459. Sonnet on the Death of Robert Riddell
NO more, ye warblers of the wood! no more;
Nor pour your descant grating on my soul;
Thou young-eyed Spring! gay in thy verdant stole,
More welcome were to me grim Winter’s wildest roar.
How can ye charm, ye flowers, with all your dyes?
Ye blow upon the sod that wraps my friend!
How can I to the tuneful strain attend?
That strain flows round the untimely tomb where Riddell lies.
Yes, pour, ye warblers! pour the notes of woe,
And soothe the Virtues weeping o’er his bier:
The man of worth—and hath not left his peer!
Is in his “narrow house,” for ever darkly low.
Thee, Spring! again with joy shall others greet;
Me, memory of my loss will only meet.
by Robert Burns
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