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Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 135 And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by
Then kneeling down, to HEAVEN'S ETERNAL
That thus they all shall meet in future days:
There ever bask in uncreated rays,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method and of art,
Devotion's every grace, except the heart!
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert, The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But haply, in some cottage far apart, May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul; And in His book of life the inmates poor enrol.
Then homeward all take off their several way ;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest :
And proffer up to Heaven the warm requ
That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest,
138. Quoted from Pope's Windsor Forest.
For them and for their little ones provide ;
From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur
“ An honest man 's the noblest work of God;
And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly road,
O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
and sweet con-
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
A virtuous populace may rise the while, 180 And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved
O Thoul who poured the patriotic tide,
166. Quoted from Pope's Essay on Man.
Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part,
(The patriot's God, peculiarly Thou art, His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !)
Oh never, never, Scotia's realm desert; But still the patriot, and the patriot bard, In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !
TO A MOUSE,
ON TURNING UP HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEM
The lines To a Mouse seem by report to have been composed while Burns was actually ploughing. One of the poet's first editors wrote : “ John Blane, who had acted as gaudsman to Burns, and who lived sixty years afterwards, had a distinct recollection of the turning up of the mouse. Like a thoughtless youth as he was, he ran after the creature to kill it, but was checked and recalled by his master, who he observed became thereafter thoughtful and abstracted. Burns, who treated his servants with the familiarity of fellow-laborers, soon afterwards read the poem to Blane.”
WEE, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle!
Wi murdoring pattle!
5, 6. The boy's attempt to kill the mouse may well have been in the poet's mind here.
5. wad, would ; laith, loath. 6. pattle, plough-staff.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Which makes thee startle
I doubtna, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live! 15 A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request : I'll get a blessin' wi’ the lave,
And never miss 't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
O' foggage green,
Baith snell and keen !
25 Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,
And weary winter comin' fast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Out through thy cell.
13. whiles, sometimes. 14. maun, must.
15. daimen icker, ear of corn now and then ; thrave, twentyfour sheaves.
21. big, build ; ane, one.
That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble
But house or hald,
And cranreuch cauld !
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
Gang aft a-gley,
For promised joy.
Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
On prospects drear!
I guess and fear.
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786.
WEE, modest, crimson-tippèd flower,
31. stibble, stubble. 32. monie, many. 34. but, without ; hald, abiding-place. 35. thole, endure. 36. cranreuch cauld, cold hoar-frost. 37. no thy lane, not alone. 40. a-gley, wrong: