Scotlands National Bard

Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

Tam o'Shanter

Spoken by David Sibbald.

Click on the play arrow to hear the words.

But pleasures are like poppies spread
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed
Or like the snow falls in the river
A moment white then melts for ever
Or like the borealis race
That flit ere you can point their place
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm
Nae man can tether time or tide
The hour approaches Tam maun ride

Listen to an excerpt from
Tam O'Shanter

But here my Muse her wing maun cour
Sic flights as far beyond her power
To sing how Nannie lap and flang
( A souple jad she was and strang)
And how Tam stood like ane bewitch'd
And thought his very een enrich'd
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main
Till first ae caper, syne anither
Tam tint his reason a' thegither
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied
When out the hellish legion sallied
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke
When plundering herds assail their byke
As open pussie's mortal foes
When, pop! she starts before their nose
As eager runs the market-crowd
When 'catch the thief' resounds aloud
So Maggie runs, the witches follow
Wi' money an eldritch skreech and hollow

To listen to more spoken word click on the relevant poem
A Man's a Man.
My Love is Like a Red, Red, Rose.
Auld Lang Syne.
Epistle to Davie.
O were I on Parnassus Hill.
Ae Fond Kiss.
To a Louse.
To a Mouse.

Or return to Tam o'Shanter Page

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