A Midsummer's Eve with Robert Burns

As newly invited members of the Wester-Ross Burns Club, last evening Dee and I attended an informal 'meeting with refreshments' at the chairman's house in Laide. A truly splendid time was undoubtedly had by all; great mixture of discourse on and around the life and works of our bawdy bard, recitation and organisational matters, all interrupted half way through by some expert tuituion in the finer points of Scottish country dancing - without music and then with music out on the lawn. Absolutely hilarious. Especially so when we were joined by about seven hundred thousand bloodthirsty midges all trying to alight on dancers by then moving at dangerous speed and in all available directions in their best efforts at escape. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was a wildly gyrating human torso in my way.

I had written, and read out my seven hundred word poem 'A Ragged Odyssey' for the occasion, and it seemed to be well received. But the laureate undoubtedly went to our host's rendition of Burns' poem, 'An Ode to Delia'. I don't think Ian had seen this one before Dee handed him her copy, as sent to her by another member of our august community, but he did a really wonderful job with it. (He began by telling my Delia not to get too excited, Mister Burns had written poems to virtually every name in the female lexicon.)

An Ode to Delia

Fair the face of orient day,
Fair the tints of op'ning rose;
But fairer still my Delia dawns,
More lovely far her beauty shows.

Sweet the lark's wild warbled lay,
Sweet the tinkling rill to hear;
But, Delia, more delightful still,
Steal thine accents on mine ear.

The flower-enamour'd busy bee
The rosy banquet loves to sip;
Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse
To the sun-brown'd Arab's lip.

But, Delia, on thy balmy lips
Let me, no vagrant insect, rove;
O let me steal one liquid kiss,
For Oh! my soul is parch'd with love.

How about that, then? I wouldn't dream of following it with that one of my own, but sometime soon I shall 'publish' it here. One ps though. My poem hints at the resemblance between RB and WS. We all know how little is known about the life of the Stratford Bard. In fact nothing at all about the missing five years after the late teens William Shakespeare married, fathered a baby boy and took off into the unknown - all in very short order. Then reappearing in London Town with a couple of epic poems, a hundred plus earth-shaking sonnets and thirty one plays incorporating the best, by common consent, and most innovative language in the history of words.

However one theory I have read says he formed the basis for 'The Scottish Play' when he spent those years in the Lowlands. Genetic linkage anyone?

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