A Winter Night

Original Text: 
Robert Burns, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (Edinburgh, 1797). B-10 0051 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
5Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
6      Or whirling drift:
7Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
8Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
10      Wild-eddying swirl,
12      Down headlong hurl.
16      O' winter war,
19Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing!
20That, in the merry months o' spring,
21Delighted me to hear thee sing,
22      What comes o' thee?
24      An' close thy e'e?
25Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
26Lone from your savage homes exil'd,
27The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd
28      My heart forgets,
29While pityless the tempest wild


1] fell and doure: cruel and hard or cutting. Back to Line
3] glow'r: stare. Back to Line
4] Far south in the sky. Back to Line
9] burns: brooks.
wreeths: drifts. Back to Line
11] mining: undermining.
bock'd: vomited. Back to Line
13] winnocks: windows. Back to Line
14] ourie: shivering. Back to Line
15] rattle: spurt. Back to Line
17] deep-lairing: sinking.
deep. sprattle: scramble. Back to Line
18] scaur: a cliff or bank. Back to Line
23] chittering: quivering. Back to Line
30] There follow in the original further verses in literary English of a moralizing, not descriptive, character. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.304.