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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,
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.
A WINTER NIGHT.
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
WHEN biting Boreas, fell and doure,
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,
What comes o' thee?
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd,
While pityless the tempest wild
Sore on you beats.
Now Phoebe, in her midnight reign,
When on my ear this plaintive strain,
'Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
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,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
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.
The pow'rs you proudly own?
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'rs!
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
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,
But deep this truth impress'd my mind-
The heart, benevolent and kind,
The most resembles God.