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Poem by Robert Burns


To Mr. Gow, Visiting Dumfries


1.

Thrice welcome, king o rant and reel! 
Whaur is the bard to Scotia leal 
Wha wadna sing o sic a chiel 
	And sic a glorious fiddle! 

2.

Its but a weary warl at best, 
Wauf and weary  aften dreary  
Its but a weary warl at best, 
	A wauf and weary widdle! 

3.

Its but a weary warl at best, 
Gang north, or sooth, or east or west, 
But we will never mak protest 
	When near you and your fiddle.
 
4.

Let prosy parsons pray and preach, 
And wise professors try to teach 
The secrets far beyond their reach 
	As Stradivaris fiddle! 

5.

Well leave them to themsels to read 
Things sae vexin  and perplexin  
Well leave them to themsels to read 
	Lifes cabalistic riddle!  

6.

Well leave them to themsels to read 
To spin their scheme and mak their creed; 
Come, screw your pins and gies a screed 
	Frae your unrivalld fiddle! 

7.

Nae fabled wizards wand I trow, 
Had eer the magic airt o Gow, 
When wi a wave he draws his bow 
	Across his wondrous fiddle! 

8.

Sic fays and fairies come and dance, 
Lightly tripping  hopping, skipping  
Sic fays and fairies come and dance, 
	Their maister in the middle! 

9.

Sic fays and fairies come and dance, 
So gently glide and spryly prance, 
And noo retreat and noo advance 
	When he strikes up his fiddle! 

10.

In brisk strathspey or plaintive air 
What rival can wi you compare? 
O wha could think a hank o hair 
	Could thus transform a fiddle? 

11.

What are the notes o lyre or lute  
Wizzent, wheezy  slim and sleezy  
What are the notes o lyre or lute  
	Inconsequential diddle! 

12.

What are the notes o lyre or lute  
O pipes, piano, fife or flute, 
Wi a that ye can execute, 
	On your enchanting fiddle! 

13.

Wha doesna joy to hear the ring 
O ilka bonny lilt and spring 
That ye frae recollection bring 
	And wheedle through your fiddle! 

14.

The sumph that wadna praise gie 
A soulless clod maun surely be; 
A chiel should never hae to dee 
	That half like you can fiddle!



Robert Burns


Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. Stanzas on the Same Occasion
  2. The Bonnie Wee Thing
  3. Epistle to John Lapraix, An Old Scottish Bard
  4. O Whare Bid Ye Get
  5. O Wha is She that Loes Me?


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