A Winter Night



A Winter Night by Robert Burns


When biting Boreas, fell and doure,

Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;

When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,

          Far south the lift,

Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,

          Or wihrling drift;


Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,

Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,

While burns, wi' snawy wreeths unchoked,

         Wild-eddying swirl,

Or thro' the mining outlet bocked,

        Down headlong hurl.


List'ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,

I thought me on the ourie cattle,

Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle

        O' winter war,

And thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle,

         Beneath a scar/


Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing!

That, in the merry months o' spring,

Delighted me to hear thee sing,

           What comes o' thee?

Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing

          an' close thy e'e?


Ev'n on murd'ring errands toil'd,

Lone from your savage homes exil'd.

The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd

             My heart forgets,

While pityless the tempest wild

            Sore on you beats. 


(Robert Burns 1759-1786

Poetry Foundation.org/poem/173075)