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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Gordon Castle

The Castle, in Burns's day a seat of Alexander, fourth Duke of Gordon and his beautiful and witty Duchess, Jane Maxwell, is situated near Fochabers, Morayshire. Burns visited the place during his Highland tour, and became friendly with the duke's librarian and companion, James Hoy. Burns commemorated the visit in his song, 'Castle Gordon', which ends:
"Wildly here, without control
Nature reigns and rules the whole;
In that sober pensive mood,
Dearest to the feeling soul,
She plants the forest, pours the flood,
Life's poor day I'll musing rave
And find at night a sheltering cave,
Where waters flow and wild woods wave,
By bonie Castle Gordon."

Like most of the poetic visiting cards Burns felt impelled to leave behind him in houses where he had been entertained during his tours, 'Castle Gordon' is not a particularly inspired production.It was as a result of the visit to Castle Gordon that a temporary breach with his travelling companion, William Nicol, occurred Burns, who had met the Duchess in Edinburgh and been invited to call, left Nicol at the inn in Fochabers. After drinking wine with his host and hostess, the poet rose to go, and on being pressed to stay, explained the position about Nicol. The Duke suggested sending a servant to fetch Nicol to join the company for dinner, but Burns insisted on going with the servant.Nicol, however, was in a fury at being neglected, and had ordered the saddling of the chaise horses, intending to go on alone. Nicol gave the poet the choice of accompanying him there and then, or waiting behind by himself. Burns had thus little choice but to go with his irascible companion.Of the Duke and Duchess, Burns wrote in his Journal: '... the duke makes me happier than ever great man did — noble, princely; yet mild, condescending and affable, gay and kind — the Duchess charming, witty and sensible — God bless them.'

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

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