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Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big1 a new one.

O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,

Baith snell * and 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 mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,

But3 house or hald *,
To thole5 the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch * cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane7,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men,

Gang aft agley *,
An* lea'e us nought but grief and pain

For promised joy.

Still thou art 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!

1 build. 'bitter. 3 without. 4 holding.

5 endure. • hoar-frost. 'thyself alone. "awry.

A Bard's Epitaph.

IS there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate' to seek, owre proud to snool *?

Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,

Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,

That weekly this arena throng?

O, pass not by! But, with a frater-feeling strong,

Here heave a sigh.

Is there a man whose judgment clear,
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career

Wild as the wave?
Here pause—and, thro' the starting tear,

Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below

Was quick to learn, and wise to know,

And keenly felt the friendly glow,

And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stained his name!

Reader, attend—whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,

In low pursuit;
Know prudent, cautious self-control

Is wisdom's root.

1 bashful. 'submit tamely.

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"Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green, The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar.

Twined amorous round the raptured scene."

BURNS. !'-... !<:To Mary In Heaven.

'I 'HOU lingering star, with lessening ray, -*- That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usher's! in the day

My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

That sacred hour can I forget?

Can I forget the hallowed grove, Where by the winding Ayr we met,

To live one day of parting love? Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past; Thy image at our last embrace;

Ah! little thought we 'twas our last!

Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green, The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene. The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,

The birds sang love on every spray,— Till too, too soon, the glowing west

Proclaimed the speed of winged day.

Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care; Time but th' impression deeper makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary, dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

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