Robert Burns

The small birds rejoice

written in 1788

The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning, The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale; The primroses blow in the dews of the morning, And wild-scattered cowslips bedeck the green dale: But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair, When the lingering moments are numbered by Care? No birds sweetly singing, nor flowers gayly springing, Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless Despair. The deed that I dar'd, could it merit their malice, A king and a father to place on his throne; His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys, Where wild beasts find shelter but I can find none: But 'tis not my sufferings this wretched, forlorn, My brave gallant friends,' tis your ruin I mourn; Your faith proved so loyal in hot, bloody trial, Alas, can I make it no sweeter return!

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