Robert Burns

Sketch for an Elegy

written in 1788

Craigdarroch, fam'd for speaking art And every virtue of the heart, Stops short, nor can a word impart To end his sentence, When mem'ry strikes him like a dart With auld acquaintance. Black James - whase wit was never laith, But, like a sword had tint the sheath, Ay ready for the work o' death - He turns aside, And strains wi' suffocating breath His grief to hide. Even Philosophic Smellie tries To choak the stream that floods his eyes: So Moses wi' a hazel-rice Came o'er the stane; But, tho' it cost him speaking twice, It gush'd amain. Go to your marble graffs, ye great, In a' the tinkler-trash of state! But by thy honest turf I'll wait, Thou man of worth, And weep the ae best fallow's fate E'er lay in earth!

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