167 Total Quotes

Robert Burns Quotes Page 4

O THOU unknown, Almighty Cause Of all my hope and fear! In whose dread presence, ere an hour, Perhaps I must appear! If I have wander'd in those paths Of life I ought to shun, As something, loudly, in my breast, Remonstrates I have done; Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me With passions wild and strong; And list'ning to their witching voice Has often led me wrong. Where human weakness has come short, Or frailty stept aside, Do Thou, All-Good-for such Thou art-- In shades of darkness hide. Where with intention I have err'd, No other plea I have, But, Thou art good; and Goodness still Delighteth to forgive.
Robert Burns
#Prayer

LORD, we thank, and thee adore, For temporal gifts we little merit; At present we will ask no more-- Let William Hislop give the spirit.
Robert Burns
#Short

ASK why God made the gem so small? And why so huge the granite?-- Because God meant mankind should set That higher value on it.
Robert Burns
#Short

OLD Winter, with his frosty beard, Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred: "What have I done of all the year, To bear this hated doom severe? My cheerless suns no pleasure know; Night's horrid car drags, dreary slow; My dismal months no joys are crowning, But spleeny English hanging, drowning. "Now Jove, for once be mighty civil. To counterbalance all this evil; Give me, and I've no more to say, Give me Maria's natal day! That brilliant gift shall so enrich me, Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me." "'Tis done!" says Jove; so ends my story, And Winter once rejoiced in glory.
Robert Burns
#Birthday

HERE lies Boghead amang the dead In hopes to get salvation; But if such as he in Heav'n may be, Then welcome, hail! damnation.
Robert Burns
#Short

O THOU whom Poetry abhors, Whom Prose has turnèd out of doors, Heard'st thou yon groan?--proceed no further, 'Twas laurel'd Martial calling murther.
Robert Burns
#Short

HE who of Rankine sang, lies stiff and dead, And a green grassy hillock hides his head; Alas! alas! a devilish change indeed.
Robert Burns
#Short

HERE Brewer Gabriel's fire's extinct, And empty all his barrels: He's blest--if, as he brew'd, he drink, In upright, honest morals.
Robert Burns
#Short

AS father Adam first was fool'd, (A case that's still too common,) Here lies man a woman ruled, The devil ruled the woman.
Robert Burns
#Short

O THOU Great Being! what Thou art, Surpasses me to know; Yet sure I am, that known to Thee Are all Thy works below. Thy creature here before Thee stands, All wretched and distrest; Yet sure those ills that wring my soul Obey Thy high behest. Sure, Thou, Almighty, canst not act From cruelty or wrath! O, free my weary eyes from tears, Or close them fast in death! But, if I must afflicted be, To suit some wise design, Then man my soul with firm resolves, To bear and not repine!
Robert Burns
#Prayer

WHEN wild war's deadly blast was blawn, And gentle peace returning, Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless, And mony a widow mourning; I left the lines and tented field, Where lang I'd been a lodger, My humble knapsack a' my wealth, A poor and honest sodger. A leal, light heart was in my breast, My hand unstain'd wi' plunder; And for fair Scotia hame again, I cheery on did wander: I thought upon the banks o' Coil, I thought upon my Nancy, I thought upon the witching smile That caught my youthful fancy. At length I reach'd the bonie glen, Where early life I sported; I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn, Where Nancy aft I courted: Wha spied I but my ain dear maid, Down by her mother's dwelling! And turn'd me round to hide the flood That in my een was swelling. Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, "Sweet lass, Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom, O! happy, happy may he be, That's dearest to thy bosom: My purse is light, I've far to gang, And fain would be thy lodger; I've serv'd my king and country lang-- Take pity on a sodger." Sae wistfully she gaz'd on me, And lovelier was than ever; Quo' she, "A sodger ance I lo'ed, Forget him shall I never: Our humble cot, and hamely fare, Ye freely shall partake it; That gallant badge-the dear cockade, Ye're welcome for the sake o't." She gaz'd--she redden'd like a rose-- Syne pale like only lily; She sank within my arms, and cried, "Art thou my ain dear Willie?" "By him who made yon sun and sky! By whom true love's regarded, I am the man; and thus may still True lovers be rewarded. "The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame, And find thee still true-hearted; Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love, And mair we'se ne'er be parted." Quo' she, "My grandsire left me gowd, A mailen plenish'd fairly; And come, my faithfu' sodger lad, Thou'rt welcome to it dearly!" For gold the merchant ploughs the main, The farmer ploughs the manor; But glory is the sodger's prize, The sodger's wealth is honor: The brave poor sodger ne'er despise, Nor count him as a stranger; Remember he's his country's stay, In day and hour of danger.
Robert Burns
#Soldier

