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Burns Greeting 2019

Ellisland, 13 December 1789

One dark, dank December night
When ills of life had laid him low
Burns picked up his nib to write
Of human spirit’s ebb and flow

A bard scarce able to lift his head
His mind amok with ‘nervous disease’
Black thoughts of solace among the dead
As pain and anguish failed to ease

He writes to trusted friend Dunlop
Of a cursed life that’s pleasure-free
A wretched headache that will not stop
Dark termination, misery

Wrought with nervous affectation
He contemplates the end of time
Melancholy’s sad foundation
Crumbling under those who rhyme

Like Fergusson and Tannahill
O, Fickle fortune chose to spurn
The end of days in Bedlam’s chill
and drowning deep in Candrens Burn

While Burns’ depression saw no end
Stigma and shame, they were displaced
His brave words reached out to his friend
And support and succour came with haste

These modern times bring no respite
Dark clouds gather in many a mind
Melancholy remains a blight
Bottled up deep within mankind

As we unite to hail our bard
Learn lessons from his legacy
Reminding those when times are hard
It’s okay not to be okay

Let’s use our great fraternity
And from Burns’ woes, pay heed
When faced with mental adversity
Reaching out to all those in need

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