Poetry Corner: The Silver Tassie

On 21 July 1796 Robert Burns died in Dumfries.

Rabbie Burns

Burns was aged only 37 at his death. The cause of death appears to have been heart failure, probably brought on by the hard physical work done in his youth.

His widow, Jean Armour, gave birth to a son on the day of her husband’s funeral. However, Maxwell, named after Burns’s doctor, died in infancy. Scotclans

The Silver Tassie

Go bring to me a pint o wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie;
That I may drink, before I go,
A service to my bonie lassie:
The boat rocks at the pier o Leith,
Fu loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry,
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bony Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are rankèd ready,
The shouts o war are heard afar,
The battle closes deep and bloody.
It’s not the roar o sea or shore,
Wad make me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shouts o war that’s heard afar –
It’s leaving thee, my bony Mary!

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