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The first psalm

Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act
From cruelty or wrath!

O, free my weary eyes from tears,

Or close them fast in death!

But, if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design,

Then man my soul with firm resolves,
To bear and not repine!

PARAPHRASE OF THE FIRST
PSALM

THE man, in life wherever plac'd,
Hath happiness in store,

Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!

Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad,

But with humility and awe

Still walks before his God.

That man shall flourish like the trees,
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.

But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast.

For why? that God the good adore,
Hath giv'n them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men
Shall ne'er be truly blest

THE FIRST SIX VERSES OF THE The
NINETIETH PSALM VERSIFIED

O THOU, the first, the greatest friend

Of all the human race!

Whose strong right hand has ever been
Their stay and dwelling-place!

Before the mountains heav'd their heads
Beneath Thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself,
Arose at Thy command;

That Pow'r which rais'd and still upholds
This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time

Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before Thy sight
Than yesterday that's past.

Thou giv'st the word: Thy creature, nian,
Is to existence brought;
Again Thou say'st, "Ye sons of men,
Return ye into nought!"

Thou layest them, with all their cares,
In everlasting sleep;

As with a flood Thou takʼst them off
With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flow'r,
In beauty's pride array'd;

But long ere night cut down it lies
All wither'd and decay'd.

ninetieth psalm

In view of death

A PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT
OF DEATH

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 list'ning to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept 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.

STANZAS, ON THE SAME
OCCASION

WHY am I loth 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!

eye to Thee,

If I may dare a lifted
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,
Ór 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 pow'rs to be,
To rule their torrent in th' allowèd line;
O, aid me with Thy help, Omnipotence Divine !

APOSTROPHE TO FERGUSON

WRITTEN ABOVE AND BELOW HIS PORTRAIT

CURSE on ungrateful man, that can be pleas'd
And yet can starve the author of the pleasure!

Raging passions

An object of scorn

O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
By far
my elder brother in the Muse,
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
Why is the Bard unfitted for the world,
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures.

I'LL GO AND BE A SODGER
O WHY the deuce should I repine,
And be an ill foreboder?
I'm twenty-three, and five feet nine,
I'll go and be a sodger !

I gat some gear wi' mickle care,

I held it weel thegither;

But now it's gane, and something mair-
I'll go and be a sodger !

AH, WOE IS ME, MY MOTHER
DEAR

Paraphrase of Jeremiah, XV 10.
Ан, woe is me, my Mother dear!
A man of strife ye've born me:
For sair contention I maun bear;
They hate, revile, and scorn me.
I ne'er could lend on bill or band,
That five per cent. might blest me;
And borrowing, on the tither hand,
The deil a ane wad trust me.

Yet I, a coin-denied wight,
By Fortune quite discarded;
Ye see how I am, day and night,
By lad and lass blackguarded!

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