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A PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH. LYING AT A REVEREND FRIEND'S HOUSE ONE NIGHT, THE
THE FOLLOWING VERSES
O THOU unknown, Almighty Cause
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
If I have wander'd in those paths
As something, loudly, in my breast,
Thou know'st that thou hast formed me
Where human weakness has come short,
Do thou, All-Good! for such thou art,
Where with intention I have err'd,
But thou art good; and goodness still
STANZAS ON THE SAME OCCASION.
WHY am I loath to leave this earthly scene?
Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
Fain would I say, "Forgive my foul offence!"
Fain promise never more to disobey;
Again exalt the brute and sink the man;
O thou, great Governor of all below!
To rule their torrent in th' allowed line; O aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Divine !
O THOU dread Power, who reign'st above!
When for this scene of peace and love,
The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,
She, who her lovely offspring eyes
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,
The beauteous, seraph sister band,
Thou know'st the snares on every hand,
When soon or late they reach that coast,
THE FIRST PSALM.
THE man, in life wherever placed,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Still walks before his God.
That man shall flourish like the trees
But he whose blossom buds in guilt
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
For why? that God the good adore
UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT ANGUISH.
O THOU Great Being! what thou art
Yet sure I am, that known to thee
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
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 NINE-
O THOU, the first, the greatest Friend
Whose strong right hand has ever been Their stay and dwelling place!
Before the mountains heaved their heads
That power which raised and still upholds This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time Was ever still the same.
Those mighty periods of years
Appear no more before thy sight
Thou givest the word: Thy creature, man, Is to existence brought:
Again thou say'st, "Ye sons of men, Return ye into naught!"
Thou layest them, with all their cares, In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood thou takest them off With overwhelming sweep.
They flourish like the morning flower,
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 power, 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 flowers our gardens yield, High sheltering 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 snawy 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,
Of prudent lore,
E'en 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!
ALL hail! inexorable lord!
At whose destruction-breathing word,
For one has cut my dearest tie, And quivers in my heart.
Then lowering, and pouring,
And, thou grim power, by life abhorr❜d,
O! hear a wretch's prayer!
To close this scene of care!
My weary heart its throbbing cease,
No fear more, no tear more,