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Poem by Robert Burns


Tragic Fragment


ALL devil as I am, a damned wretch,
A hardend, stubborn, unrepenting villain,
Still my heart melts at human wretchedness;
And with sincere tho unavailing sighs
I view the helpless children of distress.
With tears indignant I behold th oppressor
Rejoicing in the honest mans destruction,
Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime.
Even you, ye helpless crew, I pity you;
Ye, whom the seeming good think sin to pity;
Ye poor, despisd, abandond vagabonds,
Whom Vice, as usual, has turnd oer to Ruin.
O but for kind, tho ill-requited friends,
I had been driven forth like you forlorn,
The most detested, worthless wretch among you!
O injurd God!  Thy goodness has endowd me
With talents passing most of my compeers,
Which I in just proportion have abusd,
As far surpassing other common villains,
As Thou in natural parts hadst given me more.

1777

Robert Burns


Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. A Fragment (No cold approach, no altered mien)
  2. On Maria Dancing
  3. Thanksgiving for Victory
  4. To the Beautiful Eliza J n
  5. On Mr. W. Cruikshank of the High School, Edinburgh


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