Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Lincluden Abbey

A Vision

By Robert Burns (1759–1796)

AS I stood by yon roofless tower,

Where the wa’-flower scents the dewy air,

Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower,

And tells the midnight moon her care,

The winds were laid, the air was still,

The stars they shot alang the sky;

The fox was howling on the hill,

And the distant-echoing glens reply.

The stream, adown its hazelly path,

Was rushing by the ruined wa’s,

Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,

Whase distant roaring swells and fa’s.

The cauld blue north was streaming forth

Her lights, wi’ hissing, eerie din;

Athort the lift they start and shift,

Like fortune’s favors, tint as win.

By heedless chance I turned mine eyes,

And by the moonbeam shook to see

A stern and stalwart ghaist arise,

Attired as minstrels wont to be.

Had I a statue been o’ stane,

His darin’ look had daunted me;

And on his bonnet graved was plain,

The sacred posy,—Libertie!

And frae his harp sic strains did flow,

Might roused the slumbering dead to hear;

But O, it was a tale of woe,

As ever met a Briton’s ear!

He sang wi’ joy his former day,

He weeping wailed his latter times;

But what he said it was nae play,

I winna ventur ’t in my rhymes.