FOR thee is laughing Nature gay, For thee she pours the vernal day; For me in vain is Nature drest, While Joy's a stranger to my breast.
Robert Burns
#Short

THAT there is a falsehood in his looks, I must and will deny: They tell their Master is a knave, And sure they do not lie.
Robert Burns
#Short

CEASE, ye prudes, your envious railing, Lovely Burns has charms--confess: True it is, she had one failing, Had a woman ever less?
Robert Burns
#Short

AFAR 1 the illustrious Exile roams, Whom kingdoms on this day should hail; An inmate in the casual shed, On transient pity's bounty fed, Haunted by busy memory's bitter tale! Beasts of the forest have their savage homes, But He, who should imperial purple wear, Owns not the lap of earth where rests his royal head! His wretched refuge, dark despair, While ravening wrongs and woes pursue, And distant far the faithful few Who would his sorrows share. False flatterer, Hope, away! Nor think to lure us as in days of yore: We solemnize this sorrowing natal day, To prove our loyal truth-we can no more, And owning Heaven's mysterious sway, Submissive, low adore. Ye honored, mighty Dead, Who nobly perished in the glorious cause, Your King, your Country, and her laws, From great DUNDEE, who smiling Victory led, And fell a Martyr in her arms, (What breast of northern ice but warms!) To bold BALMERINO'S undying name, Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame, Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim: Nor unrevenged your fate shall lie, It only lags, the fatal hour, Your blood shall, with incessant cry, Awake at last, th' unsparing Power; As from the cliff, with thundering course, The snowy ruin smokes along With doubling speed and gathering force, Till deep it, crushing, whelms the cottage in the vale; So Vengeance' arm, ensanguin'd, strong, Shall with resistless might assail, Usurping Brunswick's pride shall lay, And STEWART'S wrongs and yours, with tenfold weight repay. PERDITION, baleful child of night! Rise and revenge the injured right Of STEWART'S royal race: Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of hell, Till all the frighted echoes tell The blood-notes of the chase! Full on the quarry point their view, Full on the base usurping crew, The tools of faction, and the nation's curse! Hark how the cry grows on the wind; They leave the lagging gale behind, Their savage fury, pitiless, they pour; With murdering eyes already they devour; See Brunswick spent, a wretched prey, His life one poor despairing day, Where each avenging hour still ushers in a worse! Such havock, howling all abroad, Their utter ruin bring, The base apostates to their God, Or rebels to their King. Note 1. The last birthday of Prince Charles Edward. [back]
Robert Burns
#Birthday

HERE lies a mock Marquis, whose titles were shamm'd, If ever he rise, it will be to be damn'd.
Robert Burns
#Short

THOU ling'ring star, with lessening ray, That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usher'st in the day My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade! Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid? Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast? That sacred hour can I forget, Can I forget the hallow'd grove, Where, by the winding Ayr, we met, To live one day of parting love! Eternity will not efface Those records dear of transports past, Thy image at our last embrace, Ah! little thought we 'twas our last! Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore, O'erhung with wild-woods, thickening green; The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar, 'Twin'd amorous round the raptur'd scene: The flowers sprang wanton to be prest, The birds sang love on every spray; Till too, too soon, the glowing west, Proclaim'd the speed of winged day. Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes, And fondly broods with miser-care; Time but th' impression stronger makes, As streams their channels deeper wear, My Mary! dear departed shade! Where is thy blissful place of rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid? Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?
Robert Burns
#Heaven

HUMID seal of soft affections, Tenderest pledge of future bliss, Dearest tie of young connections, Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss! Speaking silence, dumb confession, Passion's birth, and infant's play, Dove-like fondness, chaste concession, Glowing dawn of future day! Sorrowing joy, Adieu's last action, (Lingering lips must now disjoin), What words can ever speak affection So thrilling and sincere as thine!
Robert Burns
#Love #Love Poems for Her

YE hypocrites! are these your pranks? To murder men and give God thanks! Desist, for shame!--proceed no further; God won't accept your thanks for MURTHER
Robert Burns
#Short

