169. Address to Wm. Tytler Esq. of Woodhouselee
REVERED defender of beauteous Stuart,
Of Stuart, a name once respected;
A name, which to love was the mark of a true heart,
But now ’tis despis’d and neglected.
Tho’ something like moisture conglobes in my eye,
Let no one misdeem me disloyal;
A poor friendless wand’rer may well claim a sigh,
Still more if that wand’rer were royal.
My fathers that name have rever’d on a throne:
My fathers have fallen to right it;
Those fathers would spurn their degenerate son,
That name should he scoffingly slight it.
Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join,
The Queen, and the rest of the gentry:
Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine;
Their title’s avow’d by my country.
But why of that epocha make such a fuss,
That gave us th’ Electoral stem?
If bringing them over was lucky for us,
I’m sure ’twas as lucky for them.
But, loyalty, truce! we’re on dangerous ground;
Who knows how the fashions may alter?
The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound,
To-morrow may bring us a halter!
I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,
A trifle scarce worthy your care;
But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of regard,
Sincere as a saint’s dying prayer.
Now life’s chilly evening dim shades on your eye,
And ushers the long dreary night:
But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky,
Your course to the latest is bright.
by Robert Burns
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