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Full text of "The Works of Robert Burns: With an Account of His Life, and Criticism on His Writings"

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TIffi AUTHOR. 



RoBBET BoENM W9M hoTti OR the 29th day of 
Janu&ry, 1759, in a mnall houM about two 
nules from the town of Ajr in Scotland. The 
fiiimlj name, which the poet modernized into 
Bumt^ was originally BumtM or Bumtss. His 
lather, AVilliam, appears to have been early 
mured to poverty and hardships, which he 
bore with pioos rosignatioii, and endeaYoored 
to aHeffiate by industry and econom?. AAor 
varioos attempts to gam a livehhood, he took 
a lease of seven acres of land, with a view of 
oommeociDg nursonrman and pabKo nrdener ; 
and having Doilt a house apon it wiui his own 
hands (an instance of patient ingenuity by no 
means uncommon among his countrymen in 
humble life,) he married^ December 1757, 
Agnes Brown.* The first fhiit of his marriage 
was Robert, the subject of the present sketdi. 

In hie sixth year.*> Robert was sent to a 
echool, where he maae considerable proficiency 
m reading and writimr, and where he die- 
covered an indJaatioiirar books not very com- 
mon at so early an age. About the age of 
t hirt ee n or fourteen, he was sent to the parish 
•ehool of Dalrymple, where he increased his 
ae(|uaintance with English Grammar, and 
gamed sonw knowledge of the French. Latin 
was also recommended to him ; but he did not 
make any great progress in it. 

The flu* greater part of his time, however, 
was employed on nis fatfaer^s fkrm, which, in 
spte of^nrach industry, became so unproduc- 
tive as to involve the fiunily in great distress. 
His fkther havfaig taken another farm, the 
speculation was yet more fatal, and involved 
his afikirs in comnlete ruin. He died, Feb. 13, 
1784, leaving b«iiid him the character of a 
good and wise man, and an affectionate father, 
who,* under oH me miafbrtnnes, struggled to 
proeure hm children an excellent education; 
and endeavoured, both by precept and example 
to fom their minds to religion and virtue. 

^ TMs ensflent womaa ft sdB Hving tat the faaiUy 
ofhvMi OUbsrt. (1Isj,18I3l) 



It was between the fifteenth and sixteenth 
year of his aire, that Robert first ** committed 
the sin of rhyme." Having formed a boyish 
aflfrction for a fumale who wais his companion 
in the toils of the field, ho composed a scmg, 
which, however extraordinary fh>m one at his 
age, and in his circumstances, is ftr inferior 
to any of his subsequent perforraanoee. Ha 
was at this time ^ an ungainly, awkwiid 
boy," unacquainted with the world, but who 
occasionally had picked up some notions of 
history, literature, and criticism, from the few 
books within his reach. These he informs na, 
were Salmon^s and GuUirie^s Geomphical 
Grammars, the Spectator, Fope*s Wonks, some 
plajrs of Shakspeare, Tull and DicJuon on 
Agriculture, the Pantheon, Lockers Essay on 
the Human Understanding, Stackhouse^sHie* 
tory of the Bible, Justice^ British Gardene^*s 
Directory, Boyle's Lectures, Allan Ramsay's 
Worke,- Taylor's Scripture Doctrine of Ori- 
ginal Sin, a select Collection of F-ngliaii 
Songs, and Hervcy> Meditations. Of this 
motley assemblage, it may readily be sup- 
posed, that some would be studied, and some 
read superficially. There is reason to thii^k , 
however, that he perused the worlB of the 
poets with such attention as, assisted by his na- 
turally vigorous capacity, soon directed his 
taste, and enabled him to discriminate ten- 
derness and subhmity from affectation and 
bombast. 

It appears that from the seventeenth to the 
twenty-fourth year of Robertas age, he mado 
no considerable literary improvement. His ac- 
cesuons of knowledge, or opportunities of 
reading, could not be frequent, but no exter- 
nal circumstances could prevent the innate 
pcculiarites of his cliaracter from displaying 
themselves. He was distinguished by a vigor- 
ous understanding, and an untaineable spirit. 
His resentments were quick, and, although 
not durable, expressed with a volubility of 
indignation wliicii could not but silence and 
overwlielm his humble and illiterate asso- 
ciates; while the occasional efiusioiis of his 
muse on temporary subjects, which were hand- 



ed about in iiiainiRcript, raisrd him tn a local 
Kiipcrinrity that i»eenicd the eaniwt of a m«»rc 
ext#>iided fnnip. Hii* fiivt inotivf! to contjxvn: 
YffniCK, as lias bcnn already noticed, wav Iuh 
early and warm attachment to tliu fair sex. 
H if favourites were in tlin huniMost walka of 
life; hut durinir hifl pansion, ho elevated them 
to Jiimras and SaculiariBsafl. His attacli- 
mentp, Imwevcr, were of the purvr kind, and 
hif conxtant thcnio tiic happinosfi of the mar- 
ried state ; to obtain a Kuitablo pro\iinon for 
wliich, ho cn^Ni;:cd in par(ncn<hip witli a ilax- 
drcmcrjiopinjr, probably, to attam by dr^jrrceii 
the rank of a manufacturer. ISut this 8}x;cu- 
lation was attended witli very little succ4»a, 
and was finally ended by an accidental fire. 

On his farhcr*H death he tr>ok a farm in con- 
junction with his brother, with the honourable 
view of pr<ividintr for their largo and orphan 
family. But here, too, he wan doomed to be 
imforiunate, althoiijrh. in his brother Gill»ert, 
he had a coadjutor uf excellent sense, a man 
of uncoianion puwerK both of tlioufj^ht and gx- 
preMuon. 

During his residence on this fann ho formed 
a connexion witJi a younir woman, the con- 
spqiieures of whicli <:ould not bo loii'r con- 
cealed. In Uiis dilemma, the imprud(>nt couple 
B^rrccd to make a Ic^al acknowliMlj^ment 
of :i private marrlap^e, and projected that she 
Fhould remain witli her father, while he was 
to ^ to Jamaica *^ to pusli his fortune."* Tiiis 
procce<lin(^, Ituwuvor romantic it may appear, 
would have rescued tho lndy''s cliaracttT, ac- 
cording to the laws of {Scotland, but it did not 
Kiliiify her fatiier, who insisted un havinc^ all 
tlie written d^^cuments rosimciing tlic marriage 
cancelled, and by tliis unfeelin^r measure, no 
intonded that it should Im) rendered void. Ui- 
vmred now irom all he held dear in tlie world, 
ho had no resource but in his projected voyage 
to JamaIcA, wldch was prevented by one of 
thon cimumstances tliat in coimnon c^ses, 
might pass without ob8cr>'ation, but which 
eventually laid tlie foundation of his future 
iVmn. For once, his norcr/y Ktood his friend. 
Had ho been provided with money to pay for 
his |ias»(a<re to JanKiicu, ho mi^i^ht have siit sail, 
and been forgotten. But he was destitute of 
•very necessury for tlie voyage, and was there- 
fore advi>cd to raise a sum of money by jmb- 
lishing his poems in tho way of sulwcription. 
Tln^y were aocordin^ly printed at Kilmarnock, 
in tfie year l7bG, in a small volume, wliicli 
was encouraged by subucriptions for about 3o0 
copies. 

It is hardly posuble to express witli what 
ea^jer admiration these poems were every 
where mceived. Old and young, hiirh and 
low, learned and igaorant, all were alike de- 
lighted. iSuch trans|K>rt8 would naturally find 
their way into the liosom <d* the author, 
e^'|M>cialIy when he found that, instead of the 
necessity of flying from his native land, he 



BIOGRAPHICAL vSKETCH 



wns now rnrourapcd to ro to Kdinburgh 
anrl su|K!rintend the publication of a second 
edition. 

In tho metropolis, he was soon introduced 
into the company and received tlie homage of 
men of literature, rank, and taste ; and his ap- 
pearance and l)ohaviour at tliis time, as tlicy 
exceeded all ex{iectation, heightened and kept 
un tlie curiosity wluch his works had excited, 
lie liccame the object of universal admiration 
and was feasted, and Hattered, as if it had bet;n 
impossiblo to reward his merit too highly. 
Rut what contributed principally to extend 
his fame into the sister kingdom, was his 
fortunate introduction to Mr. Mackenzie, who, 
in tlie 97th pai>cr of the Ijounger, recommend- 
ed his ]>oeins hy judii^ious specimens, and 
trenerons and elegant criticism. Fn)m this 
time, whether present or abs«;nt, Uunis and 
his genius went tlie objects which engrossed 
ail attention and all converbation. 

It cannot be snr]>risiug if tliis new scene of 
life, produced ctTects on Bums which were 
tho source of much of tlie unha])pinoss of his 
future life: for wliile ho was admitted into 
tlie company of men of taste, and virtue, he 
was also stMluced, by pressing invitations into 
tlic society of those whose habits arot<»o soi-ial 
and incy^insiderate. It is to be rcgrettiMl that ho 
had little resolution to witlistand thrnic atten- 
tions which ilattored his merit, and apj)carcd 
to bo tlie just respect due to a degree of KUjie- 
riority, of which ho could not avoid Iwinff con 
scious. Among his suiH*riors in rank and 
merit, his behaviour was in general dtycurous 
and unassuming; but amonf; his more ei^ual 
or inferior assmtiates, he Wiis iiimseir the source 
of the mirth of the evening, and repaid Uie. at- 
tention and submission of his hearers by sal- 
lies of wit, which, from one of Iiis birtii and 
education, had all tho fascination of wonder. 
His introduction, about the same time, into 
certain convivial clubs of higher rank, was an 
injudicious marie of respect to one who was 
destined to return to the plough, and to tho 
simple and frugal enjoyments of a pcabajit*8 
life. 

During his residence at Edinburgh, his 
finances were considerably improved hy the 
new edition of his poems ; and this enabled 
him to visit several other parts of his native 
country. Ho left Kdinburgh, May G, 1787, 
and in tho course of liis journey was hospitably 
received at the houses of many genlleinon of 
worth and learning. He afterwards travelled 
into England as fax as Carlisle. In tlio be- 
ginning of .Inne he arrived in Ayrshire, after 
an absence of six months, during which ho had 
experienced a dianj^e of fortune, to which the 
hopes of few men m liLs situation could liave 
:u<pired. His C(»ni]>aiuon in some of these 
tours was a Mr. Nic^d, a man who was en- 
deared to Burns not only by the wanntli of 
his frieudslup, but by a certain cuugoiiiali^ of 



OF THE iMrTHOR. 



■ratiment and agreement in habits. This syoi- 
pathy, in some otlier instances, made our po- 
et capriciously fond of companions, who, in 
the eyt* of men of more regular conduct, wcro 
insu&rable. 

During tlie greater part of the winter 1787-8, 
Bums again resided m Edinburgh, and enter- 
ed with peculiar rplish into its gaycties. iiut 
ail the smgularitiofl of his manner displayed 
thenuwives more o|ii*nly, and as tlic novelty of 
his appearance wore oft*, tie became less an ob- 
ject of general attention, lie lingered long 
lu tiiis place, in hopus that somt; situation 
would liave been ofiered whicli might place 
him in indepondonce : but as it did iiut seeui 
protable that any thing of that kind would 
oci;ursoon, Iw* h«*gan seriously to rrlloct tliat 
tours of pleasure and praiso would not pro- 
vide fur tiie wants of a family. Intlueneed by 
the8«' considerations ho quitted Edinburgh in 
the month of l^ebniaiy, 1788. I'inding him- 
self master of nearly 500/. from the sale of liis 
poems, he took tiic fann of Eiiisland, near 
Diunfries, and stocked it with {lart of this mo- 
ney, besides generously advancing 200/. to 
his brother GilU^rt, who was struggling witii 
DitRculties. lie was now also legally united 
tf > Mm. Bhms, wlio joined him witli their chil- 
dren about the end of this year. 

Quitting now speculations for more active 
puntuits, M rebuilt tiie dwelling-house on his 
farm ; and during his engagement in tliis ob- 
ject, and while the regulations of tlie farm had 
Uie charm of novelty, he paBs«^d his time in 
more tranquiilitv Uian he had lately oxperi- 
enctnl. Kut unfortunately, his old luiiiits were 
rather niternipted than broken. He was again 
invited into so<'ial parties, witJi the additional 
nH'oiiirnrndation of a man who had seen the 
W4.rld. and lived with tlie great; and again 
partook of thoise irregulnritiec for which men of 
vrarni inia<rinalionH. and conversation-talents, 
5iid t<io many apologies. But a cimimstancc 
now orrurri'fl whirh threw many obstacles ui 
his way as a fanner. 

Bums Teiy fondly cherished those nolinns 
of independence, which are dear to the young 
and ingenuous. But he had not mat ured thest* 
by refaction ; and he was now to loam, that 
a' little knowlorlge of the world will ovi»'tuni 
many audi airy fabrics. If we may form any 
iudgincnt, however, from his corriispondcn^'c, 
nis ozpectationa were not very extravagant^ 
since he expected only tJiat some of his illus- 
trious patrons woula have placed liim, on 
wliom they bestowed tlie honours of genius, in 
a situation where his exertions might have 
been uninterrupted by the fatigues of labour, 
and the calls of want. Disappointed in tliis, 
he now formml a design (^/npplyiiig for the 
office of exciseman, as a kind c»f rei(4>iirce in 
case his ex|H«ctutions from the farm sliouhl lie 
baffled. By tlie inl(!n*st of one nf his i rim ids 
tliis uliject was actouiplislird ; uiid uOi r tlii> 



usual forms were gone tlirough, he was ap- 
pointed exciseman, or, as it is vulgarly called, 
gaugtr of the di»lrict in which he lived. 

M Hifl farm was now abandoned tr» his ser- 
Tants, while ho lietook liimsclf to tlie duties 
of his new appointment. lie might stilJ, in- 
deed, be seen in the spring, directing his 
plough, a labour in which he excelled, or stri- 
ding with measured steps, along his turned-up 
furrows, and scattering tlic grain in tlie cartli. 
But his farm no loii^-r occuiiied the jirint'i]>al 
part of his care or his tlioughts. Mounted on 
horseback, he was found pursuing the dotiiul- 
ters of the revenue, among tlic hills and vales 
of NiUisdale." 

About this time f 1792,) ho was solicited, to 
give liis aid to Mr. 'i'lionuon's Collection of 
fc>cottish Songs. He wrote, with attention and 
without delay, for this work, all the songs 
which apfiear in this volume ; to which we 
have added those he contributed to Joluison s 
Musical Museum. 

Bums also found leisure to form a society 
for purchasing and circulating book.s aiiiung 
the fanners of tlie neighbourhood ; but thcM.*, 
however pniise worthy employments, ^tilI in- 
terrupted the attenlioii he ought to have bi-- 
stowed on his fann, which became so unjtro- 
ductivo tJiat he found it convenient to nxit^n 
it, and, disposing of his stock and crop, n:- 
moved to a sniair house which he had taken 
in Dumfries, a short tunc previous to his lyr.c 
engagement with Mr. 'i'lioniKoii. lie had now 
received from the lk>ard of Excise, an ap)ioiui- 
nient to a new district, the einolunieiits of 
which amounted to aboutscvcnty poiunUfci'-r- 
luig ptr annum. 

While at Dunifrii's, his toit)}ilalioiiK to ir- 

rcgnlarrry, rtH-'urred so rrc'iUfaillv as m-arly lo 
overpowitr his rrKotntions, and whii.-}i hf n\f 
jiears to have fonncd with a perfect knowledge 
of what is right and prudent. During his 
nuiet moments, however, he was enlarging his 
fame by those adniiraiile compositions he sent 
to Mr. 'riioinson : and his tcmjKirary sallies 
and tlnslics of ima^iiiatioiu in llie nierrinient ot' 
the social table, etdi liespoko a genius of won- 
derful isLrength and cuptivaiions. it has been 
saui, indeed, that, extraordinary as his pm hu 
are, tiu-y afford but iiiudiMpiale iiroof of thu 
IHiwcrs of tlioir author, or of that acutcness 
of observation, and expression, ho displayed 
on ronniKiii topics in runvi'Kation. In tJieNO- 
cicty of ]M'r8ons of la^te, he could rcfriiin troin 
those indulgences, which, among his nutre i%>n- 
stant coinjHinions, probably formed his chief 
rccommeiidution. 

The emolumriits ol* his oHlce, which now 
comjiosed his wlioli! foriinir, mmui a|'pi'uri-d 
insuiricirnt for tiic iii.'iintciiaiire (•!' Ins iliinilv- 
lli* did not, iiidi:(d. tioui tin- i\v..\, i'.xjm>«.! ihlit 
(lii-y couUl : lint ht> ImJ ho)M«:> of' iiroiii.iiiuii 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 



9nd would probably have atUuned it, if he 
had not forfoitod the favour of the Board of 
lIzciM, bv some conversations on the state of 
public a&irs, which were deemed highly im- 
nvper, and were probably reported to the 
Board in a waj not calculated to lessen their 
.effect That ne should have been deceived by 
tha affidrs in France during the early periods 
of the revolution, is not surprising ; ho only 
caught a portion of an enthusiasm which was 
then very general; but that ho should have 
ndwd his imagination to a warmth beyond 
hk ieUowB, wifl appear verv singular, when 
we consider that he had hitnerto distinguish- 
ed hfanself as a Jacobite, an adherent to the 
house of Stewart Yet he had uttered opi- 
nions which wora thought dangerous ; and m- 
formation being given to the Board, an in- 
quiry was instituted into his conduct, the re- 
•nlt of which, although rather favourable, was 
not so much as to re-instate him in the good 
ojMnion of the commissionen. Interest was 
necessary to enable him to retain his office ; 
and he was informed that his promotion was 
deferred, and must depend on his future be- 
haiioor. 

He is said to have defended himself on this 
.pccasion, in a letter addressed to one of the 
^oard, with much epirit and skill. He wrote 
another letter to a gentleman, who, hearing 
that he had been dismissed from his situation, 
proposed a subscription for him. In this last, 
tie gives an account of the whole transaction, 
and endeavours to vindicate his loyalty ; he 
also contends for an independence of spirit, 
which he certainly possessed, but which yet 
appears to have partaken of that extravagance 
of sentiment which are fitter to point a stanza 
than to conduct a life. 

A passage in this letter is too characteristic 
to be omitted. — ^ Often," says our poet, " in 
blasting anticipation have I listened to some 
(Uturehaokney scribbler, with hoavjr mahce 
of savage stupidity, exultingly assorting that 
Bums, notwithstanding the fanfaronade of in- 
dependence to bo found in his works, and 
alter having been held up to public view, and 
Co public estimation, as a man of 8ome trcnius, 
yet quite destitute of resources within himself 
to support his borrowed dignity, dwindled in- 
to a paltry exciseman ; and slunk out the rest 
of his insignificant existence, in the meanest 
of pursuits, and among the lowest of man- 

This passage has no doubt of\en been read 
with Bvmpathy. That Burns should have om- 
IffaoBd the only opportunity in his power to 
provide for his family, can lie no topic of 
censure ot ridiculo, and however incompatible 
with the cultivation of genius the business of 
an exciseman may be, there is nothing of mo- 
ral turpitude or dittgroco attached tn it. It 
fvas not his choice, it was the only help witliin 



his roach : and he laid hold of it But that 1m 
should not have found a patron generous or 
wise enough to place him in a situation at 
least free nom allurements to *^ the sin that 
so easily beset him ;^ is a circumstance on 
which tne admirers of Bums have found It 
painful to dwell. 

Mr. Mackenzie, in the 97th number of the 
Lounger, after mentioning the poet's design 
of going to the West Indies, concludes that 
paper in words to which sufficient attention 
appears not to have been paid : ^ I trust 
means may be found to prevent this resolu- 
tion firom taking place ; and that I do my 
country no more than justice, when I suppose 
her ready to stretch out the hand to cherish 
and retain this native poet, whose ^ wood 
notes wild*' possess so much excellence. To 
repair the wrongs of suffering or neglected 
merit ; to call forth genius from the obecurity 
in which it had pined indignant, and plate ii 
where ii maypuffU or delight the %cinid : — theao 
are exertiona which give to wealth an enviable 
superiority, to greatness and to patronage a 
laudable pride.'' 

Although Bums deprecated the reflections 
which might be made on his occupation of 
exciseman, it may be necessary to add, that 
from this humble stop, he foresaw all the con- 
tingencies and gradations of promotion up to 
a rank on which it is not usual to look with 
contempt In a letter dated 1794, he states 
that he is on the list of supervisors ; that in 
two or throe years he should be at the head 
of that list, and be appointed, as a matter of 
course ; but that then a friend might be of 
service in getting him into a part of the king- 
dom which he would like. A supervisor's in- 
come varies from about 1202. to IaXU. a year : 
but the business is ^ an incessant drudgery, 
and would bo nearly a complete bar to every 
species of literary pursuits" He proooede, 
however, to observe, that the moment he is 
appointed supervisor he might be nominated 
on the Collector's list ^ and this is always a 
business purely of political patronage. A col- 
lectorship vanes from much better than two 
hundred a year to near a thousand. Colle&- 
tors also come forward by precedency on the 
list, and have besides a handsome income, a 
life of complete leisure. A life of literary lei- 
sure witli a decent competence, is the summit 
of my wishes." 

He was doomed, however, to oontlnoA in 
his present employment for the remainder of 
his days, which were not many. His consti- 
tution was now rapidly decaying; yet, his 
resolutions of amendment were out fiwblo. 
His temper became irritable and gloomy, and 
he was even insensible to the kind forgiveness 
and soothing attentions of his affectionate wife. 
In the montli of June, 1796, he removed to 
Brow, about ten miles fVom Dumfries, to tnr 



OP THE AUTHOR. 



vU 



tlw eflSKt of tM-bathing; a remedy that at 
fint, he imagined, relieved the iheamaticpaiiui 
in his Iiinbe, with which ho had been afliictod 
for flome moothfl : bat this waa immediately 
foQowed by a new attack of fever. When 
brought back to hii hooae at Dumfries, on the 
18th of July, he was no longer able to stand 
opngiht. T^ fever increased, attended with 
delinam and debility, and on the 2l8t he 
expired, in the thirty-eighth year of his age. 

He left a widow and four sons, for whom 
the mhabitants of Dmnfries opened a sub- 
ecriptioiii which bein£^ extended to England, 
intMooed a considen3>le sum for their unme- 
diate necessities.* This has since been aug- 
mented by the profits of the edition of his 
wocks, printed m four vohmiee, 8vo.; to 



*]Cn. Bans eootfaiaes to Uvt In Um borne In which 
thePoMdied: UMeld«tKm,Bob«rt,testpreMntintbe 
BtumpOOcB: the other two are oOeen In the East In- 
dia Oonpam^*! anny, Williain Is f n Benfal, and James 
la Ifsdiai, (Mayi 1813.) Wallace, the leeood eon, a lad 
of gRstpraoiBe died or a ooQsampcioo. 



which Dr. Currie, of Liverpool, prefixed a life, 
written with much elegance and taste. 

As to the person of our poet, he is described 
as being nearly five feet ten inches in height, 
and of a form that indicated agility as w^ as 
strength. Ilis well-raised forehead, diaded 
with olack curling hair, expressed uncommon 
capad^. His eyes wore laige, dark, fiall of 
ardour and animation. His face was wdl 
formed, and his countenance uncommonly in- 
teresting. His conversation is universally 
allowed to have been uncommonly fascinating, 
and rich in wit, humour, whim, and ooca- 
rionally in serious and apposite reflection. 
This excellence, however, proved a lasting 
misfortune to him : for wliile it procured him 
the friendship of men of character and taste, in 
whose company his humour was guarded and 
diasle, it had also allurements for the lowest 
of maxikind, who know no difference between 
freedom and ticentiousness, and are never so 
completely ^tified as when goiius conde- 
scends to gvre a kind of sanction to their 
crossness. He died poor, but not in debt, and 
fell behind him a name, the fame of which 
will not soon be eclipsed. 



