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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