Address to Edinburgh
written in 1786
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 honour'd shade. 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. 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! 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! 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. With awe-struck 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 hapless race wild-wand'ring roam! Tho' rigid Law cries out 'twas just! 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! 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.