1+ 



ON 



THE DEATH OF BURNS. 



BT MR. ROSCOE. 



Ream \uA thy bleak, majeftic hills. 

Thy ■nelterd vaUoys proudly spread, 
And, Scotia, poor thy thousand nils, 

And waye thy hea^ witli blossoms red ; 
But, ah ! what poet now shall tread 

Thy aixY heights, thy woodland reign. 
Since he the sweetest bard is dead 

That eyer breath'd the soothing strain ' 

As green thy towering pines may grow. 

As clear thy streams may speed along ; 
As brieht thy summer suns may flow. 

Ana wake again thy feathery Uirong ; 
But now, unheeded is the song, 

And dull and hieleas all around. 
For his wild haip lies all unstrung. 

And cold the hand that wakM its sound. 

What tho* thy yigorous offspring rise 

In arts and arms thy sons excel ; 
Tho' beauty in thy daughters' eyes. 

And health in eyery raatnre dwell; 
Tet who shall now their praises teU, 

In strains impassioned, Amd, and fVee, 
Since he no more the song shall swell 

To loye, and liborty, and thee ! 

\Vitli step-dame eye and frown seyere 

His hapless youth why didst thou yiew? 
For all thy joys to him wore dear. 

And all hu yows to thee were duo : 
Nor greater bliss his bosom knew. 

In opening youth's delightfbl prime. 
Than when thy fayouiing ear he drew 

To ILrten to nu chantcS rhyme. 

T%y lonely wastes and frowning skies 

To him were all with rapture fVaught; 
He heard with joy the tempests rise 

Tbat wakM nim to snUimer thought; 
And oft thy winding dells he sought 

Where wild flowers pour'd their rath perfUme, 
And with sincere deyotion brought 

To thee the summer's earliest bloom. 



But, ah ! no fond maternal smile 

His unprotected youtli enjoy *d; 
His limbs inur'd to early toil. 

His days with early hardsliips tried t 
And mora to mark the gloomy void. 

And bid him foel his misery, 
Before his infkut eyes would glide 

Day-dreams of immortality. 

Tet, not by cold neglect depressed, 

With sinewy arm he turned tlie soil, 
Sunk with the eyenin|r gun to rest. 

And met at mom his earliest smile. 
Wak'd by his rustic pipe, meanwhile 

The powers of fancy came along. 
And soothed his IcngtnenM hour of toil 

With native wit and sprightly song. 

— Ah ! dajTS of bliss, too swifUy fled. 

When yigorous health from labour springs, 
And bland contentment smooths the bed. 

And sleep his ready opiate brings ; 
And hovering round on airy wings 

Float the light forms of young desire, 
Tliat of unutterable things 

The sofl and shadowy nope inspire. 



Now spells of mightier power prepare, 

Bid brighter phantoms round mm dance : 
Let flatted spread her viewless snare. 

And fame attract his vagrant glance : 
Let sprightly pleasure too advisee, ^ ' 

UnveilM ner eyes, unclasp'd her zone. 
Till lost in lovers delirious trance 

He scorns the joys his youth has known. 



Let friendship pour her brightest Uazc, 

Expanding all the bloom of scnil ; 
And mirth concentre all her rays. 

And point them from the sparkling bowl ; 
And let the careless moments roU 

In social pleasures unconfin*d. 
And confidence that spurns control. 

Unlock tho inmost springs of mind. 

A 'i 



ON THE DEATH OF BURNS. 



And lead his tteps those bowers among, 

Where elegranco with splendour vies, 
Or scieDce bids her lavourM throng 

To more refin'd sensations rise ; 
Beyond the peasants humbler joys, 

And freed from each laborious strife. 
There let him learn the bliss to prize 

That waits the sons of polish'd life. 

Then whilst his throbbing Toins boat high 

With every impulse ofdolijB[ht, 
Dash ftom his lips the cup ofjoy, 

And du^ud the scene in shades of night ; 
And let despair, with wizard light, 

Disclose the yawninff gulf below, 
And pour incessant on nis sight, 

Uer spectred ills and sht^ioe of wo : 

And show beneath a cheerless shed, 
With sorrowing heart and streaming eyes. 

In silent grief where droops her head, 
The pvtner of his early joys ; 



And let his infantas tender cries 
His fond parental succour claim, 

And bid him hoar in agonies 
A husband and a fauer^s name. 

'TIS done — the powerful charm succeeds ; 

His high reluctant spirit bends ; 
In bitterness of soul he bleeds, 

Nor longer with his fate contends. 
An idiot laugh the welkin rends 

As genius thus degraded lies ; 
Tillpitying Heaven the veil extends 

That shrouds the Poet's ardent eyes. 

— Rear high thy bleak, majestid hills, 

Thy shdter'd valleys proudly spread^ 
And, Scotia, pour thy thousand rills, 

And wave thy heaths with blossoms red ; 
But never more shall poet tread 

Thy airy heights, thy woodland reign. 
Since ho the sweetest bard is dead 

That ever breathM the soothing itnin. 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

BioomAnncAL Skvtch of the Aothor, • iii 

On the Death of Buna, by Mr. Roeooo, yiii 
Pre&ee to the Pint Edition of Burnt' 

Poems, pobliflhed at Kilroamock, . 1 
Dedication of the Second Edition of 
the Poems fbrmeiij printed. To the 
Noblemen and Gientlemon of the 

Caledonian Hunt, . . • • S 

it 
POEMS, CHIEFLT SCOTTISH. 

The Twa Doga, a Tale, ... 3 
SootchDrink, • .5 
The Author's earnest Ciy and Prayer to 
tho Scotch RepresentatiTes in the 

House of Commons, ... 7 

Postscript, 8 

The Holy Fur, 9 

Death and Dr. Hornbook, ... 11 
The Briffs of Ayr, a Poem inscribed to 

J. B*«******, Esq. Ayr, . . 13 

The Ordination, 16 

The Calf. To the Rer. Mr.— * 18 

Address to the Deil, ... ib. 
The Death and Dying Words of Poor 

Mailie, 19 

Poor Biailie's Elegy, . • • • 90 

To J. 8****, 21 

A Dream, .S3 

The Visum 24 

Address toihe Utioo Guid, or the Rigid- 
ly Righteous, . ... 27 
Tarn Samson^s Elegy, .... 28 
TheEpiUph, . . . . 29 
Halloween, . • . . ib. 
The Auld Farmer^s New-Year Morning 

Salutation to his Auld Mare Maggie, 33 
To a Mouse, on turning her up hi her 
nest with the Ploi^h, Novemberi 

1785 ^ 

A Winter Night, .... 35 
Epistle to DaTie, a Brother Poet, . 36 
Tne Lament, occasioned by the unfor- 
tunate issue of a Friend's Amour, • 37 
Despond«Dcy, an Ode, ... 3b 
Wmter, a Dirge, .... 39 
The Cotter"^ Saturday Night, . ib. 
Man was made to Mourn, a Dirge, 42 
A Prayer in the prospect of DeaUi, . 43 
Stanxas on the same occasion, ib; 
Verses left by the Author, in the room 
where he slept, harmg lain at the 
House of a Reverend rnend, . • 44 
The First Psahn, ih. 



Pv 

A Prayer, under the pressure of violent 
Anmiiflh, 44 

The find six verBes of the Ninetieth 
Psalm, .45 

To a Mountain Daisy, on turning one 
down with the Plough, in April, 1786, ib. 

To Ruin, ib. 

To Miss L , with BeaUie^s Poems as 

a New Tear's Gift, Jan. 1, 1787, . 46 

Epistle to a Toung Friend, . • • ib. 

On a Scotcli Bard, gone to the West 
Indies, 47 

ToaHag^ 48 

A Dedication to Gavin Hamilton, Esq. ib. 

To a Louse, on seeing one on a Lady*s 
Bonnet at Church, ... 49 

Address to Edinburgh, ... 50 

Epistle to J. Lapraik, an old Scottish 
Bard, — 51 

To the Same, 52 

To W. S*****n, Ochiltree, May, 1785, 53 

Postscript, 54 

Epistle to J. R******, enclosing some 
rooms, 55 

John Barieycom, a Ballad, ... 56 

Written in Friars-Carse Hermitage, on 
Nith-Side, 62 

Ode, sacred to the memory of Mri. , 

of 63 

Elegy on Capt Mattliow Henderson, . ib. 

The Epitaph, 64 

To Robert Graham, Esq. of Fintra, . 65 

Lament for James, Earl of Glencaim, . 66' 

Lines sent to Sir John Whitefoord of 
Whitefoord, Bart with tho foregoing 
Poem, 67 

Tarn O' Shantcr, a Tale, . . . ib. 

On seeing a wounded Hare limp by me, 
which a fellow had just shot at, . 69 

Address to tlie Shade of Thomson, on 
crownins^ his bust at Ednam, Rox- 
burghshire, with Bays, . . • ib 

Epitaph on a celebrated Ruling Elder, 70 

On a NoiRy Polemic, . . . • ib. 

On Wco Johnie, ib. 

For tlie Author's Father, . . . ib. 

For R. A. Esq 70 

For G. H. Esq ib. 

A Bu*^'s Epitaph, . . . . ib. 

On the i ate Captain Grose's Peregrina- 
tions through Scotland, collecting the 
Antiquities of that Kingdom, . . 71 

To Miss Cniikshanks, a very young 
Lady. Writtenon theblankleof of a 
Book, presented to her by the Author, ib. 



-« 



^ ■ 

r. 



zu 



CONTENTS. 



On reading in a ffpwfipapor the Death 
of John M'Leo<], Enq. itrothor to a 
yountr Lady, a particular Friend of 
the Author'H, 

The Hun)l>le i>ctition of Bruar Water to 
the Nuble Duke of Athnle, 

On ocurin^r 8onio Water-Fowl in Loch- 
Turit, 

Written witli a Pencil over tlieCJiimncy- 
nietro, in the Parlour of tlie liui at 
kmiinore, Taymoath, 

Written witli a Pencil, stand in/r by the 
Fall of VjetK, near Looh-Ncas, 

On tiio Birth of a PontliuinouH Child, 
Born in peculiar CircuiUKtancoB of 
Family Durtrew, .... 

Thrt Whi<«lIiN a liallad, . , 

Second EpiHlIc to Davie, 

Lines on an Interview with Lord 
Dnor, ..,.,, 

On tiie Death of a Lap-Door, named 
Echo 

Inscription to the MeinoTT of Forgusson, 

Kpiittlu to R. Graham, EKq. 

Fn^rinnnt, inscribed to the Riglit Hon. 
C.J. Fox, . . . . 

To Dr. Blacklock, . . . . 

Prolomie, spoken at the Theatre Ellis- 
land, on New-YcarVDay Evcninj^, 

Ele^ry on tlie late Miss Burnet, of Mon- 
boddo, 

Tlie RijGrhts of Woman, 

Addnmi, spoken by Miss Fontenolle, 
on her Benefit Nijrlit, Doc. 4,179.5, at 
the Theatre, DuinfHes. . 

Verses to a young Lady, with a present 
ofSonps, ..... 

Lilies wntten on a bhmk leaf of a copy 
of his poems presented to a young 
Lady, ...... 

Copy of a Poetical Address to Mr. 
William Tytler, . . . . 

Caledonia, ...... 

Poem written to a Gentleman who had 
sent him a Newspaper, and otlercdto 
continue it free of expense, 

Poem on Pastoral Poetry, . 

Nketch — New Year's Day, . 

Extempore, on tJie late Mr. William 
Smellie, 

Poetical Inscription for an Altar to In- 
dependence, 

Sonnet, on the Death of Robert Riddel, 
"■*sn» *■•«.. 

Monody on a Lady famed for her ca- 
price, 

The EpiUiiJi, 

An<(wor to a mandate sent by the Sur- 
veyor of tJie Windows, Carriages, &c. 

Iti)]»n>mptu, on Mrs. ^*8 Birth-day, 

To a young Lady, Miss Jcrrv , 

Dumfries ; witii Books which tlio Bard 
prosoiitod her, 

Sonnet, writlfMi on the 3.5th of January, 
1793, tlie Birth-flay of tlie Author, nn . 



Page 

72 
ib. 
73 

ib. 
74 



ib. 
ib. 
76 

77 

79 
ib. 
ib. 

81 
ib. 

83 



ib. 
83 



84 
95 

104 

117 
118 

119 

ib. 

120 

121 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 



122 

ib. 
123 



ib. 



Pag9 

hearing a Thrusli sing in a morning 

walk, 123 

Extempore, to Mr. S**e, on refusuig to 

dine with him, .... ib. 

To Mr. S**o, with a present of a dozen 

of porter, 124 

Poem, addressed to Mr. Mitchell, col- 
lector of Excise, Dumfries, 1796, . ib. 

Sent to a Gentlemanjwhom ho had of- 
fended, ib. 

Poem on Life, addressed to Cul. De 

Peyster, Dumfries, . . . 125 

Address to the Tooth-ach, . . ib. 

To Rolx^rt Graham, Esq. of Fintry,on 

receivuig a favour, . . . 127 

Epitaph on a Friend, ... ib. 

A Grace lietbro Dinner, ... ib. 

On Sensibility. Addressed to Mrs. 

Dunlop, of Dunlop, ... ib. 

A Verse. When Deatli^s dark streak I 

ferry o'er ib. 

Verses written at Selkirk, . . . 196 

Liberty, a Fragment, . . . 199 

Elegy on tlie dcatii of RobertRuisseaux, ib. 

Tho loyal Natives' Verses, . . 130 

Bums — Extempore, .... ib. 

To J. Lapraik, ib. 

To the Rev. John M'Math, enclosing 
a copy of Holy Willie's Prayer, 

which.he had requested, ... ib. 

To Gavin Hamilton, Esq. Mauchline, 

recommending a Boy, . . . 133 

To Mr. M^Adain, of Oraigen-Gillan, . ib. 

To CapU Riddel, Glenriddel, . . ib. 

To Terraughty, on his Birth-day, . 133 

To a Lady, with a present of a pair of 

drinking-glosses, .... ib. 

The Vowels, a Tale, .... ib. 

Sketch, . . . . . . 134 

Scots Prologue, for Mr. Sutlicrland's 

Benefit, ib. 

Extemporaneous Effusion on being ap- 
pointed to tlie Excise, ... ib 

On seeing tlie beautiful seat of Lord G. 1 35 

On the same, ib. 

On the same, . . . . ^ ib. 

To the same on the Author being 

tlireatenod with his resentment, . ib. 

The Dean of Faculty, . . . ih. 

Extempore in the Court of Session, . ib. 

Verses to J. Ranken, . . 136 

On hearing that there was falsehood in 

the Rev. Dr. B 'i veiy looks, . ib. 

On a Schoolmaflter in Cleish Parish, 

Fifoshire, ib. 

Elegy on the Tear 1788, a Sketch, . ib. 

Venofl written under the Portrait of 

FonnxsMm, the Poet, . . 137 

llie Ouidwiib of Waachopo-houso to 

Robert Bumi>, .... 147 

Tlio Answer, 148 

The Kirk's Alarm, A Satire, . 154 

ThetwailordK, .... 155 

RmsUo from a Taylor to RoIntI Bums, 1^6 

Tlie Answer, ... . ib. 



CONTENTS 



ZUi 



Letter to John Goudie, KUmamock, on 
the publication oi* his ilanys. 

Letter to J— • T 1 G\ uo r, 

On the Death of Sir James Hunter 
Blair, 

The Jolly Bsfg^ars, a CanUta. 



Page 

157 
ib. 

158 
159 



SONGS. 



Adieu ! a heart-warm, fond adieu ! 
A down windinj^ Nith 1 did wander, 
Ae fond kiss and then we sever, 
A^in rejoicing nature sees, 
A HijFfaland lad my lore was bom, 
Altho^ mv bed were in yon muir, 
Aniang tlie treen where humminff bees. 
An O, for ane and twenty, Taml 
Ancc mair 1 hail thee, thou gloomy De- 
cember! .... 
Araia, thy charms my bosom fire, 
A rose-bud by my early walk, . 
An 1 cam in by our gate-end. 
As ] stood by yon roofless tower, 
As I was a-wandering ao morning in 



spnn^. 



Awa wi* your witchcraft o' beaoty^s 
alarms, ..... 



Behind yon hills where Lngar flowB, 
Behold Uic hour, the boat arrnre ; 
Beyond thue, dearie, beyond thee, 

Aeario, 

Blitlie, blitlie and merry was she, 
Blithe hao I been on yon hill, . 
Bonnie lassie will ye go, . 
Bonnie woe thing, cannie wee thing, 
Jtut latuly seen in gladsome groan, 
By Allan stream I chanced to rove. 
By yon Gustle wa', at the close of the 

day, 



C. 



Ca* the yowes to the knowes, 
CsnKt thou leave me thus, mv Katy ? 
Claxinda, mistress of my soul, 
Come, let mo take thee to my breast, 
Comin thio' the rve,poor body, 
CoDtentad wi' IHtle, ud oantie wi^ mair, 
CuuM aught of song deoUoe my pains. 



JX 



Deladads 




61 
93 
141 
60 
160 
146 
145 
113 

114 

71 

107 

149 

117 

147 
105 



59 
93 

139 

107 

90 

106 

112 

98 

91 

83 



96 
100 
106 

92 
129 
100 
150 



94 
124 



Duncan Gray came here to woo, 

F. 

Fair the face of orient day, 
FairoHt maid on I>evon banks. 
Farewell, thou fair day, thou green 

earth, and ye skies, 
Farewell thou stream that winding 

flows, 

Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong. 
Fate gave the word, the arrow sped. 
First when Maggie was my care. 
Flow gently, sweet Aflon, among thy 

green braes, .... 
Foriom, my love, no comfort near. 
From thee, Eliza, 1 must go, 



G. 



Gane is the day, and mirk's the night, . 
Go fetch to nic a pint o' wine, • • 
Green grows tlie rashes, O ! • • 



IL 



Hod I a cave on some inld, distant shore. 
Here awo, tliero awa, wanderbifr Willie, 
Here's a bottle and an honest friend, 
Hero's a health to ane 1 lo'o dear. 
Here's a health to them that's awa. 
Here is the glen, and hero the bower 
Her flowing locks, the raven's wing. 
How can my poor heart be jkd. 
How cruel are the parents,'^ 
How long and dreaLiy is the niffht. 
How pleasant the banks of me cloar< 

winding Devon, 
UuslKuid^ Uusbaud, ccaaeyour strife, 



I. 



I am a bard of no regard, 

1 am a fiddler to my trade, 

I am ason of Mars, . • 

I do confess thou art so fair, 

I dream'd I lay where flowers were 

springing, 
I ffaed a waofu' gate yestreen, 
I hae a wife o' my ain, 
ni ay ca' in by yon town, 
111 kiss thee vet, yet, . 
In ammer when the hay was mawn, . 
I onoo was a maid tho' I cannot tell 

when, ...... 

U tbcie for honest poverty. 

It was upon a Lammas niflnt, . • 

It was tho cliarming montn of May, • 



Page 
86 



151 
106 

83 

99 
142 
116 
142 

115 

104 

61 



111 

137 

59 



91 

88 

143 

la^ 

146 
95 

147 
96 

102 
97 

78 
95 



J. 



Jockey's ta'ea the partinff Um, 
John AwipiBn my jo, John« 



162 
161 
159 
138 

137 
110 
78 
142 
143 
113 

159 

100 

58 

98 



126 
110 



XiT 



CONTENTS. 



K. 



Ken ye ought o* Captain Grofe? . 



L. 



Lanie wi* the lint-white locks, . 
Last May a braw wooer cam down the 

long glen. 
Let me ryke up to dight that tear. 
Let not woman e^cr complain 
Long, long the night, . 
Loud blaw the frosty breezei, 
Louis, what rock I by theo, . 



M. 



Mark yonder pomp of coetly fashion, . 

Musing on tlie roaring ocean, 

My bonny lass, I work in brass, . 

My Chloris, mark how green the groYes, 

My father was a farmer upon m Car- 
rick border, O, .... 

My heart is a-broaking, dear Tittie, 

My heart 's in the Hi^ilands, my heart 
IS not hero; . . . . ' • 

My heart is sair, I daro na tell, . 

My lady^s gown there's gain upon% . 

My Peggy V face, my Peggy's form, . 



Pag9 



196 



N. 



Nee Gkntle damo^ tho' e'er sae fair, . 
No chuit^unan mk I for to rail and to 

write, ▼ .... 

Now bank and brae are claith'd in green 
Now in her green mantle blithe nature 

arrays, 

Now nature hangs her mantle green 
Now roey May comes in wi' flowers 
Now spring hes cloth'd tlie groves in 

green, • 
Now weslin winds 



guns, 



and flaughtoring 



O. 



O ay my wife she dang me, . • 
O bonme was yon rosy brier, 
O cam ye here the flj^ht to shun, . 
Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, 
O gin my lovo were yon red rose, 
O gnid ale comes, and guid ale goes, • 
O how can I bo blithe and glad, . 
Oh, open the door, some mtv to show, . 
Oh, wert thou in the cauld blast, . 
O ken yewhaMeg o* the Mill has got- 
ten • 

O lassie, art thou sleepin yet ? . 
O leaye novels, ye Mauchline belles, . 
O lease me on my spinning wheel, • 
O Logaai sweeUy didst thou glide, 
O lovely Polly ^wart, . . 
O luve mil venture ui, where it 4Mr na 
weelbeaeen. 



90 

104 
161 
97 
109 
106 
116 



103 

107 

161 

96 

140 
110 

138 
116 
150 
196 



199 

69 
141 

100 
64 
93 

103 

58 



151 
104 
190 
109 
90 
150 
141 



133 

89 
101 
151 
119 

90 
149 

113 



O Mary, at thy window bo, 
O Bfay, thy mom was ne'er sae sweet, 
O meikle tninks my luve o* mv beaaty, 
O mirk, mirk is the midnight nour, 
O my luve's like a red, red rose, . 
On a bank of flowers, one summer's 

day, 

On Cessnock banks there Uvea a lass, . 

One night as I did wander, . 

O, once I lovM a bonnie lass, 

O Philly, happy be the day, 

O poortith cauld, and restless love, 

O raging fortune's withering blast, 

O saw ye bonnie Lesley, 

O saw ye my dear, my Phely ? 

O stay, sweet warbling wooo-lark, stay, 

O tell na me o' wind and rain, 

O, this is no my ain lassie, . 

O Tibbie, I hae seen the day, 

Oat over the Forth I look to the north, 

O, wat ye wha's in yon town, 

O, wore I on Parnassus' hill ! 

O wha is she that lo'es mo, . 

O wha my babie-clouts will buy ^ 

O whistle, and 111 come to you, my liyd : 

O, Willie brew'd a peck o' maul, . 

O wilt thou go wi^ me, sweet Tibbie 

Dunbar, . . . . 

O why the deuce should I repine. 



P. 



Powers celeatial, whose protection 



R. 



PagB 

87 
116 
ill 

87 
117 

151 

143 

145 

79 



86 
146 

85 

97 
101 

ib. 
103 
106 
143 
116 
109 
195 
139 

98 
110 

149 
163 



144 



Raving winds around her blowing, 
Robin shure in hairst, . 



S. 



107 
149 



Sae flaxen were hor ringiots, 96 

Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure, . 197 

Scots wha hae wi' Wallace oled, 94 

See the smoking bowl before us, . 169 
She's fkir and fauae that causes my 

smart, . • • 115 

She is a winsome wee thinff, . • 85 

Should auld acquaintance oe forgot, . 93 

Sir Wisdom's a fool when he's fou, • 160 
Sleep'st thou, or wak'st thou, fairest 

creature, 97 

Slow spreads the gloom my soul 

desires, J^ 

Stay my cliarmer, can you leave me? . 106 

Streams that glide in orient plains, . 78 

Sweet fa's the eve on Craigie-bum, . 101 



T. 



