Personal Views on the Life and Work of Robert Burns
Lovely Polly Stewart
The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa’s,
And art can ne’er renew it;
But Worth and Truth eternal youth
Will gie to Polly Stewart.
May he whase arms shall fauld thy charms,
Possess a leal and true heart!
To him be given, to ken the Heaven
He holds in Polly Stewart!
While making an album of Robert Burns’ music and words, I travelled millions of miles in his company. I searched gravestones for his friends and his companions; I stood in the rain outside doorways he had stood in; I drank in bars he had drunk in; I marvelled at the beauty he saw from the hills of Galloway and the Heads of Ayr and I am convinced that I was directed by him in my choices for the album. The book of his work that I was collecting from continually opened, Harry Potter-like, at the page that contained the words of the poem ‘Willie Stewart’ until the day it magically fell open at a poem called ‘Polly Stewart’. Polly was Willie’s daughter and I decided to insert it into my version of Willie Stewart. After getting loads of praise for my album, I went back to Dumfries to visit Burns’ last home and found the lines to half the verses engraved on a back window in a hidden room. I felt his company once more.
Thank you, Robert. I love you x