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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
438. Impromptu on Mrs. Riddell’s Birthday
 
 
4th November 1793.
 
 
OLD Winter, with his frosty beard,
Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:
“What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;        5
Night’s horrid car drags, dreary slow;
My dismal months no joys are crowning,
But spleeny English hanging, drowning.
 
“Now Jove, for once be mighty civil.
To counterbalance all this evil;        10
Give me, and I’ve no more to say,
Give me Maria’s natal day!
That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,
Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me.”
“’Tis done!” says Jove; so ends my story,        15
And Winter once rejoiced in glory.
 

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