The bairns gat out «F «B unoo shout. 
The Cairine wood» ^ffftjettow seen. 
The day rel 



150 

109 

Ok 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

The deil cam fiddlmg tho' the town, . 144 

The gloomy night is gathVing &at, . 60 
The heather was bloomingfthe meadows 

weremawn, 144 

The lazy miat hangs from the brow of 

thehiU, 109 

The lovely lass o' InvemeM, . . 116 
The small birds rejoice in the green 

leaves returning, .... 79 

The smihng spring comes in rejoicing, . 115 

The Thames flows proudly to the sea, . 110 
The winter it is past, and the simmer 

comes at last, 147 

Their groves o' sweet myrtle let foreign 

lan£ reckon, 103 

Theresa auld Rob Monis that wons in 

yon glen, 86 

There^s a youth in this city, it were a 

great pity, 138 

Theresa biaw, braw^ lads on Yarrow 

braes, 87 

There was a bonnie lass, and a bonnie, 

bonnie lass, 149 

There was a lad was bom ut K^le, • 146 

There was a lass and she was fair, . . 90 

There were five carlins in the South, • 153 

Thickest night oVhang my dwelling ! . 106 

Thine am I, my faithful fair, . • 94 

The* cruel fato should bid us part, • 141 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, . . 93 

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray, 77 
To thee, lov'd Nith, thy gladsome 

plains, . ' • . • • • 147 
True heatred was he, the sad swain of 

Yarrow, 89 

Turn again, thou fair Eliza, • • 113 
Twas even, the dewy fields were 

green, 76 

Twas na bor bomiie Uoe e'e was my 

rain; • • 103 



XV 
Pag€ 



U. 



Up in the morning^s no for me, • • 1S7 

W. 

Wae is my heart and the tear*s in my e^e, 144 

Woo WilUe Gray, and his leather wallet; 150 

Wha is this at my bower door? . . 140 
What can a young lassie, what ahall a 

young lassie, Ill 

When Snt I came to Stewart Kyle, . 146 

When Guilford good our pilot stood, • 57 

When o^er the hul the eastern star, • 84 
When .^anuary winds wore blawing 

cauld, 153 

When wild war's deadly blast was 

blawn, 

Where are the joys I hae met in the 

morning, 94 

Where braving angry winter's storms, 108 

'^iiere Cart rins rowm to the sea, • 115 

While larks, witJi little wing, . . 91 

Why, why tell thy lover, ... 105 

Wm ye go to the Indies, my Mary, • 85 

WiUie WasUe dwalt on Tweed, . . 114 

Wilt thou be my dearie? . • • ib. 

Y. 

Ye banks and braes, and streams, 

around, 85 

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon, • 113 

Ye flowery banks o* bonnie Doon, . 114 

Ye gallants bright I red you right, • 137 

Yestreen I had a pint o' wine, . . 144 

Yon wandering riU, that marks the hill, 149 

Yon wild mossy mountains, . • 139 

Young Jockey was the blithest lad, • 143 

Young Peggy blooms our bonniest Usi, 145 

You'jx; weE»ine to Despots, Domouricr, 136 






.'v* 



r 

w 



. y 



,"*■ 

• 1 



PREFACE 



IfOTHX 



rzBST BDZTzoar 



OF 



svmsis^ ]p<Dffiias» 



PUBUSBED AT KILMARNOCK IN Vm. 



Ths fonowing triflei are not the production 
of the poet, wto, with all the advantagea of 
leamed art, and, perhapa amid the eleganciea 
and idleneawfl of upper 2fe, looka down for a 
rural theme, with an eye to Theocritua or Vir- 
giL To the author of this, theae and other 
celebrated nainea, their countiymen, are, at 
least in their original language, afiwUain shut 
a9>, and a book tailed. iRiaoquainted with the 
necessary requiflites for commencing poet by 
Tole, he sings the sentiments and mannera he 
feit and saw in himself and his ' nstic com- 
peei* around him, in his and theii iiativ^ Ian- 
guage. Though a ihymer fiom his euliest 
years, at least from tlie earliest impulses of 
the softer passions, it was not till very lately 
that the applause, perhaps the partiality, of 
fir ien dshi p , wakened his vanitj so far as to 
make him think any thing of his wortli show- 
ing ; and none of the fdlowing works were 
eonqpoeed with a view to the press. To amuse 
himsdf with the little creations of his own 
Ancy^ amid the toil and fatigues of a laborious 
life ; to transcribe the Tarious feelings, the 
loves, the grie&, the hopes, the fears, in his 
own breast : to find some kind of cotmterpoise 
to the struggles of a world, always an alien 
scene, a task uncouth to the poetical mind — 
these were his motives for courting the Muses, 
and in these he found poetry to be its own re- 
ward. 

Now that he ^>pear8 in the public character 
of an author, he does it with fear and trem- 
bling. So dear is fiune to the rhyming tribe, 
that even he, an obscure, nameless &ud, shrinks 
aghast at the thought of being branded as— An 
hnpertinent blockhead, obtruding his nonsense 
on the world ; and, because he can make a shift 
to jingie a fbw doggerel Scotch rhymea to- 

B 



gother, looking upon himself as a poet of no 
small consequence, forsooth ! 

It is an observation of that celebrated poet, 
Shenstone, whose divine elegies do honour to 
our language, our nation, and our species, that 
^ HtantiityntM depressed many a genius to a 
hermit, but never raised one to fame !" If any 
critic catches at Uie word emiut^ the author 
tells him once for all, that no certainly looks 
upon himrolf as possessed of some poetic abili- 
ties, otherwise his publiehing in the manner he 
has done, would be a manoeuvi^ below the 
worst character, which, he hopes, his worst 
enemy will ever givo him. But to the genius 
of a Ramsay, or the glorious dawnings of the 
poor unfortunate Fergusson, he, with equal un« 
affected sincerity, declares, that, even in his 
highest pulse of vanitv, he has not the most 
distant pretensions. Those two justly admired 
Scotch poets he has oflon had in his eye in the 
following pieces ; but rather with a view to 
kindle at their fiajne than for servile imitation. 

To his Subscribers, the author-returns hie 
most sincere thanks. Not the mercenary bow 
over a counter, but the heart-throbbing grati- 
tude of the barid, conscious how muchne owes 
to benevolence and friendship, for grati^ing 
him, if he deserves it, in that dearest wish^ 
eveiy poetic bosom — to be distinffished. He 
begs his readers, particularly the Teamed and 
the polite, who may honour liim with auerusal, 
that they ¥rill make every allowance for edu- 
cation and circumstances of life ; but if, after 
a fair, candid, and impartial criticism, he shall 
stand convicted of dulness and nonsense, let 
him be done by as he would in that case do 
by others— let him be condemned, without 
mercy, to contempt and oblivion. 



I)3SB1©AT1©1I 



or THE 



SECOND EDITION OP THB 



POEMS FORMERLY PRINTED. 



TO THE 



KOBZaBMBir AKD aaKTZaBMBir 



OF THE 



CALEDOmAJ^ HUJ^T. 



Mt Lords awd Gentleuen, 

A Scottish Bard, proud of the name, and 
whoiie highest ambition is to tdng in his Coun- 
tiy'i service — where shall he so properly look 
for patronage as to the illustrious names of his 
native Land ; those who bear the honours and 
inherit the virtues of their Ancestors? The 
Poetic Genius of my Country found me, as the 
prophetic bard Elijah did Elisha — at the 
jdoQgh ; and threw her inspiring mantle over 
me. She bade me sing the loves, the joys, the 
rural scenes and rural pleasures of my native 
■oil, in my native tongue : I tuned my wild, 
titlesB notes, as she inspired — She whispered 
me to come to this ancient Metropolis of Cale- 
donia, and lay my Songs imdcr your honoured 
protection ; I now obey her dictates. 

Though much indebted to your goodness, I 
4o not approach you, my Lords and Gentle- 
men, in the usual style of dedication, to thank 
you for past favours ; that path is so hackneyed 
by prostituted learning, that honest rusticity is 
ashamed of it. Nor do I present this Address 
with the venal soul of a servile Author, look- 
mg for a continuation of those favours ; I was 
bred to the Plough, and am independent I 
come to claim the common Scottish name with 
yoQ, my illustrious Countr3rmen ; and to tell 
the world that I gloiy in the title. I come to 
oongratolate my Country, that the blood of Jier 



ancient heroes still runs uncontaminated ; and 
that from your courage, knowledge, and public 
spirit, she may expect protection, wealth, and 
hberty. In the last place, I come to profier my 
warmest wishes to the Great Fountain of Ho- 
nour, the Monarch of the Universe, for your 
welfare and happiness. 

• 
When you go forth to waken the Echoes, ui 
the ancient and favourite amusement of your 
forefathers, may Pleasure ever be of your party ; 
and may Social Joy await your return : When 
harassed in courts or camps witli the jostlings 
of bad men and bad measures, may the honest 
consciousness of injured worth attend your re- 
turn to your native Seats ; and may Domestic 
Happiness, with a smiling welcome, meot^ou 
at your gates ! May corruption shrink at your 
kindling indignant glance ; and may tyranny 
in the Ruler, and Ucentiousness in the Peoplei 
equally find you an inexorable foe ! 

I have the honour to be, 

With the sincerest gratitudei 

and highest respect, 

My Lords and Grentlcmen, 

Tour most devoted humble servant, 



ROBERT BURNS 



Edinbargh, 
AprU4,17B7 



9^(0X111 Sd 



0BZBFZa7 800TTZ8S. 



THE TWA DOGS, 

A TALE. 

'TwAS in that place o^ Scotland's isle, 
That bears the name o* ^uld King CoU, 
Upon a bonnie day in Jane, 
Wlien wearing thro^ the afternoon, 
Twa dogs that were na tbrang at hame, 
Foig«ther-d uiee upon a tvne. 

The first 111 name, they ca'd him Ccuar, 
Was koepit for his Honour^s pleasure : 
His hair, his size, his mouth, nis lugi, 
Show'd he was nane o* Scotland's dogs; 
But whalpit some place far abroad. 
Where sailors gang to fish for Cod. 

His locked, lettered, 0raw brass collar, 
BhowM him the gentleman and scholar; 
But though he was o* high degree, 
The fient a pride, na pride had he ; 
But wad hae spent an hour caressin, 
£T*n wi' a tinkler-gypsey's messin. 
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, 
Nae tawted tyke, tho' e^er sae duddie. 
Bat he wad stawn't, as glftd to see him. 
And stroanH on stanes an* hillocks wi' him. 

The tither was a ploughman's collie, 
A riiymin^, ranting, raving billie, 
Wha for his fHend an' oomn^e ha«I him. 
And in his freaks had BmuUh ca'd him, 
Afler some dog in Highland sang,* 
Was made lai^ syne — ^Lord knows how lang. 

He was a gash an* fiiithAi' tyke. 
As ever lap a sheu^h or dyke. 
His honest, sonaie, baws'nt face, 
At gmt lum friends in ilka place. 
His breast was white, his towxis hack 
Weel dad wi' coat o' glossy black ; 
His gawde tail, wi' upwurd curi, 
Hnng o'er his hurdles wi' a swurL 

If ae doubt but they were fiun o' ither, 
An' onoo pock an' thick thegither ; 

• CttcbalUa*s dog in (Maii*t FingsL 



Wi' social nose whyles snufTd and snowkit, 
AVhyles mice an' nioudioworts they howkit; 
Whyles scour'd awa' in lang excursion, 
An* worry \1 ither in diversion; 
Tntil wi'daifin weary irrown. 
Upon a kiiowe ihey sat thciii down. 
And tlicro began a lang digression 
About tlio lords o' the ereation. 

CJESAR. 

I've aflen wonder'd, honest lAUUh^ 
What sort o' liie poor dogs like you have* 
An' when the gentry's life I saw 
What way poor bocucs liv'd ava. 

Our Laird gets in liis racked rents. 
His coals, his kain, and a' liis stents* 
He rises when he likos himscl ; 
His flunkies answer at the hell ; 
He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse ; 
Ho draws a bonnie silken purse 
As lang*s my tail, wharc, tliro' the steeks. 
The yellow lettor'd Gcordio keeks. 

Frae mom to e'en it's noujrht but toiling. 
At baking, roastinir, frying, boiling ; 
An' tho' the gentry first are stechm. 
Yet cv'n the ha' folk fill their pcchan 
AVi' sauce, ra flouts, and sicliko trashtrie. 
That's Uttle short o' downright wastrie. 
Our Whipper-in, wee blastit wonner. 
Poor wortlilcss elf, it cats a dinner. 
Better tlian ony tenant man 
His Honour has in a' the Ian' : 
An' what poor cot-folk pit tlieir painch in, 
I own it's past my comprehension.. 

LUATH. 

Trowth,CaJsar, whyles they're fash't eneogfa ; 
A cottar howkin in a shciigfi, 
Wi' dirty stanes bigtrin a dyke. 
Boxing a quarry, and sic like. 
Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, 
A smytrie o' wee duddie weans. 
An' nought but his ban' darg, to keep 
Them right and tight in th^ an' rape. 



\ 



BURNS' POEMS. 



An* when thov meet wi* sair disaitexs, 
Liko I068 o' health, or leant o* maston, 
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer, 
An* they maun starve o* cauld an* hunger ; 
But, how it com«h I never kenn-d yet, 
The?*re maistly wondeifu* contented ; 
An' Duirdly chiela, an' clever hixzieii 
Are bred in no a way aa this ia. 

CJESAR. 



But then to aee how ye*re nogleckit. 
How huffed, and cuff*d, and diaresDeckit! 
Ij — d, man, our ffontiy caro as little 
For del vers, ditchers, an' sic cattle ; 
The] 
As 



ev ganfr as saucy by poor fo*k, 
I wad by a stinking brock. 



I've noticed on our Laird*8 court-day. 
An' mony a time my heart's been wae, 
Poor tenant bodies scant o* cash. 
How they maun thole a fiu:tor*s snash : 
Hell stamp an' threaten, curse an' swear, 
He*]l apprehend them, poind their gear ; 
IVhOe they maun staun*, wi* aspect humble. 
An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble. 

I see how folk live that h&e riches ; 
But surely poor folk maun be wretohea? 

LUATH. 

They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think ; 
Tho' constantly on poortith's bri^ : 
They Ve sae accustomed wi' the sight. 
The view o't giea them little fright 

llien chance an' fortune are sae guided. 
They're ay in less or mair provided ; 
An' tho' fatigued wi* close employment, 
A Uink o* rest's a sweet enjoyment. 

The dearest comfort o' their lives. 
Their grushie weans an' faithfu' wives ; 
The prattling things are just their pride, 
That sweetens a* weir fire-side. 

An' whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy 
Can mak the bodies unco happy ; 
They lay aside their private cares. 
To mend the Kirk and State affkin : 
Hieyll talk o* patronage and priests, 
Wi' Idndling fuiy in tlwir breasts. 
Or ten what new taxation's comin. 
An' ferlie at the folk in Xon'on. 

As bleak-fae'd HallowmaaB retomi, 
They get the jovial, ranting kirns, 
Wlien rural /t/e, o' ev'ry station. 
Unite in coiumon recreation ; 



Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth* 
Forgets thcro^s Care upo' the earth. 

That merry day the vear begins, 
They bar the door on frosty wmds; 
The nappy reeks wi' mantung ream. 
An' aheds a heart-inspiring steam ; 
The luntin pipe, an* sneesnin mill. 
Are handed round wi* licht guid will; 
The cantie auld folks craddn crouse. 
The younf ancs rantin thro* the houses-* 
My heart has been sae fain to see them. 
That I for joy hae barkit wi* them. 

Still it*8 owro true that ye hae said. 
Sic game is now owre aflen play'd. 
There's monio a creditable stoca, 
O* decent, honest, fawsont fo*k. 
Are riven out baith root and branch, 
Some rascal's ^ridcfii* greed to quench, 
Wha thinks to knit himscl the faster 
In favour wi' some gentle master, 
Wha, aiblins, thran^ a-parliamentin. 
For Britain's guid his saul indontin— 



CiESAR. 



Huth, lad, ye little ken about it ; 
For Britain's guid! miid faith ! I doubt it 
Say nther, gaun as Premitrt lead him. 
An' saying out or no' 9 thoy bid him. 
At operas an^ plays paradmg, 
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading ; 
Or may be, in a fr(dic dafl, 
To Hague or Calais takes a waft, 
To maae a tour, an* tak a whirl. 
To learn bon ton^ an* see the warl*. 



There,at Vienna or Fersailles 
He rives his father's auld entails; 
Or bv Madrid he takes the rout. 
To thrum guitars, and focht wi* nowt ; 
Or down Italian vista startles, 
Wh-re-hunting among groves o* myrtles 
Then bouses <uumly German water. 
To mak himsel look fair and fatter. 
An* clear the codlequeptial sorrows, 
Love-gifls of Carnival signoras. 
For Brilain's guid ! for her destruction ! 
Wi' dissipation, feud, an* faction. 



LUATH. 



Hech man! dear Sin! is that the gate 
They waste sae mony a braw estate! 
Are we sae foughten an' harasB*d 
For gear to gang that gate at last! 

O would they stay aback frao courta, 
An' please themsels wi* kintra sports. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



It wad tbr 9f*Tj ane be bettart 
The Laird, tlM Tenant, and the Cotter ! 
For thae fimnk, rantin, ramblin biUiea, 
Fient haet o' them*a ill-hearted foUowa ; 
Except for breakin o' their tnmner. 
Or Bpeakin lightly o' their Hmmer, 
Or ihootin o* a hare or moor-oock, 
The ne'er a bit they're iU to poor folk. 

Bot win ye tell me, Maater CSctor, 
Sore great folk's life'i a life o* pleaaure? 
Nae cauld nor hunger e'er can steer them, 
The Tera thought oH need na fear them. 



CJS^AIL 



L— -d, man, were je bat whyles whare I am. 
The gentles ye wad ne'er emry 'em. 

It's true they need na starve or sweat. 
Thro' winter's panld, or simmer's heat ; 
They've nae sair wark to craze their banea, 
An' fiU auld ago wi* gripes an' granes : 
Bat human bmiiea are sic fools, 
For a' their colleges and schools, 
That when nae real ills perjdez them. 
They make oiow tlmnielves to vex them; 
An' ay the leas ther hae to start them, 
In like proportion less will hart them. 
A CQontry fellow at the ploogh, 
Hia acres tiU'd, he's right enough ; 
A kintra lassie at her wheel. 
Her diizens done, she^ unoo wed : 
Bat Gentlemen, an' Ladies waist, 
"Wi' ev'ndown want o* wark are curst 
They loiter, loungingi lank, an' lazy ; 
Tho' deil haet aifi tmrm, yet uneasy ; 
Their days, insipid, doll, an' tasteless ; 
Their nights unquiet, lang an' restlees ; 
An' e'en their sports, their baUs an' races, 
Their galloping thro' public places. 
There V sic parade, sic pomp, an' art. 
The joy can scaroely reiaoh the heart 
The men east out in party matches. 
Then sowther a' in deep debauches ; 
Ae ni^t thejrVe mad wi' drink an' wh-ring, 
JiQest^y their lifb is past enduring. 
Tlie Lames arm-inr-aim in dusters, 
As great and gracious a' as sisters ; 
Bat liear their absont thoughts o' ither. 
They're a' ran deib an' jacw thegither. 
Whjies o'er the woe bit cup an' platie, 
They sip the scandal potion pretty ; 
Or lee-laz^ nights, wr crabbit lemoi 
Pore owre the devil's jnctur'd beuks ; 
Stake on a dianoe a nrmer's stackyard. 
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard. 

Tliere's some exoeption, man an' woman ; 
Bat this is Q«ntiy^ me in common. 

By tins, the son was oat o' sight. 
An' darker jgloaming brought the night ! 
The bam-oock hunun'd wi' lazy drmio ; 
TbA kye stood rowtin i'the loan ; 



When up they gat, and shook their lugs, 
^ioiced they were na mtn but dogt ; 
An' each took affhis several way, 
Resolv'd to meet some ithcr day. 



SCOTCH DRINK 



Gie Mill stroDg drink, unill he wtaik, 
' Tbat*0 finking In despair ; 
An* liquor guid to fir* hit Mold, 

That*a prea'd wi* grief an* care ; 
There let him bouec, an* deep canwise, 

Wi* bumperi flowing o*er, 
Tin he forgets bis loves or debu, 

An* minds his griefs no more. 

SoUwun's Pmcrhs zzxl. 6, 7. 



Lrr other poets raise a fracas 

'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drunken Baeehna^ 

An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us. 

An' grate our lug, 
I sing the juice Scots bear can mak us. 

In glaai or jug. 

O thou, my Mute ! guid auld Scotch Drmk : 
Whether thro' wimpling wormci thou jink. 
Or, richly brown, ream o'er tlie brink, 

In glorious faem, 
Inspire me, till I lisp and wink, 

To sing thy name ! 

Let husky Wheat the laughs adorn, 
An' Aits set up their awnie nom, 
An' Pease ana Beans at e'en or mom, 

Pcrfumo the plain, 
Loeze me on thee, John Barleycorn^ 

Thou king o* grain I 

• 

On thee afl Scotland chows her cood, 
In Bouple scones, the wale o^ food ! 
Or tumblln in the boiling flood 

W kail an' beef; 
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood. 

There thou shines chief. 

Food fills the wame, an' keejpe us livin ; 
Tho' life's a gifl no worth rcceivin. 
When heavy draggM wi' pine an' grievin. 

But, oilM by thee, 
The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin, 

Wi' rattlin glee. 

Thou clears the head o^ doited Lear ; 
Thou cheers tho heart o' droopin Care ; 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Them ftrinp thA nenres o* Labour sair, 

At*« weary toil, 

Thou even brightens dark Despair 

Wi' gloomy smile. 



Aft, clad in massy siller weed, 
Wi* Gentles thou erects thy head ; 
Tet hiunbly kind in time o need, 

The poor man's wine ; 
Ilis wee drapparritch, or his bread, 

Thou kitchens fine. 



Thou art the life o^ public haunts ; 
But thee, what were our fairs and rants ? 
Ev'n godly meetings o* the saunts. 

By thee inspired, 
When gaping they besiege the tents, 

Are doubly firM. 



Thai merry night we got the com in, 
O sweetly then thou reams the horn in ! 
Or reekin on a New-year morning 

In cog or bicker, 
An' jiut a wee drap spMtual bum in, 

An' gusty sucker ! 



When Vulcan gie« his bellows breath, 
An' plonglmien gather wi^ their graith, 
O rare ! to see thee fizz an froath 

r th' luggit caup ! 
Then Bumewin!*' comes on like death 

At every chaup. 



Nae mercy, then, for aim or steel ; 
The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel. 
Brings hard owrohip, wi' sturdy wheel, 

Th0 strong forehammer, 
Till block an' studdie ring an' reel 

Wi' dinsome clamour. 



When skirlin weanies see the light, 
Thou maks the gossips clatter bright, 
Mow fumblin cuift their dearies sfight ; 

Wae worth the name ! 
Nae howdie gets a social night. 

Or piack firae them. 



When neebors anger at a plea, 
An' just as wud as wud can oe. 
How easy can the barlev bree 

Cement the quarrel ! 
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee 

To taste the barreL 



* BunuwUtr'-him'tMt-vind-'tht BlackMnltlft--aii 
aiqiropria&t UU«. E. 



Alake ! that e'er my Muse has reason 
To wyte her countrymen wV treason ! 
But monie daily weet their wesson 

Wi' hquors nice, 
An' hardly, in a winter's season. 
E'er spier her price. 



Wae worth that brandy., burning trash ! 
Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash 
Twins monie a poor, doylt, drunken hash^ 

O^ half his days 
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash 

To her warst faes. 



Te Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well ! 
Te chief, to you my tale I tell. 
Poor placklesB dcevils like mysel ! 

It sets you ill, 
Wi' bitter, dcarthfu' wines to mell, 

Or foreign gill. 



May gravels round his blather wrench, 
An' gouts torment him inch by inch, 
Wha twists his gruntle wi' a fflunch 

O' sour disdain, 
Out owre a glacis o' vfhiskvptmch 

Wi' nonest men. 



