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155

JEAN

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw

I dearly like the West,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,

The lassie I lo'e best :
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,

And mony a hill between ;
But day and night my fancy's flight

Is ever wi' my Jean.

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I see her in the dewy flowers,

I see her sweet and fair :
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,

I hear her charm the air :
There 's not a bonnie flower that springs

By fountain, shaw, or green,
There's not a bonnie bird that sings

But minds me o' my Jean.

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O blaw ye westlin winds, blaw saft

Amang the leafy trees ;
Wi’ balmy gale, frae hill and dale
Bring hame the laden bees;

20 And bring the lassie back to me

That 's ay sae neat and clean ;
Ae smile o her wad banish care,

Sae charming is my Jean.
What sighs and vows amang the knowes
Hae pass'd atween us twa !

26 How fond to meet, how wae to part

That night she gaed awa! The Powers aboon can only ken To whom the heart is seen,

30 That nane can be sae dear to me As my sweet lovely Jean !

R. BURNS.

156

JOHN ANDERSON

John Anderson my jo, John,

When we were first acquent Your locks were like the raven,

Your bonnie brow was brent ; But now your brow is beld, John,

Your locks are like the snow; But blessings on your frosty pow,

John Anderson my jo.

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John Anderson my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither,

10 And mony a canty day, John,

We've had wi' ane anither : Now we maun totter down, John,

But hand in hand we'll go, And sleep thegither at the foot,

15 John Anderson my jo.

R. BURNS.

157

THE LAND O' THE LEAL

I'm wearing awa', Jean,
Like snaw when it's thaw, Jean,
I'm wearing awa'

To the land o' the leal.
There nae sorrow there, Jean,
There's neither cauld nor care, Jean,
The day is ay fair

In the land o' the leal.

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Ye were ay leal and true, Jean,
Your task 's ended noo, Jean,
And I'll welcome you

To the land o' the leal.

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Our bonnie bairn 's there, Jean,
She was baith guid and fair, Jean ;
O we grudged her right sair

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To the land o' the leal !
Then dry that tearfu' e'e, Jean,
My soul langs to be free, Jean,
And angels wait on me
To land o' the leal.

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Now fare ye weel, my ain Jean,
This warld's care is vain, Jean ;
We'll meet and ay be fain
In the land o' the leal.

LADY NAIRNE.

158
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF

ETON COLLEGE
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers

That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry's holy shade ;
And ye, that from the stately brow

5 Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along His silver-winding way :

10 Ah happy hills ! ah pleasing shade!

Ah fields beloved in vain !
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,

A stranger yet to pain !
I feel the gales that from ye blow

15 A momentary bliss bestow,

As waving fresh their gladsome wing
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.

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Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green

The paths of pleasure trace ;
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm, thy glassy wave ?

The captive linnet which enthral ?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed

Or urge the flying ball ?
While some on earnest business bent

Their murmuring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty :
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign

And unknown regions dare descry :
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possest;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,

The sunshine of the breast : Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new,

And lively cheer, of vigour born ; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light That fly th' approach of morn.

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Alas! regardless of their doom

The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come

Nor care beyond to-day :
Yet see how all around them wait
The Ministers of human fate

And black Misfortune's baleful train !

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Ah show them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey, the murderous band !

Ah, tell them they are men !
These shall the fury Passions tear,

The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that skulks behind ;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth

That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise,

Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice

And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild

Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath

A griesly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,

More hideous than their Queen :
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,

Those in the deeper vitals rage :
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,

And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings : all are men,

Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,

Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah ! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,

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