O THOU, who in the heavens does dwell, Who, as it pleases best Thysel', Sends ane to heaven an' ten to hell, A' for Thy glory, And no for ony gude or ill They've done afore Thee! I bless and praise Thy matchless might, When thousands Thou hast left in night, That I am here afore Thy sight, For gifts an' grace A burning and a shining light To a' this place. What was I, or my generation, That I should get sic exaltation, I wha deserve most just damnation For broken laws, Five thousand years ere my creation, Thro' Adam's cause? When frae my mither's womb I fell, Thou might hae plunged me in hell, To gnash my gums, to weep and wail, In burnin lakes, Where damned devils roar and yell, Chain'd to their stakes. Yet I am here a chosen sample, To show thy grace is great and ample; I'm here a pillar o' Thy temple, Strong as a rock, A guide, a buckler, and example, To a' Thy flock. O L--d, Thou kens what zeal I bear, When drinkers drink, an' swearers swear, An' singin there, an' dancin here, Wi' great and sma'; For I am keepit by Thy fear Free frae them a'. But yet, O L--d! confess I must, At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust: An' sometimes, too, in wardly trust, Vile self gets in: But Thou remembers we are dust, Defil'd wi' sin. O L--d! yestreen, Thou kens, wi' Meg-- Thy pardon I sincerely beg, O! may't ne'er be a livin plague To my dishonour, An' I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg Again upon her. Besides, I farther maun allow, Wi' Leezie's lass, three times I trow-- But L--d, that Friday I was fou, When I cam near her; Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true Wad never steer her. Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn, Lest he owre proud and high shou'd turn, That he's sae gifted: If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne, Until Thou lift it. L--d, bless Thy chosen in this place, For here Thou hast a chosen race: But G--d confound their stubborn face, An' blast their name, Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace An' public shame. L--d, mind Gaw'n Hamilton's deserts; He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes, Yet has sae mony takin arts, Wi' great and sma', Frae G--d's ain priest the people's hearts He steals awa. An' when we chasten'd him therefor, Thou kens how he bred sic a splore, An' set the warld in a roar O' laughing at us;-- Curse Thou his basket and his store, Kail an' potatoes. L--d, hear my earnest cry and pray'r, Against that Presbyt'ry o' Ayr; Thy strong right hand, L--d, make it bare Upo' their heads; L--d visit them, an' dinna spare, For their misdeeds. O L--d, my G--d! that glib-tongu'd Aiken, My vera heart and flesh are quakin, To think how we stood sweatin', shakin, An' p--'d wi' dread, While he, wi' hingin lip an' snakin, Held up his head. L--d, in Thy day o' vengeance try him, L--d, visit them wha did employ him, And pass not in Thy mercy by 'em, Nor hear their pray'r, But for Thy people's sake, destroy 'em, An' dinna spare. But, L--d, remember me an' mine Wi' mercies temp'ral an' divine, That I for grace an' gear may shine, Excell'd by nane, And a' the glory shall be thine, Amen, Amen!
Robert Burns
#Prayer

OF Lordly acquaintance you boast, And the Dukes that you dined wi' yestreen, Yet an insect's an insect at most, Tho' it crawl on the curl of a Queen!
Robert Burns
#Short

THINE am I, my faithful Fair, Thine, my lovely Nancy; Ev'ry pulse along my veins, Ev'ry roving fancy. To thy bosom lay my heart, There to throb and languish; Tho' despair had wrung its core, That would heal its anguish. Take away those rosy lips, Rich with balmy treasure; Turn away thine eyes of love, Lest I die with pleasure! What is life when wanting Love? Night without a morning: Love's the cloudless summer sun, Nature gay adorning.
Robert Burns
#Faith

YE maggots, feed on Nicol's brain, For few sic feasts you've gotten; And fix your claws in Nicol's heart, For deil a bit o't's rotten.
Robert Burns
#School #Short

WHOE'ER thou art, O reader, know That Death has murder'd Johnie; An' here his body lies fu' low; For saul he ne'er had ony.
Robert Burns
#Short

KNOW thou, O stranger to the fame Of this much lov'd, much honoured name! (For none that knew him need be told) A warmer heart death ne'er made cold.
Robert Burns
#Short

FAIR maid, you need not take the hint, Nor idle texts pursue: 'Twas guilty sinners that he meant, Not Angels such as you.
Robert Burns
#Short

