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Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle,"
As round the fire the gigiets keckle1
To see me loup ;"
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle
Were in their doup.x

O' a' the num'rous human dools,
Ill har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools,
Or worthy friends rak'd i' the mools,c
Sad sight to see!

The tricks o' knaves, or fashd o' fools,
Thou bear'st the gree.

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell,
And ranked plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,

Thou, Tooth-ache, surely bear'st the bell
Aboong them a'!

O thou grim, mischief-making chiel',
That garsh the notes of discord squeel,
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel

In gore a shoe-thick,

Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal

A towmond's Tooth-ache!



SWEET flow'ret, pledge o' meiklek love,
And ward o' monie a pray'r,

What heart o' stane wad thou na move,
Sae helpless, sweet, and fair!

The greater. Fools.

Laugh. " Leap, jump.

wo A board in which are driven a number of sharp iron pins,

used for dressing hemp, flax, &c.

y Sorrows.

z Bad harvests. b Stool of repentance.

d Trouble.



a Foolish bargains. c Laid in the grave.

e The victory. fRow.
i A twelvemonth.

g Above.

k Much.

November hirples' o'er the lea,
Chill, on thy lovely form;
And gane, alas! the shelt'ring tree,
Should shield thee frae the storm.
May He, who gives the rain to pour,
And wings the blast to blaw,
Protect thee frae the driving show'r,
The bitter frost and snaw!

May He, the friend of woe and want,
Who heals life's various stounds,m
Protect and guard the mother-plant,
And heal her cruel wounds!
But late she flourish'd, rooted fast,
Fair on the summer morn;
Now, feebly bends she in the blast,
Unshelter'd and forlorn.

Blest be thy bloom, thou lovely gem,
Unscath'd" by ruffian hand!

And from thee many a parent stem
Arise to deck our land!


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 stourep
Thy slender stem;

To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
Thou bonnie gem.

Alas! it's not thy neebor sweet!
The bonnie Lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet !r
Wi' spreckled breast,

When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling East.

Creeps, or limps.
• Small.
p Dust.

m Acute pains.

n Unhurt.

q Not. r Wet, wetness.

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 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 snawie bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;

But now the share up-tears 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 driven,
To mis'ry's brink,

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"Dry, chapt, barren.

Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
He, ruin'd, sink!

Ev'n thou who mourn'st 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!


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' bick'rin' brattle !*

1 wad be laithy to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle."

I'm truly sorry man's dominion

Has broken Nature's social union,

An' justifies that ill opinion


Which makes thee startle

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 ickera in a thrave,b

'S a sma' request:

When Burns first arrived in Edinburgh, the 'Lounger,' a weekly paper, edited by Henry Mackenzie, Esq. author of the 'Man of Feeling,' was in course of publication. In that periodical a whole number (the Lounger for Saturday, December 9, 1786,') was devoted to An account of Robert Burns, the Ayrshire ploughman,' in which were given the address To a Mountain Daisy, and an extract from the Vision,' as specimens of his poetry.

A short race.

u Sleek, w Cowering.
y Loth.
z Plough-staff. a An ear of corn now and theu.
b A shock of corn.

I'll get a blessing wi' the lave,

And never miss 't.

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the winsd are strewin'!
An' naething, now, to bige a new ane,
O' foggage green!

An' bleak December's wins ensuin',
Baith snells and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
And weary winter comin' fast,

An' cozieh 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 's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,k

To tholel the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuchm 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 e'e,
On prospects drear!

An' forward, tho' I canna see,

c The rest.

i Without.


m The hoar frost.

I guess an' fear.P

d Winds.

g Bitter, biting.

k Hold, home.

n Not alone.

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o Off the right iine.

p'The verses to the Mouse, and Mountain Daisy, were composed on the occasions mentioned, and while the Author wa holding th plough.'-Gilbert Burns.

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