Robert Burns

1759-1796 / Ayrshire / Scotland

To Miss Jessie Lewars

The sun lies clasped in amber cloud
Half hidden in the sea,
And o'er the sands the flowing tide
Comes racing merrilee.

The hawthorn hedge is white with bloom
The wind is soft and lown
And sad and still you watch by me
Your hand clasped in my own.

Oh, let the curtain bide, Jessie
And lift my head a wee,
And let the bonnie setting sun
Glint in on you and me.

The world seems fair and bright, Jessie
Near loving hearts like you,
But poonith's blast sifts simmer love,
And makes leal friendships few.

How aften in the dreary night,
I clasp my burning hands
Upon those throbbing sleepless lids,
O'er eyes like glowing brands,
And ponder in my weary brain,
If haply when I'm dead
My old boon friends for love of me
Will give my bairnies bread.

Oh, did the poor not help the poor,
Each in their simple way,
With humble gift and kindly love,
God pity them I say.
For many a man who clasped my hand
With friendship o'er the bowl
When the wine halo had passed away
Proved but a niggard soul.

Oh, blessed hope 'midst our distress,
There is a promise made,
That in the day the rough wind blows,
The east wind shall be stayed.
A few short years and those I love
Will come again to me,
In that bright land withoout a sun,
That land without a sea.

Oh, wilt thou gang o'nights, Jessie,
To my forsaken hearth,
And be as thou has been to me,
The truest friend on earth.
So sweetly in your linnet voice,
You'll sing my weans to rest,
While Jessie leans her weary head,
Upon thy loving breast.

Oh, what is fame? Its wealth of lays
Cools not the fevered brow,
Wilt tell his name in future days
Who whistled at the plough
And wrote a simple song or two,
For happier hearts to sing
Among the shining sheaves of corn
Or round the household ring.

Yet would I praise the bubble fame
If but my artless lays
Brought thy true worth and lovingness
For future time to praise.
True friend I bless the poet skill
Which won a friend like thee,
Whose love 'twixt hopes of home and heaven
Is with me constantly.
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