A Bard's Epitaph

Robert Burns 1759 (Alloway) – 1796 (Dumfries)



Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain'd his name!

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 03, 2023

49 sec read
739

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAABAC DXDEDE BBBFCF GGGHGH IIIJIJ
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 915
Words 160
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. more…

All Robert Burns poems | Robert Burns Books

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