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address to the Shade of Thomson.

While maniac Winter rages o'er

The hills whence classic Yarrow flows, Rousing the turbid torrent's roar,

Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows ;

So long, sweet Poet of the year!

Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won ; While Scotia, with exulting tear,

Proclaims that Thomson was her son !


Epistle to Davie,


WHILE winds frae aff Ben Lomond blaw,
And bar the doors wi' driving snaw,

And hing us owre the ingle,
I set me down to pass the time,
And spin a verse or twa o rhyme,

In hamely westlin jingle.
While frosty winds blaw in the drift

Ben to the chimla lug,
I grudge a wee the great folks' gift,
That live sae bien and snug:
I tent less, and want less

Their roomy fire-side ;
But hanker and canker

To see their cursèd pride.

Epistle to Davie.

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It's hardly in a body's power
To keep at times frae being sour,

To see how things are shared ;
How best o'chiels are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,

And ken na how to wair't;
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,

Though we hae little gear,
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier:
“Mair spier na, nor fear na,”

Auld age ne'er mind a feg;
The last o't, the warst o't,

Is only but to beg.

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To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are crazed, and bluid is thin,

Is doubtless great distress!
Yet then content could make us blest;
E'en then, sometimes, we'd snatch a taste

Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'

Intended fraud or guile,
However Fortune kick the ba'.
Has aye some cause to smile:
And mind still, you 'll find still,

A comfort this nae sma';
Nae mair then, we'll care then,

Nae farther can we fa'.

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What though, like commoners of air,
We wander out we know not where,

But either house or hall ?
Yet nature's charms--the hills and woods,
The sweeping vales, and foaming floods-

Are free alike to all.
In days when daisies deck the ground,

And blackbirds whistle clear,
With honest joy our hearts will bound
To see the coming year:
On braes, when we please, then,

We'll sit and sowth a tune:
Syne rhyme till’t, we'll time till 't,

And sing 't when we hae dune.

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It's no in titles nor in rank,
It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank.

To purchase peace and rest :
It's no in making muckle mair;
It's no in books; it's no in lear;

To make us truly blést ;
If happiness hae not her seat

And centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,

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But never can be blest :
Nae treasures, nor pleasures,

Could make us happy lang :
The heart aye's the part aye

That makes us right or wrang.

Epistle to Davie.

Think ye that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge and drive through wet and dry,

Wi' never-ceasing toil ;
Think ye, are we less blest than they
Wha scarcely tent us in their way,

As hardly worth their while ?
Alas! how aft in haughty mood

God's creatures they oppress!
Or else, neglecting a' that's guid,
They riot in excess !
Baith careless and fearless

Of either heaven or hell!
Esteeming and deeming

It's a' an idle tale !

Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce;
Nor make our scanty pleasures less,

By pining at our state ;
And, even should misfortunes come,
I here wha sit hae met wi' some,

An's thankfu' for them yet.
They gie the wit of age to youth ;

They let us ken oursel ;
They make us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill.
Though losses and crosses

Be lessons right severe,
There's wit there, ye'll get there,

Ye'll find nae other where.

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