luxury's contagion, weak and vile ! Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,

A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much loved isle.

XXI. O Thou ! who pour’d the patriotic tide That stream'd through Wallace's undaunted

heart; Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,

Or nobly die, the second glorious part, (The patriot's God, peculiarly thou art,

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!) O never, never, Scotia's realm desert :

But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !

V. “ Look not alone on youthful prime,

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right:
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn,
Then age and want, О ill match'd pair !
Show man was made to mourn.

“ A few seem favourites of fate,

In pleasure's lap carest;
Yet, think, not all the rich and great

Are likewise truly blest.
But, o ! what crowds in every land

Are wretched and forlorn ;
Through weary life this lesson learn,

That man was made to mourn.




When chill November's surly blast

Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wander'd forth

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied a man, whose aged step

Seem'd weary, worn with care ;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,

And hoary was his hair.

“ Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame ! More pointed still we make ourselves,

Regret, remorse, and shame! And man, whose heaven-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, though 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 power

To make his fellow mourn ?


“ Young stranger, whither wanderest thou ?”

Began the reverend sage;
“ Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasure's rage ;
Or haply, press'd with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me, to mourn
The miseries of man!

“ The sun that overhangs yon moors,

Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support

A haughty lordling's pride ;
I've seen you weary winter sun

Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs,

That man was made to mourn.

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XI. “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 0! a bless'd relief to those

That weary-laden mourn !”

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O Tkou 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 snares 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,

A family in heaven! Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between :

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 !"

Nor learns their guilty lore !
Fain promise never more to disobey ;
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.
Then 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, ran?

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.



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 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 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 doom !





I. 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.

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.

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 hail;
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!

Aye free, aff han’ your story tell,

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

Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can

Frae critical dissection ;
But keek through every other man,
Wi’sharpen'd, slee inspection.

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 smile,

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.

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.

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 exchange

For Deity offended!


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.


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.

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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 diel,

That's owre the sea.
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie!
Your native soil was right ill-willie;
But may ye flourish like a lily,

Now bonnilie!
I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie,

. Though owre the sea.




A’YE wha live by soups o’drink,
A’ye wha live by crambo-clink,
A’ye wha live and never think,

Come mourn wi' me! Our billie's gien us a'a jink,

An' owre the sea. Lament him, a’ye rantin core, Wha dearly like a random-splore, Nae mair he'll join the merry-roar,

In social key; For now he's ta’en anither shore,

An’owre the sea. • The bonnie lasses weel may wiss him, And in their dear petitions place him; The widows, wives, an'a' may bless him,

Wi' tearfu' e'e ; For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him

That's owre the sea. O fortune, they hae room to grumble ! Hadst thou ta'en aff some drowsy bummle, Wha can do naught but fyke and fumble,

'Twad been nae plea; But he was gleg as ony wumble,

That's owre the sea. Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, An' stain them wi’ the saut, saut tear; "Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,

In flinders flee ;
He was her laureate monie a year,

That's owre the sea.
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,

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 dash,

O how unfit!

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