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Scottish poet
(1759 - 1796)
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Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear.
      - Elegy on Capt. Matthew Henderson

Mourn, little harebells, o'er the lea;
  Ye stately foxgloves fair to see!
    Ye woodbines, hanging bonnilie
      In scented bowers!
        Ye roses on your thorny tree
          The first o' flow'rs.
      - Elegy on Capt. Matthew Henderson [Flowers]

In durance vile here must I wake and weep,
  And all my frowsy couch in sorrow steep.
      - Epistle from Esopus to Maria,
        in Chambers' "Burns' Life and Work", vol. IV, p. 54

An' Atheist's laugh's a poor exchange
  For Deity offended!
      - Epistle to a Young Friend
        [Atheism : Religion]

And may you better reck the rede,
  Than ever did th' adviser.
      - Epistle to a Young Friend [Advice]

I waive the quantum o' the sin,
  The hazard of concealing:
    But, och! it hardens a' within,
      And petrifies the feeling!
      - Epistle to a Young Friend [Sin]

Perhaps it may turn out a sand,
  Perhaps turn out a sermon.
      - Epistle to a Young Friend [Chance]

The fear o' hell's the hangman's whip
  To laud the wretch in order;
    But where ye feel your honor grip,
      Let that aye be your border.
      - Epistle to a Young Friend [Fear]

To make a happy fireside clime
  To weans and wife,
    That's the true pathos and sublime
      Of human life.
      - Epistle to Dr. Blacklock [Home]

What's a' your jargon o' your schools,
  Your Latin names for horns and stools;
    If honest nature made you fools.
      - Epistle to J.L. -----k [Teaching]

O, Life! how pleasant is thy morning,
  Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
    Cold pausing Caution's lesson scorning,
      We frisk away,
        Like schoolboys, at the expected warning,
          To joy and play.
      - Epistle to James Smith [Life]

G-- knows I'm no the thing I should be,
  Nor am I even the thing I could be,
    But twenty times I rather would be
      An atheist clean,
        Than under gospel colours hid be,
          Just for a screen.
      - Epistle to Rev. John M'Math (st. 8)

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
  Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise.
      - Flow Gently, Sweet Afton
        [Afton River : Rivers]

A man's a man for a' that!
      - For A' That and A' That [Man]

A prince can mak a belted knight,
  A marquis, duke, and a' that;
    But an honest man's aboon his might:
      Guid faith, he maunna fa' that.
      - For A' That and A' That [Man]

The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
  The man's the gowd for a' that.
      - For A' That and A' That [Man]

Life is but a day at most.
      - Friars' Carse Hermitage [Life]

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
  Her noblest work she classes, O:
    Her 'prentice hand she tried on man,
      An' then she made the lasses, O.
      - Green Grow the Rashes [Women]

The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
  He dearly loved the lasses, O.
      - Green Grow the Rashes [Love]

Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
  I'd break her spirit, or I'd break her heart.
      - Henpecked Husband [Wives]

It's guid to be merry and wise,
  It's guid to be honest and true,
    It's guid to support Caledonia's cause,
      And bide by the buff and the blue!
      - Here's a Health to Them that's Awa'

But, oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
  That nipt my flower sae early.
      - Highland Mary [Death]

The golden hours on angel wings
  Flew o'er me and my dearie,
    For dear to me as light and life
      Was my sweet Highland Mary.
      - Highland Mary [Love]

Hear how he clears the points o' Faith
  Wi' rattling an' thumpin'!
    Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
      He's stampin', and he's jumpin'!
      - Holy Fair (st. 13) [Preaching]

Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
  A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!
      - In Eutropium (II, 149) [Affliction]

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