The Father of the Bard Epitaph

The Father of the Bard Epitaph, by Robert Burns

This noble epitaph is inscribed upon the tombstone which marks the spot, in the Old Kirkyard in Alloway, where William Burnes is buried, the true – hearted father of Robert Burns our National Bard.

William Burnes was born in the Parish of Glenbervie on 11t h November 1721, and in Glenbervie Kirkyard, in the Mearns, lie the ancestral graves of generations of the Burnes family.

This is the tribute by Robert Burns to his father:

O ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains, Draw near with pious rev’rence and attend! Here lie the loving husband’s dear remains, The tender father, and the generous friend.

The pitying heart that felt for human woe; The dauntless heart that feared no human pride; The friend of man, to vice alone a foe; “For ev’n his failings leaned to virtue’s side.”

Robert Burns 1784

William Burnes died at Lochlie Farm on 13th February 1784, with Robert at his bedside.



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