O wad this braw hie-heapit toun
Sail aff like an enchanted ship,
Drift owre the warld’s seas up and doun,
And kiss wi’ Venice lip to lip,
Or anchor into Naples’ Bay
A misty island far astray
Or set her rock to Athens’ wa’,
Pillar to pillar, stane to stane,
The cruikit spell o’ her backbane,
Yon shadow-mile o’ spire and vane,
Wad ding them a’, wad ding them a’!
Cadiz wad tine the admiralty
O’ yonder emerod fair sea,
Gibraltar frown for frown exchange
Wi’ Nigel’s crags at elbuck-range,
The rose-red banks o’ Lisbon make
Mair room in Tagus for her sake.
A hoose is but a puppet-box
To keep life’s images frae knocks,
But mannikins scrieve oot their sauls
Upon its craw-steps and its walls;
Whaur hae they writ them mair sublime
Than on yon gable-ends o’ time?