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.

It’s but a weary warl’ at best, 
Wauf and weary – aften dreary – 
It’s but a weary warl’ at best, 
	A wauf and weary widdle! 

3.

It’s 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 Stradivari’s fiddle! 

5.

We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read 
Things sae vexin’ – and perplexin’ – 
We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read 
	Life’s cabalistic riddle! – 

6.

We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read 
To spin their scheme and mak’ their creed; 
Come, screw your pins and gie’s a screed 
	Frae your unrivall’d fiddle! 

7.

Nae fabled wizard’s wand I trow, 
Had e’er 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!




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