Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mr. Burns's Dirge

Winter: A Dirge

The wintry west extends his blast,
  And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
  The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
  And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
  And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
  The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
  Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
  My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
  Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
  These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
  Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
  This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
  Assist me to resign.


~ Rbt. Burns


{What an interesting contrast to Wm. Blake's poem about winter! Blake rejects the monster Winter, who strides across the bleak landscape like a Greek god terrifying mere mortals. In spite of his eccentricity, Blake desires the order of having Winter in its proper place, and when Winter returns there, it's because heaven smiles.
Although Burns did not live to see 1800, his melancholy identification with the bleak season feels more Romantic, doesn't it? His rhyme scheme reminds me of Coleridge and the mariner. I think both Blake and Burns show such strength of character in the courage voiced in these poems. Burns accepts, even embraces, his troubled fate, stating his woes must be fulfilling God's design. He listens for a voice in nature that mimics his own wailing grief, and winter complies. In the face of total loss of joy, he prays to be content with resignation. 
Resignation is a Christian virtue learned along life's rocky way. Few practice it in our time.}

1 comment:

Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!