- TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY
- ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH
THE PLOUGH, APRIL, 1786
by: Robert Burns (1759-1796)
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 neebor sweet,
- The bonie lark, companion meet,
- Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!
- Wi' spreckl'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 flow'rs our gardens yield,
- High shelt'ring woods and 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 by thy doom!
POEMS BY ROBERT BURNS
"To a Mountain Daisy"
is reprinted from English Poems. Ed. Edward Chauncey Baldwin
& Harry G. Paul. New York: American Book Company, 1908.