Elegy On The Death Of Robert Ruisseaux by Robert Burns

[Note: Ruisseaux is French for rivulets or “burns,” a translation of his name.]

Now Robin lies in his last lair,
He’ll gabble rhyme, nor sing nae mair;
Cauld poverty, wi’ hungry stare,
Nae mair shall fear him;
Nor anxious fear, nor cankert care,
E’er mair come near him.

To tell the truth, they seldom fash’d him,
Except the moment that they crush’d him;
For sune as chance or fate had hush’d ’em
Tho’ e’er sae short.
Then wi’ a rhyme or sang he lash’d ’em,
And thought it sport.

Tho’he was bred to kintra-wark,
And counted was baith wight and stark,
Yet that was never Robin’s mark
To mak a man;
But tell him, he was learn’d and clark,
Ye roos’d him then!

1785

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