O WkUky ! saul o' plays an' pranks ! 
Accept a Bardie^s humble thanks ! 
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks 

Are my poor verses I 
Thou comes — ^they rattle i' their ranks 

At ither^s 



Thee, Feriniosh ! O sadly lost ! 
Scotland, lament frae coast to coast \ 
Now colic grips, an' bariiin boast 

May kill us a' ; 
For royal Forbes' chartered beast 

Is ta'eu awa ! 



Thae curst horse-leeches o' the Excise, 
Wha mak the WhUky SteUt their prize ! 
Hand up thy han', DeU ! ance, twice, thrice ! 

There, seize the blinkers ! 
And bake them up in brunstane pies 

For poor d — ^n'd drinkers. 



Fortune! if thoull but gio me still 
Hale breeks, a scone, and IVkisk^ giU^ 
An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will, 

Tak a' the rest. 
An' deal't about as thy blind skill 

Directs thee best. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



THE AUTHOR*8 



EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER* 



TO THE 



SCOTCH REPRESENTATIVES, 



IN THB 



HOUSE OF COMMONS. 



Dearmor DlstiUatioii ! lait and b«it 

flow art Uioa lost ! 

Pafiffon MilUnu 



Te Irish Lords, je Knights an* Squires, 
Wha represent our brnghs an* shires. 
An* douoelj manage our affairs 

In parliament, 
To you a simple Poef s prayers 

Are humbly sent. 

Alas ! my roupet Muse is hearse ! 
Toot honors* hearts wi' grief *twad pierce, 
To see her sittin on her a — 

Low i' the dust, 
An' scriecfain out prosaic verse, 

An' like to brust I 

Ten them wha hae the chief direction, 
Seoiland an' me*M in great afillction, 
£*er sin' they laid that curst restriction. 

On Aquamta; 
An' rouse them up to strong conviction, 

An' move, their pity. 

Stand forth,-an' tell yon Premier Youth., 
The honest, open, naked truth : 
Tell him o' mine an' Scotland*s drouth, 

His servants humble ! 
The muckle deevil blaw ye south. 

If ye dissemble! 

Does ony great man clunch an' gloom? 
Speak out, an' never foui your thumb ! 
Let posts an' pensions sink or soom 

Wi' them wha grant 'em : 
If honestly they canna come. 

Far better want e'm. 

In gath'ring votes you were na slack ; 
Now stand as tightly by your tack ; 
Ne*er daw your lug, an' fidge your back. 

An' hum an* haw ; 
But raise your arm, an' tell your cradk 
^ Before them a'. 

^ Tbif was written befoni tli« act anent the Scotch 
INstiUerlcs, of aeaion 1786 ; for which Scotland and 
dis Aailior letaro thdr most grateAiI thanks. 



Paint Scotland greeting owre her thrisrie; 
Her niutchkin stoup as toom^s a whiasle: 
Au* d — nm*d ExciiM^mcn in a busslo. 

Seizin a ^UlU 
Triumphant crushin*t like a mussel 

Or lompit sheU. 

Tlicn on the tiilier hand present her, 
A black^ard Smujr^lcr riirnt behint her, 
An* clicek-for-chow, a chulfio Vintner, 

CoUeagiiing join. 
Picking her pouch as bare as winter 

Of a' kind coin. 



Ir there, that bears the name o' &o/. 
But feels his heartV bluid rising hot. 
To see his poor auld Mither's jtoi 

Thus dung in staves, 
An' plunder'd o' her hindmost gjoat 

J^y gallows knaves? 

Alas ! Fm hut a nameless wight, 
Trode i' tlic mire clean out o* sight ; 
But could I like Montgomrtet fight, 

Or ffab like Boncell 
There*s some sark-nccksl wad draw tight. 

An' tie some hose welL 



Crod bless your Honors, can ye see^t. 
The kind, auld, cantie Carlin greet. 
An' no get warmly to your feet, 

An* gar them hear it. 
An' tell them wi' a patriot heat. 

Ye wiima bear it ! 

Some o' you nicely ken the laws. 
To round the period, an' pause. 
An' ¥ri' rhetonc clause on clauso 

To mak baronies; 
Then echo thro' Saint Stephen*s wa s 

Auld Scotland's wran^ < 

Dempster^ a true blue Scot, Pse warran ; 
Thee, aitli-detesting, chaste JfCilkerran;* 
An' that glib-gabbot Highland Baron, 

The Laird o' Graham^ 
An* one, a chap that's d — mn'd auldfarran, 

Dundas his name. 



ErskinCy a spunkie Norland billie ; 
True Campbells^ Frederick an' //ay ; 
An' Livijigstojiey the bauld Sir JVUUe ; 

An' monio ithers 
Whom auld Demostlicncs or Tully 

Might own for brithen. 

Arouse, my boys ! exert your mettle, 
To get auld Scotland back her kettk; 



* Sir Adam Fergason. E. 

t The present Dake of Montrose. (1800.) E. 



8 



BURNS' POEMS. 



i! rn wad my new plengh-pettle, 
Tell Boet, or lanff, 
flhtll teach joa, wi' a reokin whittle, 

Anither sang. 



while she's been in crunkous mood, 

Her ImI ^tWid fir'd her bluid ; 
(Deil Ba they never mair do ffoid, 

PUy'd ner that plidde !) 
At? now die's like to lin red-wud 

About her Whisky. 

An' L-^ if ance they pit her tiUH, 
Her tartan petticoat shell kilt. 
An' dork an' pistol at her belt. 

Shell tak the streeta, 
An* rin her whittle to the hQt, 

rth' first she meets! 



For 6— d sake. Sirs ! then speakher ftir« 
An' straik her cannie wi' the hair, 
An' to the mnckle house repair, 

Wi' instant speed,' 
An' strive wi' a' your Wit and Lear, 

Togetremead. 

Ton ill-tongu'd tinkler, Charhe Foae^ 
May taunt you wi' his jeers an' mocks ; 
But gie him't het, my hearty cocks ! 

E'en cowe the caddie; 
An' send him to his dicing box 

An' sportin lady. 

TeD 3ron guid bluid o' auld BoconnockU 
Pll be his dd)t twa mashlum bonnooks, 
An' drink his health in auld Ifanse 7Vnnodk*<* 

Nine times o^week, 
[f he some scheme, like tea an' winnock's, 

Wad kindly seek. 

Could he some commulaiioa broach, 
m pled^ my oith in guid braid Scotch, 
He need na fear their foul reproach 

Nor erudition. 
Ton mixtie-maztie queer hotch-potch. 

The CoaUlUm, 

Anld Scotland has a raude tongue; 
She's just a devil wi' a rung; 
An' if she promise &uld or young 

To tak their part, 
Tho' by the neck she should be strung. 

Shell no desut. 

An' nowi ye chosen FixMrnd^Farfy, 
May still your Mither's heart support ye ; 

* A worthy old Hoitesi of the Author's In Jir«icJUfo#, 
where he sometiroes studied Politica over s gla« of 
gnWl suld Seotdk Drink 



Then, though a BAinSster mw dorly, 

An' luck jTour place, 

Tell anap your fingers, poor an' hearty, 

Befiire his &ce. 



God bleai your Honoun a' your days, 
Wi' sowps o^kail and brats o' claise. 
In spite o' a' the thieyish kaes, 

That haunt St. Jamb^i 
Tour humble Poet aines an' prayi 

While /too his name !«• 



POSTSCRIPT. 



Lit half-stary'd slayes, in warmer 
See fbture wines, rich clusfring, rise ; 
Their lot auld Scotland ne'er enyies. 

But blythe and firisky^ 
She eyes her freebom, martial boys, 

Tak aff their Whisky. 

What tho' their PliccbuB kinder warms. 
While fragrance blooms and beauty charms ; 
When wretches range, in famlshM swarms, 

The scented groyes. 
Or hounded forth, dishonour arms 

In hungry droyes. 

Their gun's a burden on fheur shottther 
They downa bide the stink o' powther; 
Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring swither 

To Stan' or rin. 
Till skelp-^ shot— they're aff, a' throwther. 

To save their akin. 

But bring a Scotsman fiue his hill. 
Clap in his cheek a Highland ^1, 
Say, such is royal Oeorge*t wm, 

An' there's the foe, 
He haa nae thought but how to kill 

Twa at a blow. 



Nae cauld, fkiulFhearted doubtings tei 
fanr ; 
Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees him ; 
Wi' bluidy hand a welcome eioa him : 

An' when he fa's, 
Wb latest draught o' breathin loa'es him 

In faint huzzas. 

Sages their solemn een may steek. 
An' raise a philoeophic reek. 
And physically causes seek. 

In dime and seAon; 
But tdl me mUthft name in Greek, 

ini teU the reason. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



9 



SeeHani^ vaj sold, reipectod Mither ! 
Tho' whilei ye nioivtify your leather, 
TQl whaze ye nt, an craps o' heather, 

Te tine your dam ; 
Freedom and Whuiy amng thither ! 

Tak aff your dram. 



THE HOLY PAIR.* 



A robe of leeDlnf truth and tmat 

Hid cnftj Olaenratloo ; 
And secret hvDf, with poJeonM emiti 

The dirk of Deftmatloa : 
A maak that lilce the gorget showed, 

DTe-Tarying on tlie pigeon ; 
And for a mantle large and broad, 

Ha wrapt him in lUligUn, 



Jron a nmmer Sunday mom. 

When Nature's face is fair, 
walked forth to view the com, 

An' Buff the caller air, 
rhe rising sun owre OdUton muirs, 

Wi' glorious li^ht was glintin ; 
rbe hares were huplin down the furs, 

7^ layVocks they were chantin 

Fa' sweet that day. 

n. 

\m ligfatsomely I glowr'd abroad. 

To see a scene sae gay, 
Hiree Hizzies, early at the road. 

Cam skelpin up the way ; 
rwa had manteeles o' dolefti' black. 

But ane wi' lyart lining ; 
nie third, that gaed a wee a-back. 

Was in the nuiion shininf 

Fu' gay that day. 

m. 

rhe Asa appear'd like nsters twin, 

fia feature, form, an' daes ! 
liar Tisage, withered, lang, an' thin, 

An' sour as ony slaes : 

* Btig FdT Is a common phrase In the West of 
MdandHora Baeraroental occairion 

B 9, 



The Ihird cam up, hap-«tep-«n'4owpi 

As hght as ony lambie. 
An' wi'a curchie low did stoop, 

As soon as e'er she saw me, 

Fu' kind that day. 

IV. 

Wi'bannet aff, quoth If'^SweetlaM, 

I think ye seem to ken me ; 
I'm sure Ire seen that bonnie &oe, 

But yet I canna name ye." 
Quo' sue, an' langhin as uie spak. 

An' taks me by the hands, 
^ Te, for my sake, hae gi^en the feck 

Of a' the ten commands 

A screed some day. 



V. 



** My name is Fvn — your cronie dear, 

llie nearest friend ye hae ; 
An' this is Superttitum here, 

An' that*s Hypocruy, 
Pm gaun to **♦♦♦***• jjoly Fair, 

To spend an hour in daflma . 
Gin yell go there, yon runkl'd pair, 

We win get famous laughin 

At them this day.** 

VL 

Quoth I, •'With a' my heart, FU dot: 

111 get my Simday a sark on 
An' meet you on the holy spot ; 

Faith, we'se hoe fine rcmarkm !** 
Then I gaed home at crowdie-timo 

An' soon I made me ready ; 
For roads were dad, frae side to side, 

Wi' monie a weario body. 

In droves that day 

VIL 

Here farmers j^ash, in ridin graith, 

Gaed hoddm by their cotters ; 
There, swankies young, in braw braid- 
daith. 

Are springin o'er the gutters. 
The lasses, skelpin barent, thrang, 

In silks an' scarlets glitter ; 
Wi' nDeet-milk eheete^ in monie a whang, 

An'farls bak'd wi' butter 

Fu' crump that day. 

vm. 

When by the plate we set our nose, 

Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence, 
A firecdy glowr Black Bonnet throws. 

An' we maim draw our tippence. 
Then in we ^o to see the show. 

On ev'ry side they're gathrin. 
Some canying dales, some chairs an' stools, 

An' some are busy blethrin 

Right loud that day. 



10 



BURNS* POEMS. 



IX. 



Here stands a shed to fend the showers, 

An' screen our kintra Crentry, 
There, racer Jess^ an* twa-throe wh-res, 

Are blinkin at the entry. 
Here siti a raw of tittlm lades, 

Wi' heaving breast and bare neck 
An' there a batch Of wabstcr lads, 

Blackguarding frao K -ck 

For Jim this day. • 



X. 



Here some are thinkin on their sins, 

An' some upo' their clacs ; 
Ane curses foot that fyVd his shins, 

Anither si^hs an^ prays : 
On this hanasits a chosen swatch, 

Wi' screw'd up grace-proud faces ; 
On that a set o' chaps at watch, 

Thrang winkin on the lasses 

To chairs that day. 

XL 



O happy is that man an' blest ! 

Nae wonder that it pride him ! 
Whase ain dear lass, tnat ho likes best, 

Comes clinkin down beside him ! 
Wi' arm reposM on the chair back. 

He sweetly docs compose him ! 
Which, by degrees, slips round her nedc, 

An's loof upon her bosom 

Unkcn'd that day. 

xn. 



Now a' the congregation o'er. 

Is silent exp^tation ; 
For ****** spccls the holy door, 

Wi' tidings o' d-mn-t — n. 
Should Homie^ as in ancient days, 

'Mang sons o' G — present him. 
The vera sight o' * * * * *'s face, 

To's ain het hame had sent him 

Wi' fright that day. 

xin. 



Hear how he clears the points o' faith, 

Wi' ratlin an' wi' thumpin ! 
Now meekly cahn, now wild in wrath. 

He's stampin an' he's jumpin ! 
His lengthen'd chin, his tum'd up snont, 

His ^dritch squeel and gestures. 
Oh how they fire the heart devout,' 

Like cantnaridian plasters. 

On sic a day ! 



XIV. 



But, hark ! the ieni has chang'dits voioe ; 

There^s peace an' rest nae lai:^or : 
For a' the real judges rise. 

They canna sit for anger. 
***** opens out liis cauld harangues. 

On practice and on morals ; 
An' an tlio godly pour in thrangs. 

To gie the jars an' barrels 

A ha that day. 

XV. 

What signifies his barren shine 

Of moral pow'rs and reason ? 
His English style, an' gesture fine. 

Are a' clean out o' season. 
Like Socrates or Antoniiney 

Or some auld pagan Heathen, 
The moral man he docs define. 

But ne*er a word o' faith in 

That's right that day. 

XVI. 

In guid time comes an antidote 

Against sic poison'd nostrum ; 
For ****** *, frae the water-fit, 

Ascends the holy rostrum : 
See, up he's got the word o' G — , 

An' meek an' mim has view'd it, 
While Common-Sense has ta'en the road. 

An' aff, an' up tlic Cowgate,* 

Fast, fast, that day. 

xvn. 

Wee ****♦*, niest, the Guard relieTes, 

An' Orthodoxy raibles, 
Tho' in his heart he weel believes. 

An' thinks it auld wives' fables : 
But, faith ! the birkie wants a Manse, 

So, cannily he hums them ; 
Altho' his carnal wit an' sense 

Like haf&ins-ways o'ercomes him 
At times that day. 

xvm. 

Now butt an^ben, the Change-house fills, 

Wi' yill-caup Commentators ; 
Here's crying out for bakes and gills. 

An' there tho pint stowp clattere ; 
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang, 

Wi' Logic an' wi' Scripture, 
They raise a din, that in the end. 

Is like to breed a rupture 

O' wrath that day. 

* A itreet io called, wliicb fkcestbe tent la — 



BURNS' POEMS. 



U 



Leeza me on Drink ! it gies vu mair 

Than either School or College : 
It kindles wit, it waukene lair. 

It pann us fou o^ knowledge. 
Be^ whtdcy gUl, or penny Wheep, 

Or any stronger jwtion. 
It nerer &i]s on drinking deep, 

To kittle up our notion 

By night or day. 



The lads an' lasses blythely bent 

To mind baith sauI an* body, 
Sit round the table weel content, 

An* steer about the toddy. 
On this ane*8 dress, an* that ane*8 leuk, 

They Ve making observations ; 
While some are cozie i* the neuk. 

An* formin assignations. 

To meet some day. 

XXL 

Bot now the L— d*s ain trmnpet touts, 

ihU a* the hills are rairin. 
An* echoes back return the shouts : 

Black ♦*•*** is na spairin : 
His piercmg words, like Highland swords, 

Divide the joints an' marrow ; 
fiis talk o' H-U, where devils dwell. 

Our vera sauls does harrow* 

Wi* fright that day. 

xxn. 

A vast, mibottom^d, boundless pit, 

Fi]l*d ibu o* lowin brunstane, 
Wbaae ragin flame, an* scorchin heat. 

Wad melt the haxdest whun-stane ! 
The half asleep start up wi* fear. 

An' think they hear it roann. 
When presently it does appear, 

'Twma but some neebor snorin 

Asleep that day. 

xxm. 



Twad be owre lang a tale, to teQ 

How monie stories past. 
An* how they crowdea to the yill 

When they were a' dismist ; 
How drink jgaed round, in coffs an' caups, 

Amang the furms an* benches ; 
An* cheese an' bread frae women's laps. 

Was dealt about in lunches, 

An' dawds that day. 



XXIV. 



In oomes a gaucie gash Guidwife, 

An' sits down by the fire, 
Syne draws her kebbuck an* her knit«« 

The lasses they are shyer. 
The auld Guidmen about the grace, 

Frae side to side they bother, 
Till some ane by his bonnet lays. 

An* gi^es thcm't like a tether, 

Fu' long that day. 

XXV. 



Woesucks ! for him that seta naes lass. 

Or lasses that hae naeming ! 
Sma* need has he to sav a ^race. 

Or melvie his braw claitlilng ! 
O wives, be mindfu\ once yoursel, 

How bonnie lads yc wanted, 
An^ dinna, for a kobbuck-heel. 

Let lasses be afironted 

On sic a day ! 



XXVI. 



Now ClinJnanbell, wi* rattlin tow. 

Begins to jow an* croon ; 
Some swag^r hame, the best they dow* 

Some wait the aflemoon. 
At slaps the billies halt a blink, 

Till losses strip their shoon : 
Wi' foilh an' hope an* love on* drink, 

They're a* in famous tunc, 

For crack that day. 



xxvn. 



How monie hearts this day converts 

O' sinners and o* lasses ! 
Their hearts o* stane, ^in night are gane. 

As safl as ony flesh is. 
There's some are fou o* love divine ; 

There's some arc fou o' brandy ; 
An* monie jobs that day begin, 

May end in Houghmogandie 

Some ither day. 



* 8lialcspeers*s Hamlet 



DEATH AND DR. HORNBOOK. 

A TRUE STORY. 

Some books are lies frae end to end. 
And some great lies were never penn*d, 
£v*n Ministers, they hae been kenn*d 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid, at times to vend, 

And nail*t wi* Scnpture. 



It 



BURNS' POEMS. 



But thii that I am gaun to tell. 
Which lately on a night bofel, 
Ib jiut aa truc^f the Deirs in h-11 

Or Dublin city : 
Tiiat o*or he nearer comes oun>cl 

'S a muckle pity 



The Clachan vill had made me canty, 

I was na fou^ out just had plenty ; 

I stacherM whylos, but yet took tent ay 

To free the ditches ; 
An' hillocks, stanes, an* bushes, kennM ay 

Frao ghaidta an' witches. 



The rising moon beffan to glowV 
The distant Cumnoac hills out-owre : 
To count her horns, wi' a' my pow'r, 

I sot myscl ; 
But whether she had tlirco or four, 

1 cou'd na tell. 



I was come round about t^ie liill, 
And toddlin down on Willie^i milU 
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill, 

To keep mo sicker : 
Tho' leeward whyles, against my will, 

1 took a bicker. 



1 there wi' Something did forgather, 
That put me in an eerie twiUier ; 
An awfh' sithe, out-owre ae showther, 

Clear-dangling, hang ; 
A three-tae'd leister on the ithcr 

Lay, largo an' lang. 



Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa, 
The queerest sliape that o'er I saw, 
For fient a wame it liad ava ! 

And then, its shanks, 
They were as thin, as sharp an' sma' 

As chedu o' branki. 



** Guid-een," quo' I; ** Friend I hae ye been 

mawin, 
"When ither folk are busy savrin ?**♦ 
It seemM to mak a kind o' stan,' 

But nactliing spak ; 
At length, says I, " Friend, whare ye gaun. 

Will ye go back?" 



It spak right howe, — ^ My name is Dealfu, 
But be na fley'd/'— Quoth I, "" Guid faith, 
Ye're may be come to stap my breath ; 

But tent me, billio : 
I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith. 

See, there's a gully !" 



*Tbl8 rencounter happened In seed-ttme, 1785. 



** Guidman," quo' he, ** pat up your iidiittle^ 
Fm no designM to try its mettle ; 
ButifIdid,IwadbekitUe 

To be mislear*d, i 
I wad na mind it, no, that spitUe 

OutK>wre iny beiid 



*^ Weel, wed !" says I, ^ abargam beH ; 
Come,gie8 your hand, an' sae we're greeHi 
Well ease our shanks an' tak a seat. 

Come, gpes your newt ; 
This while* ye hae been monie a gate 

At monie a houao.'' 



^ At, ay !" quo' he, an' shook his heid« 
^ It B e*en a lang, lan^ time indeed 
Sin' I began to nick ue thread. 

An' choke tho brealli : 
Folk maun do something for their bread, 

An* sae maun Death, 



^ Sax thousand years are near hand fled 

Sin' I was to the hutching bred. 

An' monie a scheme in vain^s been laid. 

To stap or scar me ; 
Till ane Hombook^gf ta^en up the trade. 

An' faith, hell wanr 



^ Ye ken Jocik HombookV the Clacfaan, 
Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchaii I 
Hell grown sae well acquaint wi' Buehmt^ 

An' ither chaps. 
That weans baud out their finffers la^hni 

And pouL my hipi. 

^ See, here's a sithe, and there's a dart. 
They hae piercM monjTa gallant heart; 
But Doctor Homlfook^ wi' ids art, 

And cursed skill. 
Has made them baith not worth a f-— t, 

Damn'd haet th^ll kilL 

** 'Twas but yestreen, nae farther gaen, 

I threw a noble throw at ane ; 

Wi' less, I'm sure, We hundreds slain ; 

But deil-ma-care, 
It just play'd dirl on the bane. 

But did nae malr. 

^ Hornbook was by, wi' ready art, 
And had sae fortiQ^'d the part. 



*An eiridemical ferer wai then raging In thit 

country. 

t Thli genUeman, Dr. Uombook, It profeBrtoBafly, 
II brother of the Sovereign Order of the Ferals; bo^ 
by intuition and Inspiration, la at once an Apotbecaiy, 
Surgeon, and Physician. 

I Buchan*s DomeBtic Msdlcine. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



13 



imi looked to my dart, 

It was ne bhint, 

laet o*t wad hae pierc'd the heait 
Of a kail-^runt. 



w mj athe in ne a fhry, 
And 0owirit wi* my hmry 
itttebmAApotheeary 

Withstood thA ihock ; 
t at weel hae tiy'd a qoany 

O' hard wbm rock. 



them he canna get attended, 
beir fica ha ne*er had kend it, 
—-ma kail-blade, and tend it. 

As soon he smeUsY, 
heir disease, and what will mend it 

At onoe he tells^ 



then a' doctois* saws and whittles, 
imenaions, shapes, an^ mettles, 
Is o* boxes, mufs, an' bottles, 

He's sure to hae ; 
Latin names as fast he rattles 

As ABC. 



ss o' fosnls, earth, and trees ; 
lal-marinum o' the seas ; 
izina of beans and pease. 

He has^t in plenty ; 
[bntis, what yon please. 

