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Poem by William Simson

Tom Walker in Affliction


In sympathy your servant, Will, 
Begs leave to occupy his quill, 
	Inquiring how ye fen; 
Since trouble haunts your little ha, 
Nae doubt ye re heartless ane and a: 
	Nevertheless I ken 
Ye re nae sae very scant o grace, 
	Whateer the dispensation 
As ere set up your squintin face 
	An fret at tribulation. 
		No, no, Tarn, ye know Tarn, 
			Whateers our present plaint, 
		Sin brocht it nor ocht it 
			To raise our discontent. 


Though lifes a pilgrimage, you know, 
Thick interspersed wi weal and woe; 
	For were sic feeble creatures; 
Prosperity we downa thole, 
Adversity is on the whole 
	Repugnant to our natures. 
The first sae feeds inherent pride, 
	We clean misken oursel; 
The lasts a dark, black rolling tide, 
	Whose origin is hell. 
		Kind heaven has given 
			A life devoid of neither, 
		But mixd them, and fixd them, 
			In human life together. 


Then why should creatures such as we 
Presume to fret at heavens decree, 
	Because on poortiths brink: 
Sure whether we are great or rich, 
Or mean or poor, it maks na much, 
	This life is but a blink; 
Swift are our days, as shuttles fly, 
	Impatient of control, 
Till some auld sexton by and by 
	Maun hide us in a hole. 
		Earths treasures, lifes pleasures, 
			Will then avail us little. 
		Scots rhyme then, though prime then, 
			Will no be worth a spittle. 


What signifies the worlds applause, 
Its giddy shouts and loud huzzas? 
	WTiat tho the vulgar throng. 
And round our temples bind the bays, 
For youth-corrupting fulsome lays, 
	If virtue calls them wrong? 
One hour of conscious innocence 
	Yields much more real bliss 
Than years of pleasure at expense 
	Or inward nappiness. 
		Now, therefore, Tom, wherefore 
			Should bards devote their skill 
		Inditing and writing 
			Rhymes bordering on ill. 


Hence Ill abjure the fabled Nine, 
And graciously His aid divine 
	I humbly will implore 
Who taught old David, Israels King, 
In heavenly strains to play and sing 
	Jehovah to adore; 
Who brought him up from tending sheep, 
	His early occupation, 
And set him on his throne to keep 
	Watch oer his elect nation. 
		Attend me, defend me, 
			Thou Being all divine: 
		Inspire me, and fire me, 
			With sentiments sublime.

William Simson

William Simson's other poems:
  1. The Emperor Pauls Flight to Pandemonium

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