Weekly Interlinear Poem




Site of Robert Burns' grave, St. Michael's Church, Dumfries, Scotland




This is the poem
for the week of August 3.
A new interlinear poem
is available each Monday.

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

A Bard's Epitaph
-Robert Burns

Is there a whim-inspiring fool,
Too fast for thought, too hot for rule,
Too shy to seek, too proud to snool?
snool=cringe
(these faults are the ones that the bard regrets)

Let him draw near,
And ower this grassy heap sing dool
ower=over
grassy heap=grave
dool=dolefully

And drop a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
noteless=silent
steals=creeps

That weekly this area throng?
O, pass not by!
But with a frater-feeling strong
frater=brotherly
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career
Wild as the wave?
(again, a regret of the bard)
Here pause, and through the starting tear
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know
And keenly felt the friendly glow
And softer flame,
(softer flame contrasts with a hot flame)
But thoughtless follies laid him low
And stain'd his name.

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole
pole=Pole (North) Star
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole
darkling=in the dark
grubs=digs around in

In low pursuit,
Know: prudent, cautious self-control
Is wisdom's root.

Is there a whim-inspiring fool,
Too fast for thought, too hot for rule,
Too shy to seek, too proud to snool?
Let him draw near,
And ower this grassy heap sing dool
And drop a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng?
O, pass not by!
But with a frater-feeling strong
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career
Wild as the wave?
Here pause, and through the starting tear
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know
And keenly felt the friendly glow
And softer flame,
But thoughtless follies laid him low
And stain'd his name.

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole
In low pursuit,
Know: prudent, cautious self-control
Is wisdom's root.