He can content ye. 



ro some now, micommon weapons, 
Spiritus of capoDA ; 
e-nom shavings, fuinee^ scrapings, 

Distill xi per te ; 
LsJi o' Midge-tail-clippin£^ 

And monio moo." 



I me for Johnny Gedfs Hole* now," 

,^ if that tho HOWS bo true ! 

kW calf- ward wharo ^[owans grew, 

Sae white ondbonnio, 
ubt thcyll rive it wi' the plow ; 

They'll ruin JbAmc."' 



eatore jB^rain'd an eldritch laugh, 
ys, ^ To need na yoke the plough, 
rds will soon bo tillM cncugh, 

Tak ye noo fear : 
I a' be treoch'd wi' monie a sheugh 

In twa-three year 



6 1 kill'd ane a fair strae-deatb, 
o' blood or want o' breath, 

* Tiwgrare-diggOT 



This night I'm fireo to tak niy aith, 

^ That Horribo6e» skiU 

Has clad a score i' their lost daith. 

By drap an' pilL 

*^ An honest Wabster to his trade, 

Whase wife'k twa nieves were scarce wee 

bred. 
Gat tippence-worth to mend her head, ^ 

Whenitwassair; 
The wife slado cannie to her bed. 

But ne'er spak mair. 

"* A kintraLaird had U'en the batts, 
Or some curmurring in his guts, 
His only son for Hornbook sets, 

An' pays him weU. 
The lad, for twa guidgimmer pets. 

Was laird himseL 

^ A bonnie lass, ye kend her name. 

Some ill-brewn drink had hov'd her wame : 

She trusts hersel, to hide the shame. 

In Homboak't care ; 
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame. 

To hide it there. 

»* That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way ; 
Thus goes he on fix>m day to day. 
Thus does he poison, kiU, an' slay, 

An's weel paid for't ; 
Yet stops me o' my lawfu' prey, 

Wi' his d-mn'd dirt : 

"■ But, hark ! IH tell you of a plot, 
Tho' dinna ye be speaking o't ; 
111 nail the self-conceited Scot, 

As dead's a herrin : 
Niest time we meet. 111 wad a ^at, 

He gets his fairin '.** 

But just as he began to tell. 

The auld kirk-hiunmer strak the bell 

Some woo short hour avont tho Heal, 

Which rais'd us baith : 
I took the way thatpleasM myscl 

And sae did Deaih. 



THE BRIGS OF AYR, 

4 POKIC 

INSCRIBED TO J. B******«'*, Esa. AYR. 

Ths simple Bard, rough at tho rustic plough. 
Learning his tunefhl ^ade from evenr bough ; 
The chanting linnet, or tho mellow tLrush, 
Hailing tho setting sun, sweet, in the green 
thorn bosn; 



14 



BURNS* POEMS. 



The ■oaring lark, the perching red-bieait 

ehnll. 
Or deep-ton*d, plovers, gray, wild-whistling 

o'er the hill ; 
Shall he, nurst in the peasant's lowly shed, 
To hardy Independence bravely bred. 
By early Poverty to hardship steePd, 
And train'd to arms in stem Misfortune's field. 
Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes, 
The'servile mercenary Swiss of rhymes ? 
Or labour hard the pane^ric close, 
With all the venal soul or dedicating Prose ? 
No ! though his artless strains he rudely sin^s, 
And throws his hand uncouthly o er uio 

strings. 
He glows with all the spirit of the Bard, 
Fame, honest fame, his great, his deax reward. 
Still, if some Patron's genVous care he trace, 
Skiird in tlic secret, to bcKtow witli grace ; 
When B********* befriends his humble 

name. 
And hands tlie rustic stranger up to fame. 
With heart-felt throes ins grateful bosom 

swells, 
The godlike bliss, to give, alone excels. 



'Twas when the stacks get on their winter- 
hap. 
And thack and rape secure the toil won-crap ; 
Potaloe-binirfl arc Huuarped up frae skailh 
Of coming Winter's bitiuir, frosty brcatli ; 
The bec«, rejoicing o'er tlicir summer toils, 
UnnumbcrM buds an' flowers' delicious spoils, 
Seal'd up with frugal care in massive waxen 

piles, 
Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, 
The death o' devils smoor'd wi' brimstone 

reck: 
The thundering guns are heard on every side. 
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide ; 
The feather'd fleld-inates, bound by Nature's 

tie. 
Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage Ho : 
(What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, 
And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds !) 
Nae mair the flower in fleld or meadow 

springs ; 
Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings, 
Except perhaps the Robin's whistling glee, 
Proua o tlie height o' some bit half-Iang tree : 
The hoary morns precede the sunny days. 
Mild, cahn, serene, wide spreads the noon-tide 

blaze, 
While tliick the gossamour waves wanton in 

the rays. 
rTwas in that season, when a simple bard. 
Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward ; 
Ae ni^ht, witlim the ancient brugh of Ayr 
By whim inspired, or haply prest wi' care ; 
He led liis bod, and took his wayward route, 
And down by Simpsoti's* wheel'd the left 

about : 

* A noied tavern at tlio Auld Brig end. 



(Whether impellM by all-directing Fate, 

To witness what I after shall narrate ; 

Or whether, rapt in meditation high, 

He wander'd out he knew not where nor 

why:) 
The drowsy Dungetmrchek*' had number^ two. 
And Waliaee Ihwer* had sworn the fact wu 

true. • 

The tido-swoln F^rth with fullea Mnmding 

roar. 
Through the still night daah'd hoarse along ths 

shore : 
All else was hush'd as Nature's dosed e'e ; 
The silent m6bn shone high o'er tower tnd 

tree : 
The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam. 
Crept, gently crusting, o'er the glitternig; 

stream. — 
When, lo ! on citlier hand the hsfning Bard, 
The clanging sugh of whistling wings ie 

heard ; 
Two dusky forms dart thro' the midnight air, 
Switl a5 the Cosf drives on the wheeling 

hare ; 
Ane on t!f ,'luld Brig his airy shape upreuii 
The it her flutters o'er the rising piers : 
Our warlock Rhymer instantly aescry'd 
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr prs- 

bide. 
(That Bards are second -sighted is nae joke, 
And ken tlie lingo of the spiritual fo'k ; 
Fays, Spunkics, Kelpies, a', they can expliun 

thcin,) 
And ev'n the very dells they brawlj ken 

tliem.) 
Avid Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race, 
The vera wrinkles Gotliic in his £3m» : 
He seemM as he wi' Time had warstl'd lang, 
Yet tcughly doure, he bade an unco bang. 
JVcir Brig was buskit in a braw new coat, 
That he, at IjorCon^ frae ane Adorns^ got; 
In's hand five taper staves as smooth's a 

bead, 
Wi' virls and whirlyffigums at the head. 
The Goth was stalking roimd with anxiom 

search. 
Spying the time-worn flaws in ev'ry arch ; 
It chanc'd his new-come neebor took his o^e, 
And e'en a vex'd and angry heart had he ! 
Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien. 
He, down the water, gies him this guideen :— 



AULD BRIG. 



I doobt na, fiien', yell think ye're nae aheep 

shank, 
Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to bank. 
But gm ye be a brig as auld as me, 
Tho*^faith that day, I doubt, yell n( 



never 



* The two steeples. 



t The gos-liawk, or falcon. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



1& 



Therell be, if that date come, IH wad a bod- 

dle. 
Some fewer whigmeleerics in your noddle. 

NEW BRIG. 

AnldVandal, ye but diow yoor little mense, 
Jest much about it wi' your icanty lense ; 
WiU your poor, narrow footrpath of a street, 
Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they 

' meet. 
Tour roin'd, formless bulk o' stane an' lime. 
Compare wi' bonnie Brig9 o* modem time ? 
Theresa men o* taste would tak the Dueat- 

Mireamy* 
Tho* they should cast the vety sark an swim. 
Ere tbe^ would grate their feelings wi* tlie 

Tiew 
Of sic an ugly Crothic hulk as you. 

AULD BRIG. 

Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' windy 
pride ! 
This monie a year I Ve stood Uie flood an' tide ; 
And tho' wi' crazy eild Fm sair forfaim, 
111 be a Brie-t when yo're a shapeless cairn ! 
As yet ye litUe ken about the matter, 
But twa-three winters will inform you better, 
When heavy, dark, continued, a'-(my rains, 
Wi' deepemn^ deluges overflow the plains ; 
When from the hills where springs the brawl- 
ing Coi/, 
Or stately Lugar't mossy fountains boil. 
Or where the Greenock winds his moorland 

course. 
Or haunted Garpalf draws his feeble source, 
ArousM by blustering winds an' spotting 

thowes. 
In mony a torrent down his sna-broo rowes ; 
While crashing ice, home on the roaring speat, 
Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs, a' to the 

gate; 
And fit>m Glenbuekl down to the Rotlon' 

Auld «fyr is just one IcngthenM, tumbling sea ; 
Then aovm yell hurl, deil nor ye never rise ! 
And dash tlie gumlie jaups up to the pouring 

skies: 
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost, 
That Architecture's noole art is lost ! 

NEW BRIG. 

Fine ArekUeeture^ trowth, I needs must sayH 
oH! 
The Ij — d be thankit that we've tint the gate 

* A noted ford, Just above the Aold Brig. 

t Tbe banks of Oarpal WaUr if one of the few 
places la tlie West of Scotland, where tbrae fancy- 
■eartBg beings, known by the name of Gkaiit$^ itill 
C0BtlBeep«ntiBacfously to inhabit. 

% The source of tbe river Ayr. 

% A sbmU landing place above tiie large key. 



Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices. 
Hanging with tln'caf ning juC, like precipices^ 
0*er arching, mouldy, gloom-inspinng coves 
Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves : 
Windows and doors, in nameless sculpture 

drcst. 
With order, symmetry, or taste unUest; 
Forms like some bedlam statuary *s dream. 
The crazM creations of misguided whim ; 
Forms might be worahipp'd on the bended 

knee. 
And still the second dread command be free. 
Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or 

sea. 
Mansions that would disgrace the building 

taste 
Of any mason, reptile, bird, or beast ; 
Fit only for a doited Monkish race. 
Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace. 
Or cuifs of later times, wha held the notion 
That BuUcn gloom was sterling true devotion ; 
Fancies that our guid Brugh denies protection, 
And soon may they expire, unblest with re- 
surrection ! 

AITLD BRIG. 

O yc, mv dear-remembcr*d, ancient yealmgs. 
Were je but here to share my wounded foel- 

inffs! 
Ye worthy Prorescs^ an' mony a Bailie^ 
Wha in the paths o' righteousness did toil ay ; 
Ye dainty Deacons^ and ye douce Conveenrrit, 
To whom our modems ore but causey-clean> 

ers; 
Ye godly Councils wha hae blest this town ; 
Ye godly Brethren of the sacred gown, 
Wha meekly gio your hurdies to the smiters ; 
And (wliat would now be strange) ye godly 

JVritr.rs : 
A* ye douce folk IVo borne aboon the broo, 
Were ye but here, what would ye say or do ? 
How would your spirits groan in deep vex- 
ation. 
To see each melancholy alteration ; 
And, agonizing, curse the time and place 
When ye begat the base, degcn'rate race ! 
Nao langcr Rev'rend Men, their coimtxy^s 

glory. 
In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid 

story ! 
Nao longer thrifty Citizens, an' douce. 
Meet owTe a pint, or in the Council-house ; 
But staunircl, corky-headed, graceless Gentry, 
The hcrrj'ineut and ruin of the country ; 
Men, tlirec-ports made by Tailors and by Bar- 
bers, 
Wha waste your well-hain'd gear on d—- d net9 
Brigs and Harbours! 

NEW BRIG. 



Now hand you there ! for faith yeVe said 
enough, 
And mucklo mair than ye can mak to through. 



19 



BURNS' POEBfa 



As for jrour priesthood, I shall say hut little, 
Corhies and Clergy are a shot right kittle : 
But under fayour o* your longer beard. 
Abuse o* Magistrates might.weel be spar'd : 
To liken them to your auld-warld squad, 
I must needs say, comparisons are odd. 
In Ayr^ Wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle 
To mouth ^ a Citizen,** a term o* scandal : 
Nae mair the Council waddles down the 

street. 
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit; 
Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops an' 

raisins. 
Or gathered lib>al views in Bonds and Seisins. 
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp. 
Had snorM them with a glimmer of his lamp, 
And would to Common-sense, for onoe be- 

tniy*d them. 
Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid 

them. 



What farther dishmadayer might boon 

said, 
What bloody wars, if Sprites had blood to 

shed. 
No man can toll ; but all before their sight, 
A fairy train appear*d in order bright : 
Adown tlie glittering stream they featly 

danc'd ; 
Bright to the moon their yarious dresses 

glanced : 
They footed o^er the watry glass so neat. 
The infant ice scarco bent l^neath their fbet : 
While arts of Minstrelsy amon^ them rung. 
And soul-ennobling Bards heroic ditties sung. 
O had J^fLauchlaru,* thairm-inspiring Sage, 
Been there to hear this heavenly band enga^. 
When thro* his dear Stratfitpeys they bore with 

Highland rage, 
Or when they struck old Scotia*s melting airs, 
The lover^s raptured joy9 or bleeding cares ; 
How would his Highland lug been nobler fir*d. 
And ev*n his matoiless hand with finer touch 

inspir*d! 
No guess could tell what instrument appear'd. 
But all the soul of Music's self was heard ; 
■ Harmonious concert rung in every part. 
While simple melody pour*d moving on the 

heart. 

The Genius of the Stream in front appears, 
A venerable Chief advancM in years; 
His hoary head with water-lilies crown*d. 
His manly leg with garter tangle bound. 
Next came the lovehest pair in all' the ring. 
Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with 

Spring; 
Then, crown'd with flow'iy hay, came rural 

Joy, 
And Summer, with bis fervid-beammg eye : 



• A well known performer of Bcottiih mniic on tlie 
vioUn. 



All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing hom^ 
Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodd 

com; 
Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did ho 

show. 
By Hoapitality with dondless brow. 
Next follow*d Courage with his martial stri 
From where the Feal wild- woody coverts hi 
Benevolence, with mild, benignant air, 
A female form, came fix>m the towVs otSU 
Leaming and Worth in equal measures tro4 
From simple Calrine^ their bQg-lov*d abodi 
Last, white-rob'd Peace, crown*d with a hi 

wreath. 
To mstio Agriculture did bequeath 
The broken iron instruments of death; 
At sight of whom our Sprites fiugat tl 

kindling wrath* 



THE ORDINATION. 



For lense tbey little owe to Frogal Heaven— 
To please the Mob they hide the litile given. 



Kilmarnock Wahsters fidge an' daw 
An* pour your creeshie nations ; 

An* ye wha leather rax an' draw, 
Ota' denominations, 

Swith to the Laigh Kirk, ane an' a' 

^ An* there tak up your stations; 

Then aJSTto f -^6-— ^ in a raw. 
An* pour divme libations 

For joy this day 

n. 

Curst Common Sense that imp o' h-Il, 

Cam in wi' Maggie Lauder;* 
But O ***** * * aft made her yaH, 

An' R * * * * * sair misca'd her; 
This davM******** takes the flails 

And he*s the boy will blaud her ! 
Hell dap a thangan on her tail. 

An' set the bairns to daub her 
Wi' dirt thk day. 

m. 

Mak haste an' turn king David owre. 
An* lilt wi* holy clangor ; 

* Alluding to a acoffiug ballad which was made on t 
admission of the late Reverend and worthy Mr. L. 
the Lalgh Kirk 



BURNS* POEMS. 



17 



I TOM come gie ps fbur, 

iriuptheBa^for: 

the Kuk kicks up a lAxmn^ 

iir the knaTes shall wrang her, 

mj^JB'm her powV, 

mtoia^j shaU whang her 

Wr inth this day. 



IV. 



t a proper text be road, 
ich it afTwi' vigour, 
celeas Html^ leugh at his Dad, 
made Canaan a niger ; 
Mist droye the mur£ring blade, 
i-re-abhorring rigour ; 
tfo^ X the scaul£n jade, 
ke a bluidj tiger 

rth' inn that daj. 



y his mettle on the creed, 
ind him down wi' caution, 
pond is a carnal weed 
Qi but for the fashion ; 
lim o^er the flock, to feed, 
nnish each transgression ; 
, rami that cross the breed, 
lem raffident threshin. 

Spare them nae day. 

VL 



d Kibtiamock cock thy tail, 

MS thy horns fu' canty ; 

r thoult rowtc out-owro the dale, 

se thy pasture^s scanty ; 

1^8 largo o^ ^ospd kail 

Sn thy crib m |>lenty, 

!f o* grace the pick an' wale, 

en by way o' damty. 

But ilka day. 



vn. 

r by BabeTt ttrearru well weep, 

ink upon our Zion ; 

; our fiddles up to sleep, 

ittby-clouts a-diryin : 

sew the pegs wi' tunefh' cheep, 

*er the thairms be tryin ; 

! to see our elbucks whoep, 

like lamb-tails flyin 

Fq* fast this day ! 

Is, chap Ix. 82. t.Numbers, cb. xzv. v«T. 8. 
I Exodus, dL It. ver. 35. 

c 



vm. 



Lang Patronm^ wi' rod o' aim, 

lus shorM tne Kirk's ondoio, 
As lately F-mo-db sair forftim, 

Has proren to its nnn : 
Our Patron, honest ouui ! Gleneakn% 

He saw mischief was browin ; 
And like a ffodly elect bairn. 

He's wal^ us out a true ane, 

And sound this day. 

IX. 

Now R******* harangue nae mair, 

But stock your gab for ever : 
Or tiy the wickod town of A**, 

For there -they'll think you defer ; 
Or, nae reflection on your lear, 

Te may commence a Shaver * 
Or to the J^-th-rt-n repair, 

And turn a Carpet- wearer 

Afl'-hand tUe daj. 



X. 



HI ♦ ♦ * « * and you were just a match, 

We never had sic twa orones : 
AuldifonMe did the Laieh Kirk watch. 

Just like a winkin baudrons ; 
And ay' he catch'd the tithcr wretch. 

To VTf them in his caudrons ; 
But now his honour maun detach, 

Wi' a' his brimstone squadrohs. 
Fast, fast this day. 

XI. 



See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes, 

She's swingoin thro' the city : 
Haik, how tlie nine-tail'd cat she plays! 

I vow it's unco pretty : 
There, Learning, with his Orceldsh face, 

Grunts out soiao Latin ditty ; 
And Common Sense is gaun, she says. 

To mak to Jamie Beatlie 

Her 'plaint this day. 

XU. . 

But there's Mortality himsel, 

Embracing all o'pmions ; 
Hear, how he gies the tither ycU, 

Between his twa companions ; 
See, how she peels the skin an' fell. 

As ane were poclin onions ! 
Now there — ^they're packed aiT to hell. 

And banish'd our dominions. 

Henceforth this day 



18 



BURNS' POEMS. 



xm. 



O happy day ! rejoice, rejoico ! 

Come house about the porter ! 
MoraUty*8 domure decoys 

SboU hero nae mair mid quarter : 
fm*******^ T^Hn**^^ aroiho boys. 

That Heresy can torture ; 
Theyll gio her on a rape and hoyse 
And cow her measure shorter 

By th* head some day. 

XIV. 

Come, bring tho tithor niutclikin in, 

And heroes, for a concluKion, 
To ovety AVto Lif^hi* mother's son. 

From this time forth, Coofutuon : 
Ifnutir thoy deave us with their din, 

Or Patronage intrusion, 
We'll light a Bpunk, and, evVy skin, 

Well rin them aiTin fusion 

Like oil, some day. 



THE CALF. 



TO THE REV. MR. 



Oa his Text. Halachi, ch. Iv. ver. 8. ** And tbsj 
■hall gQ forth, and grow up, like calves of the stall *' 

RiGirr, Sir ! your text Fll prove it true. 

Though Heretics may laugh ; 
For instance ; thoro^s yonrsel just bow, 

God knows, an unco CcUf! 

And should some Patron be so kind, 

A« bless you wi' a kirk, 
I doubt na, Sir, but then well find, 

To're still as great a SHrk, 

But, if the Lover's rantur'd hour 

Shall over be vour lot, 
Forbid it, ov'ry neavenly Power, 

You o'er should be a Stot I 

Tho\ when some kind connubial Delr, 

Your but-and-ben adorns. 
The like has been that you may wear 

A noble head of homt. 

And in your lug most reverend Jamet^ 

To hear you roar and rowte. 
Few men o^ sense will doubt your claims 

To rank amang tho nowU. 

*Jfew Light if a cant phrase in the Westof Bcotland, 
for those religious opinions which Dr. Taylor of Nor- 
wich has defended so strenuotisly. 



And when ye*re nomberM wi' the d e a d, 

Below a graasy hillock, 
Wi' justice Uwy may mark your head— 

"* Here liei a fkmous Bu^Iodk ."' 



ADDRESS TO THE DEIL. 



O Prince ! O Chief of many throned Powers, 
That led th* embattled Serapliim to war. 

Milton. 



O THOU ! whatever title suit thee, 
Auld Homio, Satan, Nick, or Clootie, 
Wha in yon cavern grim an* sootie. 

Closed under hatches^ 
Spairgei about the brunstane cootie, 

To scaud poor wretche 

Hear me, auld Hangte^ for a wee. 
An' let poor damned bodies be ; 
Ika sure sma' pleasure it can gie, 

£*entoadet2, 
To skelp an* scaud poor dogs like me, 

An' hear us sqoeel ! 

Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy faipe ; 
Far kend and noted is thy name ; 
An' tho' yon lowin bough's thy hame. 

Thou travels far ; 
An' iaith ! thou's neither lag nor lame. 

Nor blate nor scaur. 

Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion. 
For prey, a' holes an' corners tryin ; 
Whyles on tho strong-wing'd tempest flyin, 

Tirling the kirks ; 
Whyles, in the human bosom pryin, 

Unseen thou lurks. 

I've heard my reverend GrannU say. 
In lanely glens ye like to stray ; 
Or where auld-ruin'd casUos, gray. 

Nod to the moon. 
Ye fright tho nightly wanderer's way, 

Wi' eldritch croon. 

When twilight did my Grannie summcm 
To say her prayers, douce, honest woman . 
Afl yont the dyke she's heard you bummin, 

Wi' eerie drone ; 
Or, rustlin, thro' the boortrees comin, 

Wi' heavy groan. 

Ae drealT, windy, winter nt^ht. 
The stars snot down wi' cklentm light. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



10 



Wi' yoo, mjBel, I gat a fVigfat, 

Ayontthekragh;' 

Te, like a rash-bush, stood in vight, 

Wi* waging sugh. 



The cud^l in my nieve did'thake, 
Each bristl d hair stood like a stake. 
When wi* an eldritch, 8tour,qaaick — quaick — 

Amang the springs, 
Awa je sqoatterM, like a drake. 

On whiitling wings. 



Let warloeki grim, an* witherM hags, 
TcU how wi* jrou on ragweed nags 
They skim the muirs, an* dizzy crags, 

Wi' wicked speed ; 
And in kiik yards renew their lea^roeB, 

Owre howkit dead. 



Thence kintre wives, wi' toil an' pain, 
May plunffo an* plonge the kim in vain ; 
For, oh ! ue yellow treasure's ta'en 

By witching skiH ; 
An' dawtit, twal-pint Hawkie*t saen 

AsyeU's the Bill. 



Thence mystic knots mak great abuse, 
On young Guidman, fond, keen, an' crease ; 
Wlien the best wark-lame i' the house, 

By cantrip wit, 
Ib instant made no worse a louse, 

Just at the bit. 



When thowes dissolye the snawy hoord, 
An' float the tin^lin icy-boord. 
Then Waiar-kelpieM haunt the foord. 

By your direction, 
An' ni^tod TravHers are allur'd 

To their destruction. 

An* aft your moss-travcraing Sprmkies 
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is : 
The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkeys 

Delude his eyes, 
TiUin some miry slough he sunk is. 

Ne'er mair to rise. 



When Moforu* mystic icordan' gnp 
In storms an* tempests raise you up. 
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop. 

