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That pow'r which rais'd and still upholds

This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time,

Was ever still the same.
Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.
Thou giv'st the word: thy creature, mann,

Is to existence brought;
Again thou say'st, ‘Ye sons of men,

Return ye into nought!
Thou layest them, with all their cares,

In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood thou tak'st them off

With overwhelming sweep.
They flourish, like the morning flow'r,

In beauty's pride array'd;
But long ere night cut down it lies,
All wither'd and decay'd.

Burns.

A PRAYER WRITTEN, AND LEFT, IN THE ROOM IN

WHICH THE AUTHOR SLEPT FOR A NIGHT AT

THE HOUSE OF A FRIEND.*
O Thou dread Power, who reign'st above !

I know thou wilt me hear:
When for this scene of peace and love

I make my prayer sincere.

* Dr. Laurie, then minister of the parish of Loudon.

The hoary sire-the mortal stroke,

Long, long, be pleas'd to spare ; To bless his little filial flock,

And show what good men are.

She, who her lovely offspring eyes

With tender hopes and fears,
O, bless her with a mother's joys,

And spare a mother's tears ?
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth,

In manhood's dawning blush ;
Bless him, thou God of love and truth,

Up to a parent's wish.
The beauteous, seraph, sister-band,

With earnest tears I pray,
Thou knows't the snares on every hand,
Guide thou their steps alway.

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A PRAYER, UNDER THE PRESSURE OF VIOLENT

ANGUISH.
O Thou Great Being! what thou art

Surpasses me to know:
Yet sure I am, that known to thee

Are all thy works below.

Thy creature here before thee stands,

All wretched and distrest;
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul

Obey thy high behest.

Sure thou, Almighty, canst not act

From cruelty or wrath :
O, free my weary eyes from tears,

Or close them fast in death!

But if I must afflicted be,

To suit some wise design;
Then man my soul with firm resolves

To bear and not repine.

Burns.

A PRAYER IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.

O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear!
If I have wander'd in those paths

Of life I ought to shun;
As something, loudly, in my breast

Remonstrates I have done;

Thou know'st that thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong; And list’ning to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,
Do thou, All-Good! for such thou art,

In shades of darkness hide.

When with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have,
But, Thou art good, and goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.

Burns.

SUNDAY HYMN, IN IMITATION OF DR. WATTS,

This is the day the Lord of life

Ascended to the skies;
My thoughts, pursue the lofty theme,

And to the Heavens arise.

Let no vain cares divert my mind

From the celestial road;
Nor all the honours of the Earth

Detain my soul from God.

Think of the splendours of that place,

The joys that are on high ; Nor meanly rest contented here,

With worlds beneath the sky.

Heav'n is the birth-place of the saints,

To Heav'n their souls ascend;
Th' Almighty owns his favourite race
As father and as friend.

Oh! may these lovely titles prove

My comfort and defence,
When the sick couch shall be my lot,

And death shall call me hence.

Cotton.

THE NIGHT-PIECE.

Hark! the prophetic raven brings
My summons on his boding wings;
The birds of night my fate foretel,
The prescient death-watch sounds my knell.

A solemn darkness spreads the tomb,
But terrors haunt the midnight gloom;
Methinks a browner horror falls,
And silent spectres sweep the walls.

Tell me, my soul, oh tell me why
The faltering tongue, the broken sigh?
The manly cheeks bedew'd with tears,
Tell me, my soul, from whence these fears?

When conscious guilt arrests the mind,
Avenging furies stalk behind,
And sickly fancy intervenes,
To dress the visionary scenes.
Jesus ! to thee I'll fly for aid,
Propitious Sun, dispel the shade;
All the pale family of fear
Would vanish were my Saviour here.
VOL. 1.

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