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Translation
Index

A Bard's Epitaph

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Is there a whim-inspiring 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.
2.
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.
3.
Is there a man, whose judgement 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.
4.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain'd his name.
5.
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.


Is there a whim-inspiring fool,
Too fast for thought, too hot for rule,
Too shy to seek, too proud to cringe? -
Let him draw near;
And over this grassy heap sing woefully,
And drop 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 brotherly feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgement clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career
Wild as the wave? -
Here pause - and, through the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stained his name.

Reader, attend! whether your 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

 

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