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Yet then content could make us blest; Ev'n then, sometimes, we'd snatch a taste Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'
Intended fraud or guile,
What tho', like commoners of air,
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods,
In days when daisies deck the ground,
On braes when we please, then,
It's no in titles nor in rank;
An' centre in the breast,
Nae treasures, nor pleasures
That makes us right or wrang.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge an' drive thro' wet and dry,
Think ye, are we less blest than they,
Baith careless and fearless
Of either heaven or hell;
Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce,
And, even should misfortunes come,
They make us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill:
Tho' losses an' crosses
Be lessons right severe,
But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts!
(To say aught less wad wrang the cartes,
And flatt'ry I detest)
This life has joys for you and I;
An' joys that riches ne'er could buy,
An' joys the very best.
There's a' the pleasures o' the heart,
The lover an' the frien';
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part,
And I my darling Jean!
It warms me, it charms me,
To mention but her name:
An' sets me a' on flame!
O all ye Pow'rs who rule above!
Her dear idea brings relief,
And solace to my breast.
O hear my fervent pray'r;
All hail! ye tender feelings dear!
Long since, this world's thorny ways
Fate still has blest me with a friend,
And oft a more endearing band—
A tie more tender still.
It lightens, it brightens
To meet with, and greet with
O, how that name inspires my style!
Amaist before I ken!
The ready measure rins as fine,
Were glowrin owre my pen.
My spaviet Pegasus will limp,
And then he'll hilch, and stilt, an' jimp,
And rin an unco fit:
But least then the beast then
Should rue this hasty ride,
HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER
"And send the godly in a pet to pray."-POPE.
ARGUMENT.-Holy Willie was a rather oldish bachelor elder, in the parish of Mauchline, and much and justly famed for that polemical chattering, which ends in tippling orthodoxy, and for that spiritualized bawdry which refines to liquorish devotion. In a sessional process with a gentleman in Mauchline-a Mr. Gavin Hamilton-Holy Willie and his priest, Father Auld, after full hearing in the presbytery of Ayr, came off but second best; owing partly to the oratorical powers of Mr. Robert Aiken, Mr. Hamilton's counsel; but chiefly to Mr. Hamilton's being one of the most irreproachable and truly respectable characters in the county. On losing the process, the muse overheard him [Holy Willie] at his devotions, as follows:
O THOU, who in the heavens does dwell,
Who, as it pleases best Thysel',
Sends ane to heaven an' ten to hell,
A' for Thy glory,
And no for ony gude or ill
They've done afore Thee!
I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
For gifts an' grace
A burning and a shining light
To a' this place.
What was I, or my generation,
Five thousand years ere my creation,
Thro' Adam's cause?
When frae my mither's womb I fell, Thou might hae plungèd me in hell, To gnash my gums, to weep and wail, In burnin lakes,
Where damned devils roar and yell,
Chain'd to their stakes.
Yet I am here a chosen sample,
To show thy grace is great and ample;
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, and example,
To a' Thy flock.
O Lord, Thou kens what zeal I bear, When drinkers drink, an' swearers swear, An' singin there, an' dancin here,
Wi' great and sma';
For I am keepit by Thy fear
Free frae them a'.
But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil'd wi' sin.
O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi' MegThy pardon I sincerely beg,
O! may't ne'er be a livin plague
To my dishonour,
An' I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg
Again upon her.
Besides, I farther maun allow,
Wi' Leezie's lass, three times I trow
But Lord, that Friday I was fou,
When I cam near her;
Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true
Wad never steer her.