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308. The Epitaph on Captain Matthew Henderson

 STOP, passenger! my story’s brief,
 And truth I shall relate, man;
I tell nae common tale o’ grief,
 For Matthew was a great man.
If thou uncommon merit hast, Yet spurn’d at Fortune’s door, man; A look of pity hither cast, For Matthew was a poor man.
If thou a noble sodger art, That passest by this grave, man; There moulders here a gallant heart, For Matthew was a brave man.
If thou on men, their works and ways, Canst throw uncommon light, man; Here lies wha weel had won thy praise, For Matthew was a bright man.
If thou, at Friendship’s sacred ca’, Wad life itself resign, man: Thy sympathetic tear maun fa’, For Matthew was a kind man.
If thou art staunch, without a stain, Like the unchanging blue, man; This was a kinsman o’ thy ain, For Matthew was a true man.
If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire, And ne’er guid wine did fear, man; This was thy billie, dam, and sire, For Matthew was a queer man.
If ony whiggish, whingin’ sot, To blame poor Matthew dare, man; May dool and sorrow be his lot, For Matthew was a rare man.
But now, his radiant course is run, For Matthew’s was a bright one! His soul was like the glorious sun, A matchless, Heavenly light, man.

Poem by Robert Burns
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