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A Bardâs Epitaph


Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool ,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool ,
And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by !
But , with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer ,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause -- and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low ,
And stain'd his name!
Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.

Robbie Burns

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