To Mr Graham of Fintry, On being appointed to my Excise Division
written in 1789
I call no goddess to inspire my strains, A fabled Muse may suit a Bard that feigns: 'Friend of my life!' my ardent spirit burns, And all the tribute of my heart returns, For boons accorded, goodness ever new, The Gift still dearer, as the Giver You. Thou Orb of Day! Thou Other Paler Light! And all ye many-sparkling Stars of Night! If aught that Giver from my mind efface; If I that Giver's bounty e'er disgrace; Then roll, to me, along your wandering spheres, Only to number out a Villain's Years! I lay my hand upon my swelling breast, And grateful would - but cannot speak the rest.