Or, strange to toll*. 
The youngest Brothir ye wad whip 

Affstraughttohell! 

Lang sync, in EdaCt bonnie yard. 
When vouthfu'* lovers first were pair'd. 
An* all the soul of love they Bhar*d, 

The nptur*d hour, 
Sweet on the fragrant, flow*ry swaird 

In shady bow*r : 



Then you, ye auld, snio-drawing dog \ 
Te came to Paradise incog. 
An* play*d on man a cursed brogue, 

(Black be your fa' ! 
An' gied the infant warld a ahog, 

*Maist ruin*d a' 



p*yo mind that day, when in a faBX, 
Wi* reekit duds, an* reestit gizz. 
Ye did presei4 your smoutio phiz, 

*Mang better folL, 
An' sklented on the man of Uts 

Your spitefu* joke ? 

An' how ye gat him i* your thrall. 
An* brak him out o* house an* hafl. 
While scabs an* Uotchcs did him gall, 

Wi* bitter daw. 
An' lows'd his iO-tongu'd, wicked Scawl, 

Was warst ava? 



But a* your doings to rehearse, 
Your wily snares an' fochtin fierce. 
Sin' that day Michaet^ did you pierce, 

Down to tnis tiine» 
Wad ding a' Lallan tongue, or Erse, 

In prose or rhyme. 

An' now, auld Cloottj I ken ye're thinkui 
A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin. 
Some luckless hour will send him Unkin, 

To your black pit; 
But, faith ! he*Il turn a comer jinkin. 

An* clicat you yet. 

But, Sane you weel, auld Ntckie-ben! 
O wad ye tak a thought an' men' ! 
Ye aiblms might— I dinna ken — 

Still hae a t/db^— 
I'm wae to think upo' yon den, 

£v*n for your sakei 



THE 



DEATH AND DYING WORDS 

OF 

POOR MAILIE, 
THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE. 

AN UNCO MOURKPU' TALE 

As Mailiej an* her Iambs thogither 
Were ao day nibbling on the tether. 
Upon her cloot riie coost a hitch, 
An' owre she warsl^d in the ditch . 

* Vide Milton, Book VI 



to 

There, croaniiig, dyings, she did lie, 
When Hughod'ho cam doytin by. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Wi' glowrin een, an' lifled han's, ' 
Poor Sughoc like a statue standi ; 
He Hiw her days were near-hand ended. 
But, waes my heart ! he could na mend it ! 
He ^ped wide, but naethiog spak ! 
At length Poor MtUie silence brnk. 

** O thou, whase lamentable face 
Appears to mourn my woofu* case ! 
My dying wordt attentive hoar, 
An' TOfir them to my master dear. 

**- Tell him, if e^or again he keep, 
As muckle gear as buy a sheep, 
O, bid him never tie them mair 
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair ! 
But ca' them out to park or liill, 
An* lot them wander at their will ; 
80 may his flock increaije, an' grow 
To scores o' lambs, an' packs (? woo' ! 



^ Tell him, be was & master kin'. 
An' ay was guid to me and mine ; 
An' now my djring charge I gie liim, 
My helpless lambs I trust thorn wi' him 

^ O, bid him, save their hamtless lives, 
Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives ! 
But ffie them guid cow-milk their fill. 
Till mey bo fit to fend themsol : 
An** tent them duly, e'on an' mom, 
W teats o' hay an' riiis o' com. 

" An* may they never loam the gaets 
Of ither vile wanroslfu' pfts i 
To slink tliro* slaps, an' reave an' steal. 
At stacks o* pease, or stocks o' kail. 
80 may they, like tlieir great Forbears, 
For monie a year come uiro' the sheers : 
So wives will gie them bits o' bread, 
An* bairns greet for them when thcy^ro dead. 

** My poor toon-lamb^ my son an' heir, 
O, bid hun breed him up wi' care ! 
An', if 'he hve to be a beast. 
To pit some bavins in his breast ! 
An* wam him, what I winna name. 
To May content wi' yowes at hame ; 
An' no to rin an* wear his cloots. 
Like itiior menseloss, graceless brates. 

** An, niest mjyoicie, silly thing, 
Gude keep thee frae a tether stritagl 
O, may thou ne'er forgather up 
Wi* ony blastit, moorland toop ; 



* A neebor beid-callan 



But ay keep mind to moop en' meU« 
Wi' sheep o' credit like thy nl ! 

^ And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath, 
I lea'e my blessin wi* yoa baith : 
An' when you think upo' your BGther, 
Mind to be kin' to ane anither. 

■ 

** Now, honest Hughoc^ dinna fail. 
To tell my master a' my tale ; 
An' bid him bum this cursed tether. 
An', for thy pains, thou'se get my blather.'' 

This said, poor Mailie tum*d her head. 
An' dos'd her e'en amang the dead. 



POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY. 

Lament in rhjrmo, lament in proee, 
Wi' saut tears trickling down your nose ; 
Our bardie*8 fato is at a close. 

Past a* remead ; 
The last sad cape>stane of his woes ; 

Poor MaUie'm dead ! 

It's no the loss o' wail's ffoor. 
That could sae bitter draw the tear 
Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear 

The mourning weed : 
He's lost a friend and neebor dear, 

In Mailie dead. 

Thro a* the town she trotted by him ; 
A lang half-mile she could descry him ; 
Wi' kmdly bleat, when she did spy him. 

She ran wi' Fpeed : 
A friend mair foithfu' ne'er cam nigh him, 

Tiian Mailie dead. 

I wat she was a sheep o' sense. 
An' could 'behave hersel wi' mense : 
111 sayt, she never brak a fence, 

Thro' thievish greed. 
Our bardie, lanely, keeps tlie spence 

Sin' Jtfai/ie's dead. 

Or, if he wanders up the howe, 
Her living image in her yowe^ 
Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe, 

Forbitso' bread; 
An' down the briny pearls rowe 

For Maihe dead. 

• 

She wa9 nae get o' moorland tips, 
Wi* tawted ket, an hairy hips ; 
For her forbears were brought in ships 

FVae yont the Twetd 
A bonnier JleffA ne'er cross d the cUps 

Tlian MaUU gmuL 



BURNS' POEMS. 



fl 



Wae worth the mtn wha fiist did diape 
Tlial Tile, wiacJiancie thinf-ra fvpie / 
I maJka guid ftUows gim ai? m>e, 

Wr chdun dread ; 
An* RoHn^t bonnet wave wi' crape. 

For .Moito dead. 

O, a^ je bards on bonnie Doon! 
An* wha on Ayr your ehanten tune ! 
Come, join the melandioUoiifl croon 

O' /ZofrmV leed ! 
Hie heart will norer ffetaboon ! 

xlifl tMoi/ie dead. 



TO J. S****. 



Friendship ! myvterloiu cement of the ■ool ! 
Bweet*ner of life, and eolder of lodetj ! 
I owetlieenMicli.— ^— 

Blaik. 



DxAR S****, the tieest, paukie thief. 
That e*er attempted stealth or rief, 
Ye surely hae some warlock-breef 

Owre homan hearts ; 
For ne*er a boeom yet was prief 

Against your arts. 

For me, I swear br sun an* moon, 
And ev'ry star that blinks aboon, 
YeVe cost me twenty pair o* shoon 

Just gaun to see yon ; 
And ev'iy ither pair that^s done, 

Mair ta'en I*m wi' you. 

That aold, capricious caiiin, Nature, 
To mak amends for scrimpit stature, 
8he*s tumM you aff^ a human creature 

On her first plan, 
And in her freaks, on ev'ry feature, 

She^s wrote, the Man. 

Just now Iv'e ta'en the fit o' rhyme, 
My barmie noddle's working prime 
Bfy fimcy yerkit up sublime 

Wi* hasty summon : 
Ilae ye a leisure-moment's time 

To hear what's comin ^ 

' Some rhyme, a noebor's name to laah ; 
Some ihyme (rain thoogfai!) fi»r needfh'cash : 
Some rhyme to court the kmUa'clash, 

' An' raise a din ; 
For me, im oun I nenrer fksh ; - 

Irl^ymeforAm 



The star that rules my InckkM lot. 
Has fated mo the russet coat, 
An' damn*d my fortune to the groat ; 

But in roquit. 
Has Uess'd me wi' a random shot 

O' kintra wit. 



This while my notion*s ta'en a sklent. 
To tr^r my fate m goid black prent ; 
But sull the mair I^ that way bent, 

Something cries, *^ Hoolie I 
I red you, honest man, tok tent ! 

Yell shaw your folly. 

^ There's ither poets, much your betters, 
Far seen in Greeks deep men o' lettcia, 
Hae thought they hod cnfiur'd their debton^ 

A' future ages ; 
Now moths deform in shapeless totters. 

Their unknown pages." 



Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs. 
To garland niy poetic brows ! 
Henceforth Yu. rove where busy ploughs 

Are whistling thrangf 
An' teach the lanely heights an' howes 

My rustic sang. 



Ill wander on, with tentless heed 
How never-halting moments speed, 
Till fate shall snap the brittle thread 

Then, all unknown, 
111 lay me with the inglorious dead, 

I orgot and gone ! 



But why o' death begin a tale ? 
Just now we're living sound and hale. 
Then top and maintop crowd the sail, 

rieavft car« o'er side 3 
And large, before enjoyment's gale. 

Lot's tak th^ tide. 



This life, sae far's I understand, 
Is a' enchanted, fairy laud, ^ 
Where pleasure is the magic wand, 

That wielded right, 
Maks hours, like minutes, hand in hand. 

Dance by iu' light. 



The mamc-wand then let us wield ; 

1" For ance that five-aa'-forty's speel'd. 
See crazy, weary, joyless eild, 

Wi' wrinkl'd face, 
Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field, 

Wi' creopin pace. 



When ance life's day draws near the <^Ioamin, 
Then farewell vacant corcletis ruainin ; 



22 



BURNS' POEMS. 



An* fiureweel cheerf\i^ tankards foamin, 

An^ social noise ; 

An* farewecl, dear, deluding teoman, 

The joy of joys ! 



O Life ! how pleasant in tliy morning. 
Young Fancy 8 rays tlie hills adorning ? 
Cold-pausing Caution^s lesson scorning, 

We fhsk away, 
Like school-boys, at tli^ expected warning. 

To joy and play. 



Wo wander there, we wander here, 
We «ye the rose upon the brier, 
Unmuidful tliat tlio thoni is near, 

Aiuontr tlie leaves ; 
And tlioiigh tlic puny wound upiH;ar, 

Short while it grieves. 



Some, lucky, find a flowVy spot, 
For which they never toilVl nor Kwat ; 
'I'lioy drink the swoel, and out tlie fat, 

But cnr(> or pain ; 
And, haply, C3'0 the barren hut 

Willi hi^h disdain. 



Witli steady aim, some fortune cha»e ; 
Ktnm HoiMj diMis every sinew brace ; 
Thro' fair, tliro' Ibul, they ur^o the race, 

And seize the prey : 
Then cannie, ui some cozie place, 

Thoy close the day. 



And others, like your humble scrvan". 
Poor wights ! nae ruIeK nor roads observin ; 
To right or left, eternal swervin. 

They zig-zag on ; 
Till curst with age, obscure an' starvin. 

They aflen groan. 



Alas ! what bitter toil an* straining — 
But truce witli peevish, poor complaming ! 
Ih fortune's fickle Lvna waning ? 

E'en let her gang ! 
Beneath what light she has remaining, 

Let's sing our sang. 



My pen I here fling to the door, 
And kneel, '*' Ye Powers t" and warm implore, 
** 'Jlio' I should wander icrra o'er. 

In all her <*.Iimc8, 
Grant mo but thifi, T Hsk no more. 

Ay rowth o' rhymes. 



*^ Gie dreepi ng roasts to kintra lairds. 
Till icicles hmjr frae tlieir beardu • 



Gie fine braw ckee to fine life-«aardi, 

And maids of honour 

And yill an' whisky gie to cairds, 

Until they iconner. 



** A title, Demmter meritii it ; 
A ^er gio to IViUie Piit ; 
Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit. 

In cent per cent. 
But gio me real, sterling wit, 

And I'm content 



^^ While ye are pleas'd to keep me hale^ 
I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, 
Be't vater-brose^ or tmislir^4cail^ 

Wi' checrfu' face. 
As lang's tlic muses dinna fail 

To say tlie grace.** 



An anxious o'e I never tlirows 
Beliint my lug, or by my nose ; 
I jouk beneath misfortune's blows 

As weel's I may ; 
Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, 

I rhyme away. 



O ye douce folk, tliat live by rule. 
Grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool, 
Compar'd wi' you— O fool ! fool ! €odi 

How much unlike ! 
Your hearts are just a standing pool. 

Your lives, a dyke 



Ilae hsir-brain'd, sentimental traces 
In your imletter'd, nameless faces ! 
In arioso trills and graces 

Ye never stray. 
But, graviuimoy solemn basses 

Ye hum away 



Ye are sae Fror-e, nae doubt ye're vfite ; 
Nae ferly tho ye do despise 
The hainun-scairum, ram-stam boys. 

The rattlin squad : 
I see you upward cast your eye»— 

—Ye ken the road.- 



Whilst I— 4>ut I shall hand me there — 
Wi* yoa Tfl scarce gang any v^here — 
Then, /omtr, I shall say nae mair, 

Init quat my sang. 
Content wi' ymi to mak a pav*, 

WhareVr I gan^ 



BURNS' POEMB. 



23 



A DREAM. 



L 



TbcMgtoi words, and dMds, the ■utnic blum with 



^vnwuntf 



were ne*er ladkied creMcm. 



(On reeAog, in. the public |wpen. the Litmreatt Odt, 

with the other parMie of June 4, 1786, the author 

wai no eooner dropped aeieep, than ho inufiiied bim- 

Miao the birth-day letree : and In hia dremming fluey 
made the foUowing Jidiress.] 



Gni>-HORinNo to your Majesty ! 

May heav^a augment your hlinooo. 
On every new birth-day ye see, 

A Koinble poet wishes ! 
My baidship liere, at your levee, 

Od aic a day as this is, 
Ii sure an uncouth sif ht to see, 

Amang the birth-<&y drenos 

Soe fine this day. 



XL 



' see ye^re complimented thrang, 
^ By monie a lord and lady ; 

God save the king !^' 's a cuckoo sang 

That's unco easy said ay ; 
^e iK>e^, too, a venal gang, 

Wi' rhjrmcs weel-tum'd and ready, 
»Vad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang. 

But ay unerring steady, 

On sic a day. 

* 

m. 

^or me ! before a monarch'^s face, 

£v*n thrrt I winna flatter ; 
("or neither pension, post, nor place, 

Am I your humble debtor : 
So, nae reflection on your grace^ 

Your kinship to liespatter ; 
There's monie v^ur been o' the race. 

And aiblins ane been better 

Than you this day. 

IV. 

^is venr true my sov'reiffn king. 

My sKill may weel be doubted : 
But tacts are chiels that winna ding, 

An' downa be disputed : 
Tour royal nest, beneath your wing. 

Is e^en rij^t reft an' clouted, 
Ar.d now tno thitd pariof tlie string. 

An' leas, will gan^^abemt it 

Than did ae day 



V. 



Far he\ fime me that I aepve 

To blame your legislation. 
Or say, ve wisdom want, or fire. 

To nue thk mighty nation ! 
But, fldth ! I mudde doubt, my Sirt^ 

Ye've trusted ministration 
To chaps, wha, in a bam or byre, 

Wad better fiU'd their station 

Than courts yon day 



VI. 



And now ye'vo gien auld Hritam peace. 

Her broken sliins to plaster 
Your sair taxation docs her fleece. 

Till she has scarce a tester ; 
For me, thank God, my life's a Mote, 

Nae baivam wearing faster. 
Or, faith ! I fear, that wi' the gee«e, 

I shortly boost to pasture 

V the craft some day. 



VII. 



I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt^ 

When taxes ho enlarges, 
(An' WiWs a tnic guid fallow's get, 

A namo not onvy spairges,) 
That he intends to pay your debt. 

An' lessen a' your charges ; 
But, G-d-soke I let nae sanng-Jit 

Abridge your bonnic barges 

An' boats tliis day. 



VUI. 



Adieu, my Liege! may freedom geek 

Beneath your high protection ; 
An' may ye rax corruption's neck. 

And gie her for dissection ! 
But since I'm here, I'll no neglect, 

In loyal, true aflection. 
To pay your Queen, with due respect, 

My fealty an' subjection 

Ttus great birth-day. 



IX. 



Hail, Majeilif Mott ExcelierU ! 

While nobles strive to please ye, 
WHl ye accept a oomplimenit- 

A simple poet gies ye? 
Thae bonnio baimtime, Ileciv'n has lent. 

Still higher may they hocze ye 
In bliss, till fate somu any is sent. 

For over to roloa^o yc 

Frao care that day. 



S4 



BURNS' POEMS. 



For you, younff potentate o* W , 

I tell your Higfmeu fairly, 
Down pleasare's itreamf wi' Bwelluig saOii 

I'm tauld yoVe dofing rarely ; 
Bat some day ye may gnaw your niili, 

An' cuTM yonr folly sairly, 
That e'er ye brak DumcCi pales, 
' Or, rattrd dice wi' CAorte, 

By night or day. 

XI. 

Tot aft a ragged cowtt'* been known 

To make a noble otrer ; 
So, ye may doucely fill a throne, 

Fint a' their dish-ma-claycr : 
There, him* at Jlgmcourt wha shone. 

Few better wore or braver ; 
And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John;f 

He was an unco shaver 

For monie a day. 

XIL 



For 3rou, right rev'rond O- 



Nane sets the laicn-skeve sweeter. 
Although a libban at your lu^ 

Wad Dcen a dress completer : 
Asye disown yon panghty dog 

That bears the k^s of Peter, 
Then, switli ! an' ffct a wife to hn^. 

Or, trouth I ye*U stain the mitro 

Some luckless day. 

xni 

Young, royal Thrry Breeks^ T learn, 

YeVe lately come athwart her ; 
A glorious galley^ stem an' stem. 

Well rigg'd for Vema* barter ; 
But finit hang out, that shell discern 

Tour hymenial charter. 
Then heave aboard your grapple aim, 

An', kurge upo* her quarter, 

Come full (hat day. 

XIV. 

Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a'. 

Ye royal lasses dainty 
Heav'n mak you guid as weel as braw, 

An' gie you la£ a-plenty : 
But sneer nae BritUh boys awa,' 

For kings are unco scant ay ; 
An' Grerman gentles are but ii?ia\ 

They Ye better just than waiU ay 

On onie day. 



•King Henry V. 
fSir John FalstaiT: tide Sbakspeart. 
I Alluding to the newspaper accniint of a certain 
nqral isilofs amnii r. 



XV. 



God Men you a' ! consider now, 

Te're mioo mnckle dautet; 
But, ero the coifrse o' life be thro'. 

It may be bitter sautet : 
An' I hae seen their eaggie foo. 

That yet hae tarrow t at it; 
But or the day was done, I trow. 

The laggen they hae dautet 

Fa' clean that day. 



THE VISION 



DUAN FIRST.* 

The sun had closM the winter day. 
The curlers quat their roaring play. 
An' hunger^ maukin ta'eu her way 

To kail-yards green. 
While faithless snaws ilk step betray 

Whare she has been. 

The thresher's vFcury Jlingm4ree 
The lee-lanff day had tired me ; 
And when tJie day had clos'd his e'c. 

Far i' the west, 
Ben i' the tpencCi right iiensivelie, 

Igaod torest. 

There, lanely, by the ingle>cheek, 
I sat and ey'd the spewing reek. 
That filld'd, wi' hoast-provoking smoek. 

The auld clay biggin ; 
An' heard the restless rattons squeak 

About the riggin. 

All in this mottie, misty clime, 
I backward mus*d on wasted time. 
How I had spent my youthfu' prime. 

An' done nae-tiiing. 
But stringin blethers up in rhyme. 

For fools to sing. 

Had I to guid advice but harkit, 
I might, by this, liao led a market, 
Or strutted in a bank an** clarkit 

My cash account . 
Whilo hero, half-mad, half-fed, haU^sarkit, 

Is a' til' amount. 

I started, muttVing, blockhead! coof! 
And heav'd on high my waukit loof. 
To swear by a' yon starry roof. 

Or some rash aith, 
That I, hencefortli, would be rJtyme-proof 

Till my last breath — 

*l>uaH, a term oro»iian*s for the diflfercnt divbiov 
of a dlKre(>ftire poem. See hit Catk-I.oda^ vol. il. of 
M'PlirrAon*0 traielation. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



ts 



WbflBcfick! the •tring the fluck did draw; 
Aadjee! the door gaed to the wa' ; 
An' oj my iii^e4owe I eaw. 

Now Uee&ii bright, 
A ti^it, outlaiiduh Uuait, fafaw. 

Come fall m 



Ye need na doubt, I held my whiaht ; 
The in&at aith, half-formed, was croaht ; 
I glowr'd ae eerie's I'd been diuht 

In some wild fflen ; 
When fweet, like modest worth, she blusht. 

And stepped ben. 



Green, slender, leaf-dad hoOu-botighM 
Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows ; 
I took her for some SeotHth Muse^ 

By that same token ; 
An' come to stop those reckless vows, 

Wou'd soon been broken. 

A ** hair-bramVl, sentimental trace," 
Was strongly marked in hor face ; 
A wildly-witty, rustic mce 

Shone full upon her ; 
Her eye, er^n tom'd on empty space, 

Beam'd keen with honour. 



Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen ; 
Till half a leg was scrimply scon ; 
And such a leg ! my bonme Jean 

Could only peer it ; 
Sae stran^t, sae taper, tight, and clean, 

Nane else came near it. 



Her maniU large, of greenish hue. 
My gazing won£r chiefly drew ; 
Deep iigfUt and sfbad», bold-mingling threw, 

A lustre grand ; 
And seem'd, to my astomshM view, 

A tpeU known land. 



Here, rhrers in the sea wore Idrt ; 
There, mountains to the skies were tost : 
Here, *™wM»«g billows markM the coast. 

With surging foam ; 
There, distant shone Art'siofly boast, . 

The lordly dome. 



Here, Doen potirM down his far-fetch'd 
floods; 
There, weU-fed ihrine stately thiids : 
Anld hermit ^yr staw thro' his woods. 

On to the shore ; 
And many a lesser torrent scodsy 

With seeming roar. 



Low, m a sandy valley spread, 
An ancient 6eAmg& rrard herlm 

C2 



ad 



Still, as m Scottish stoiy read. 

She boasts a race, 
To ev'ry nobler Wrtue bred. 

And polish'd grace. 
■ • 

By statdy tow'r or palaee &ir 
Or ruins pcnident in the air. 
Bold stems of heroes, here and there, 

I could discern ; 
Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd to doe, 

with feature stem. 

My heart did glowing transport feel. 
To see a race* heroic wnecl. 
And brandish round the deep-dy'd sted 

In sturay blows; 
While back-recoiling secmM to reel 

Their stubborn foes. 

His countir's 8avioiir,t mark him weD ! 
Bold Riehardton'st heroic swell ; 
The chief on Sarl^ who glorious fell. 

In nigh command ; 
And he whom ruthless fates expel 

His native land. 

Tliorc, where a scepterM Pictish shadej 
Stalked round his ashes lowly laid, 
I marked a martial race, portrayed 

In colours strong ; 
Bold, soldier-fcatur'd, undismay'd 

They strode along. 

Thro' many a wild, romantic grove,t 
Near many a hormit-fancy'd cove, 
(Fit haunts for friendship or for love) 

In musbig mood, 
An agedjtidgtt I saw him rove. 

Dispensing good. 



With deep-struck reVtoential awei*^ 
The Icamea tire and ton I saw, * 

To Nature^s God and Nature's law 

They gave their lore, 
This, all its source and end to draw. 

That, to adore. 

• Tbe WaUacei. t William Wallaee 

t Adam Wallace, of Richardton, eoosiii to 'be im- 
mortal preserver of Scouish independence. 

$ Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in com- 
mand, under Doaglaa earl of Ormond, at the famous 
battle on the banks of Sark, fought dttno 1448. Thai 
glorious victory was principally owing to the Jadieioiis 
conduct, and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of 
Craigie, who died of bis wounds after the actios. 

H Coilufs king of the Picta, fVom whom tbe district oi 
Kyle is sold to take Its name, lies buried, as tradition 
says, near the fadHly-ssat of the MontgonMrieiof Coil*s- 
fldd, where liis burial-placo is still shown. 

ITBarskimmlng the seat of the Lord Justice -Cleric 

** Cat fine, tbe seat of the laie doctor and present 
professor Stewart. 



S6 



BURNS' POEMa 



BrydmuU bnve ward* I well oould fpy. 
Beneath old Scotia't saulmg cyo ; 
Who called on fame, low standinj^ by, 

To hand him on, 
Where many a patriot name on high. 

And hero alione. 

DUAN SECOND. 

With musing-deop, astonishM stare, 
I view'd the hcavenly-Rccming/wir ; 
A whispering throb did witneis bear. 

Of kindred sweet, 
When with an elder sister's air 

Slic did me greet. 

*^ All hail ! my own inspired bard ! 
In me thy native mnse regard ! 
Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard. 

Thus poorly low ! 
I oome to give thee such reward 

As wo bestow. 

" Know, the great genius of this land 
Has many a li^t aerial band. 
Who, all beneath Ids hurh command, 

Harmoniously, 
As arts or arms they understand. 

Their labours ply. 

'* They 800110*8 race among them share ; 
Some fire the soldier on to dare ; 
Some rouse the patriot up to bare 

Corruption's heart : 
Some teach the bard, a darling care. 

The tuneful art 

" 'Mong swelling floods of reeking gore, 
They, ardent, kindling ipirits pour ; 
Or, 'mid tiie venal senators roar. 

They, lightlees, stand. 
To mend the honest patriot-lore. 

And grace the hand. 

** And when the bard, or hoary isage. 
Charm or instruct tlie fiiturc age,' 
They bind tlie wild poetic rag* 

In energy, 
Or point the inconclusive page 

Full on the eye. 

^ Hence FuUarlon^ the brave and young ; 
Hence Demptter's zeal-insoired tongue ; 
Hence sweet harmonious iBeaiHt sung 

His *■ Minstrel lays ;' 
Or tore, witli noble ardour stung, 

The tceptie's bays. 

" To lower orders are assign'd 
The humbler ranks of human-kind, 

^ Colonel FullartoiL 



The rustic Bard, the labVinff Hind 

TIm Artisan; 

AH chuae, as various they're incUn'd, 

Tlie various man. 



" When veUow waves the heavy graia, 
The threatiiing stonn some strongly rein. 
Some teach to meliorate the pUdn 

With tiUago-skill ; 
And some instruct the shcpherd-tnun, 

Blytho o'er the lulL 

**• Some hint the lover's harmlesB wile ; 
Some grace the maiden's artless smile ; 
Some soothe the laborer's weary toil. 

For humble gains. 
And make his cottage-scenes beguile 

His cares and pains. 

^ Some, bounded to a districtnspace. 
Explore at largo man's infant race. 
To mark tlio embryotic trace 

Of rustic Bard ; 
And careful note each opening grace, 

A guide and guard. 

*' Of these am F—CoUa my name ; 
And Uiis district as mine I claim, 
Wliere once the Campbells^ chief^ of fame, 

Held ruling pow'r : 
I marked thy embryo tuneful flame. 

Thy natal hour. 

** With future hope, I oft would gaze 
Fond, on tliy little earl^ ways. 
Thy rudely caroll'd cliiming phrase. 

In uncouth rhymes, 
Fir'd at the simple, artless lays 

Of other times. 



^ I saw thee seek the sounding shore. 
Delighted with the dasliing roar ; 
Or when the north his fleecy store 

Drove thro' the sky, 
I saw grim nature's visage hoar 

Struck thy young eye. 

^* Or, when tlie deep green-mantl'd earth 
Warm cherishM ev'ry floweret's birtb. 
And joy and music pouring forth 

In ev'ry grove, 
I saw tliee eye the general rairUi 

With boundless love. 



^ When ripen'd fields, and azure skiea, 
Caird fortli tlie reaptor's rustling noise, 
I saw thee leave their evening joys, 

Anrl lonely stalk. 
To vent thy bosom's swcllin^r nse 

111 pensive walk. 



/ 



Vnm yoathfbl lofe^ wufllrblaahing. 

fltraofff 
irflfaifeiiii^ ibot thy nenres along, 
m aooenta, grateful to thy tongue, 
Th* adored Aam 



ight thee how to pour in lonff. 

To aoethe thy flame. 



\ nw thy pulm^B maddening play, 
d Mod thee pleasure's devious way, 
led by fimcy s meteor ray. 

By passion driven ; 
7«t the Ughi that led astray 

Was kght from heaven. 



I tangfat thy manners-painting strains, 
e lov«B, the wajrs of simple swains, 
1 now, o^er all my wide domains 

Thy fame extends : 
d RHne, the pride of CoUa^t plains, 

Become my friends. 



TboQ canst not learn, nor can I show, 
paint with ThonuorCs landscape-glow ; 
wake the bosom-melting throe, 

With 5A«M/on€'* art- 
poor, with Gray, the moving flow 

Warm on the heart 



Yet all beneath th' unrivallM rose, 

) lowly daisy sweetly blows ; 

«* large the forest's monarch throws 

His army shade, 
green the juicy hawtliom grows, 

Adown the glade. 



rhen never murmur nor repine ; 
e in thy humble sphere to shine : > 
trust me, not PototCt mine, 

Nor kings' regard, 
give a bliss o'ermatching thine, 

A rustic Bard. 



?o give my counsels all in one 
tuneful flame still careful fan ; 
ore 0ic Dignity ofMan^ 

With soul erect ; 
trust, the Ufmertal Plan 

Will all protect 



ind ueartfum (hiT — she solemn said, 
bound the HoUy round my head : 
pdGah'd leaves, and berries red, 

Did rustling play ; ' 
fike a |»a»ing thou^rht, she fled 

In lifi^lit awHV* 



BURNS' POEMS; V 

ADDRESS TO THE UNCO GUIB, 

OR,TBB 

RIGIDLT RIGHTEOUa 



iamtt 



My Moa, these mazfans make a mis, 

And tump tbem ay tbegltber ; 
The Rigid Righteous is a fool, 

The Rigid Wise anither : 
The cleanest eora that e*er was dl^ 

May hae some pylos o' caffin ; 
00 ne'er a fdlow-creaturs slight 

For random fits o* daffin. 

Sotofflon^—Ectlfk cb. viL ver. Mb 



O YE wha are sae guid yoursol, 

Sao pious and sae holy, 
YoVe nought to do but mark and toll 

Your nccbor^s faults and folly ! 
Whase life is like a woel-gaun mill, 

SupplyM wi' store o' water, 
The nea[>et happcr^s ebbing still. 

And still the clap plays clattor 



n. 



Hear me, ye venerable core. 

As counsel for poor mortals, 
That frequent pass douce Wisdom*B door 

For glaikit Folly's portals ; 
I, for their tlioughtlessj careless sakes, - 

Would here propone dofcnces, 
Their donsie tncks, their black mistakes, 

Their failings and mischances. 

m. 

Te see jrour state wi^ theirs compared. 

And shuddo* at the nifier. 
But cast a moment's fair regard, 

What maks the mighty auTer ; 
Discount what scant occasion gave. 

That purity vo pride bi. 
And (what's aft mair tiian a' Uie lave) 

Tour bettor art o' hiding. 

IV. *• 

Think, when your castigated pulse 

dies now%nd then a wallop. 
What ragings must his veins convulse, , 

That still ctema) ^aUop : 
Wi* wind and tide tux V your^tail. 

Right on ye scndyonr sea-way ; 
But in tlie teetli o' baith to sail, 

It nuiks an unco leeway. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



V. 



See ■oeial life and glee ait down, 

AH joyous and unthinking, 
'nil, quite tranamugri^M, tney^ grown 

Debauchery and drinking : 
O, would thov fltay to calculate 

Th' eternal consequence! ; 
Oryour more dreaded hell to tasttt, 

D-mnation of expenses ! 

VL 

Ye high, exalted, virtuous damei, 

Ty^ up in godly laces. 
Before ye gio poor frailtif names, 

Suppose a cnango o* cases ; 
A dear lovM lad, convenience snug, 

A treacherous inclination — 
But, let me whispor i* your lug, 

TeYe aiblins nao temptation. 

VIL 

Then gently scan your brother man« 

Stiirgentler sister woman ; 
Tho* they may ^ang a kennin wiang; 

To step aside is human : 
One point must still be greatly dark, 

The moving tc^i^ they do it : 
And just as lamely can ye mark« 

How far perhaps they rue it 

vm. 

Who made the heart, 'tis He alone 

Decidedly can try us, 
He knows each chord — ^its various tone, 

Each spring, its various bias : 
Then at the balance let's be mute, 

We never can adjust it ; 
What's done we partly majr compote, 

Bat know not what^ rttitted. 



TAM SAMSON'S* ELEGY. 



An honest man*i the noUest work of Oral. 

PoPR. 



Has auld K* ******** seen the Dcil? 
Or great M* ******* t tlunwn his heel ! 

*Whon this worthy old iportsman went ont IsBt muir- 
fowlMSSon, be supiMNicd it waa to be, fn Owiiin's phnue, 

" tlie lastof hid fields ;" and exprewed an anient wish 
to die and be buried in the maUc On this hint the 
■Btbor oompoeed hii elegy and opiinph. 

t A certain preacher, a great fa\'(tfiriie wiili die mll- 
llMU Fld$ the Ordinal Icrt. staioia If 



OrR******* again grown wed,* 

To preach an' read. 

*^Na, waur Una a T cries ilka duel, 

7bm Samton^t dead ! 



K********* lang mav gnmt an* gram 
An' sigh, an' sab, an' greet ner line. 
An' deed her bairns, man, wife, an' wean, 

In mourning weed ; 
To death, she's dearly paid the kano, 

Tarn Samson*8 dead ' 

The brethren of the mystic lad 
May hing their head in woefh' bevel, 
Wmle by their nose the tears will revel. 

Like ony bead ; 
Death's gien the lodge an unco dcvel : 

Tarn Samson^ dead 



When winter muffles up his doak, 
And binds tlio mire like a rock ; 
When to tiie louglis the curlers flock, 

Wi' ffleesomc speed, 
Wha will they station at the corfc ? 

Tam Samson's dead ! 



He was the king o' a' the core. 
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore. 
Or up the rink like Jehu roar 

In time of need ; 
But now he lags on dcath''s hog-Kort^ 

Tam Samson^s deiUi ! 

Now safe the stately sawmont sail. 
And trouts bedroppM wi^ crimson hail, 
And eels weel keim'd for souple tail, 

And gcds for greed. 
Since dark in death's fish^recl we wail 

Tam Samson dead ! 



Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a'; 
Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw ; 
Ye maukins, cock your fiid fu' braw, 

Withouton dread; 
Your mortal fac is now awa', 

Tam Samson's dead. 

That woefu' mom bo ever moum'd, 
Saw him in shootin groith ndom''d, 
W|iilo pointers round impatient burned, 

Frae couples freed; 
BwU och ! ho gand and nc^cr rctum'd ! 

Tam Samson'p dead! 

In vain anld njjc his body batters; 
In vain Uie gout liis ancles fottcrs; 

* toother preaclier, an ednal favoDrlls with the kn 
who was at that time ailing;. For hioi, ice alsethtOc 
dln:ition. slan/.a IX. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



t9 



nm the boms oame down like waten, 

An acre b *mid ! 

i^erVx *oU wife, ffroetin, datten, 

Tarn Samson^ dead ! 



>irre many a weary haf he limpit, 
I* ay the tither shot he Uiiimpit, 
11 coward death behind him jumpit, 

Wi' deadly feide ; 
m he proclaims, wi* toat o* trumpet, 

Tarn Samson 8 dead I 



When at his heart he felt the dagger, 
e nel'd his wonted bottle-swaggor, 
at yet he drew the mortal trigger 

Wi* weefaim*d heed; 
L— dtfive!" he ay'd an' owre did stagger; 

Tam Somson^s dead \ 

IQl hoary honter moum'd a brither ; 
k sportsman youth bemoanM a father ; 
on auld gray stane, amang the heather, 

Marks out his head« 
'ttie Bunu has wrote, in rhyming bletner. 

Tan SaauonU dead ! 



IWe low he liae, in lasting rest ; 
thapi upon his mouldering oreast 
*aie spitefu' muirfowl bim her nest. 

To hatch an' breed ; 
B«! naemair hell them molest ! 

Tam Samson's dead \ 



^lien Augnst winds the heather wave, 
i sportsmen wander by yon grave, 
"se volleys let his mem'ry crave 

O' pouther an' lead. 
Echo answer frao her cave, 

Tam Samson^s dead ! 



eav'n reel his saul, whare'or he be ! 
i' wish o* monie mae than mo ; 
lad twa faults, or may be three, 

Tot what remead ? 
watlt honest man want wo : 

Tam Samson's dead ! 



THE EPITAPH. 



Samson's weel-wom clay here lies, 
I canting zealots, spare him '. 
mest worth in heaven rise, 
ill mend or ye win near him. 



PER CONTRA. 



Go, fame, an' canter like a filly 
Thro' a' the strccU an' neoks o' KWuf 
Tell •v'ly social, honest bilUe 

To cease hu grievin, 
Fer yet, onskaith'd by death's gleg gulliei 

Tmn SamtmCt Hwu 



HALLO WEEN.t 



The foUowiog Poem wiil, by maoj readetk., be wdl 
enough anderatood ; but for the sake of those who 
are unacquainted with the manncn and traditions 
of the country where the acene to cast, notes are ad- 
ded, to give some account of the principal charms and 
spells of that night, io big with prophecy to tHe pea- 
santry in the west of Scotlsnd. Tbepaaaioeof pty- 
ing Into Aitorlty makes a striking part of the history 
of human nature in its rude state, in all ages sad 
nations ; and it may b« soom entertainment to a phi- 
losophic miad. If asy such should honour the author 
with a perusal, to see Hie remains of it, among the 
more unenlightened in our own. 



Tea ! let the rich dsride, the prood disdain, 
The simple pleasorcs of tlie lowly trala ; 
Tome more dear, congenial to my heart, 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art 

Goldsmith. 
I. 

UroN that night, when fairies light. 

On Cassilis DairtuauX dance. 
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, 

Oir sprightly coursers prance ; 
0|^ for CoUan the route is ta'en, 

Beneath the moon's pale beams ; 
There, up the cove^ to stray an' rove 

Amang the rocks and streams 

To sport that night. 

II. 

Amaag the bonnie winding banks. 
Whore Doon rins, wimpling clear. 

Where Bnicel| ance ruPd the martial ranks. 
An' shook nis Carrick spear, 

*. JTtlUt is a phrase the eoentiy-fblks sometimes use 
for KihDamock. 

t Is thought to be night when witches, devils, and 
other mischief-making beings, are all abroad on their 
iMneful, midnight errands; particularly those aerial 
people the Fairies, are said on that night, to hold a 
grand anniversary. 

t Oertaia little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the 
neighbourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of 
Camilis. 

$ A noted cavern near Colean-house, colled The 
Cove of Colean ; which, as Gaasilis Downans, is famed 
in country story for being a favourite haunt of tkiries. 

II The famous family of that name, the ancestonef^ 
Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Bails 
of Carrick. 



30 



BURNS' POEMS 



Some merry, friendly, crnmlra folkii, 

'J\><rctiicr (lid convene, 
To burn their nits, lui pou tlioir stockfl, 

An* haud their Hdhiceen 

Fu^blytlio that night 

01. 

Tho loftf^w feat, an' cleanly noat, 

Mair hraw than when thoyVo fine ; 
Their faces blytlie^ f\i' sweetly kythc, 

Il(>art.s leal, an* warm an* kin*: 
Tho lads f:u' tri^, wi* woocr-balw, 

Weel knotted on their jsfarten, 
Some unco blato, an* sonio wi* j^abs, 

Gar lameu* hearts gan^ otartm 

VVhilcB fast at night 

IV. 

Then firat and foremost, thro* the kail, 

Their slocks^ maun a' besought anco ; 
They sleek their een*.an' fp^P an* wale, 

For niuckle anes an* straiifjrht anca. 
Poor hav n*l WUI fell alTtho drift, 

All* wander'd thro* tho b$w-kail^ 
An* jmw't for want o* l»cttcr shift, 

A runt was like a sow -tail, 

Sae bow*t that night 

V. 

Then, straughtor crooked, yird or nane. 

They roar and cry a* throuHhcr ; 
Tho vera woe thintrs, todlin, rin 

Wi* stocks out-owre their shouthcr ; 
An* gif tho cuslocs sweet or sour, 

Wi' joctelegs tliey taste tlicin ; 
Syne coziely, aboon the door, 

Wi* camiie care tliey place them 

To lio tliat night 

VI. 

Tho lassos slaw frac *mang them a^ 
To pou tlicir sUilks o* com ;t 

*.Tiic tint ceremony of Halloween la, pulling each a 
ftock^ or plant of kuil. They niiut go out, hand hi 
hand, wftti cyc«i shut, and {lull the first tlicy meet with : 
Its being big or little, straight or crooked, is propliclic 
of the vizc and shape of the grand object of all their 
spells— the husband or wife. If any yM, or earth, stick 
to the root, that If CocAsr, or fortune ; and the tasto of 
the cvstoe, that if, tbt bean of the stem, is indicative 
of tho natural topper and dlfposition. Lastly, the 
stems, or, to k>vo them t^eir ordinary appellation, the 
ruHtSf are placed somewhM above the head of the 
door: and the christmn names of tlic people whom 
chance brings into the houfe, are, pccording to the 
priority of placing the runts^ the names in quciition. 

t Tiicy go to tliu barn-yard and pull each, at three 
several times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants 
the top-pickU, tliat is, the grain at the top of the stalk, 
the party in question will come to the marriage-bed 
any Uiing but a maid. 



Bat Rab slips out an* jinkf about« 
Bcliint tlio niucklo thorn : 

Ho grippct NeUy hard an' last ; 
' >iid 



Loud skirPd a* tho 
But hor tafHpiekie maist was lost. 
When kiuttlin in the fauso-house* 

Wi* him that nig 



vn. 

Tho auld gtiidwife*8 wed hoordot niU 

Aro round an* round divided. 

An* monio lads* and lasses* fates, 

Aro thcro that night decided r 

Some kindle, couthio, side by side 

An* bum tliogitlier trimly ; 
^omo start awa wi* saucie pride. 
And jump out-owre tlie chimUe 

Fu* high that nij 

vm 

Joan slips in twa, wi^ tentie e*o; 

Wha 'twas she wadna tell ; 
But this is Jock^ an* this is me^ 

She says m to herscl : 
Ho bleez*d owre her, an* she owre h 

As they wad never mair part ; 
Till fuif! he started up tlio lum. 

And Jean had cVn a sair heart 

To Boe't that ni{ 



IX. 

Poor Willie, wi* his bmc-kail nmiy 

Was bnml wi* primsio Mallie ; 
An* Mallie, nac doubt, took tho dru 

To be compar*d to Willie : 
Mairs nit lap out wi* pridcfu* fling, 

An* her ain fit it burnt it ; 
Wliilo Willie lap, and swoor hyjini 

'Twos just the way ho wanted 

To be tliat nigh 



X. 



Nell had the fausc-houso in her min 
She pits hersol an' Rob in ; 

In loving blecze they sweetly join, 
Till white in aso thoy*ro sobbin : 

* Whea Uic com is in a doubtnil state, by 
grccn,'or wet, the stack-builder, by means of ( 
dec, makes a large apartment in Ids staci 
opening io the vide which is fairest expos 
wind : ttiis he calls a fause-ko use, 

t Itiiming the nuts is a famous charm. T 
the lad and lass to each particular nut, as the; 
in the fire, and accordingly as thry burn 
grther, or start from beside one another, the < 
ibsue of the courtsliip will be 



BURNS POEMS. 



31 



Vb heart was dancin at the view, 
he whisper'd Kob to leak fort: 
I, stowlins, prie^d her boimie mou, 
u^ oozie in the neuk for't, 

Unaeen that night 

XL 

Merran lat behint their backs, 
ler thoughts on Andrew Boll ; 
) ka'os them goshin at their crackSf 
Ind slips out by hcreel : 
i thro^ the yara the nearest'taks, 
U* to the kiln she goes then, 
^ darklins grapit for the banks, 
\nd in the blue-clae?' throws then. 

Right fcar't that night 

xn. 

k' ay she win^ an^ ajr she swat, 

[ wat she made nao jaukin ; 

llBomctiuDg held within the pat, 

Guid L— d ! but she was quakin ! 

it whether twas the Doil himscl, ^ 

^ whether twas a banken, 

whether it was Andrew Bell, 

She did na \rait on talkin 

To spiir that night 

xm. 

)e Jenny to her Grannie sajrs. 
Win ye go wi^ me, grannie ? 
m the appltt at tfte^lattf 
ni frae uncie Johnie :" 
rafft her jpipe wi' sic a lunL, 
I wrath she was sae vap^rin, 
notict na, an azle bnmt 
er braw new worset apron 

Out thro' that night 

XIV. 

little skelpio-limmer^s face ! 
>w daur yon tr^ sic sportin, 
»k the fool Thief ony place, 
r him to fpae your f6rtune : 



rhoever wmld, with sacccsst ^ this spell, must 
f oliienre these directions : Steal out, all alone, to 
bi, SDd, darkling, throw into the pot a clue of 
am ; wiad it in a new clue off the old one ; and, 
di the latter end, something will hold the thread ; 
id wka h*mdt t I' e. who holds 1 an answer will 
araed from the kiln-pot, by naming the Chrls- 
nd aomame of your future spouse. 
tke a candle, and go alone to a looking gloss ; cat 
Ida before it, and some traditions say, you should 
fMir bair, an the time ; the face of your coqjugal 
inlon, to h€j will be seen in the glass, ai if peeping 
eur sliouldac. 



Kae donbt but ye may got a fi^ht ! 

Great cause ye hae to fear it ; 
For monie a ane has gotten a flight. 

An» Uv'd an' di'd dSeeret • 

On lie a night 

xy. 



^ Ac hairst afore the Sherra-moor, 

I mindt as weeP jrestreen, 
I was a gilpoy tlien, I'm sure 

I was na past fyftoon : 
The simmer had been cauld an' wat. 

An' stuff was unco green; 
An' ay a rantin kirn we gat, 

An^ just on Halloween 

It feU that night 



XVI. 



(t 



Our fitibble-rig was Rab IVPGraen, 
A clever, sturdy fallow ; « 

He's sin pat Kppie Sim wi' wean, 

That liv'd in Achmacalla : 
He gat hemp-seed^* 1 mind it weel, 

&* he made imco light ot ; 
But monie a day was btf hinrnel^ 
He was sae sairly frighted 

That vera night" 



xvn. 

Then up gat fcchtin Jamie Fleck, 

An' he swoor by his conscience. 
That he could saw hanp-teed a peck ; 

For it was a' but nonsense ; 
The auld guidman ran^t down the pock, 

An' out a handful' giod him ; 
Syne bad him slip fra^iang the folk 

Sometimes when nae ane see'd him : 

An'tiytthatnig^t 



xvm. 

Ho marches thro' amang the stacks, 
T'ho' he wras something sturtm ; 

The graip he for a harrow taks. 
An' haurls at his curpin : 



* Steal out nnpercelved, and sow a handful of hemp 
seed ; harrowing it with any tiling you can conveni- 
ently draw after you. Repeat now and then, " Hemp 
seed I saw thee, hemp seed I saw thee ; and him (or 
her) that is to be my true-love, come after me and pou 
tliee.*' Look over your left sliouldert and you will see 
the appearance of tlie person invoked, in the attitude 
of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, " come after mci 
and shaw thee,*' that is, show thyself : in which case ft 
simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and soy, 
"come after me, and harrow thee.** 



32 



BURNS* POEMS. 



