Sunday Poem

Robert Burns (1759–1796). Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

103. To Ruin

ALL hail! inexorable lord!
At whose destruction-breathing word,
The mightiest empires fall!
Thy cruel, woe-delighted train,
The ministers of grief and pain,
A sullen welcome, all!
With stern-resolv’d, despairing eye,
I see each aimèd dart;
For one has cut my dearest tie,
And quivers in my heart.
Then low’ring, and pouring,
The storm no more I dread;
Tho’ thick’ning, and black’ning,
Round my devoted head.

And thou grim Pow’r by life abhorr’d,
While life a pleasure can afford,
Oh! hear a wretch’s pray’r!
Nor more I shrink appall’d, afraid;
I court, I beg thy friendly aid,
To close this scene of care!
When shall my soul, in silent peace,
Resign life’s joyless day—
My weary heart is throbbing cease,
Cold mould’ring in the clay?
No fear more, no tear more,
To stain my lifeless face,
Enclaspèd, and grasped,
Within thy cold embrace!

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