Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
130. Nature’s Law: A Poem
 
 
Humbly inscribed to Gavin Hamilton, Esq.
“Great Nature spoke: observant man obey’d”—POPE.
 
 
LET other heroes boast their scars,
  The marks of sturt and strife:
And other poets sing of wars,
  The plagues of human life:
Shame fa’ the fun, wi’ sword and gun        5
  To slap mankind like lumber!
I sing his name, and nobler fame,
  Wha multiplies our number.
 
Great Nature spoke, with air benign,
  “Go on, ye human race;        10
This lower world I you resign;
  Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire
  I’ve pour’d it in each bosom;
Here, on this had, does Mankind stand,        15
  And there is Beauty’s blossom.”
 
The Hero of these artless strains,
  A lowly bard was he,
Who sung his rhymes in Coila’s plains,
  With meikle mirth an’glee;        20
Kind Nature’s care had given his share
  Large, of the flaming current;
And, all devout, he never sought
  To stem the sacred torrent.
 
He felt the powerful, high behest        25
  Thrill, vital, thro’ and thro’;
And sought a correspondent breast,
  To give obedience due:
Propitious Powers screen’d the young flow’rs,
  From mildews of abortion;        30
And low! the bard—a great reward—
  Has got a double portion!
 
Auld cantie Coil may count the day,
  As annual it returns,
The third of Libra’s equal sway,        35
  That gave another Burns,
With future rhymes, an’ other times,
  To emulate his sire:
To sing auld Coil in nobler style
  With more poetic fire.        40
 
Ye Powers of peace, and peaceful song,
  Look down with gracious eyes;
And bless auld Coila, large and long,
  With multiplying joys;
Lang may she stand to prop the land,        45
  The flow’r of ancient nations;
And Burnses spring, her fame to sing,
  To endless generations!
 

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