Sketch for an Elegy

Craigdarroch, fam'd for speaking art And every virtue of the heart, Stops short, nor can a word impart To end his sentence, When mem'ry strikes him like a dart With auld acquaintance. Black James - whase wit was never laith, But, like a sword had tint the sheath, Ay ready for the work o' death - He turns aside, And strains wi' suffocating breath His grief to hide. Even Philosophic Smellie tries To choak the stream that floods his eyes: So Moses wi' a hazel-rice Came o'er the stane; But, tho' it cost him speaking twice, It gush'd amain. Go to your marble graffs, ye great, In a' the tinkler-trash of state! But by thy honest turf I'll wait, Thou man of worth, And weep the ae best fallow's fate E'er lay in earth!


Phyllida Law

About this work

This is an elegy by Robert Burns. It was written in 1788 and is read here by Phyllida Law.

Themes for this elegy

friendship anguish

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