Robert Burns

Epistle to Mr Tytler of Woodhouselee

written in 1787

Revered defender of beauteous Stuart, Of Stuart! - a Name once respected, A Name which to love was the mark of a true heart, But now 'tis despis'd and neglected. Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eye, Let no one misdeem me disloyal; A poor, friendless wand'rer may well claim a sigh, Still more if that Wand'rer were royal. My Fathers that name have rever'd on a throne: My Fathers have died to right it; Those Fathers would spurn their degenerate Son That Name should he scoffingly slight it. Still in prayers for King G- I most cordially join, The Queen and the rest of the gentry: Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine, Their title's allow'd by the Country. But why of that Epocha make such a fuss, That brought us th' Electoral stem? If bringing them over was lucky for us, I'm sure 'twas as lucky for them! But Politics, truce! we're on dangerous ground; Who knows how the fashions may alter? The doctrines today that are loyalty sound, Tomorrow may bring us a halter. I send you a trifle, a head of a bard, A trifle scarce worthy your care; But accept it, good sir, as a mark of regard, Sincere as a saint's dying prayer. Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye, And ushers the long dreary night: But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky, Your course to the latest is bright.

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