The Epitaph on Captain Matthew Henderson

Robert Burns

STOP, passenger! my story’s brief,
And truth I shall relate, man;
I tell nae common tale o’ grief,
For Matthew was a great man.

If thou uncommon merit hast,
Yet spurn’d at Fortune’s door, man;
A look of pity hither cast,
For Matthew was a poor man.

If thou a noble sodger art,
That passest by this grave, man;
There moulders here a gallant heart,
For Matthew was a brave man.

If thou on men, their works and ways,
Canst throw uncommon light, man;
Here lies wha weel had won thy praise,
For Matthew was a bright man.

If thou, at Friendship’s sacred ca’,
Wad life itself resign, man:
Thy sympathetic tear maun fa’,
For Matthew was a kind man.

If thou art staunch, without a stain,
Like the unchanging blue, man;
This was a kinsman o’ thy ain,
For Matthew was a true man.

If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire,
And ne’er guid wine did fear, man;
This was thy billie, dam, and sire,
For Matthew was a queer man.

If ony whiggish, whingin’ sot,
To blame poor Matthew dare, man;
May dool and sorrow be his lot,
For Matthew was a rare man.

But now, his radiant course is run,
For Matthew’s was a bright one!
His soul was like the glorious sun,
A matchless, Heavenly light, man.

Last updated July 13, 2015