GUDEWIFE,I MIND it weel in early date, When I was bardless, young, and blate, An' first could thresh the barn, Or haud a yokin' at the pleugh; An, tho' forfoughten sair eneugh, Yet unco proud to learn: When first amang the yellow corn A man I reckon'd was, An' wi' the lave ilk merry morn Could rank my rig and lass, Still shearing, and clearing The tither stooked raw, Wi' claivers, an' haivers, Wearing the day awa. E'en then, a wish, (I mind its pow'r), A wish that to my latest hour Shall strongly heave my breast, That I for poor auld Scotland's sake Some usefu' plan or book could make, Or sing a sang at least. The rough burr-thistle, spreading wide Amang the bearded bear, I turn'd the weeder-clips aside, An' spar'd the symbol dear: No nation, no station, My envy e'er could raise; A Scot still, but blot still, I knew nae higher praise. But still the elements o' sang, In formless jumble, right an' wrang, Wild floated in my brain; 'Till on that har'st I said before, May partner in the merry core, She rous'd the forming strain; I see her yet, the sonsie quean, That lighted up my jingle, Her witching smile, her pawky een That gart my heart-strings tingle; I firèd, inspired, At every kindling keek, But bashing, and dashing, I fearèd aye to speak. Health to the sex! ilk guid chiel says: Wi' merry dance in winter days, An' we to share in common; The gust o' joy, the balm of woe, The saul o' life, the heaven below, Is rapture-giving woman. Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name, Be mindfu' o' your mither; She, honest woman, may think shame That ye're connected with her: Ye're wae men, ye're nae men That slight the lovely dears; To shame ye, disclaim ye, Ilk honest birkie swears. For you, no bred to barn and byre, Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyre, Thanks to you for your line: The marled plaid ye kindly spare, By me should gratefully be ware; 'Twad please me to the nine. I'd be mair vauntie o' my hap, Douce hingin owre my curple, Than ony ermine ever lap, Or proud imperial purple. Farewell then, lang hale then, An' plenty be your fa; May losses and crosses Ne'er at your hallan ca'!R. BURNS.March, 1787
Robert Burns
#Hope

