When chill November's surly blast

Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wander'd forth

Along the banks of Ayr,
I spy'd a man, whose aged step

Seem'd weary, worn with care;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,

And hoary was his hair.

Young stranger,

whither wanderest thou?
Began the reverend sage;
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasure's rage?
Or haply, press’d with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me, to mourn

The miseries of man!

The sun that overhangs yon moors,

Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support

A haughty lordling's pride;
I've seen yon weary winter-sun

Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs

That man was made to mourn.

O man! while in thy early years,

How prodigal of time! Mispending all thy precious hours;

Thy glorious youthful prime! Alternate follies take the sway;

Licentious passions burn; Which tenfold force gives Nature's law,

That. man was made to mouru.

Look not alone on youthful prime,

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right :
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn,
Then age and want, О ill-match'd pair!

Show man was made to mourn.

A few seem favourites of fate,

In pleasure's lap carest ;
Yet, think not all the rich and great

Are likewise truly blest.
But, O! what crowds in every land

Are wretched and forlorn !
Through weary life this lesson learn,

That man was made to mourn.

Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame! More pointed still we make ourselves,

Regret, remorse, and shame! And man, whose heaven-erected face

The smiles of love adorn, Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn.

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, though a weeping wife

And helpless offspring mourn.

If I'm desigu'd yon lordling's slave

By Nature's law design'dWhy was an independent wish

Ere planted in my mind ?
If not, why am I subject to

His cruelty or scorn?
Or why has man the will and power

To make his fellow mourn?

Yet, let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast :
This partial view of human kind

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 sure torv ; But, O! a bless'd relief to those

That weary-laden mourn !

W I N T E R.


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 heartless 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!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme

These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest; they must be best,

Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want, (O! do thou grant

This one request of mine !)
Since to enjoy thou dost deny,

Assist me to resign.



O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear ! In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear !

If I have wander'd in those paths

Of life I ought to shun,
As something loudly in my breast

Remonstrates I have done ;

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong ; And listening to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stepp'd aside, Do thou, All Good! for such thou art,

In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have, But Thou art good ; and goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.

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