Address to Edinburgh
  • This production was penned in 1786 after Burns had been in the capital for only three weeks. He omitted none of the specialities
  • for which Edinburgh is justly noted. "Fair B...." was, in the poet's words, "the heavenly Miss Burnet, daughter to Lord Monboddo,
  • at whose house I have had the honour to be more than once." This lady of "beauty, grace, and goodness" died in 1789.
  • EDINA! Scotia’s darling seat!
  • All hail thy palaces and tow’rs,
  • Where once beneath a Monarch’s feet
  • Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs!
  • From marking wildly-scatt’red flow’rs,
  • As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
  • And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,
  • I shelter in thy honor’d shade.
  • Here Wealth still stells the golden tide,
  • As busy Trade his labours plies;
  • There Architecture’s noble pride
  • Bids elegance and splendor rise;
  • Here Justice, from her native skies,
  • High wields her balance and her rod;
  • There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
  • Seeks Science in her coy abode.
  • Thy Sons, Edina, social, kind.
  • With open arms the Stranger hail;
  • Their views enlarg’d, their lib’ral mind,
  • Above the narrow, rural vale:
  • Attentive still to Sorrow’s wail,
  • Or modest Merit’s silent claim;
  • ‘And never may their sources fail!
  • And never envy blot their name!
  • Thy Daughters bright thy walks adorn,
  • Gay as the gilded summer sky,
  • Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
  • Dear as the raptur’d thrill of joy!
  • Fair B..... strikes th’ adoring eye,
  • Heav’n’s beauties on my fancy shine;
  • I see the Sire of Love on high,
  • And own his work indeed divine!
  • There, watching high the least alarms,
  • Thy rough, rude Fortress gleams afar;
  • Like some bold Vet’ran, gray in arms,
  • And mark’d with many a seamy scar:
  • The pond’rous wall and massy bar,
  • Grim-rising o’er the rugged rock,
  • Have oft withstood assailing War,
  • And oft repell’d th’ Invader’s shock.
  • With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
  • I view that noble, stately Dome,
  • Where Scotia’s kings of other years,
  • Fam’d heroes! had their royal-home:
  • Alas, how chang’d the times to come!
  • Their royal Name low in the dust!
  • Their hapless Race wild-wand’ring roam!
  • Tho’ rigid Law cries out, ‘twas just!
  • Wild-beats my heart, to trace your steps,
  • Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
  • Thro’ hostile ranks and ruin’d gaps
  • Old Scotia’s bloody lion bore:
  • Ev’n I who sing in rustic lore,
  • Haply my Sires have left their shed,
  • And fac’d grim Danger’s loudest roar,
  • Bold-following where your Fathers led!
  • Edina! Scotia’s darling seat!
  • All hail thy palaces and tow’rs,
  • Where once, beneath a Monarch’s feet,
  • Sat Legislation’s sov’reign pow’rs!
  • From marking wildly-scatt’red flow’rs,
  • As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d,
  • And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,
  • I shelter in thy honor’d shade.
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