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On turning her up in her nest, with the Plough,

November, 1785.

WEE, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou need na start awa sae hasty!

Wi' bickerin brattle ?
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,

Wi? murdoring pattle ?
I'm truly sorrow man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An'j ustifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve? What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen icker in a thrave

's a sma' request: I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

And never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin;
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

O foggage green;
An' bleak December win's ensuin,

Baith snell and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, An' weary winter comin' fast, An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell, Till, crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! Now thou'st turn'd out, for a' thy trouble

But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld !

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid scheme o' mice an' men,

Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,

For promis'd joy.
Stili thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee;
But, och! I backward cast my e'e,

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

guess an' fear,



On turning one down with the Plough, in

April, 1786.

WEE, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou'st 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.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The honie Lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckled breast,
When upward-springing, blithe, 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 flow'rs our gardens yield,
High sheltring

woods and wa's maud 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 snawnie bosom sun-ward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise ; But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies!

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Such is the fate of artless Maid, Sweet fow'ret 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.

Sach 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 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 wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,

He, ruin'd, sink !

Ev'n thou who mourn'd the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine~no distant date ;
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives, elate,

Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom.



To the Noble Duke of Athole.

My Lord, I know your noble ear

Wo ne'er assails in vain;
Emboldened thus, I beg you'll hear

Your humble slave complain,

Phoebus’scorching beams,
In flaming summer-pride,
Dry-withering, waste my foamy streams,

And drink my crystal tide.

The lightly jumping glowrin trouts,

That thro' my waters play,
If, in their random, wanton spouls,

They near the margin stray ;
If, hapless chance,! they linger lang,

I'm scorching up so shallow,
They’re left the whit’ning slanes amang,

In gasping death to wallow.
Last day I grat wi’ spite and teen,

As Poet B**** came by,
That, to a Bard, I should be seen

Wi' half my channel dry ;

* Bruar Falls, in Athole, are exceedingly pictu, resque and beautiful : but their effect is much impair. ed by the want of trees and shrubs.

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