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A daimen icker in a thrave
Thy wee bit housie too, in ruin !
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
But mousie, thou art no thy lane
Still thou art blest, compared wi' me !
Robert Burns. • 113
TO ALTHEA FROM PRISON.
When love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my gates, And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the grates; When I lie tangled in her hair
And fettered to her eye, The birds that wanton in the air
Know no such liberty.
When flowing cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When healths and draughts go freeFishes that tipple in the deep
Know no such liberty. When, linnet-like, confined, I
With shriller note shall sing
And glories of my king;
He is, how great should be,
Know no such liberty.
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage ; Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage : If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free, Angels alone, that soar above, Enjoy such liberty.
ODE ON IMMORTALITY.
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it has been of yore;
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more!
The rainbow comes and goes,
The moon doth with delight
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs nd
As to the tabor's sound,
And I again am strong.
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
Thou child of joy
Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see The heavens laugh with you
My head hath its coronal,
O evil day ! if I were sullen
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:
I hear, I hear, with joy 1 hear!
But there's a tree, of many, one,
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ;
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home. Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
He sees it in his joy ;
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a mother's mind
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-child, her inmate, man,
Forget the glories he hath known And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the child among his new-born blisses,
A wedding or a festival,
And this hath now his heart,
Then will he fit his tongue
But it will not be long,
And with new joy and pride