Robert Burns

A Penitential thought, in the hour of Remorse

All devil as I am, a damned wretch, A harden'd, stubborn, unrepenting villain, Still my heart melts at human wretchedness; And with sincere tho' unavailing sighs I view the helpless children of Distress. With tears indignant I behold th' Oppressor, Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction, Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime. Even you, ye hapless crew, I pity you; Ye, whom the Seeming good think sin to pity; Ye poor, despis'd, abandon'd vagabonds, Whom Vice, as usual, has turn'd o'er to Ruin. O, but for kind, tho' ill-requited, I had been driven forth like you forlorn, The most detested, worthless wretch among you! O injured God! Thy goodness has endow'd me With talents passing most of my compeers, Which I in just proportion have abus'd; As far surpassing other common villains As Thou in natural parts hadst given me more.

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