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Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, 135 And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by

Heaven's command.

140

Then kneeling down, to HEAVEN'S ETERNAL

KING,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays :
Hope “springs exulting on triumphant wing,”

That thus they all shall meet in future days:

There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,

Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear;
While circling Time moves round in an eternal

sphere.

145

Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride,

In all the pomp of method and of art,
When men display to congregations wide

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.

150

155

Then homeward all take off their several way ;

The youngling cottagers retire to rest :
The parent-pair their secret homage pay,

And proffer up to Heaven the warm requ

That He who stills the raven's clamorous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flowery pride,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,

138. Quoted from Pope's Windsor Forest.

160

For them and for their little ones provide ;
But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine pre-

side.

165

From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur

springs,
That makes her loved at home, revered abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,

“ An honest man 's the noblest work of God;

And certes, in fair Virtue's heavenly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind:
What is a lordling's pomp? - a cumbrous

load,
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined!

170

175

O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health,

and
peace,

and sweet con-
tent!
And oh! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile !

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

isle.

O Thoul who poured the patriotic tide,
That streamed through Wallace's undaunted

heart,

166. Quoted from Pope's Essay on Man.
182. William Wallace, the peer of Robert Bruce among

Scottish heroes.

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185

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

BER, 1785.

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,
Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou needna start awa' sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!
5 I wad be laith to rin and chase thee,

Wi murdoring pattle!
Headnote, line 3, gaudsman, ploughboy.
1. sleekit, sleek.
3. needna, need not.
4. bickering brattle, clattering scamper.

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
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earthborn companion,

And fellow-mortal!

10

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!
20 Its silly wa's the win's are strewin'!
And naething now to big a new ane

O' foggage green,
And bleak December's winds ensuin',

Baith snell and keen !

25 Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,

And weary winter comin' fast,
And cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter passed

Out through thy cell.

30

13. whiles, sometimes. 14. maun, must.

15. daimen icker, ear of corn now and then ; thrave, twentyfour sheaves.

21. big, build ; ane, one.
22. foggage, stray vegetable material used for nests.
24. baith, both ; snell, biting.

That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble !
Now thou 's turned out for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald,
35 To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

And cranreuch cauld !

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain :
The best-laid schemes o' mice and men

Gang aft a-gley,
And lea'e us nought but grief and pain,

For promised joy.

40

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!

The present only toucheth thee:
45 But, och! I backward cast my e'e

On prospects drear!
And forward, though I canna see,

I guess and fear.

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY,

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786.

WEE, modest, crimson-tippèd flower,
Thou 's met me in an evil hour;

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:

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