Robert Burns

A poem by James Thomson (BV)

He felt scant need
Of church or creed,
He took small share
In saintly prayer,
His eyes found food for his love;
He could pity poor devils condemned to hell,
But sadly neglected endeavours to dwell
With the angels in luck above:
To save one's precious peculiar soul
He never could understand is the whole
Of a mortal's business in life,
While all about him his human kin
With loving and hating and virtue and sin
Reel overmatched in the strife.
“The heavens for the heavens,
and the earth for the earth!
I am a Man, I'll be true to my birth,
Man in my joys, in my pains.”
So fearless, stalwart, erect and free,
He gave to his fellows right royally
His strength, his heart, his brains;
For proud and fiery and swift and bold
Wine of life from heart of gold,
The blood of his heathen manhood rolled
Full-billowed through his veins.

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