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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 mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's 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 schemes o' mice an' men,
Gang aft a-gley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,
For promis'd joy.

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:

But, och! I backward cast my ee

On prospects drear!

An' forward, tho' I canna see,


guess an' fear.


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;
When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glowr
Far south the lift,
Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
Or whirling drift:

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked, Poor labour sweet in sleep was locked, While burns, wi' snawy wreeths up-choked, Wild eddying swirl,

Or thro' the mining outlet bocked,

Down headlong hurl.

List'ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,

I thought me on the ourie cattle,

Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle

And thro' the drift,

O' winter war,

deep-lairing sprattle, Beneath a scar.

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing,
That, in the merry months o' spring,
Delighted me to hear thee sing,

What comes o' thee?

Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
An' close thy ee?

Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
Lone from your savage homes exil'd,

The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd,
My heart forgets,

While pityless the tempest wild

Sore on you beats.

Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign,
Dark muffl'd, view'd the dreary plain;
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
Rose in my soul,

When on my ear this plaintive strain,
Slow, solemn, stole-

'Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost!
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows!
Not all your rage, as now united, shows
More hard unkindness, unrelenting,
Vengeful malice, unrepenting,

Than heav'n-illumin'd man on brother man bestows! See stern oppression's iron grip,

Or mad ambition's gory hand,

Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,

Woe, want, and murder o'er a land!

Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,

How pamper'd luxury, flatt'ry by her side,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Looks o'er proud property, extended wide
And eyes the simple rustic hind,

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Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring show, A creature of another kind,

Some coarser substance, unrefin❜d,

Plac'd for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below.
Where, where is love's fond, tender throe,
With lordly honour's lofty brow,

The pow'rs you proudly own?

Is there, beneath love's noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,
To bless himself alone!
Mark maiden-innocence a prey
To love-pretending snares,
This boasted honour turns away,
Shunning soft pity's rising sway,
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'rs !
Perhaps this hour, in misʼry's squalid nest,
She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast!
Oh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,

Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill-satisfied keen nature's clam'rous call,

Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep,
While thro' the ragged roof and chinky wall,
Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
Where guilt and poor misfortune pine!
Guilt, erring man, relenting view!

But shall thy legal rage pursue

The wretch, already crushed low

By cruel fortune's undeserved blow? Affliction's sons are brothers in distress,

A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!'

I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer

Shook off the pouthery snaw,

And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
A cottage-rousing craw.

But deep this truth impress'd my mind-
Thro' all his works abroad,

The heart, benevolent and kind,

The most resembles God.

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