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THIS wot ye all whom it concerns,
I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,
October twenty-third,

A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,
Sae far I sprachled up the brae,
I dinner'd wi' a Lord.

I've been at drucken writers' feasts,
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests,
(Wi' rev'rence be it spoken ;)
I've even join'd the honour'd jorum,
When mighty Squireships of the quorum,
Their hydra drouth" did sloken."

But wi' a Lord-stand out my shin,
A Lord-a Peer-an Earl's son,

Up higher yet, my bonnet;
An sic a Lord-lang Scotch ells twa,*
Our Peerage, he o'erlooks them a’
As I look o'er my sonnet!

But oh for Hogarth's magic pow'r!
To show Sir Bardie's willyarty glow'r,
And how he star'd and stammer'd,
When goavan as if led wi' branks,a
An' stumpin' on his ploughman shanks,
He in the parlour hammer'd.

To meet good Stuart little pain is,
Or Scotia's sacred Demosthenes,

Thinks I, they are but men!
But Burns, my Lord-Guid God! I doitedb
My knees on ane anither knoited,c
As faultering I gaed ben !d


Crawled, or clambered on the hands and knees.

u Thirst.

i. e. He was six feet high.

s Going, or walking. Was stupified.

w Slacken, or quench.

y Bashful look.

a A kind of wooden curb for horses e Knocked together.

d Went into the parlour.

I sidling shelter'd in a nook,
An' at his Lordship steal't a look
Like some portentous omen;
Except good sense and social glee,
An' (what surprised me) modesty,
I marked nought uncommon.
I watch'd the symptoms of the great,
The gentle pride, the lordly state,
The arrogant assuming;
The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
Nor sauce, nor state that I could see,

Mair than an honest ploughman.

Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
Henceforth to meet with unconcern
One rank as weel's another;
Nae honest, worthy man need care,
To meet with noble, youthful Daer,
For he but meets a brother.


Left in a room of a Reverend Friend's house, where the Author

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dread Pow'r who reign'st above!

I know thou wilt me hear;

When for this scene of peace and love,

I make my pray'r sincere.

Dr. Laurie, minister of Loudoun, from whom the poet received many essential favours, one of which, and none of the least, will be best explained in his own words- I had taken the last farewell of my few friends-my chest was on the road to Greenock, from whence I was to embark in a few days for America. I had composed the last song, I should ever measure in Caledonia. The gloomy night is gathering fast, when a letter from Dr. Blacklock, to a friend of mine, (Dr. Laurie, who had sent to Dr. Blacklock a copy of our poet's works) overthrew all my schemes, by opening new prospects to my poetic ambition. The doctor belonged to a set of critics, for whose applause I had not dared to hope. His opinion that I would meet with encouragement in Edinburgh for a second edition, fired me so much, that away 1 posted for that city, without a single acquaintance, or a single letter of introduction. The baneful star that had so long shed its blasting influence in my zenith, for once made a revolution to the nadir; and a kind providence placed me under the patronage of one of the noblest of men, the Earl of Glencairn.'

The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,
Long, long, be pleas'd to spare!
To bless his little filial flock,

And shew what good men are.
She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,
But spare a mother's tears!

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,
In manhood's dawning blush;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,
Up to a parent's wish!

The beauteous seraph sister-band,

With earnest tears pray,

Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry hand,
Guide thou their steps alway!

When soon or late they reach that coast,
O'er life's rough ocean driv'n,
May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost,
A family in heav'n!


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 !


In the prospect of Death.

O THOU, unknown, Almighty cause
Of all my hope and fear!

In whose dread presence, ere an hour
Perhaps I must appear!

If I have wander❜d in those paths
Of life I ought to shun;
As something, loudly, in my breast
Remonstrates I have done :

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong;
And list'ning to their witching voice
Hast often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,

Do Thou, All-Good! for such Thou art,
In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err'd,
No other plea I have,

But, Thou art good; and goodness still
Delighteth to forgive.

STANZAS ON THE SAME OCCASION. WHY am I loath to leave this earthly scene? Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between; Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing Is it departing pangs my soul alarms; [storms: Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?

For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms; I tremble to approach an angry God, And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod. Fain would I say, Forgive my foul offence! Fain promise never more to disobey; But, should my Author health again dispense, Again I might desert fair virtue's way; Again in folly's path might go astray;

Again exalt the brute and sink the man : Then how should I for heav'nly mercy pray, Who act so counter heav'nly mercy's plan? Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran?

O Thou, great Governor of all below!
If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee,
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,
Ŏr still the tumult of the raging sea;

With that controlling pow'r assist ev'n me,
Those headlong, furious passions to confine;
For all unfit I feel my pow'rs to be,

To rule their torrent in th' allowed line;
O, aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Divine!


THE man in life, wherever plac'd,
Hath happiness in store,

Who walks not in the wicked's way,

Nor learns their guilty lore!

Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad,

But with humility and awe
Still walks before his God.

That man shall flourish like the trees
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.

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