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Poem by Robert Burns


Address to Edinburgh


EDINA! Scotia’s darling seat,
  All hail thy palaces and tow’rs,
Where once beneath a monarch’s feet
  Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs.
  From marking wildly-scatter’d flow’rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
  And singing lone the ling’ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour’d shade.

Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
  As busy trade his labours plies;
There Architecture’s noble pride
  Bids elegance and splendour rise;
  Here Justice, from her native skies,
High wields her balance and her rod;
  There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
Seeks Science in her coy abode.

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,
  With open arms the stranger hail;
Their views enlarg’d, their lib’ral mind,
  Above the narrow rural vale;
  Attentive still to sorrow’s wail,
Or modest merit’s silent claim:
  And never may their sources fail!
And never envy blot their name!

Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
  Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,
  Dear as the raptur’d thrill of joy.
  Fair Burnet strikes th’ adoring eye,
Heaven’s beauties on my fancy shine;
  I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own his work indeed divine!

There watching high the least alarms,
  Thy rough rude fortress gleams afar;
Like some bold veteran, gray in arms,
  And mark’d with many a seamy scar:
  The pond’rous wall and massy bar,
Grim-rising o’er the rugged rock,
  Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell’d th’ invader’s shock.

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
  I view that noble stately dome,
Where Scotia’s kings of other years,
  Fam’d heroes, had their royal home;
  Alas, how chang’d the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust,
  Their hapless race wild-wand’ring roam;
Tho’ rigid law cries out ‘twas just!

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
  Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro’ hostile ranks and ruin’d gaps
  Old Scotia’s bloody lion bore.
  Ev’n I who sing in rustic lore,
Haply my sires have left their shed,
  And faced grim danger’s loudest roar,
Bold-following where your fathers led!

Edina!  Scotia’s darling seat,
  All hail thy palaces and tow’rs,
Where once beneath a monarch’s feet
  Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs!
  From marking wildly-scatter’d flow’rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
  And singing lone the ling’ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour’d shade.

[1786]

Robert Burns

Poem Themes: Edinburgh, Cities of Scotland

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. The Banks of Nith (THE THAMES flows proudly to the sea)
  2. The Flowery Banks of Cree
  3. Farewell to Ballochmyle
  4. Gala Water
  5. The Rantin’ Dog the Daddie O’t


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