Robert Burns

The Minstrel at Lincluden

As I stood by yon roofless tower, Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, Where the houlet mourns in her ivy bower, And tells the midnight moon her care: A Lassie all alone was making her moan, Lamenting our lads beyond the sea; In the bluidy wars they fa', and our honour's gane And broken-hearted we maun die. The winds were laid, the air was still, The stars they shot alang the sky; The tod was howling on the hill, And the distant-echoing glens reply. The burn adown its hazelly path, Was rushing by the ruin'd wa', Hasting to join the sweeping Nith Whase roarings seem'd to rise and fa'. The cauld, blae north was streaming forth Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din; Athort the lift they start and shift, Like Fortune's favors, tint as win. Now, looking over firth and fauld, Her horn the pale-fac'd Cynthia rear'd, When, lo, in form of Minstrel auld, A stern and stalwart ghaist appear'd. And frae his harp sic strains did flow, Might rous'd the slumbering dead to hear; But Oh, it was a tale of woe, As ever met a Briton's ear. He sang wi' joy his former day, He weeping wail'd his latter times: But what he said it was nae play, I winna ventur't in my rhymes.

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