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The promised father's tender name ;

These were the pledges of my love! Encircled in her clasping arms,

How have the raptured moments flown, How have I wish'd for fortune's charms,

For her dear sake, and hers alone ! And must I think it !-is she gone,

My secret heart's exulting boast ?
And does she heedless hear my groan?

And is she ever, ever lost?
Oh! can she bear so base a heart,

So lost to honour, lost to truth,
As from the fondest lover part,

The plighted husband of her youth ! Alas ! life's path may be unsmooth !

Her way may lie through rough distress ! Then, who her pangs and pains will soothe,

Her sorrows share, and make them less ? Ye winged hours that o'er us pass’d,

Enraptured more, the more enjoy’d, Your dear remembrance in my breast

My fondly-treasured thoughts employ'd. That breast, how dreary now, and void,

For her too scanty once of room !
Even every ray of hope destroy'd,

And not a wish to gild the gloom !
The morn that warns th' approaching day

Awakes me up to toil and woe:
I see the hours in long array,

That I must suffer, lingering, slow. Full many a pang, and many a throe,

Keen recollection's direful train, Must wring my soul, ere Phoebus, low,

Shall kiss the distant, western main. And when my nightly couch I try,

Sore harass'd out with care and grief, My toil-beat nerves, and tear-worn eye,

Keep watchings with the nightly thief: Or if I slumber, fancy, chief,

Reigns haggard-wild, in sore affright:
Even day, all-bitter, brings relief

From such a horror-breathing night.
O thou bright queen, who o'er th' expanse

Now highest reign'st, with boundless sway!
Oft has thy silent-marking glance

Observed us, fondly wandering, stray! The time, unheeded, sped away,

While love's luxurious pulse beat high,

Beneath thy silver-gleaming ray,

To mark the mutual kindling eye.
Oh! scenes in strong remembrance set !

Scenes never, never, to return!
Scenes, if in stupor I forget,

Again I feel, again I burn !
From every joy and pleasure torn,

Life's weary vale I'll wander through ;
And hopeless, comfortless, I'll mourn

A faithless woman's broken vow.



In speaking of this poem, Burns says, “I think it is one of the greatest pleasures attending a poetic genius, that we can give our woes, cares, joys, and loves, an embodied form in verse, which to me is ever immediate ease.'

OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care,
A burden more than I can bear,

I set me down and sigh :
O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,

To wretches such as I !
Dim, backward, as I cast my view,

What sickening scenes appear !
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear !
Still caring, despairing,

Must be my bitter doom :
My woes here shall close ne'er,

But with the closing tomb !
Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,

No other view regard !
Even when the wished end's denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,

They bring their own reward :
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,

Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same;
You, bustling, and justling,

Forget each grief and pain;
I, listless, yet restless,

Find every prospect vain.
How blest the solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot,

Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,

Beside his crystal well!
Or, haply, to his evening thought,

By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream ;
While praising, and raising

His thoughts to Heaven on high,
As, wand'ring, meand'ring,

He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely hermit placed
Where never human footstep traced,

Less fit to play the part;
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,

With self-respecting art :
But, ah ! those pleasures, loves, and joys

Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest !
He needs not, he heeds not,

Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here

At perfidy ingrate !
Oh! enviable, early days,
When dancing thoughtless pleasure's maze,

To care, to guilt unknown !
How ill exchanged for riper times,
To feel the follies, or the crimes,

Of others, or my own !
Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,

Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,

That active man engage !
The fears all, the tears all,

Of dim declining age !

ODE TO RUIN. Currie says :-" It appears from internal evidence that the above lines were composed in 1786, when 'Hungry Ruin had him in the wind.' The 'dart' that

'Cut my dearest tie,

And quivers in my heart,' is evidently an allusion to his separation from his 'bonny Jean.' Burns seems to have glanced into futurity with a prophetic eye: images of misery and woe darkened the distant vista : and when he looked back on his career he saw little to console him.-'I have been, this morning,' he observes, 'taking a peep through, as Young finely says, "the dark postern of time long elapsed. 'Twas a rueful prospect! What a tissue of thoughtlessness, weakness, and folly! My life reminded me of a ruined temple. What strength, what pro. portion, in some parts! What unsightly gaps, what prostrate ruins in others !


