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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
188. Song—Strathallan’s Lament
 
 
THICKEST 1 night, o’erhang my dwelling!
  Howling tempests, o’er me rave!
Turbid torrents, wintry swelling,
  Roaring by my lonely cave!
 
Crystal streamlets gently flowing,        5
  Busy haunts of base mankind,
Western breezes softly blowing,
  Suit not my distracted mind.
 
In the cause of Right engaged,
  Wrongs injurious to redress,        10
Honour’s war we strongly waged,
  But the Heavens denied success.
Ruin’s wheel has driven o’er us,
  Not a hope that dare attend,
The wide world is all before us—        15
  But a world without a friend.
 
Note 1. Burns confesses that his Jacobtism was merely sentimental “except when my passions were heated by some accidental cause,” and a tour through the country where Montrose, Claverhouse, and Prince Charles had fought, was cause enough. Strathallan fell gloriously at Culloden.—Lang. [back]
 

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