Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Descriptive Poems: I. Personal: Miscellaneous
A Bard’s Epitaph
Robert Burns (1759–1796)
 
IS there a whim-inspirèd fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate 1 to seek, owre proud to snool; 2
        Let him draw near,
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,        5
        And drap a tear.
 
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowd among,
That weekly this area throng;
        O, pass not by;        10
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
        Here heave a sigh!
 
Is there a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs himself life’s mad career,        15
        Wild as the wave;
Here pause, and, through the starting tear,
        Survey this grave.
 
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,        20
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
        And sober flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
        And stained his name!
 
Reader, attend,—whether thy soul        25
Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole,
Or darkly grubs this earthly hole,
        In low pursuit;
Know, prudent, cautious self-control
        Is wisdom’s root.        30
 
Note 1. Bashful. [back]
Note 2. Tamely submit. [back]
 
 
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