O, Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast

O, Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast
Oh wert thou in the cauld blast,
    On yonder lea, on yonder lea;
My plaidie to the angry airt,
    I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee:
Or did Misfortune’s bitter storms
    Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
    To share it a’, to share it a’.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
    Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
    If thou wert there, if thou wert there.
Or were I monarch o' the globe,
    Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign;
The brightest jewel in my crown
   Wad be my queen, wad be my queen.

Robert Burns

from The Canongate Burns: the complete poems and songs of Robert Burns (Canongate, 2001). Originally published posthumously in Currie, 1800. 

Robert Burns

If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. All too human in his personal life, he carried that humanity over onto the page. Nothing was too small or too large to escape his notice, from a mouse in the mud to God in his heavens. A poet for all seasons, Burns speaks to all, soul to soul.

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