Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
17. Paraphrase of the First Psalm
 
 
THE MAN, in life wherever plac’d,
  Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked’s way,
  Nor learns their guilty lore!
 
Nor from the seat of scornful pride        5
  Casts forth his eyes abroad,
But with humility and awe
  Still walks before his God.
 
That man shall flourish like the trees,
  Which by the streamlets grow;        10
The fruitful top is spread on high,
  And firm the root below.
 
But he whose blossom buds in guilt
  Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost        15
  Before the sweeping blast.
 
For why? that God the good adore,
  Hath giv’n them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men
  Shall ne’er be truly blest.        20
 

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