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But when on life we're tempest driv'n,

A conscience but a canker
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n,
Is sure a nobler anchor!

Adieu, dear, amiable youth !

Your heart can ne'er be wanting;
May prudence, fortitude, and truth,

Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase, “Gad send you speed,"

Still daily to grow wiser;
And may you better reck the rede,

Than ever did th' adviser!

, 1786.





WHEN chill November's surly blast

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

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spy'd 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.

Young stranger, whither wand'rest thou?

(Began the rev'rend sage ;)
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasure's rage?
Or haply, prest 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 labor to support

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

Twice forty times return;
And ev'ry time has added proofs,

That man was made to mourn.


O man! while in thy early years,

How prodigal of time! Mispending all thy precious hours,

Thy glorious youthful prime! Alternate follies take the sway;

Licentious passions burn; Which tenfold force gives Nature's law,

That man was made to mourn.

Look not alone on youthful prime,

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

Supported in his right;
But gee him on the edge of life,

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

A few seem favorites of Fate,

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

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

Are wretched and forlorn;
Thro' weary life this lesson learn,

That man was made to mourn.


Many and sharp the num'rous ills

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

Regret, remorse, and shame! And man, whose heav'n-erected face

The smiles of love adorn, Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn.


See yonder poor, o'erlabor'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, tho’ a weeping wife

And helpless ofispring mourn.


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 pow'r
To make his fellow mourn?

Yet, let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast;
This partial view of human kind

Is surely not the last !
The poor, oppressed, honest man,

Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompense

To comfort those that mourn.

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, oh-a blest relief to those

That weary-laden mourn!

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Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these !

WHEN biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
Whe Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r

Far south the lift,
Dim-dark’ning thro' the flaky show'r,

Or whirlin drift!
Ae night the storm the steeples rock'd,
Poor Labor sweet in sleep was locked,
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-chocked,

Wild-eddying swirl,
Or thro’the mining outlet bocked,

Down headlong hurl.

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