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Poem by Robert Burns

Lines Written In Friars-Carse Hermitage


THOU whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,
Be thou deckt in silken stole,
Grave these counsels on thy soul.
  Life is but a day at most,
Sprung from night, in darkness lost;
Hope not sunshine evry hour,
Fear not clouds will always lour.
  As Youth and Love, with sprightly dance,
Beneath thy morning star advance,
Pleasure with her syren air
May delude the thoughtless pair;
Let Prudence bless Enjoyments cup,
Then rapturd sip, and sip it up.
  As thy day grows warm and high,
Lifes meridian flaming nigh,
Dost thou spurn the humble vale?
Lifes proud summits wouldst thou scale?
Check thy climbing step, elate,
Evils lurk in felon wait:
Dangers, eagle-pinioned, bold,
Soar around each cliffy hold,
While cheerful Peace, with linnet song,
Chants the lowly dells among.
  As the shades of evning close,
Beckning thee to long repose;
As life itself becomes disease,
Seek the chimney-nook of ease.
There ruminate with sober thought,
On all thoust seen, and heard, and wrought;
And teach the sportive younkers round,
Saws of experience, sage and sound.
Say mans true genuine estimate,
The grand criterion of his fate,
Is not-Art thou high or low?
Did thy fortune ebb or flow?
Did many talents gild thy span?
Or frugal Nature grudge thee one?
Tell them, and press it on their mind,
As thou thyself must shortly find,
The smile or frown of awful Heavn
To Virtue or to Vice is givn.
Say to be just, and kind, and wise,-
There solid self-enjoyment lies;
That foolish, selfish, faithless ways
Lead to be wretched, vile, and base.
  Thus resignd and quiet, creep
To the bed of lasting sleep;
Sleep, whence thou shalt neer awake,
Night, where dawn shall never break
Till future life, future no more,
To light and joy and good restore,
To light and joy unknown before.
  Stranger, go!  Heaven be thy guide!
Quod the Beadsman of Nith-side.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. The Sailors Song
  2. Evan Banks
  3. The Rantin Dog the Daddie Ot
  4. The Heather Was Blooming
  5. Had I The Wyte

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