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Of a' the ills that flesh can bear,
The loss o' frien's, the lack o' gear,
A yowlin' tyke, a glandered mear,
A lassie's nonsense—
There's just ae thing I cannae bear,
An' that's my conscience.
Whan day (an' a' excüse) has gane,
An' wark is düne, and duty's plain,
An' to my chalmer a' my lane
I creep apairt,
My conscience! hoo the yammerin' pain
Stends to my heart!
A' day wi' various ends in view,
The hairsts o' time I had to pu',
An' made a hash wad staw a soo,
Let be a man!—
My conscience! whan my han's were fu',
Whaur were ye then?
An' there were a' the lures o' life,
There pleesure skirlin' on the fife,
There anger, wi' the hotchin' knife
Ground shairp in Hell—
My conscience!—you that's like a wife—
Whaur was yoursel'?
I ken it fine: just waitin' here,
To gar the evil waur appear,
To clart the guid, confüse the clear,
Misca' the great,
My conscience! an' to raise a steer
When a's ower late.
Sic-like, some tyke grawn auld and blind,
Whan thieves brok' through the gear to p'ind,
Has lain his dozened length an' grinned
At the disaster;
An' the morn's mornin', wud's the wind,
Yokes on his master.
Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.