Robert Burns

Monody on Maria

written in 1794

How cold is that bosom which folly once fired, How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten'd; How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired, How dull is that ear which to flattery so listened. If sorrow and anguish their exit await, From friendship and dearest affection removed; How doubly severer, Maria, thy fate, Thou diedst unwept, as thou livedst unloved. Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you; So shy, grave and distant, ye shed not a tear: But come, all ye offspring of Folly so true, And flowers let us cull for Maria's cold bier. We'll search through the garden for each silly flower, We'll range throught the forest for each idle weed; But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower, For none e'er approached her but rued the rash deed. We'll sculpture the marble, we'll measure the lay; Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre; There keen Indignation shall dart on his prey, Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire. The Epitaph Here lies, now a prey to insulting Neglect, What once was a butterfly gay in life's beam: Want only of wisdom denied her respect, Want only of goodness denied her esteem.

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