For a Tombstone in the Burial Ground at Dryburgh Abbey

Thomas Pringle

A Scottish patriarch lies buried here;
An upright man, a Christian sincere;
A frugal husbandman of th'olden style,
Who lived and died near this monastic pile.
A stone-cast from this spot his dwelling stood;
His farm lay down the margin of the flood;
Those moss-grown abbey orchards filled his store,
Though now scarce blooms a tree he trained of yore;
Amidst these ivied cloisters hived his bees;
Here his young children gambolled round his knees;
And duly here, at morn and evening's close,
His solemn hymn of household worship rose.

His memory now hath perished from this place,
And over many lands his venturous race
Are scattered widely: some are in the grave;
Some still survive in Britain; ocean's wave
Hath wafted many to far Western woods
Laved by Ohio's and Ontario's floods:
Another band beneath the Southern skies
Have built their homes where Caffer mountains rise,
And taught wild Mancazana's willowy vale
The simple strains of Scottish Teviotdale.

A wanderer of the race, from distant climes
Revisiting this spot, hath penned these rhymes,
And raised this stone, to guard, in hallowed trust,
His kindred's memory and great-grandsire's dust;
Resting in hope, that at the Saviour's feet
They yet may re-unite, when Zion's pilgrims meet.


The ruined Dryburgh Abbey was founded in the 12th Century. The great Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott, author of many poems about Scotland, is amongst those buried in its cemetery.

Main Location:

Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Ruins of the Cloister at Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland