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Our sex with guile and faithless love
Is charg'd, perhaps, too true;



dear maid, each lover prove

An Edwin still to you!


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I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you, Tho' 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,
Ev'n when your end's attained;
And a' your views may come to nought,
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.


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!


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

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.


Ay 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 thro' ev'ry other man,
Wi' sharpen'd sly inspection.


The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;

But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho' 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!


To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by ev'ry wile
That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor 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,
ay your border:

Let that

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 ev'n the rigid feature:

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