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Poem by Robert Burns

Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn

THE wind blew hollow frae the hills;
  By fits the suns departing beam
Lookd on the fading yellow woods
  That waved oer Lugars winding stream.
Beneath a craigy steep, a bard,
  Laden with years and meikle pain,
In loud lament bewaild his lord,
  Whom death had all untimely taen.

He leand him to an ancient aik,
  Whose trunk was mouldring down with years;
His locks were bleached white wi time,
  His hoary cheek was wet wi tears;
And as he touchd his trembling harp,
  And as he tund his doleful sang,
The winds lamenting thro their caves,
  To echo bore the notes alang.

Ye scatterd birds that faintly sing,
  The reliques of the vernal quire!
Ye woods that shed on a the winds
  The honours of the aged year!
A few short months, and glad and gay,
  Again yell charm the ear and ee;
But nocht in all revolving time
  Can gladness bring again to me.

I am a bending aged tree,
  That long has stood the wind and rain,
But now has come a cruel blast,
  And my last hold of earth is gane:
Nae leaf o mine shall greet the spring,
  Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom;
But I maun lie before the storm,
  And others plant them in my room.

Ive seen so many changefu years,
  On earth I am a stranger grown;
I wander in the ways of men,
  Alike unknowing and unknown:
Unheard, unpitied, unrelievd,
  I bear alane my lade o care,
For silent, low, on beds of dust,
  Lie a that would my sorrows share.

And last (the sum of a my griefs!)
  My noble master lies in clay;
The flowr amang our barons bold,
  His countrys pride, his countrys stay:
In weary being now I pine
  For a the life of life is dead,
And hope has left my aged ken,
  On forward wing for ever fled.

Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!
  The voice of woe and wild despair;
Awake, resound thy lateat lay,
  Then sleep in silence evermair!
And thou, my last, best, only, friend,
  That fillest an untimely tomb,
Accept this tribute from the bard
  Thou brought from fortunes mirkeat gloom.

In povertys low barren vale,
  Thick mists obscure involvd me round;
Though oft I turnd the wistful eye,
  No ray of fame was to be found:
Thou foundst me, like the morning sun
  That melts the fogs in limpid air;
The friendless bard and rustic song
  Became alike thy fostering care.

O why has worth so short a date
  While villains ripen grey with time?
Must thou, the noble, genrous, great,
  Fall in bold manhoods hardy prime?
Why did I live to see that day,
  A day to me so full of woe?
O had I met the mortal shaft
  Which laid my benefactor low!

The bridegroom may forget the bride
  Was made his wedded wife yestreen;
The monarch may forget the crown
  That on his head an hour has been;
The mother may forget the child
  That smiles sae sweetly on her knee;
But Ill remember thee, Glencairn,
  And a that thou hast done for me!


Robert Burns

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. Tibbie Dunbar
  2. O Bonnie Was Yon Rosy Brier
  3. Phillis the Fair
  4. O Leave Novels
  5. Heres his Health in Water!

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