WHEN biting Boreas, fell and dour,
Sharp shivers throвЂ™ the leafless bowвЂ™r;
When Phoebus gies a short-livвЂ™d glowвЂ™r,
Far south the lift,
Dim-darkвЂ™ning throвЂ™ the flaky showвЂ™r,
Or whirling drift:
Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
While burns, wiвЂ™ snawy wreaths up-choked,
Or, throвЂ™ the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl:
ListвЂ™ning the doors anвЂ™ winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
OвЂ™ winter war,
And throвЂ™ the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle
Beneath a scar.
Ilk happing bird, вЂ”wee, helpless thing!
That, in the merry months oвЂ™ spring,
Delighted me to hear thee sing,
What comes oвЂ™ thee?
Whare wilt thou cowвЂ™r thy chittering wing,
AnвЂ™ close thy eвЂ™e?
EvвЂ™n you, on murdering errands toilвЂ™d,
Lone from your savage homes exilвЂ™d,
The blood-stainвЂ™d roost, and sheep-cote spoilвЂ™d
My heart forgets,
While pityless the tempest wild
Sore on you beats!
Now Phoebe in her midnight reign,
Dark-muffвЂ™d, viewвЂ™d the dreary plain;
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
Rose in my soul,
When on my ear this plantive strain,
Slow, solemn, stole:вЂ”
ВЂњBlow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost!
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows!
Not all your rage, as now united, shows
More hard unkindness unrelenting,
Vengeful malice unrepenting.
Than heaven-illuminвЂ™d Man on brother Man bestows!
ВЂњSee stern OppressionвЂ™s iron grip,
Or mad AmbitionвЂ™s gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
Woe, Want, and Murder oвЂ™er a land!
EvвЂ™n in the peaceful rural vale,
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
How pamperвЂ™d Luxury, FlattвЂ™ry by her side,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Looks oвЂ™er proud Property, extended wide;
And eyes the simple, rustic hind,
Whose toil upholds the glittвЂ™ring showвЂ”
A creature of another kind,
Some coarser substance, unrefinвЂ™dвЂ”
PlacвЂ™d for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below!
ВЂњWhere, where is LoveвЂ™s fond, tender throe,
With lordly HonourвЂ™s lofty brow,
The powвЂ™rs you proudly own?
Is there, beneath LoveвЂ™s noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,
To bless himself alone?
Mark maiden-innocence a prey
To love-pretending snares:
This boasted Honour turns away,
Shunning soft PityвЂ™s rising sway,
Regardless of the tears and unavailing prayвЂ™rs!
Perhaps this hour, in MiseryвЂ™s squalid nest,
She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
And with a motherвЂ™s fears shrinks at the rocking blast!
ВЂњOh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill-satisfyвЂ™d keen natureвЂ™s clamorous call,
StretchвЂ™d on his straw, he lays himself to sleep;
While through the ragged roof and chinky wall,
Chill, oвЂ™er his slumbers, piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeonвЂ™s grim confine,
Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine!
Guilt, erring man, relenting view,
But shall thy legal rage pursue
The wretch, already crushed low
By cruel FortuneвЂ™s undeserved blow?
AfflictionвЂ™s sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss! вЂќ
I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And hailвЂ™d the morning with a cheer,
A cottage-rousing craw.
But deep this truth impressвЂ™d my mindвЂ”
ThroвЂ™ all His works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God.