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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Burns
 
        A few seem favourites of fate,
  In pleasure’s lap caress’d;
Yet, think not all the rich and great
  Are likewise truly blest.
  1
        A prince can mak a belted knight,
  A marquis, duke, and a’ that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
  Guid faith, he maunna fa’ that.
  2
        Affliction’s sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!
  3
        Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how monie counsels sweet,
How monie lengthened sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises.
  4
        All-cheering plenty, with her flowing horn,
Led yellow Autumn, wreath’d with nodding corn.
  5
        An Atheist’s laugh’s a poor exchange
  For Deity offended!
  6
        And let us mind, faint heart ne’er wan
A lady fair.
  7
        And like a passing thought, she fled
In light away.
  8
        And may you better reck the rede,
Than ever did th’ adviser.
  9
        Auld nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O;
Her ’prentice han’ she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses, O.
  10
        Be Britain still to Britain true,
  Amang oursels united;
For never but by British hands,
  Maun British wrangs be righted.
  11
        But facts are chiels that winna ding,
An’ downa be disputed.
  12
        But human bodies are sic fools,
For a’ their colleges and schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They make enow themselves to vex them.
  13
        But, oh! fell Death’s untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early.
  14
        Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure,
Thrill the deepest notes of wo.
  15
        Cursed be the man, the poorest wretch in life,
The crouching vassal to the tyrant wife,
Who has no will but by her high permission;
Who has not sixpence but in her possession;
Who must to her his dear friend’s secret tell;
Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.
Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
I’d break her spirit or I’d break her heart.
  16
        Duncan Gray cam here to woo,
    Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
On blithe Yulenight when we were fou,
    Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
Maggie coost her head fu’ high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh:
    Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
  17
        For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
The farmer ploughs the manor.
  18
        Gather gear by ev’ry wile
That’s justified by honor;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for a train attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
  19
        God knows, I’m no the thing I should be,
Nor am I even the thing I could be,
But twenty times I rather would be
  An atheist clean,
Than under gospel colours hid be
  Just for a screen.
  20
 
