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Complete Works
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Stanzas On The Same Occasion [Prospect of Death]


1781
Type: Poem
Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene?
Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?
Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between-
Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing storms,
Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms:
I tremble to approach an angry God,
And justly smart beneath His sin-avenging rod.

Fain would I say, "Forgive my foul offence,"
Fain promise never more to disobey;
But, should my Author health again dispense,
Again I might desert fair virtue's way;
Again in folly's part might go astray;
Again exalt the brute and sink the man;
Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray
Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan?
Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran?

O Thou, great Governor of all below!
If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee,
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,
Or still the tumult of the raging sea:
With that controlling pow'r assist ev'n me,
Those headlong furious passions to confine,
For all unfit I feel my pow'rs to be,
To rule their torrent in th' allowed line;
O, aid me with Thy help, Omnipotence Divine!

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

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