Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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IX. MISCELLANEOUS                          305
'A few seem favourites of fate,
In pleasure's lap carest; Yet think not all the rich and great
Are likewise truly blest; But oh ! what crowds in every land
All wretched and forlorn, Thro' weary life this lesson learn,
That man was made to mourn.
'Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame! More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame! And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,— Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn I
'See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,
So abject, mean, and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil ; And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.
' If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave—
By Nature's law design'd— Why was an independent wish
E'er planted in my mind? If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty, or scorn? Or why has man the will and pow'r
To make his fellow mourn ?
' Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast; This partial view of humankind
Is surely not the last! The.poor, oppressed, honest man
Had never, sure, been born, Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn,
' O death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best! Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest! The great, the wealthy fear thy blow,
From pomp and pleasure torn ; But oh 1 a blest relief to those
That weary-laden mourn !'
No. 325. The wintry west extends his blast.
Tune: M'Pherson's rant (see No. 311).
The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw ; -Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw : While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae ; And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the weary day. "
'The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,'
The joyless winter day Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May : The tempest's howl it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join ; The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III