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Speed, speed, oh guile and greed,
Are surely a monstrous birth,

Let wan despair, weave fabrics rare,
And Gold be the god of earth.

"Oh, oh, what a sigh of woe,

Is from its bosom rolled,
What faces peer like winter drear,

'Mid the glitter and the gold;
Still, still, amid all this ill,

There are souls with a touch sublime, Who nobly strive to keep alive,

The hope of a happier time.

"Round, round, on their earthly mound,

The laden ages reel,
No creak, no sound, to the ceaseless round,

Of Time's eternal wheel.

"Hail! hail! to those shadows pale,

For they were the men of thought, And the crags were steep and the mines were deep,

Where painfully they wrought; Speak, speak, why the secret keep,

This mystery I would know,

Say, what is breath and life and death,
And whither do we go ]

"Still, still, not a word ye will

Vouchsafe to my greedy ear,
The crags are steep and the mines are deep,

And I can only hear—
On, on, every age has gone,

With its burden on its back,
And spite our will with our good and ill,

We follow in the track.

"Round, round, on their earthly mound,

The laden ages reel,
No creak, no sound, to the ceaseless round,

Of Time's eternal wheel."


O come and listen to my sang,

Nae matter wha ye be,
For there's a human sympathy,

That sings to you and me;
For as some kindly soul has said,

All underneath the starns,
Despite of country, clime and creed,

Are a' John Tamson's Bairns.

The higher that we climb the tree,

Mair sweert are we to fa',
And spite o' fortune's heights and boughs,

Death equal—equals a';
And a' the great and mighty anes,

Wha slumber 'neath the cairns,
They ne'er forgot tho e'er sae great,

We're a' John Tamson's Bairns.

There's heroes mang the high and low,
There's beauty in ilk place,

There's nae monopoly o' worth,

Amang the human race;
And genius ne'er was o' a class,

But like the moon and stams,
She sheds her kindly smile alike,

On a' John Tamson's Bairns.

There's nae monopoly o' pride,

For a' wi' Adam fell,
I've seen a joskin sae transformed,

He scarcely kent himsel;
The langer that the wise man lives,

The mair he sees and learns,
And aye the deeper care he takes,

Owre a' John Tamson's Bairns.

There's some distinction ne'er a doubt,

Tween Jock and Master John, And yet its mostly in the dress,

When every thing is known; Where'er ye meet him, rich or poor,

The man o' sense and hams, By moral worth he measures a'

Puir auld John Tamson's Bairns.

There's neither country nor kin,

But has some weary flaw, And he's the likest God aboon,

Wha loves them ane and a'; And after a' that's come and gane,

What human heart but yearns, To meet at last in light and love,

Wi' a' John Tamson's Bairns.

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