Scottish Poetry Selection
- Castle Gordon

This poem was written by Robert Burns after he had visited the 4th Duke of Gordon - and his beautiful and witty wife - on 7 September 1787. During the visit he was pressed to stay by the Duke, but his travelling companion, William Nicol, who was back at the inn they were staying, was ready to depart to their next port of call. Burns was forced to accompany his companion.

Castle Gordon

Streams that glide in Orient plains,
Never bound by Winter's chains.
   Glowing here on golden sands,
There immixed with foulest stains
   From tyranny's empurpled hands;
These, their richly gleaming waves,
I leave to tyrants and their slaves:
Give me the stream that sweetly laves
   The banks by Castle Gordon.

Spicy forests ever gay,
Shading from the burning ray
   Hapless wretches sold to toil;
Or, the ruthless native's way,
   Bent on slaughter, blood, and spoil;
Woods that ever verdant wave,
I leave the tyrant and the slave:
Give me the groves that lofty brave
   The storms of Castle Gordon.

Wildly here without control
Nature reigns, and rules the whole;
   In that sober pensive mood.
Dearest to the feeling soul,
   She plants the forest, pours the flood.
Life's poor day I'll, musing, rave,
And find at night a sheltering cave,
Where waters flow and wild woods wave
   By bonie Castle Gordon.

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