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Life is but a day at most,

Sprung from night, in darkness lost:
Hope not sunshine every hour,
Fear not clouds will always lour.

Happiness is but a name,

Make content and ease thy aim,
Ambition is a meteor-gleam;
Fame, an idle restless dream;

Peace, the tend'rest flow'r of spring;
Pleasures, insects on the wing;
Those that sip the dew alone-
Make the butterflies thy own;

Those that would the bloom devour-
Crush the locusts, save the flower.

For the future be prepar'd,

Guard wherever thou can'st guard;

But thy utmost duly done,

Welcome what thou can'st not shun.

Follies past, give thou to air,

Make their consequence thy care:

Keep the name of Man in mind,
And dishonour not thy kind.

Reverence with lowly heart

Him, whose wondrous work thou art;
Keep His Goodness still in view,

Thy trust, and thy example, too.

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.


ELLISLAND, NITHSDALE, July 27th, 1788.

My godlike friend-nay, do not stare,

You think the phrase is odd-like;
But God is love, the saints declare,

Then surely thou art god-like.

And is thy ardour still the same?

And kindled still at ANNA? Others may boast a partial flame, But thou art a volcano!

Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyond
Death's tie-dissolving portal;
But thou, omnipotently fond,
May'st promise love immortal!

Thy wounds such healing powers defy, Such symptoms dire attend them, That last great antihectic try

MARRIAGE perhaps may mend them.

Sweet Anna has an air-a grace,
Divine, magnetic, touching:

She talks, she charms-but who can trace
The process of bewitching?


ANNA, thy charms my bosom fire,
And waste my soul with care;
But ah! how bootless to admire,
When fated to despair!

Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair,
To hope may be forgiven;
For sure 'twere impious to despair
So much in sight of heaven.


Tune "Killiecrankie."

O WHA will to Saint Stephen's House,
To do our errands there, man?
O wha will to Saint Stephen's House
O' th' merry lads of Ayr, man?

Or will we send a man o' law?
Or will we send a sodger?
Or him wha led o'er Scotland a'
The meikle Ursa-Major?1

Come, will ye court a noble lord,
Or buy a score o' lairds, man?
For worth and honour pawn their word,
Their vote shall be Glencaird's,' man.
Ane gies them coin, ane gies them wine,
Anither gies them clatter:


Annbank, wha guessed the ladies' taste,
He gies a Fête Champêtre.

When Love and Beauty heard the news,
The gay green woods amang, man;
Where, gathering flowers, and busking bowers,
They heard the blackbird's sang, man:
A vow, they sealed it with a kiss,

Sir Politics to fetter;

As their's alone, the patent bliss,
To hold a Fête Champêtre.

Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing
O'er hill and dale she flew, man;
Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring,
Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man:
She summon'd every social sprite,
That sports by wood or water,
On th' bonie banks of Ayr to meet,
And keep this Fête Champêtre.

Cauld Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew,
Were bound to stakes like kye, man,

And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu',
Clamb up the starry sky, man:
Reflected beams dwell in the streams,
Or down the current shatter;

The western breeze steals thro' the trees,

To view this Fête Champêtre.

1 James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson.

2 Sir John Whitefoord, then residing at Cloncaird or "Glencaird."

3 William Cunninghame, Esq., of Annbank and Enterkin.

How many a robe sae gaily floats!
What sparkling jewels glance, man!
To Harmony's enchanting notes,

As moves the mazy dance, man.
The echoing wood, the winding flood,
Like Paradise did glitter,

When angels met, at Adam's yett,
To hold their Fête Champêtre.

When Politics came there, to mix
And make his ether-stane, man!
He circled round the magic ground,
But entrance found he nane, man:
He blush'd for shame, he quat his name,
Forswore it, every letter,

Wi' humble prayer to join and share
This festive Fête Champêtre.

Requesting a Favour

WHEN Nature her great master-piece design'd,
And fram'd her last, best work, the human mind,

Her eye intent on all the mazy plan,

She form'd of various parts the various Man.

Then first she calls the useful many forth;

Plain plodding Industry, and sober Worth:
Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth,
And merchandise' whole genus take their birth:
Each prudent cit a warm existence finds,
And all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds.
Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet,

The lead and buoy are needful to the net:

The caput mortuum of gross desires

Makes a material for mere knights and squires;
The martial phosphorus is taught to flow,
She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough,

Then marks th' unyielding mass with grave designs,
Law, physic, politics, and deep divines;

Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the poles,
The flashing elements of female souls.

The order'd system fair before her stood,
Nature, well pleas'd, pronounc'd it very good;
But ere she gave creating labour o'er,

Half-jest, she tried one curious labour more.
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter,
Such as the slightest breath of air might scatter;
With arch-alacrity and conscious glee,
(Nature may have her whim as well as we,
Her Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it),
She forms the thing and christens it-a Poet:
Creature, tho' oft the prey of care and sorrow,
When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow;
A being form'd t' amuse his graver friends,
Admir'd and prais'd-and there the homage ends;
A mortal quite unfit for Fortune's strife,
Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life;
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give,
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live;
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan,
Yet frequent all unheeded in his own.

But honest Nature is not quite a Turk,
She laugh'd at first, then felt for her poor work:
Pitying the propless climber of mankind,
She cast about a standard tree to find;
And, to support his helpless woodbine state,
Attach'd him to the generous, truly great:

A title, and the only one I claim,

To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham.

Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless train, Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main! Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff, That never gives-tho' humbly takes enough; The little fate allows, they share as soon, Unlike sage proverb'd Wisdom's hard-wrung boon: The world were blest did bliss on them depend, Ah, that "the friendly e'er should want a friend!"

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