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Translation
Index

Monody
ON A LADY (MARIA RIDDELL) FAMED FOR HER CAPRICE

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
How cold is that bosom which Folly once fired!
How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten'd!
How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired!
How dull is that ear which to flatt'ry so listen'd!
2.
If sorrow and anguish their exit await,
From friendship and dearest affection remov'd,
How deadly severe, Maria, thy fate!
Thou diedst unwept, as thou livedst unlov'd.
3.
Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you:
So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a tear.
But come, all ye offspring of Folly so true,
And flowers let us cull for Maria's cold bier!
4.
We'll search through the garden for each silly flower,
We'll roam thro' the forest for each idle weed,
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower,
For none e'er approach'd her but rued the rash deed.
5.
We'll sculpture the marble, we'll measure the lay:
Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre!
There keen Indignation shall dart on his prey,
Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire!

THE EPITAPH

Here lies, now a prey to insulting neglect,
What once was a butterfly, gay in life's beam:
Want only of wisdom denied her respect,
Want only of goodness denied her esteem.

 


How cold is that bosom which Folly once fired!
How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glistened!
How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired!
How dull is that ear which to flattery so listened!

If sorrow and anguish their exit await,
From friendship and dearest affection removed,
How deadly severe, Maria, your fate!
You died unwept, as you lived unloved.

Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you:
So shy, grave, and distant, you shed not a tear.
But come, all you offspring of Folly so true,
And flowers let us cull for Maria's cold bier!

We will search through the garden for each silly flower,
We will roam through the forest for each idle weed,
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower,
For none ever approached her but rued the rash deed.

We will sculpture the marble, we will measure the lay:
Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre!
There keen Indignation shall dart on his prey,
Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire!



Here lies, now a prey to insulting neglect,
What once was a butterfly, gay in life's beam:
Want only of wisdom denied her respect,
Want only of goodness denied her esteem.

 

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