Monday Morning Poetry – The Robert Burns Birthday Edition

Birthday candlesI know, usually today is Whitman – but Robert Burns was born on this date in 1759. He’s kind of a big deal, so here’s one of his early poems, courtesy of Project Gutenberg. The topic seems appropriate.

WINTER.
A DIRGE.

[This is one of the earliest of the poet’s recorded compositions: it was written before the death of his father, and is called by Gilbert Burns, ‘a juvenile production.’ To walk by a river while flooded, or through a wood on a rough winter day, and hear the storm howling among the leafless trees, exalted the poet’s thoughts. “In such a season,” he said, “just after a train of misfortunes, I composed Winter, a Dirge.”]

The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw;
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.
“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”[1]
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!
Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want (O, do thou grant
This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign!

 

 

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