The Memory of Burns

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Read on January 25, 1859 at the Boston celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of Robert Burns' death

How sweetly come the holy psalms
From Saints and martyrs down,
The waving of triumphal palms
Above the thorny crown!
The choral praise, the chanted prayers
From harps by angels strung,
The hunted Cameron's mountain
The hymns that Luther sung!

Yet, jarring not the heavenly notes,
The sounds of earth are heard,
As through the open minster floats
The song of breeze and bird!
Not less the wonder of the sky
That daisies bloom below;
The brook sings on, though lound and
The cloudy organs blow!

And, if the tender ear be jarred
That, haply, hears by turns
The saintly harp of Olney's bard,
The pastoral pipe of Burns,
No discord mars His perfect plan
Who gave them both a tongue;
For he who sings the love of man
The love of God hath sung!

To-day be every fault forgiven
Of him in whom we joy!
We take, with thanks, the gold of
And leave the earth's alloy.