To celebrate the great Bard of Scotland, on this Burns’ night I will share one of my most favourite of his romantic poems. For me the thing that makes this simple, beautiful ode to a lover so special is the fact that Burns is writing it from the perspective of being on Corsencon – a hill which happens to be 5 minutes up the road from Rigg House. Corsencon is a a hill I fell in love with before I had read this poem, and before I had made the trek to it’s trig point and it makes me happy every time I see it. It is easy to see why Corsencon inspired Burns to write this piece.
O, Were I On Parnassus Hill
O, were I on Parnassus hill,
Or had o’ Helicon my fill,
That I might catch poetic skill,
To sing how dear I love thee!
But Nith maun be my Muse’s well,
My Muse maun be thy bonie sel’,
On Corsincon I’ll glowr and spell,
And write how dear I love thee.
Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
For a’ the lee-lang simmer’s day
I couldna sing, I couldna say,
How much, how dear, I love thee,
I see thee dancing o’er the green,
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean,
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een-
By Heaven and Earth I love thee.
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As a bonus I am also going to share one of a number of poems which Burns wrote about the River Nith. As with Corsencon, we are fortunate to be able to walk to the banks of the Nith from our front door, and also as with Corsencon, no matter the time of year, or the weather, it is always easy to see why this river inspired Burns and so many others. Happy birthday Robert Burns. You are still loved.
The Banks Of Nith.
The Thames flows proudly to the sea,
Where royal cities stately stand;
But sweeter flows the Nith, to me,
Where Comyns ance had high command:
When shall I see that honour’d land,
That winding stream I love so dear!
Must wayward Fortune’s adverse hand
For ever, ever keep me here?
How lovely, Nith, thy fruitful vales,
Where spreading hawthorns gaily bloom!
How sweetly wind thy sloping dales,
Where lambkins wanton thro’ the broom!
Tho’ wandering now, must be my doom,
Far from thy bonnie banks and braes,
May there my latest hours consume,
Amang the friends of early days!
By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
The thoughts o’ thee my breast inflame:
And aye I muse and sing thy name-
I only live to love thee.
Tho’ I were doom’d to wander on,
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun,
Till my last weary sand was run;
Till then-and then I love thee.
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