Friday, 22 January 2010

Borrowed Bookshelves: 4

Colin Campbell, Art Historian, Northumberland.

Above many shelves of scholarly works on Rembrandt, I found some light relief in the form of a six-volume 1877 edition of Robert Burns' works. Monday marks the 251st anniversary of Burns’ birth, and I'll be reciting his paean to ‘Scotch Drink’ over a haggis:

Food fills the wame, and keeps us leevin;
Tho’ life’s a gift no worth receiving,
When heavy-dragg’d wi’ pine and grieving;
But oiled by thee,
The wheels o’ life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi’ rattlin glee.

For those who prefer books to booze, here are some lines found scribbled in a musty volume of Shakespeare in the library of Burns' friend Cunningham:

Through and through th'inspir'd leaves,
Ye maggots, make your windings,
But O respect his lordship's taste
And spare the golden bindings.

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