 
        He wales a portion with judicious care;
And “Let us worship God!” he says, with solemn air.
  21
        Hear how he clears the points o’ Faith
Wi’ rattlin’ an thumpin’!
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He’s stampin’, an’ he’s jumpin’!
  22
        Hear, land o’ cakes, and brither Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnny Groat’s;
If there’s a hole in a’ your coats,
        I rede you tent it:
A chiel’s amang you taking notes,
        And, faith, he’ll prent it.
  23
        Inspiring bold John Barleycorn,
What dangers thou canst make us scorn.
  24
        It’s hardly in a body’s power
To keep at times, frae being sour,
To see how things are shar’d;
How best o’ chiels are whyles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,
And ken na how to wear’t.
  25
        It’s no’ in books, it’s no’ in Lear,
  To make us truly blest;
If happiness has not her seat
  And center in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
  But never can be blest.
  26
        Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
O’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious.
  27
        Man, whose heaven-erected face
  The smiles of love adorn,—
Man’s inhumanity to man
  Makes countless thousands mourn!
  28
          Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion,
    Round the wealthy bride;
  But when compar’d with real passion
    Poor is all that pride,—
  What are their showy treasures?
  What are their noisy pleasures?
The gay, gaudy glare of vanity and art—
    The polish’d jewels blaze
    May draw the wond’ring gaze,
But never, never can come near the worthy heart.
  29
        My curse upon thy venom’d stang,
That shoots my tortured gums alang;
And through my lugs gies monie a twang,
  Wi’ gnawing vengeance,
Tearing my nerves wi’ bitter pang,
  Like racking engines!
  30
        Not the poet in the moment
  Fancy lightens on his e’e,
Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture,
  That thy presence gies to me.
  31
        Now a’ is done that men can do
And a’ is done in vain.
  32
        Now blooms the lily by the bank,
  The primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn’s budding in the glen,
  And milkwhite is the slae.
  33
        Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlet plays.
  34
        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!
  35
        O man! while in thy early years,
  How prodigal of time,
Misspending all thy precious hours,
  Thy glorious youthful prime!
Alternate follies take the sway;
  Licentious passions burn;
Which tenfold force give nature’s law,
  That man was made to mourn.
  36
        O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent!
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content.
  37
        O wad some pow’r the giftie gie us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
      And foolish notion.
  38
        O, Life! how pleasant is thy morning,
Young Fancy’s rays the hills adorning!
Cold pausing Caution’s lesson scorning,
  We frisk away,
Like schoolboys, at the expected warning,
  To joy and play.
  39
        Oppress’d with grief, oppress’d with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh;
O, life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such as I.
  40
        Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
  Or to victory!
  41
        She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a bonny wee thing,
  This sweet wee wife o’ mine.
  42
        Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to min’?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And the days o’ auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
  For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
  For auld lang syne!
  43
        Some hae meat and canna eat,
  And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
  Sae let the Lord be thankit.
  44
        Stern Ruin’s ploughshare drives elate,
Full on thy bloom.
  45
        The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men,
    Gang aft a-gley,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
    For promised joy.
  46
        The fear o’ hell’s the hangman’s whip
  To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honor grip,
  Let that aye be your border.
  47
        The heart aye’s the part aye
That makes us right or wrong.
  48
        The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The man’s the gowd for a’ that.
  49
        The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.
  50
        The wide world is all before us—
  But a world without a friend.
  51
        Then gently scan your brother man,
  Still gentler, sister woman;
Tho’ they may gang a kennin’ wrang;
  To step aside is human!
  52
        There’s some are fou o’ love divine,
There’s some are fou o’ brandy.
  53
        Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
  Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,
  Dear as the ruptured thrill of joy.
  54
        To catch Dame Fortune’s golden smile,
  Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by every wile
  That’s justified by honor.
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
  Nor for a train attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
  Of being independent.
  55
        To make a happy fireside clime
          To weans and wife,
That’s the true pathos and sublime
          Of human life.
  56
        To see her is to love her,
  And love but her forever;
For nature made her what she is,
  And never made anither!
  57
        Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
            Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r,
            Thou bonnie gem.
  58
        Who made the heart, ’tis He alone,
  Decidedly can try us,
He knows each chord—its various tone
  Each spring its various bias:
Then at the balance let’s be mute,
  We never can adjust it;
What’s done we partly may compute,
  But know not what’s resisted.
  59
        Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport,
Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ill ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,
That active men engage;
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim declining age.
  60
        Yet, all beneath the unrivall’d rose,
The lowly daisy sweetly blows;
Tho’ large the forest’s monarch throws
          His army shade,
Yet green the juicy hawthorn grows,
          Adown the glade.
  61
        Yon rose-buds in the morning dew,
  How pure amang the leaves sae green!
  62
  A man’s a man for a’ that.  63
  A mind that is conscious of its integrity scorns to say more than it means to perform.  64
  But pleasures are like poppies spread; you seize the flower, its bloom is shed!  65
  Dearly bought the hidden treasure finer feelings can bestow.  66
  Even every ray of hope destroyed and not a wish to gild the gloom.  67
  Firmness, both in sufferance and exertion, is a character which I would wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint, and the cowardly, feeble resolve.  68
  For gold the merchant ploughs the main, the farmer ploughs the manor.  69
  From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs.  70
  Great for good, or great for evil.  71
  Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing.  72
  I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint, and the cowardly feeble resolve.  73
  Let us do or die.  74
  Life is but a day at most.  75
  Nae man can tether time or tide.  76
  Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.  77
  Painters and poets have liberty to lie.  78
  That hour, of night’s black arch the keystone.  79
  The hawthorn trees blow in the dew of the morning.  80
  The rank is but the guinea’s stamp; the man’s the gowd for a’ that.  81
  Then crowned with flowery hay, came real joy, and summer, with his fervid-beaming eye.  82
  They dazzle our eyes as they fly to our hearts.  83
  They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright.  84
  To make three guineas do the work of five.  85
  To step aside is human!  86
  Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower.  87
 
 
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