1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "Lines on the much lamented Death of Robert Burns, the Scots Poet" Columbian Herald or, the New Daily Advertiser [Charleston] (2 November 1796).



[From an Edinburgh paper.]

Dowie an' wae, a' Scotia mourns
The hapless weird o' Rabie Burns;
He's gaen the gate; a', i' their turns,
Maun soon gang hame;
His ashes ly amang the urns
O' bards o' fame.

W' rowth o' wit the muse his pack
Had sid'd, nor e'er had thol'd to slack;
Wi' hamespun words he gash cou'd crack,
An' canty sing,
At rhymin he had sic a knack,
Nane con'd him ding.

Sic skaith to dree is unca fair,
But death sic dawties winna spare,
For worth, or wealth, he disna care,
But like an ane,
Baith grit an sma, or late or ear',
He gara pay him.

Sin' Death's e'en snegged Rabbie's lingle,
Nae mair about the rowsing ingle,
When we again the gither mingle,
An' bodies birl,
Will Rab his wit an' verses jingle,
To gar us skirl.

Wae's me, sin' Rabbie's time's e'en dune,
There's ne'er a ane to fill his shoon;
For wha' like Rab, sae weel can tune
The aiten reed?
The lave can only grane an' crune,
Sin' Rabie's dead.

Ou'er Rabie's moods sure ilk true Scot
Will drap a tear, for's thraward lot;
His mem'ry winna be forgot,
I' this our land;
For tho' his flesh an' banes sud rot,
His fame will stand.

Na, Rabie Burns! tho' dead ye lie,
Kind Scotia will remember thee,
An' tho' anither win the gee,
Some i' your stead,
The sawt tear will fa' frae her ee
For Rabie dead.

Then, fare thee well! blyth, canty Rab,—
—But truth, it gi'es my heart a stab;
O' Scottish bards you was the dab,
As lang's ye'd breath;
But, 'neth the yird, ye'll nae mair gab—
Nae thanks to Death.