Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
450. Monody on a Lady, famed for her Caprice
 
 
On a lady famed for her Caprice.
 
 
HOW cold is that bosom which folly once fired,
  How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten’d;
How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired,
  How dull is that ear which to flatt’ry so listen’d!
 
If sorrow and anguish their exit await,        5
  From friendship and dearest affection remov’d;
How doubly severer, Maria, thy fate,
  Thou diedst unwept, as thou livedst unlov’d.
 
Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you;
  So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a tear:        10
But come, all ye offspring of Folly so true,
  And flowers let us cull for Maria’s cold bier.
 
We’ll search through the garden for each silly flower,
  We’ll roam thro’ the forest for each idle weed;
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower,        15
  For none e’er approach’d her but rued the rash deed.
 
We’ll sculpture the marble, we’ll measure the lay;
  Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre;
There keen Indignation shall dart on his prey,
  Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire.        20
 

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