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Paraphrase Of The First Psalm


The man, in life wherever plac'd, Hath happiness in store, Who walks not in the wicked's way, Nor learns their guilty lore! Nor from the seat of scornful pride Casts forth his eyes abroad, But with humility and awe Still walks before his God. That man shall flourish like the trees, Which by the streamlets grow; The fruitful top is spread on high, And firm the root below. But he whose blossom buds in guilt Shall to the ground be cast, And, like the rootless stubble, tost Before the sweeping blast. For why? that God the good adore, Hath giv'n them peace and rest, But hath decreed that wicked men Shall ne'er be truly blest.

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Phyllis Logan

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1781 and is read here by Phyllis Logan.

More about this poem

This poem is generally dated from the 1781-2 period, but it is not printed until the Edinburgh edition of 1787. The sentiments of the First Psalm are paraphrased in rhyme.

The verses most certainly do not represent Burns at his most inventive, as his rendition adds little in the way of imagery or interpretation. Some critics speculate that this poem was included in the Edinburgh edition in order to placate more devout readers.

Megan Coyer

Themes for this poem

religion nature

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