Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
312. Elegy on the late Miss Burnet of Monboddo
 
 
LIFE ne’er exulted in so rich a prize,
As Burnet, lovely from her native skies;
Nor envious death so triumph’d in a blow,
As that which laid th’ accomplish’d Burnet low.
 
Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can I forget?        5
  In richest ore the brightest jewel set!
In thee, high Heaven above was truest shown,
  As by His noblest work the Godhead best is known.
 
In vain ye flaunt in summer’s pride, ye groves;
  Thou crystal streamlet with thy flowery shore,        10
Ye woodland choir that chaunt your idle loves,
  Ye cease to charm; Eliza is no more.
 
Ye healthy wastes, immix’d with reedy fens;
  Ye mossy streams, with sedge and rushes stor’d:
Ye rugged cliffs, o’erhanging dreary glens,        15
  To you I fly—ye with my soul accord.
 
Princes, whose cumb’rous pride was all their worth,
  Shall venal lays their pompous exit hail,
And thou, sweet Excellence! forsake our earth,
  And not a Muse with honest grief bewail?        20
 
We saw thee shine in youth and beauty’s pride,
  And Virtue’s light, that beams beyond the spheres;
But, like the sun eclips’d at morning tide,
  Thou left us darkling in a world of tears.
 
The parent’s heart that nestled fond in thee,        25
  That heart how sunk, a prey to grief and care;
So deckt the woodbine sweet yon aged tree;
  So, from it ravish’d, leaves it bleak and bare.
 

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