Suppressed Stanzas of “The Vision”

Robert Burns

WITH secret throes I marked that earth,
That cottage, witness of my birth;
And near I saw, bold issuing forth
In youthful pride,
A Lindsay race of noble worth,
Famed far and wide.

Where, hid behind a spreading wood,
An ancient Pict-built mansion stood,
I spied, among an angel brood,
A female pair;
Sweet shone their high maternal blood,
And father’s air. 1

An ancient tower 2 to memory brought
How Dettingen’s bold hero fought;
Still, far from sinking into nought,
It owns a lord
Who far in western climates fought,
With trusty sword.

Among the rest I well could spy
One gallant, graceful, martial boy,
The soldier sparkled in his eye,
A diamond water.
I blest that noble badge with joy,
That owned me frater. 3

After 20th stanza of the text (at “Dispensing good”):—Near by arose a mansion fine 4
The seat of many a muse divine;
Not rustic muses such as mine,
With holly crown’d,
But th’ ancient, tuneful, laurell’d Nine,
From classic ground.

I mourn’d the card that Fortune dealt,
To see where bonie Whitefoords dwelt; 5
But other prospects made me melt,
That village near; 6
There Nature, Friendship, Love, I felt,
Fond-mingling, dear!

Hail! Nature’s pang, more strong than death!
Warm Friendship’s glow, like kindling wrath!
Love, dearer than the parting breath
Of dying friend!
Not ev’n with life’s wild devious path,
Your force shall end!

The Power that gave the soft alarms
In blooming Whitefoord’s rosy charms,
Still threats the tiny, feather’d arms,
The barbed dart,
While lovely Wilhelmina warms
The coldest heart. 7

After 21st stanza of the text (at “That, to adore”):—Where Lugar leaves his moorland plaid, 8
Where lately Want was idly laid,
I markèd busy, bustling Trade,
In fervid flame,
Beneath a Patroness’ aid,
Of noble name.

Wild, countless hills I could survey,
And countless flocks as wild as they;
But other scenes did charms display,
That better please,
Where polish’d manners dwell with Gray,
In rural ease. 9

Where Cessnock pours with gurgling sound; 10
And Irwine, marking out the bound,
Enamour’d of the scenes around,
Slow runs his race,
A name I doubly honour’d found, 11
With knightly grace.

Brydon’s brave ward, 12 I saw him stand,
Fame humbly offering her hand,
And near, his kinsman’s rustic band, 13
With one accord,
Lamenting their late blessed land
Must change its lord.

The owner of a pleasant spot,
Near and sandy wilds, I last did note; 14
A heart too warm, a pulse too hot
At times, o’erran:
But large in ev’ry feature wrote,
Appear’d the Man.

Note Sundrum.—R. B. [back]
Note Stair.—R. B. [back]
Note Captain James Montgomerie, Master of St. James’ Lodge, Tarbolton, to which the author has the honour to belong.—R. B. [back]
Note Auchinleck.—R. B. [back]
Note Ballochmyle. [back]
Note Mauchline. [back]
Note Miss Wilhelmina Alexander. [back]
Note Cumnock.—R. B. [back]
Note Mr. Farquhar Gray.—R. B. [back]
Note 1 Auchinskieth.—R. B. [back]
Note 1 Caprington.—R. B. [back]
Note 1 Colonel Fullerton.—R. B. [back]
Note 1 Dr. Fullerton.—R. B. [back]
Note 1 Orangefield.—R. B. [back]

Last updated July 13, 2015