Heart of Man’s Dominion
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murdering prattle!
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, 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 icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An, never miss’t!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!
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 monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned 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,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best=-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r,
Thou bonie gem.
Alas! it’s no thy neebor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee ‘mang the dewy weet,
Wi’ spreckl’d breast!
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet
The purpling east.
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 shelt’ring woods and wa’s maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield
O’[ clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the share uptears 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’ed,
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!
Unskillful 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 driv’n
To mis’ry’s brink;
Till, wrench’d of ev’ry stay but Heaven’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!
To a Mountain Daisy
Go, little flower: go bid thy name impart
Each hope, each wish, each beating of my heart;
Go, soothe her sorrows, bid all anguish cease,
Go, be the be the bearer of thyself - heart’s ease.
To a Violet
Inhuman man! Curse on thy barb’rous art,
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
Not never pleasure glad thy cruel heart!
Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and field,
The bitter little that of life remains!
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield.
Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
No more of rest, but now thy dying bed!
The sheltering rushes whistling o’er thy head,
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.
Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
I’ll miss thee sporting o’er the dewy lawn,
And curse the ruffian’s aim, and mourn thy hapless fate.
On Seeing a Wounded Hare Limp By
Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
The drift is driving sairly,
Sae loud and shrill’s I hear the blast –
I’m sure it’s winter fairly!
Up in the morning’s no for me,
Up in the morning early!
When a’ the hills are covered wi’ snaw,
I’m sure it’s winter fairly!
The birds sit chittering in the thorn,
A’ day they fare but sparely;
And lang’s the night frae e’en to morn –
I’m sure it’s winter fairly.
Dos’t ask me, why I send thee here
The firstling of the infant year:
This lovely native of the vale,
That hangs so pensive and so pale?
Look on its bending stalk, so weak,
That, each way yielding, doth not break,
And see how aptly it reveals
The doubts and fears a lover feels.
Look on its leaves of yellow hue
Bepearl’d thus with morning dew,
And these will whisper in thine ears: -
The sweets of loves are wash’d with tears.
To a Primrose