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A PRAYER,

UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH.

O THOU Great Being! what thou art
Surpasses me to know:

Yet sure I am, that known to thee

Are all thy works below.

Thy creature here before thee stands,
All wretched and distrest;

Yet sure those ills that wring my soul
Obey thy high behest.

Sure thou, Almighty, canst not act
From cruelty or wrath!

O, free my weary eyes from tears,
Or close them fast in death!

But if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design;

Then man my soul with firm resolves
To bear and not repine!

THE FIRST SIX VERSES OF

THE NINETIETH PSALM.

O THOU, the first, the greatest Friend
Of all the human race!

Whose strong right hand has ever been
Their stay and dwelling place!

Before the mountains heav'd their heads
Beneath thy forming hand,

Before this pond'rous globe itself

Arose at thy command;

That pow'r which rais'd and still upholds This universal frame,

From countless, unbeginning time,

Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years,

Which seem to us so vast, Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.

Thou giv'st the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought:
Again thou say'st, Ye sons of men,
Return ye into nought!'

Thou layest them, with all their cares,

In everlasting sleep;

As with a flood thou tak'st them off
With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flow'r,
In beauty's pride array'd;

But long ere night cut down it lies

All wither'd and decay'd.

H

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN APRIL, 1786.

WEE, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou's 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 bonnie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,

The bonnie Lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!

Wi' spreckled breast,

When upward-springing, blythe, 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 shelt'ring woods and wa's maun 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 snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise;

But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies!

Such is the fate of artless Maid,
Sweet flow'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.

Such 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

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Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom,

Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom!

TO RUIN.

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-resolv'd, despairing eye,
I see each aimed dart;
For one has cut my dearest tie,
And quivers in my heart.

Then low'ring, and pouring,
The storm no more I dread;
Tho' thick'ning and black'ning
Round my devoted head.

And thou, grim pow'r, by life abhorr'd,
While life a pleasure can afford,
Oh! hear a wretch's pray'r!
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 mould'ring in the clay?

No fear more, no tear more,
To stain my lifeless face;
Enclasped, and grasped
Within thy cold embrace!

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