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Robert Burns’ A Fond Kiss

Robert Burns I attended my first Burns Supper in 2008 and it feels like it was yesterday. I was among three dozen international students and you could quickly tell us apart from our Scottish counterparts because we wide eyed and nervous; we had no idea what to anticipate. My good friend, Ewan, said I had nothing to worry about, but I was dreading tasting haggis. In the end, haggis wasn’t so bad and it was a wonderful evening that ended in a ceilidh.

My Burns night plans fell through, but I’m still having a dram of whisky later tonight. In honor of Robert Burns’ birthday, here’s the poem I would have read tonight.

A Fond Kiss
A fond kiss, and then we sever;
A farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.
I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Nothing could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lov’d say kindly,
Had we never lov’d say blindly,
Never met–or never parted–
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.
Fare thee well, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee well, thou best and dearest!
Thine be like a joy and treasure,
Peace. enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
A fond kiss, and then we sever;
A farewell, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee!

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