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I kneeled down before the Father of mercies and said, “Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son.' I rose, eased and strengthened.

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-resolved, despairing eye,

I see each aimed dart;
For one has cut my dearest tie,
And quivers in my heart.
Then lowering and pouring,

The storm no more I dread;
Though thick’ning and black’ning,

Round my devoted head.
And thou grim power, by life abhorr’d,
While life a pleasure can afford,

Oh! 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 throbbings cease,
Cold mouldering in the clay?
No fear more, no tear more,

To stain my lifeless face;
Enclasped, and grasped

Within thy cold embrace !


TU THE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY. The history of this poem is as follows :-"On Tuesday, May 23, there was a meeting of the Highland Society at London for the encouragement of the fisheries in the Highlands, &c. Three thousand pounds were immediately subscribed by eleven gentlemen present for this particular purpose. The Earl of Breadalbane informed the meeting that five hundred persons had agreed to emigrate from the estates of Mr. Macdonald of Glengarry; that they had subscribed money, purchased ships, &c., to carry their design into effect. The noblemen and gentlemen agreed to co-operate with Government to frustrate their design; and to recommend to the principal noblemen and gentlemen in the Highlands to endeavour to prevent emigration, by improving the fisheries, agriculture, and anufactures, and particularly to enter into a subscription for that purpose.”Edinburgh Advertiser of 30th May 1786.

In view of the indignation excited some fifteen or twenty years ago against the forcible eviction of poor people from estates in the Highlands of Scotland, the reader of to-day may be pardoned feeling some surprise at the expression of the poet's feelings against á laudable attempt to retain his countrymen in independence on their native soi!. The Address first appearea in the Scots Magazine with the following heading :-“To the Right Honourable the Earl of Breadalbane, President of the Right Honourable and Honourable the Highland Society, which met on the 23d of May last, at the Shakespeare, Covent Garden, to

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concert ways and means to frustrate the designs of five hundred Highlanders,
who, as the Society were informed by Mr. M - of A-s, were so audacious
as to attempt an escape from their lawful lords and masters, whose property
they were, by emigrating from the lands of Mr. Macdonald of Glengarry, to
the wilds of Canada, in search of that fantastic thing LIBERTY."

LONG life, my lord, and health be yours,
Unscaith'd by hunger'd Highland boors ;
Lord, grant nae duddiel desperate beggar,
Wi' dirk, claymore, or rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o' a life
She likes-as lambkins like a knife.
Faith, you and Applecross were right
To keep the Highland hounds in sight;
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better
Then let them ance out owre the water ;
Then up amang thae lakes and seas
They'll mak what rules and laws they please ;
Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin';
Some Washington again may head them,
Or some Montgomery, fearless lead them,
Till God knows what may be effected
When by such heads and hearts directed
Poor dunghill sons of dirt and mire
May to Patrician rights aspire !
Nae sage North, now, nor sager Sackville,
To watch and premier o'er the pack vile,
And whare will ye get Howes and Clintons
To bring them to a right repentance,
To cow the rebel generation,
And save the honour o' the nation ?
They and be damn'd ! what right hae they
To meat or sleep, or light o' day?
Far less to riches, power, or freedom,
But what your lordship likes to gie them ?

But hear, my lord ! Glengarry, hear !
Your hand's owre light on them, I fear !
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailies,
I canna say but they do gaylies ;3
They lay aside a' tender mercies,
And tirs the hallions to the birses ; 4
Yet while they're only poind't and herriet,
They'll keep their stubborn Highland spirit ;
But smash them ! crash them a' to spails ! 6
And rot the dyvors? i' the jails !
The young dogs, swinges them to the labour ;
Let wark and hunger mak them sober !
The hizzies, if they're aughtlins fawsont,'



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