YE Irish lords, ye knights an' squires, Wha represent our brughs an' shires, An' doucely manage our affairs In parliament, To you a simple poet's pray'rs Are humbly sent. Alas! my roupit Muse is hearse! Your Honours' hearts wi' grief 'twad pierce, To see her sittin on her arse Low i' the dust, And scriechinh out prosaic verse, An like to brust! Tell them wha hae the chief direction, Scotland an' me's in great affliction, E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction On aqua-vit&æ; An' rouse them up to strong conviction, An' move their pity. Stand forth an' tell yon Premier youth The honest, open, naked truth: Tell him o' mine an' Scotland's drouth, His servants humble: The muckle deevil blaw you south If ye dissemble! Does ony great man glunch an' gloom? Speak out, an' never fash your thumb! Let posts an' pensions sink or soom Wi' them wha grant them; If honestly they canna come, Far better want them. In gath'rin votes you were na slack; Now stand as tightly by your tack: Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your back, An' hum an' haw; But raise your arm, an' tell your crack Before them a'. Paint Scotland greetin owre her thrissle; Her mutchkin stowp as toom's a whissle; An' d--mn'd excisemen in a bussle, Seizin a stell, Triumphant crushin't like a mussel, Or limpet shell! Then, on the tither hand present her-- A blackguard smuggler right behint her, An' cheek-for-chow, a chuffie vintner Colleaguing join, Picking her pouch as bare as winter Of a' kind coin. Is there, that bears the name o' Scot, But feels his heart's bluid rising hot, To see his poor auld mither's pot Thus dung in staves, An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat By gallows knaves? Alas! I'm but a nameless wight, Trode i' the mire out o' sight? But could I like Montgomeries fight, Or gab like Boswell, 2 There's some sark-necks I wad draw tight, An' tie some hose well. God bless your Honours! can ye see't-- The kind, auld cantie carlin greet, An' no get warmly to your feet, An' gar them hear it, An' tell them wi'a patriot-heat Ye winna bear it? Some o' you nicely ken the laws, To round the period an' pause, An' with rhetoric clause on clause To mak harangues; Then echo thro' Saint Stephen's wa's Auld Scotland's wrangs. Dempster, 3 a true blue Scot I'se warran'; Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilkerran; 4 An' that glib-gabbit Highland baron, The Laird o' Graham; 5 An' ane, a chap that's damn'd aulfarran', Dundas his name: 6 Erskine, a spunkie Norland billie; 7 True Campbells, Frederick and Ilay; 8 An' Livistone, the bauld Sir Willie; 9 An' mony ithers, Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully Might own for brithers. See sodger Hugh, 10 my watchman stented, If poets e'er are represented; I ken if that your sword were wanted, Ye'd lend a hand; But when there's ought to say anent it, Ye're at a stand. Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle, To get auld Scotland back her kettle; Or faith! I'll wad my new pleugh-pettle, Ye'll see't or lang, She'll teach you, wi' a reekin whittle, Anither sang. This while she's been in crankous mood, Her lost Militia fir'd her bluid; (Deil na they never mair do guid, Play'd her that pliskie!) An' now she's like to rin red-wud About her whisky. An' Lord! if ance they pit her till't, Her tartan petticoat she'll kilt, An'durk an' pistol at her belt, She'll tak the streets, An' rin her whittle to the hilt, I' the first she meets! For God sake, sirs! then speak her fair, An' straik her cannie wi' the hair, An' to the muckle house repair, Wi' instant speed, An' strive, wi' a' your wit an' lear, To get remead. Yon ill-tongu'd tinkler, Charlie Fox, May taunt you wi' his jeers and mocks; But gie him't het, my hearty cocks! E'en cowe the cadie! An' send him to his dicing box An' sportin' lady. Tell you guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's, 11 I'll be his debt twa mashlum bonnocks, An' drink his health in auld Nance Tinnock's 12 Nine times a-week, If he some scheme, like tea an' winnocks, Was kindly seek. Could he some commutation broach, I'll pledge my aith in guid braid Scotch, He needna fear their foul reproach Nor erudition, Yon mixtie-maxtie, queer hotch-potch, The Coalition. Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue; She's just a devil wi' a rung; An' if she promise auld or young To tak their part, Tho' by the neck she should be strung, She'll no desert. And now, ye chosen Five-and-Forty, May still you mither's heart support ye; Then, tho'a minister grow dorty, An' kick your place, Ye'll snap your gingers, poor an' hearty, Before his face. God bless your Honours, a' your days, Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise, In spite o' a' the thievish kaes, That haunt St. Jamie's! Your humble poet sings an' prays, While Rab his name is. POSTSCRIPTLET half-starv'd slaves in warmer skies See future wines, rich-clust'ring, rise; Their lot auld Scotland ne're envies, But, blythe and frisky, She eyes her freeborn, martial boys Tak aff their whisky. What tho' their Phoebus kinder warms, While fragrance blooms and beauty charms, When wretches range, in famish'd swarms, The scented groves; Or, hounded forth, dishonour arms In hungry droves! Their gun's a burden on their shouther; They downa bide the stink o' powther; Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring swither To stan' or rin, Till skelp--a shot--they're aff, a'throw'ther, To save their skin. But bring a Scotchman frae his hill, Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, Say, such is royal George's will, An' there's the foe! He has nae thought but how to kill Twa at a blow. Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him; Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees him; Wi'bluidy hand a welcome gies him; An' when he fa's, His latest draught o' breathin lea'es him In faint huzzas. Sages their solemn een may steek, An' raise a philosophic reek, An' physically causes seek, In clime an' season; But tell me whisky's name in Greek I'll tell the reason. Scotland, my auld, respected mither! Tho' whiles ye moistify your leather, Till, whare ye sit on craps o' heather, Ye tine your dam; Freedom an' whisky gang thegither! Take aff your dram! Note 1. This was written before the Act anent the Scotch distilleries, of session 1786, for which Scotland and the author return their most grateful thanks.--R. B. [back] Note 2. James Boswell of Auchinleck, the biographer of Johnson. [back] Note 3. George Dempster of Dunnichen. [back] Note 4. Sir Adam Ferguson of Kilkerran, Bart. [back] Note 5. The Marquis of Graham, eldest son of the Duke of Montrose. [back] Note 6. Right Hon. Henry Dundas, M. P. [back] Note 7. Probably Thomas, afterward Lord Erskine. [back] Note 8. Lord Frederick Campbell, second brother of the Duke of Argyll, and Ilay Campbell, Lord Advocate for Scotland, afterward President of the Court of Session. [back] Note 9. Sir Wm. Augustus Cunningham, Baronet, of Livingstone. [back] Note 10. Col. Hugh Montgomery, afterward Earl of Eglinton. [back] Note 11. Pitt, whose grandfather was of Boconnock in Cornwall. [back] Note 12. A worthy old hostess of the author's in Mauchline, where he sometimes studies politics over a glass of gude auld Scotch Drink.--R. B. [back]
Robert Burns
#Prayer