Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
4. Song—In the Character of a Ruined Farmer
Tune—“Go from my window, Love, do.”
THE SUN he is sunk in the west,
All creatures retirèd to rest,
While here I sit, all sore beset,
      With sorrow, grief, and woe:
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        5
The prosperous man is asleep,
Nor hears how the whirlwinds sweep;
But Misery and I must watch
      The surly tempest blow:
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        10
There lies the dear partner of my breast;
Her cares for a moment at rest:
Must I see thee, my youthful pride,
      Thus brought so very low!
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        15
There lie my sweet babies in her arms;
No anxious fear their little hearts alarms;
But for their sake my heart does ache,
      With many a bitter throe:
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        20
I once was by Fortune carest:
I once could relieve the distrest:
Now life’s poor support, hardly earn’d
      My fate will scarce bestow:
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        25
No comfort, no comfort I have!
How welcome to me were the grave!
But then my wife and children dear—
      O, wither would they go!
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        30
O whither, O whither shall I turn!
All friendless, forsaken, forlorn!
For, in this world, Rest or Peace
      I never more shall know!
And it’s O, fickle Fortune, O!        35


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