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    To Ruin

    by Robert Burns
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    TO RUIN.

    ["I have been," says Burns, in his common-place book, "taking a peep
    through, as Young finely says, 'The dark postern of time long
    elapsed.' 'Twas a rueful prospect! What a tissue of thoughtlessness,
    weakness, and folly! my life reminded me of a ruined temple. What
    strength, what proportion in some parts, what unsightly gaps, what
    prostrate ruins in others!" The fragment, To Ruin, seems to have had
    its origin in moments such as these.]

    I.

    All hail! inexorable lord!
    At whose destruction-breathing word,
    The mightiest empires fall!
    Thy cruel, woe-delighted train,
    The ministers of grief and pain,
    A sullen welcome, all!
    With stern-resolv'd, despairing eye,
    I see each aimed dart;
    For one has cut my dearest tie,
    And quivers in my heart.
    Then low'ring and pouring,
    The storm no more I dread;
    Though thick'ning and black'ning,
    Round my devoted head.

    II.

    And thou grim pow'r, by life abhorr'd,
    While life a pleasure can afford,
    Oh! hear a wretch's prayer!
    No more I shrink appall'd, afraid;
    I court, I beg thy friendly aid,
    To close this scene of care!
    When shall my soul, in silent peace,
    Resign life's joyless day;
    My weary heart its throbbings cease,
    Cold mould'ring in the clay?
    No fear more, no tear more,
    To stain my lifeless face;
    Enclasped, and grasped
    Within thy cold embrace!
    If you're writing a To Ruin essay and need some advice, post your Robert Burns essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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