Thy slender stem

Thy slender stem - click to enlarge

Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r,
Thou bonie gem.

To a Mountain Daisy, Robert Burns

O woe to small things that Robbie Burns encountered! Whither floure or mousie, he’d come tramp-tramping along, compose some sweet, sad lyrics that tied your fate to that of mankind, and then crush you lifeless. “I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion / Has broken Nature’s social union” indeed! To wee things, he was no different from the rapacious murderers of a rollicking border ballad . . .

Now see these:

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