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Robert Burns: Address to Edinburgh

 

Address to Edinburgh

1.
Edina! Scotia’s darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow’rs,
Where once, beneath a Monarch’s feet,
Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs :
From marking wildly-scatt’red flow’rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,
I shelter in thy honor’d shade.

2.
Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
As busy Trade his labours plies ;
There Architecture’s noble pride
Bids elegance and splendour rise :
Here Justice, from her native skies,
High wields her balance and her rod ;
There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
Seeks Science in her coy abode.

3.
Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,
With open arms the stranger hail ;
Their views enlarg’d, their lib’ral mind,
Above the narrow, rural vale ;
Attentive still to Sorrow’s wail,
Or modest Merit’s silent claim :
And never may their sources fail!
And never Envy blot their name!

4.
Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
Dear as the raptur’d thrill of joy!
Fair Burnet strikes th’ adoring eye,
Heav’n’s beauties on my fancy shine :
I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own His work indeed divine!

5.
There, watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar ;
Like some bold vet’ran, grey in arms,
And mark’d with many a seamy scar :
The pond’rous wall and massy bar,
Grim-rising o’er the rugged rock,
Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell’d th’ invader’s shock.

6.
With awe-stuck thought and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately dome,
Where Scotia’s kings of other years,
Fam’d heroes! had their royal home :
Alas, how chang’d the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust!
Their haplesss race wild-wand’ring roam!
Tho’ rigid Law cries out: ‘’Twas just!’

7.
Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro’hostile ranks and ruin’d gaps
Old Scotia’s bloody lion bore:
Ev’n I, who sing in rustic lore,
Haply my sires have left their shed,
And fac’d grim Danger’s loudest roar,
Bold-following where your fathers led!

8.
Edine! Scotia’s darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow’rs ;
Where once, beneath a Monarch’s feet,
Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs :
From marking wildly-scatt’red flow’rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour’d shade.

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
Address to Edinburgh
fleursdumal.nl magazine

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