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Still, thou art blest compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear!

1786.

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786

Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'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 bonie gem.

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Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckled breast,
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.

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

Amid the storm,
Scarce reared above the parent-earth

Thy tender form.

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The flaunting flow'rs 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.

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There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread,

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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, wrenched of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,

He, ruined, 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 crushed beneath the furrow's weight

Shall be thy doom! 1786.

1786.

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TO A LOUSE
ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY'S BONNET AT CHURCH

Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely

Ower gauze and lace,
Tho', faith, I fear ye dine but sparely

On sic a place.

5

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunned by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her,

Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else, and seek your dinner

On some poor body.

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Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle;
There ye may creep and sprawl and sprattle
Wi' ither kindred jumping cattle,

In shoals and nations,
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle

Your thick plantations.

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Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight;
Na, faith ye yet ! ye 'll no be right

Till ye 've got on it,
The vera tapmost, tow'ring height

O' Miss's bonnet.

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My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as onie grozet;
O for some rank, mercurial rozet

Or fell red smeddum!
I'd gie ye sic a hearty dose o't

Wad dress your droddum!

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I wad na been surprised to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy,
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,

On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi—fie!

How daur ye do't!

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O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursèd speed

The blastie's makin!
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,

Are notice takin!

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O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us !
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,

An' foolish notion;
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,

An' ev'n devotion!

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A set o' dull, conceited hashes
Confuse their brains in college classes ;
They gang in stirks, and come out asses,

Plain truth to speak;
An' syne they think to climb Parnassus

By dint o’ Greek!

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Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire,
That's a' the learning I desire;

Then, tho' I drudge thro' dub an' mire

At pleugh or cart,
My Muse, though hamely in attire,

May touch the heart. 1785.

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1786.

ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH

Edina, Scotia's darling seat!

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once, beneath a monarch's feet,

Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs.
From marking wildly scatt'red flow'rs,

As on the banks of Ayr I strayed,
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,

I shelter in thy honoured shade.

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10

Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,

As busy Trade his labours plies;
There Architecture's noble pride

Bids elegance and splendour rise;
Here Justice, from her native skies,

High wields her balance and her rod;
There Learning, with his eagle eyes,

Seeks Science in her coy abode.

15

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,

With open arms the stranger hail;
Their views enlarged, their lib'ral mind,
Above the narrow,

rural vale;
Attentive still to Sorrow's wail,

Or modest Merit's silent claim:
And never may their sources fail!

And never Envy blot their name!

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Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,

Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,

Dear as the raptured thrill of joy!
Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye,

Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shine;
I see the Sire of Love on high,

And own His work indeed divine !

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