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To a Mountain Daisy

Robert Burns 1759 (Alloway) – 1796 (Dumfries)

Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd 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 bonie gem.

  Alas! it's no thy neibor sweet,
  The bonie lark, companion meet,
  Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet
  Wi' spreck'd breast,
  When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
  The purpling east.

  Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
  Upon thy early, humble birth;
  Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
  Amid the storm,
  Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth
  Thy tender form.

  The flaunting flowers our gardens yield
  High shelt'ring woods an' wa's maun shield:
  But thou, beneath the random bield
  O' clod or stane,
  Adorns the histie stibble-field
  Unseen, alane.

  There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
  Thy snawie-bosom sun-ward spread,
  Thou lifts thy unassuming head
  In humble guise;
  But now the share uptears thy bed,
  And low thou lies!

  Such is the fate of artless maid,
  Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
  By love's simplicity betray'd
  And guileless trust;
  Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
  Low i' the dust.

  Such is the fate of simple bard,
  On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
  Unskilful he to note the card
  Of prudent lore,
  Till billows rage and gales blow hard,
  And whelm him o'er!

  Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
  Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
  By human pride or cunning driv'n
  To mis'ry's brink;
  Till, wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
  He ruin'd sink!

  Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
  That fate is thine--no distant date;
  Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives elate,
  Full on thy bloom,
  Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight
  Shall be thy doom.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. more…

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