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Address to Edinburgh

by Robert Burns

 

     1.
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
     All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
     Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs :
     From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
     And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,
I shelter in thy honor'd shade.
 
     2.
Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
     As busy Trade his labours plies ;
There Architecture's noble pride
     Bids elegance and splendour rise :
     Here Justice, from her native skies,
High wields her balance and her rod ;
     There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
Seeks Science in her coy abode.
 
     3.
Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,
     With open arms the stranger hail ;
Their views enlarg'd, their lib'ral mind,
     Above the narrow, rural vale ;
     Attentive still to Sorrow's wail,
Or modest Merit's silent claim :
     And never may their sources fail!
And never Envy blot their name!
 
     4.
Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
     Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
     Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy!
     Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye,
Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shine :
     I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own His work indeed divine!
 
     5.
There, watching high the least alarms,
     Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar ;
Like some bold vet'ran, grey in arms,
     And mark'd with many a seamy scar :
     The pond'rous wall and massy bar,
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock,
      Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell'd th' invader's shock.
 
     6.
With awe-stuck thought and pitying tears,
     I view that noble, stately dome,
Where Scotia's kings of other years,
     Fam'd heroes! had their royal home :
     Alas, how chang'd the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust!
     Their haplesss race wild-wand'ring roam!
Tho' rigid Law cries out: 'Twas just!'
 
     7.
Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
     Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro'hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
     Old Scotia's bloody lion bore:
     Ev'n I, who sing in rustic lore,
Haply my sires have left their shed,
      And fac'd grim Danger's loudest roar,
Bold-following where your fathers led!
 
     8.
Edine! Scotia's darling seat!
     All hail thy palaces and tow'rs ;
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
     Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs :
      From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
      And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.