Burns Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


MY OWN WILD BURNS these rude wrought rhymes of thineA
In golden worth are like the unshapely coinB
Of some new realm yet pure as from the mineA
And Art may well be spared with such alloyC
As dims the bullion to improve the dieD
I love the truths of Art but more indeedE
The simplest truths of Nature and I readF
To find her visibly enthroned on allG
His muse hath builded like a fiery wallG
Round national faith and patriotic prideH
And Love and Valour both at Beauty s sideH
Yea more his outward rudeness doth impressI
Upon me still his innate strengthinessI
Even as imperfect features oft enhanceI
Th intrinsic power of some fine countenanceI
How various too the spirit of his lyreJ
How many hued his soul s poetic fireK
In his one Muse such qualities we findL
Mingled as most are several in their kindL
Mirth like a billow brightening up beforeM
The blasts of Grief to die on Misery s shoreM
Humour and Scorn and Pathos with a reachN
Above all effort each exalting eachN
Yea Terror wedding its own sense of evilO
To mother Pity even for the DevilO
But best he moves to tears or wakes such sighsI
As fan the vital fire in Beauty s lustrous eyesI
Hark when the winding Nith the Afton ClydeH
Rave downward or in gleaming quiet glideH
How Passion s very soul keeps burning byD
In his wild verse from every covert nighD
Or by the bonnie Doon or gurgling AyrP
What heart sweet memories like perfumes thereQ
Re breathe of bloomy joys untimely shedF
And Love that followed the belov ed deadF
To Heaven and then while Pity weeps aloudR
Clad in the pale ideal of a shroudR
Who would exchange the luxury of her woeS
For all the pleasures that the heartless knowS
But should we need relief another pageT
Shall blow the trumpet of his warlike rageT
And vilest of the villain herd is heU
Who to his battle dirge can listener beU
Nor feel that he could die for LibertyU
Or who while volleys forth the charging layV
Revoicing Bannockburn s all glorious dayV
From his exalted manhood then not spurnsI
Whate er is traitorous with a shout for BurnsI
And now in thought I track with steps of fearW
The noble peasant in his wild careerW
The haven of his youth is left the seaU
Of Life is loudening all around and sheU
Who mid its perilous breakers might have stoodX
His first sweet love she is not Heaven looks brightY
Still and the hills laugh round him for delightY
But ah beneath the sun he finds no moreM
The Eden where his genius dwelt beforeM
And does he wander by his native AyrP
The spirit of gladness hath gone up even thereQ
Up like the blithe notes of the lark when theyV
Have faded heavenward utterly awayV
The more he mixes with his kind in mirthZ
The more he feels the homelessness of earthZ
Till Life s lost charm seems beckoning him afarA2
In the white beauty of each lovely starA2
She is not only sweeter is the toneB2
Of his wild lyre for the wild loss thus knownB2
But storying thus with love his native streamsI
Thus by the life of his poetic dreamsI
Breathing suggestions that exalt and thrillC2
Into the spirit of each warrior hillC2
Yea lighting Scotia s universal faceI
With mental beauty and affectionate graceI
Yet did he die the victim of excessI
Alas even Poesy by her mute distressI
Admits the blot nor could she save her sonD2
Her star bright Rob her love anointed oneD2
Whilst yet the bard by Fortune unsubduedY
Had only like a wild bird of the woodY
Sung his own simple joys then happy being goodY
Ere he had sounded the world s heart and spurnedY
The soulless tone its hollowness returnedY
His habitudes how temperate we findY
From a self pleasing tunefulness of mindY
But afterwards that such a being soS
Alive to joy and sensitive to woeS
With all in sympathy of rich and rareQ
Flushing his soul as in the evening airQ
A western cloud grows grateful to the senseI
With all the sun s unspeakable affluenceI
Of golden glory mightily endowedY
By genius too with motives nobly proudY
And full summ d wings of spiritual flameE2
Wherewith to mount against the burning eye of FameE2
Yet bounded in a nutshell or but wooedY
By Fortune from a barren solitudeY
Just to be stared at by her minions vainF2
A sort of mental monster newly ta enG2
That such a being should resort at lengthH2
To whatsoever might repair the strengthH2
Of ruined Joy a moment or inspireJ
The heart of dying Hope though with fallacious fireK
Was I believe howe er the truth appalC2
Almost inevitably naturalC2
Ah Scotia it behoved thee then to guardY
The worldly welfare of thy peasant bardY
But no thou wouldst not and thy gifted sonD2
So placed again the like career should runD2
Again be naked left to Fortune s slursI
A hound like spirit in a land of cursI
But ah if such may always be the fateY
Of Genius native to a low estateY
For mercy s sake nay for the sake of BurnsI
Whose spirit methinks tow rds each poor brother yearnsI
Away the mask of kindred let us flingI2
At once and brand it as an outcast thingI2
Above communion with the rude by mindY
Exalted and yet shunned by the refinedY
Yea let this warning in its face be hurl dY
As the collective verdict of the worldY
Enrich the age with beauty if you willC2
But you must do so at your peril stillC2
The sole reward s a life long lack of breadY
And lastly a most desolate death bedY
And then some century after when the lossI
And agony of Genius on the crossI
Of Passion shall have spread into a taleC2
Wherewith to spice the tavern lounger s aleC2
Then shall your lowly grave long grass o ergrownD2
Become a national sentiment in stoneD2
Yes then a costly monument shall graceI
And guard it in the land a sacred placeI
Oh must not Scorn have reeled with laughter yesI
Even until shocked at her own bitternessI
To see by Scotland such a work up piledY
In honour of its so neglected childY
Of grace and glory beautifully wildY
But there it stands a type at least to meY
Of intellectual hypocrisyY
Sad Poesy beholding from it turnsI
And murmurs What a monument to BurnsI
No tis a sordid scoff perpetual madeY
A final insult to his injured ShadeY
The thankless country that denied him breadY
Now gives this stone for he is safely deadY

Charles Harpur


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