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    Written on a Bank Note

    by Robert Burns
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    [The bank-note on which these characteristic lines were endorsed, came
    into the hands of the late James Gracie, banker in Dumfries: he knew
    the handwriting of Burns, and kept it as a curiosity. The concluding
    lines point to the year 1786, as the date of the composition.]

    Wae worth thy power, thou cursed leaf,
    Fell source o' a' my woe an' grief;
    For lack o' thee I've lost my lass,
    For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass.
    I see the children of affliction
    Unaided, through thy cursed restriction
    I've seen the oppressor's cruel smile
    Amid his hapless victim's spoil:
    And for thy potence vainly wished,
    To crush the villain in the dust.
    For lack o' thee, I leave this much-lov'd shore,
    Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more.

    R. B.
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