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WRITTEN IN THE COTTAGE WHERE BURNS WAS BORN.
HIS mortal body of a thousand days
Now fills, O Burns, a space in thine own room, Where thou didst dream alone on budded bays, Happy and thoughtless of thy day of doom! My pulse is warm with thine old Barley-bree,
My head is light with pledging a great soul, My eyes are wandering, and I cannot see,
Fancy is dead and drunken at its goal;
Yet can I ope thy window-sash to find
TO THE NILE.
ON of the old moon-mountains African! Stream of the Pyramid and Crocodile! We call thee fruitful, and that very while A desert fills our seeing's inward span : Nurse of swart nations since the world began, Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile Those men to honour thee, who, worn with toil, Rest them a space 'twixt Cairo and Decan ? O may dark fancies err! They surely do;
'Tis ignorance that makes a barren waste Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew
Green rushes like our rivers, and dost taste The pleasant sun-rise. Green isles hast thou too, And to the sea as happily dost haste.
ON SITTING DOWN TO READ "KING LEAR ONCE AGAIN.
GOLDEN-TONGUED Romance with serene
Fair plumed Syren! Queen! if far away!
Betwixt hell torment and impassioned clay,
Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
EAD me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist! I look into the chasms, and a shroud Vaporous doth hide them, just so much I wist Mankind do know of hell; I look o'erhead,
And there is sullen mist, even so much Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me, even such, Even so vague is man's sight of himself!
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet, Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them, that all my eye doth meet Is mist and crag, not only on this height, But in the world of thought and mental might!