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Poem by Robert Burns

On the Death of Sir James Hunter Blair

THE lamp of day, with ill-presaging glare,
  Dim, cloudy, sunk beneath the western wave;
Th inconstant blast howld thro the darkning air,
  And hollow whistled in the rocky cave.

Lone as I wanderd by each cliff and dell,
  Once the lovd haunts of Scotias royal train;
Or musd where limpid streams, once hallowd, well;
  Or mouldring ruins mark the sacred fane.

Th increasing blast roard round the beetling rocks,
  The clouds swift-wingd flew oer the starry sky,
The groaning trees untimely shed their locks,
  And shooting meteors caught the startled eye.

The paly moon rose in the livid east,
  And mong the cliffs disclosd a stately Form,
In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her breast,
  And mixd her wailings with the raving storm.

Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow,
  Twas Caledonias trophied shield I viewd:
Her form majestic droopd in pensive woe,
  The lightning of her eye in tears imbued.

Reversd that spear, redoubtable in war,
  Reclind that banner, erst in fields unfurld,
That like a deathful meteor gleamd afar,
  And bravd the mighty monarchs of the world.

My patriot son fills an untimely grave!
  With accents wild and lifted arms she cried;
Low lies the hand that oft was stretchd to save,
  Low lies the heart that swelld with honest pride!

A weeping country joins a widows tear,
  The helpless poor mix with the orphans cry;
The drooping arts surround their patrons bier,
  And grateful science heaves the heartfelt sigh.

I saw my sons resume their ancient fire;
  I saw fair Freedoms blossoms richly blow;
But, ah! how hope is born but to expire!
  Relentless fate has laid their guardian low.

My patriot falls: but shall he lie unsung,
  While empty greatness saves a worthless name?
No; every Muse shall join her tuneful tongue,
  And future ages hear his growing fame.

And I will join a mothers tender cares,
  Thro future times to make his virtues last,
That distant years may boast of other Blairs,-
  She said, and vanishd with the sweeping blast.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. Epitaph on Wee Johnny
  2. The Cairds Second Song
  3. The Sailors Song
  4. Had I The Wyte
  5. Evan Banks

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