Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
169. Address to Wm. Tytler, Esq., of Woodhouselee
 
 
With an Impression of the Author’s Portrait.
 
 
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,        5
  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 fallen to right it;        10
Those fathers would spurn their degenerate son,
  That name should he scoffingly slight it.
 
Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join,
  The Queen, and the rest of the gentry:
Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine;        15
  Their title’s avow’d by my country.
 
But why of that epocha make such a fuss,
  That gave us th’ Electoral stem?
If bringing them over was lucky for us,
  I’m sure ’twas as lucky for them.        20
 
But, loyalty, truce! we’re on dangerous ground;
  Who knows how the fashions may alter?
The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound,
  To-morrow may bring us a halter!
 
I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,        25
  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:        30
But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky,
  Your course to the latest is bright.
 

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