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


Birthplace of Robert Burns

By Thomas William Parsons (1819–1892)

A LOWLY roof of simple thatch,—

No home of pride, of pomp, and sin,—

So freely let us lift the latch,

The willing latch that says, “Come in.”

Plain dwelling this! a narrow door,

No carpet by soft sandals trod,

But just for peasant’s feet a floor,—

Small kingdom for a child of God!

Yet here was Scotland’s noblest born,

And here Apollo chose to light;

And here those large eyes hailed the morn

That had for beauty such a sight!

There, as the glorious infant lay,

Some angel fanned him with his wing,

And whispered, “Dawn upon the day

Like a new sun! go forth and sing!”

He rose and sang, and Scotland heard,—

The round world echoed with his song,

And hearts in every land were stirred

With love, and joy, and scorn of wrong.

Some their cold lips disdainful curled;

Yet the sweet lays would many learn;

But he went singing through the world,

In most melodious unconcern.

For flowers will grow, and showers will fall,

And clouds will travel o’er the sky;

And the great God, who cares for all,

He will not let his darlings die.

But they shall sing in spite of men,

In spite of poverty and shame,

And show the world the poet’s pen

May match the sword in winning fame.