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Robert Burns


Death of John McLeod of Raasay, Died 1787

Son of the Laird of Raasay who had once entertained Dr Johnson. The father died in Edinburgh in 1786, the son on 20th July the following year. Robert Burns, who was friendly with the young Laird's daughter, Isabella, sent her from Mossgiel his lines, "On Reading in a Newspaper an Account of the Death of John McLeod, Esq., brother to a young lady, a Particular Friend of the Author's".

"Sad thy tale, thou idle page,
And rueful thy alarms:
Death tears the brother of her love
From Isabella's arms.
"Sweetly deckt with pearly dew
The morning rose may blow;
But cold successive noontide blasts
May lay its beauties low.
"Fair on Isabella's morn
The sun propitious srnil'd;
But, long ere noon, succeeding clouds
Succeeding hopes beguiled. ..."

When Burns copied this poem into the Glenriddell Manuscript, he added the note:

"This poetic compliment, what few poetic compliments are, was from the heart."

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