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Poem by Robert Burns
Stanzas on the Same Occasion
WHY am I loath to leave this earthly scene? Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between; Some gleams of sunshine ‘mid renewing storms! Is it departing pangs my soul alarms? Or Death’s unlovely, dreary, dark abode? For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms; I tremble to approach an angry God, And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod. Fain would I say, ‘Forgive my foul offence!’ Fain promise never more to disobey; But, should my Author health again dispense, Again I might desert fair virtue’s way; Again in folly’s path might go astray; Again exalt the brute, and sink the man; Then how should I for Heavenly mercy pray, Who act so counter Heavenly mercy’s plan? Who sin so oft have mourn’d, yet to temptation ran? O Thou, great Governor of all below! If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow, And still the tumult of the raging sea: With that controlling pow’r assist ev’n me Those headlong furious passions to confine, For all unfit I feel my powers to be, To rule their torrent in th’ allowed line; O, aid me with Thy help, Omnipotence Divine!
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