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Then top and maintop crowd the sail,
Heave care o'er side!
And large, before enjoyment's gale,
Let's tak the tide.
This life, sae, far's I understand,
Is a' enchanted, fairy land,
Where pleasure is the magic wand,
That, wielded right,
Maks hours, like minutes, hand in hand,
Dance by fu' light.
The magic wand then let us wield;
For ance that five-an'-forty's speel'd,
See crazy, weary, joyless eild,
Wi' wrinkled face,
Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,
When ance life's day draws near the gloamin,
Then fareweel vacant, careless roamin;
An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,
An' social noise;
An' fareweel dear, deluding woman,
The joy of joys!
Oh, life! how pleasant is thy morning,
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning !
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning,
We frisk away,
Like schoolboys, at th' expected warning,
To joy and play.
We wander therc, we wander here,
We eye the rose upon the brier,
Unmindful that the thorn is near,
Among the leaves;
And though the puny wound appear,
Short while it grieves.
Some, lucky, find a flowery spot,
For which they never toil'd nor swat;
They drink the sweet, and eat the fat,
But care or pain;
And, haply, eye the barren hut
With high disdain.
With steady aim, some Fortune chase;
Keen Hope does every sinew brace;
Through fair, through foul, they urge the race, And seize the prey:
Then cannie, in some cozie place,
They close the day.
And others, like your humble servan',
Poor wights! nae rules nor roads observin
To right or left, eternal swervin,
Till cursed with age, obscure an' starvin,
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining-
But truce with peevish, poor complaining!
Is fortune's fickle Luna waning?
Beneath what light she has remaining,
Let's sing our sang.
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,
A something to have sent you,
Though it should serve nae other end
Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject theme may gang
Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.
Ye'll try the world soon, my lad,
And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye.
For care and trouble set your thought,
E'en when your end's attain'd;
And a' your views may come to naught,
Where every nerve is strain'd.
I'll no say men are villains a' ;
The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked;
But, och! mankind are unco weak,
An' little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted!
Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife,
Their fate we should nae censure,
For still th' important end o' life
They equally may answer;
A man may hae an honest heart,
Though poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neebor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.
Aye free, aff han' your story tell,
When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's you can
Frae critical dissection;
But keek through every other man,
Wi' sharpen'd, slee inspection.
The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Though naething should divulge it!
I wave the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard of concealing;
But, och! it hardens a' within,
And petrifies the feeling.
To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by every wile
That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Not for a train-attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip,
To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
Let that aye be your border;
Its slightest touches, instant pause-
Debar a' side pretences;
And resolutely keep its laws,
The great Creator to revere
Must sure become the creature ; But still the preaching cant forbear, And e'en the rigid feature; Yet ne'er with wits profane to range, Be complaisance extended;
An atheist's laugh's a poor exchange
For Deity offended!
When ranting round in pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded;
Or, if she gie a random sting,
It may be little minded;
But when on life we're tempest-driven,
A conscience but a canker-
A correspondence fix'd wi' heaven
Is sure a noble anchor!
Adieu, dear, amiable youth!
Your heart can ne'er be wanting: May prudence, fortitude, and truth Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase, " God send you speed,"
Still daily to grow wiser:
And may you better reck the rede
Than ever did th' adviser.
WHEN o'er the hill the eastern star,
Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo;
And owsen frae the furrow'd field,
Return sae dowf and weary 0;
Down by the burn, where scented birks,
Wi' dew are hanging clear, my jo,
I'll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie 0.
In mirkest glen, at midnight hour,
I'd rove and ne'er be eerie O,
If through that glen, I gaed to thee,
My ain kind dearie O.
Although the night were ne'er sae wild,
And I were ne'er sae weary 0,
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie O.
The hunter lo'es the morning sun.
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo,
At noon the fisher seeks the glen,
Along the burn to steer, my jo;
Gie me the hour o' gloamin gray,
It maks my heart sae cheery O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie O.