1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "Lines found in the room where Burns was born" Literary Panorama NS 7 (February 1818) 820-21.



'Twas here he lived, and loved, and sung,
Whom fortune, fate, and friends could scorn:
Around these walls his harp once hung,
Beneath this roof the Bard was born.

Nature his nurse, fond, fresh and fair,
Smiled on the babe, and blessed him sleeping;
But oft by fits and starts would stare,
And oft that smile would turn to weeping.

She breathed him in a blushing minute,
When Passion's pulse stray'd wild and high;
And Love, and all that live within it
Were warm, and wishing to be nigh.

She mix'd her magic in his slumbers,
And waved her hand around his dream;
And gave to Love his infant numbers,—
The boy soon learn'd the darling theme.

They came to his ear, like those sounds of merry morn,
That break upon the sleeper, when the day-star draweth near;
Like the blast that sweeps the hill, like the hum that wakes the horn,
When the hunter on his heath-couch is dreaming of the dear.

They waked him to life, love, sunshine, and song;
They scatter'd his path with the fairest flowers;
But flowers and sunshine can never live long,
The brighter they beam, the sooner it lours.

For winter soon came, with its terrible form,
And flung all his flow'rets and his hopes to the wind;
And left him to wail in the pitiless storm,
And left him to weep in the bower they had twined.

He bow'd to the blast: he was weary and worn;
The fancy-form'd hope that had danced with its beam,
Soon perish'd and pined in the mists of the morn,
And shew'd him that life, love, and all were a dream!

Like the star in the storm, like the bow in the sky,
Its light look'd to Heaven, its flashes were fleeting,
It was dim, but the tear only brighten'd his eye;
It was bright, but the smile only welcomed the meeting.

Bonny Doon, roll thy waters, and green be thy braes,
Lovely Ayr, kiss the willows that weep o'er thy wave;
Though cold hangs the harp that first gave its lays,
Though the Bard that first bless'd thee, now sleeps in the grave.