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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 03:05 GMT
Burns' 'prayer' answered at last
Burns' manuscript (picture courtesy of Dumfries and Galloway Council)
A section from the manuscript which has been put together
A manuscript of a Robert Burns poem which had been ripped apart has been put back together in time for his birthday celebrations.

The two pages of manuscript for "Holy Willie's Prayer" were separated - for unknown reasons - in the 19th Century.

One half was stored in Burns' House in Dumfries, which bought the other part from a private collector late last year at a total cost of about 6,000.

They have been reunited in a new frame to be displayed at the house.

Alf Hannay, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Burns Trust, said: "When you have a manuscript and the two pieces have been apart for so many years it is like bringing Burns back into Dumfries itself."

In the poem itself Burns attacks the hypocrisy of Willie Fisher - a drinking and womanising kirk elder from Mauchline in Ayrshire - who complained that Burns' friend Gavin Hamilton had breached God's law by having men working on the Sabbath.




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See the history of the poem and manuscript



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