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Poem by Robert Burns


Ode, Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Oswald


DWELLER in yon dungeon dark,
Hangman of creation! mark
Who in widow-weeds appears,
Laden with unhonourd years,
Noosing with care a bursting purse,
Baited with many a deadly curse!

        STROPHE.

View the witherd beldams face-
Can thy keen inspection trace
Aught of humanitys sweet melting grace?
Note that eye, tis rheum oerflows,
Pitys flood there never rose.
See those hands, neer stretchd to save
Hands that took-but never gave.
Keeper of Mammons iron chest,
Lo, there she goes, unpitied and unblest;
She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest!

        ANTISTROPHE.

Plunderer of armies, lift thine eyes
(Awhile forbear, ye torturing fiends!)-
Seest thou whose step unwilling hither bends?
No fallen angel, hurld from upper skies;
Tis thy trusty quondam mate,
Doomd to share thy fiery fate,
She, tardy, hell-ward plies.

        EPODE.

And are they of no more avail,
Ten thousand glittring pounds a year?
In other worlds can Mammon fail,
Omnipotent as he is here?
O, bitter mockry of the pompous bier,
While down the wretched vital part is drivn!
The cave-lodgd beggar, with a conscience clear,
Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to Heavn.



                      Robert Burns


Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. Theres News, Lasses
  2. Scroggam
  3. Theres a Youth in This City
  4. The Toast
  5. Lines Written at Loudon Manse


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