1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "Sonnet" City Gazette And Daily Advertiser [Charleston] (20 August 1797).



Go, place the swallow on yon turfy bed,
Much will he struggle, but can never rise;
Go, raise him even with the daisy's head,
And the poor twitt'rer like an arrow flies!
So, oft' thro' life the man of pow'rs and worth,
Haply the cat'rer for an infant train,
Like Burns must struggle on the bare-worn earth,
While all his efforts to arise are vain!
Yet, should the hand of relative or friend
Just from the surface lift the suff'ring wight,
Soon would the wings of industry extend,
Soon would he rise from anguish to delight!
Go then, ye affluent go your hands outstretch,
And from Despair's dark verge, oh! raise the woe-worn wretch!