Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EXTEMPORE, ON MR. WILLIAM SMELLIE, by ROBERT BURNS



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

EXTEMPORE, ON MR. WILLIAM SMELLIE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Crochallan came
Last Line: By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell!


Crochallan came,
The old cock'd hat, the brown surtout -- the same;
His grisly beard just bristling in its might --
'Twas four long nights and days from shaving-night;
His uncomb'd, hoary locks, wild-staring, thatch'd
A head, for thought profound and clear, unmatch'd;
Yet, tho' his caustic wit was biting-rude,
His heart was warm, benevolent and good.

O Dulness, portion of the truly blest!
Calm, shelter'd haven of eternal rest!
Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes
Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams;
If mantling high she fills the golden cup,
With sober, selfish ease they sip it up;
Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve,
They only wonder "some folks" do not starve!
The grave, sage hern thus easy picks his frog,
And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.
When disappointment snaps the thread of Hope,
When, thro' disastrous night, they darkling grope,
With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear,
And just conclude that "fools are Fortune's care:"
So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks,
Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.

Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train,
Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain;
In equanimity they never dwell,
By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell!





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net