Selected for 14
The longer title of today's poem tells us that it was written on the banks of the Nith in June 1788. In this garden retreat
near Dumfries Burns the newly arrived farmer and soon to be local customs official, could relax, read and write, away from
the cares of family and employment. The Bard meditating on the future, whether in his, 'russet weed', or the landowner's,
'silken stole', tries to cultivate an air of detached indifference in offering, 'these maxims'. 'Make CONTENT and EASE thy
aim'... 'Ambition is a meteor gleam/ Fame a restless, airy dream...'. Perhaps. But in truth, Burns, for all his fatalism,
sometimes seethed with the desire to see his poems succeed.