An^ ov^ry now an* tlien, he iays, 

^ lletiip«8ecd I law tbeo. 
An' her tnat is to bo my hiM, 

Come after mo, and draw thee. 

As fast this night" 

llo wliisU'd up Lord Lenox* march. 
To keep his courage cheerie ; 

Altlio* his hair bcffon to arcli, •< 

He Was see Hey d an^ eerie : 

"mi presently he hears a squeak. 
An' tlicn a grone an' gruntlo ; 

He by his shoathor gao a keek, 

- An' timibrd wi' a wintle 

Out-owre that night 

XX. 

He roar'd a horrid murder-shout, 

In dreadfu' desperation ! 
An' young an' aiud came rinnin out. 

To hear the sad narration : 
He swoor 'twas iiilchin Jean M^Craw, 

Or croucihio Merran Humphie, 
Till stop ! she trotted thro' them a' ; 

An' wha was it but Grumpkie 

Asteer that night! 

• 

XXI. 

Meg faui wad to tlie bam gacn 

To mn three iverhtt o' naething ^ 
But for to meet the doil her lane. 

She pat but litUc faith in : 
She gios the herd a pickle nits, 

Air twa red cheekit apples. 
To watch, while for the bam she sets. 

In hopes to SCO Tarn Kii>ples 

That vera night 

XXIL 

She tarns the key wi' cannio thraw. 
An' owre tlio tJircshold ventures; 

But first on Sawiiie gies a ca' 
Syne ba^oldly in she enters ; 



* This charm must likewise be performed anpcrceived, 
and alone. You go to the ftam, and open both doors, 
taking them off the hinges, if powible ; for there is 
danger that the hnng, about to appear, may shut the 
doors, and do you some mischief. Then take that in- 
strument used in winnowing the com, which, in our 
country dialect, we call a voecht ; and go through all the 
attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Re- 
peat it three times ; and tlie third time an apparition 
will pass tliruugh the barn, in at the windy door, and 
out at the other, having botli the figure in question, and 
the appearance or retinue, marking the empioymcut or 
station in life 



A rattan ntUed up the wa', 
An' she cnr'd L— d pnaerrt her 

An' ran thro^midden-£ole an' n,\ 
An' pray'd wi' zeal an' fenronr* 

Fa'fa«tthat- 

xxnL 

Ther hoy t oat WUl, m* sair advice : 

Tnoy hecht him some fine braw um 
It chanc'd the stodb h»faddonCd thriee, 

Was tinuner propt K>r thrawin : 
Ho taks a swirhe, auld moss^oak, 

For some black, grousome cmrKn ; 
An' loot a winze, an, drew a stroke, 

Till skin in blypes came haurlin 

Aff 'e nievee that i 

XXIV. 

A wanton widow Loezie was, 

As canty as akittlen ; 
ButOch! that night, amang the dial 

She got a fearm' settlin ! 
She thro' the whins, an' by the caim. 

An' owre the IiiU gaed scrievin, 
Whare three UUrdt^ lamb met at a bun 

To dip her left sark-sleevo in. 

Was bent that nig! 

XXV. 



Whyles owre a linn the bumie playe, 

As thro' the glen it wimpl't; 
Whyles round a rocky scar it ttrayi ; 

"Whyles in awiol it dimpH; 
Whyles glittered to the nightly rays, 

Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle ; 
Whyles oookit underneath the braes, 

lielow the spreading hazel. 

Unseen that night 



XXVL 



Amang the brachens, on the brae. 
Between her an' the moon. 

The dttl, or else an outler quey. 
Gat up an' gae a croon : 



* Take an opportunity of going, uonotleed, to 
ttaekf and fathom it three times round. The 
thorn of the last time, you will catch in your i 
appearance of your future conjugal yoke-feUoi 

t Tougo out, one or more, for this is asocial 
a south running spring or rivulet, where " tlun 
lands meet," and dip your left shirt sleeve. G 
in sight of a fire, and bang your wet sleeve be 
dry. Lie awake ; and sumetime near midnlgh 
pariUon, having the exact figure of the grand 
question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if I 
other side of it 



BURNS' POEMS. 



33 



Poor LeeiiB^ heait mmlft b^ tht bool ; 

Neer laverock height ihe jmnpit, 
Bnt milt a fit, an* in the /mm2 

Oat-owra the luijfi she plumpit, 

Wi' a planfe that night 

xxvn. 

border, on the clean heartb-aUne, 

The fc^Bpieff tfare^ are ranged, 
And e? Vf time onat care if ta^en, 

To ne them doly changed : 
Aold node John, wha wedlock*8 joys 

Sin Mar'iyear did deore, 
Bectott he nX the toom-dkh thrice. 

He beav^a them on the fire 

In wrath that night. 

xxvm. 

Wi^ mernr san^ an* friendly cracki, 

1 wtt tW duma weary ; 
An' QDco taiee, an' funnie jokea, 

Thair iports were cheap an' cheery, 
"^hmttdm^^ wi' fira^rant lunt, 

Set a* their £[1^ a-eteenn ; 
Sjoe, wT a eocial glaa o'ltront, 

Tbej ptrted aff careerm 

Fa' blythe that night 



THE AULD FA1UflR*B 
NEW-TEAR MORNING SALUTATION 



TO 



HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE, 



^ihrfnglMrtbeaeeartOBMdRlppof Corn to haaiel 
to the New-Tear. 

A ODID Ifew-^ear I wiih thee, Maggie ! 
Hae, thflre*8 a npp to thy anld ba^ffie : 
TW thoa*s howo-baddt, now, an^ knaggie, 

IVe seen the day, 
llioa ooold hae gaen like ony itag^e 

Ont-owre the lay. 

*Take ikree dWm ; pat cleaa water fa one, fool 
' la aaoilMr, Imto tiM ihiid empty : blindfold a 
and lead Mm to the beartb where tbe dlakee 
|id ; IM (or At) dipe the left band : if Iqr chance 
clean water, tbe fntnre hniband or wife wlD 
tothebarefiMatrfanonyaniald; If In tbe foal, a 
; If in the empty diih, It foreteUe, wltbtequal cer- 
% BO mairlafi at alL It fe repeated three timet, 
•ndcveqr timt tbAtrranfltment of tbe dlibet It altered. 

with baiter taittead of milk to them, ft al- 



ia tlM 



Tlio* now thoa't dowie, atiff, an' crazy. 
An' thy anld hide^e at whitens a daity, 
IVo eeen thee dappl% deek, and glaizie, 

A bonnie gray : 
He dKNild been tight that dauri to nAu thaoi 

Ance in a day. 



Thou ance waa i' the foremost rank, 
A fiOy buirdly, eteere, an' twank. 
An* net weel down a diapcly thank. 

At e'er tread yird ; 
An* could hae flown out^>wre a stank. 

Like ony bird. 

It*s now some nine an* twenty year, 
Sin' thou waa my ffood father't miotrt ; 
He gied me thee, o* tocher clear. 

An* fifly mark ; 
Tho' it was tma*, Hwas weel-won gear, 

An' thou was ttaric. 



When first I gaed to woo my Jenmf^ 
Te then waa trottin wi' your minnie : 
Tho' ye was trickie, slee, an' fimnie. 

Ye ne'er was donme ; 
But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie. 

An' unco sonaie. 



That day, ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride. 
When ye bure name my bonnie hriJU ; 
An' sweet, an' gracefU' she did ride, 

yfV maiden air ! 
Kyk Stmoart I could bragged wide, 

For sic a pair. 



Tho' now ye dow but hoyte an* hobble 
An' winUe like a eaomont^coble. 
That day ye waa a jinker noble. 

For heels an' win' ! 
An' ran them till they a' did wauble, 

Far, far behin*. 



When thou an' I were young an' akei^ 
An' stable-meals at fain were drei^ 
How thou wad prance, an' snore, an* skreigh. 

An' tak tho road ! 
Town's bodiee ran, and stood abeigh. 

An' ca't thee mad. 



When thou was comt, an' I was meHow, 
We took the road ay like a swallow : 
At Brootes thou had ne'er a fellow. 

For pith an' speed : 
But ev*iy tail thou payH tnem hollow, 

Where*er thou gaed. 



The ama', droop-nunplt, hunter calAle, 
ACght aiblina waur*t thee for a brattle : 



34 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Bat i&x Scotch miloe thou trjH their mettle. 

An' garH them whaizle : 

Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle 

O saugh or hazol 



Thou was a nob1o^/te-/an\ 
As eW in tuf or tow was drawn ! 
Aft thee an'l, in aught hours ^aun, 

On guid March weather, 
Hae tumM sax rood beside our han\ 

For days thegither. 

Thou never braindgY, an' fetch't, an' fliskit, 
But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, 
An' spread abreed thy weel-fiU'd brisket, 

W pitli, an' powV, 
TiU spritty knowes wad rair*t and risket, 

An' Blyi)et owre. 

When frosts lav Ivigi an' snaws wore deep, 
An' threatcnM laoour back to keep, 
I gied tliy cog a woe-bit heap 

Aboon tlio timmer ; 
I kerni'd my Maggie wad na sleep 

For that, or simmer. 

In cart or car tJiou never ree»tit ; 
The steyest brae thou wad hac fac't it : 
Thou never lap, and sten't, and breastit. 

Then stood to blaw ; 
But just thy step a wee thing hastit. 

Thou snoov't awa. 



Mypleugh is now thy bairn-time a' : 
Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw : 
Porbye sax mae, I've sell't awa. 

That thou hast nurst : 
They drew me thrctteen pund an' twa, 

The vera worst. 



Monie a sair daurk we twa hae wrought. 
An' wi' the weary warl' fought ! 
An' monie an anxious day, I thought 

We wad bo beat ! 
Tet here to crazy age we're brought, 

Wi* somethmg yet. 

And think na, my auld trusty servan', 
That now perhaps thou's less clcservin. 
An' thy auld days may end in starvin. 

For my last/oti, 
A heaptt ttimpart^ 111 reserve ane 

Laid by for you. 

We've worn to crazy years thegither ; 
Well toyte about wi' ane anither ; 
Wi' tentie care, I'll flit thy tether, 

To some hain'd rig. 
Where ye may nobly rax your leather, 

Wi' sma' fatigue. 



TO A MOUSE, 



ON TURNmO RER UP IN HER NEST WITH 
THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER 1785. 

Wee, aleekit, cowMn, tun'rous beastie, 
O, what a panic's in thy brcastie '. 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 

Wi' bickering bratUe ! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 

Wi' murdering patiU ! 

Vm truly sony man's dominion 
Has broken Nature's social union. 
An' justifies that ill opinion. 

Which maks thee itarUt 
At me, thy poor earth-bom companion, 

AxC feUow mortal ! 

I doubt na, whyles, but tliou may thieve ; 
What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live ! 
A daimen^ktr in a thra^'t 

'S a sma' request : 
m get a blessin wi' the lave. 

And never missH ! 

Thy wee bit houm^ too, in ruin ! 
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin ! 
An' naethin^, now, to big a new ane, 

O' foffgage ^rreen ! 
An' bleak December's winds ensum, 

Baith snell and keen ! 

Thou saw the fields laid bore an' waste, 
An' weaiy winter comin fast. 
An' cozie hero, beneath the blast. 

Thou thought to dweDi 
Till crash ! the cruel couUer past 

Out thro' thy cell. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble. 
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble ! 
Now thou's tum'd out, for a'' thy trouble, 

But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble. 

An' cranreodi canldS 

But, Moosie, thou art no thy lane, 
Jn proving fortsigfU may be vain : 
The best laid schemes o' mice an' meti, 

Gan^ aft a-gley, 
An' lea'e ue nought but gnef an pain. 

For promiB*d joy. 

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me / 
The present only toucheth thee : 
But, Och ! I backward cast my e'e. 

On prospects drear 
An' forward, the' I canna see^ 

1 guess 9iBL\ feat. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



35 



A WINTER NIGHT. 



Mrukad wretcbflib wbarwM'ar 700 an, 
111 Mde the ptldng of tliii pitylaa ttorm ! 
low ■ball your bouaelaa beiidi, and onfed lidM , 
rovloop'd and wlndow*d rag|ediie«, defaod you 
*Nm aaaaooa aadi ai Umm 1 

Shakspxaks. 



fwMM biting B&reoiy fell and doore, 
rp afaifei* thro* the leaflen bowV ; 
8uPAa6iiff giea a ahort-livM glow^ 

Far south the hit, 
i-daik'ning thro' the flaky show'r, 

Or whirlmg drifl : 

Le night the •torm the steeples rockM, 

•r koour sweet in sleep was lock'd, 

ok bonis, wi' snawy wreeths up-chock^d. 

Wild-eddying swirl, 
tbo' the mining outlet bock*d, 

Down headlong huri. 

fltVuDg, the doors an' winnocks rattle, 
oQ^t ma on the onrie cattle, 
dlj sheep, wha bide this brattle, 

O' winter war, 
Iflno' the drift, deep-lairing sprattlc, 

Beneath a scar. 



I happing Inrd, wee, helpless thing, 
t, m the menr months o' spring, 
{fated me to near thee sing, 

What comes o' thee ? 
XB wih thou cow'r thy cluttering wing, 

An'close thy e^e? 

i*a jnm on mnid^ring errands toil'd, 
>from yoor sayage homes ezilM, 
blood-etam'd rowt, and sheep-cote spoU'd, 

My heart forgets, 
lapitylaM the tempest wild 

Sore on you beats. 

iw Phmbe^ in her midnight reign 
c mnffl'd, view'd the dreary plain , 
erowdiiig thoughts, a pensive trabi. 

Rose m my soul, 
n on my ear this plaintiTo strain. 

Blow, solemn, stole— 

Bknr, Mow, yt wmds, witii heavier gas( • 
ftme, thoa bitter-bitixig fit>st ! 
ssnd, ye chilly, amothermg snows ! 
all your rage* aa now miited, shows 



More hard unkindness, unrelenting. 
Vengeful malice, unrepentinc^. 
Than heav^ illuminM man on Brother man be* 
stows! 
See stem oppression^ iron ^ip, 
•Or mad ambition^s gory hand. 
Sending, like blood-hoimds from the slip, 

Wo^ want, and murder o'er a land ! 
Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale, 
Truth, weeping, tells tlio mournful tale, 
How pompcr'd luxury, flalt'ry by her side. 
The parasite empoisoning her ear, 
With all the servile wretches in tiie rear, 
Looks o^er proud property, extended wide ; 
And eyes the simple rustic hind, 

AVhoso toil upholds tlie glittring show, 
A creature of another kind. 
Some coarser substance, unrefined. 
PlacM for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, b^ 
low; 
AVhere, where is loveV fond, tender throe. 
With lordly honour^s lofty brow, 
The powVs you proudly own ? 
Ib there, beneath lovers noble name. 
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim, 

To bless himself alone ! 
Mark maiden-innocence a prey 

To love-pretending snares. 
This boasted honour turns away 
Shunning soft pity^s rising sway, 
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'ra ! 
rcrhaps, this hour, in mis^r^'^s squalid nest. 
She strains your infant to her joyless breast. 
And with a mother^s fears shrinks at the rock- 
ing blast ! 



Oh ye ! who sunk in beds of down. 
Feel not a want but what yourselves create. 
Think* for a moment, on his wretched fate. 
Whom friends and fortune quito disown ! 

lU-satisfyM keen nature^s clamVous call, 
StretdiM on his straw ho lays himself to 
sleep. 

While thro' tne ragged roof and chinky wall. 
Chill o'er his slumbers piles the driAy heap ! 
Think on the dungeon's grim confine. 
Where guilt and poor mistbrtune pine \ 
Guilt, erring man, relenting view * 
But shall thy lega rage pursue 
The wretch, already cruslicd low 
By cruel fortune's underserved blow ? 

AfHiction's sons are brothers in distress, 

A brother to reheve, how exquisite the bli«l 



I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer 
Shook off the pouthery snaw. 

And hail'd the morning with a cheer, 
A cottage-rousing craw. 



Bat deep this truth imprefls'd my mind- 
Thro' all his works abroad. 

The heart, benevolent and kind, 
Tlie most resembles God. 



36 



BURNS' POEMS. 



EPISTLE TO DAVIE* 



A BROTHEE POST.* 



If. 



Juai 



While winds frae 9ft Ben Lemami blaw, 
And bar the doom wi* driTing maw, 

And hinjT xu owre the in^le, 
I set me down to pas the time. 
And spin a yene or twa o' rfajme, 

In namely westiin jingle. 
While frosty winds blaw in the drifl, 

Ben to the chimla log, 
1 Qudfe a wee the great folks* gift, 
^!)iat liye sae bien an* snug : 
I tent less, and want less 
Their roomy fire-side ; 
But hanker and canker, ^ 
To see their cursed pride. 



XL 



It's hardly in abody's pow'r. 

To keep, at times, frae being sour, 

To see how things are shared ; 
How best o* chiels are whilee in want, 
While coofs on countless thousands rant. 

And ken na how to wairH : 
But, DaoiA, lad, ne'er fash your head 

Tho' we hae little mr. 
We're fit to win our daily bread. 
As lang's we*re hale and fier : 
"Mair spier na', nor fear na,"! 

Auld afo ne'er mind a feg. 
The last o^ the warst ot. 
Is only for to b^. 

m. 



To lie in kilns and bams at e'en. 
When banes are craz'd and Uuid is thin. 

Is, doubtless, great distress I 
Tet then content could make us blest ; 
Ev'n then, sometimes we*d snatch a taata 

Of truest liappiness. 
The honest heart thafs free frae a' 

Intended fraud or fl^ile, 
However fortune kick the ba', 
Has ay some cause to smile. 
Ana mind still, joull find still, 

A comfort this nae ama'; 
Nae mur then, well cue then, 
Nae farther can we fa'. 



^Danii Stttar, one of ths dub at TsfbcikHi, and 
aatliorofaTolanisofPosmtintlMSeoalihdlalset E 

t 



What tho', like commonan of air. 
We wander out, we know not where, 

Bat either house or hall f 
Tet nature's charms, the hilla and wo 
The sweeping yales, and fitaming flo< 

Axefireeal&etoaJL 
In days when daisies deck the ground 

And blackbirds whistle dear. 
With honest joy our hearts will boon 
To see the coming year: 

On braes when we please, then. 

Well sit an' sowth a tune; 
Syne Hwme tillH, well time tilD*! 
And smg H when we hae dom 



V. 



It's no in titles nor in rank ; 

It's no in wealth like London bank« 

To purchase peace and rest ; 
It's no in makin muckle mstr : 
It's no in books ; it's no in leer. 

To make us teuly blest: 
If hamuness hae not her seat 

Ana centre in the breast. 
We may be wise, or rich, or great. 
But never can be blest ; 
Nae treasures, nor pleasuree. 

Could make us h^py leng ; 
The h&art ay's the part ay. 
That makes us right or wrea^ 

VL 

Think ye, that sic as you and I, 
Wha drudge and drive thro' wet and 

\^' never-eeaaing toil ; 
Think ye, are we leu blest than thaj 
Wha scarcely tent us in their way. 

As hardly worth their while ? 
Alas! how aft in haughty mood, 
God's creatures they oppress i 
Or else, neglecting a' thatv guid, 
They riot in excess I 
Baith careless, and feaxlese 
Of either heavVi or hell * 
Esteeming, and deeming 
If s a' an idle tale ! 



VIL 

Then let us cheerfh' acquiesce ; 
Nor make our scanty pleasures less, 

By pininff at our state ; 
AniC even anould misfortunes pome, 
I, here wha sit, hae met wi' someb 

An's thankfii' for them yet 
They gie the wit of age to youth ; 

Tney let us ken oiusel: 
They make us see the naked truth, 

Tne real guid and ill 



BURNS' POEKS. 



S7 



rho* loM M , mnd 

Be iMKma right Mrere, 
niflfB^s wit there, veil mt there, 

Tell find nae otoor waen. 

vm. 

Bot mm Dmfie^ aice o' heaite ! 

■jucfatleM wmd wreqf the otrtaii 

dfbttVyldeteft) 

Bie his joya for yoa end I ; 

jojre that nchei ne^erooold buy ; 

d joTi the verj belt. 

)*f a^ the ^^eatunt o* ihe hearty 

e lorer an* the fiian' ; 



16 your JUe^, jour deareal part, 

dfiiijdarliiiff^/ 

It warms me, It charma me. 

To mentioii bat her fUDiie.- 
[theats me, it beets me. 

And sets me a' oo flame ! 

DC 

I ye pow^ who mle above ! 
Ml, whose vecj self art hve I 
mi hnowVi my words sincere ! 
life-blood streaming thro' my heart, 
J more dear, immortal part, 
Mt more fondly dear ! 
ahiart-ooiroduiff care and grief 
Drive my soul of rest, 
tear idea brings relief 
d iolaca to my breast 
rhoa Bemg^ All-seeing, 

O hear my forvent pravV ; 
Still take her, and make ner 

TAy most peculiar care ! 



Ill, ye tender feelings dear ! 

mfle of love, the friendly tear, 

) sympathetic fflow ; 

since, this world's thorny ways 

nmdierM out my weazy days, 

1 it not been for you I 

itSl has Uess'd me with a friend, 

ivery care and ill ; 

ift a mote endearing band, 

16 more tender stilL 

t hchtens, it brightens 

llie ienebrific scene, 
^o meet with, and greet with 

My Davie or my Jean, 

XI. 

w that name insfHres m v stj^ I 
rards come skelfMn rank wad file^ 
aist before I ken ! 
Bady measure rins as fine, 
obus and the fiunous Nine 
re glowrin own my pen. • 



Myspaviet Pepum wiD fimp. 

Till anoe he Vi faiily het ; 
And then hell hilch, and stUt, and junpi 
An* rin an unoo fit : 
But least then, the beast then, 
Shoold me this hastjr ride, 
ni light now, and dimt now 
His sweaty wixen*a hide. 



THE LAMENT, 



OOCAHONED BY THE UNFORTUNATl 
OF A FRIEND'S AMOUR. 



Alas ! bow oft does Goodnen woand hseif, 
Aod fweet AAsUoo provt tiM ■pdag of wo t 

HOMS. 



O THOU pale oib, that silent shines. 

While care-untroubled mortals deep ! 
Tliou seest a wretch that inly pines, 

And wanders here to wail and weep ! 
With wo I nightly vigils keep, 

Beneath thy wan unwarmmg beam ; 
And mourn, in lamentation deep. 

How life and Utne are all a dreaau 



II. 



I joylesi view thy rays adorn 

The IkintlyHmarked distant hill : 
I joyless view thy trembling hom^ 

Keflected in the gurgling rill : 
Myfondly-fluttering heart, be stID ! 

Thou Dusy powV, Remembrance 
Ah! must tne agonizing thrill 

For ever bar returning peace I 

m. 



No idly-fcignM poetic pains, 

My sad, Tove-lom lamentings claim , 
No snepherd^ pipe— Arcadian strains ; 

No fabled tortures, quaint and iame : 
The plighted fkith ; the mutual flame ; 

The oft attested powVs above : 
Thepromu^d Father^t tender name : 

These were the pledges of my love ! 

IV. 

Encireled in her clasping arms. 
How have the raptur^ moments flown 

How have I wished for fortune^s charms, 
For her dear sake, and hers alone * 



38 



BURNS' POEMS 



And must I think it ! is she ffone, 
My lecrot heart's exulting Doost f 

And does she hocdloss hear my groan f 
And if she ever, ever lost i 



V. 



Oh ! can she bear so base a heart, 
t So lost to Iionour, lost to truth. 
As from the fondest lover part. 

The plighted husband of her youth ! 
Alas 1 life s path may be unsmooth 

Her way he tlut>' rough distress ! 
Then who her pangs and pains will soothe, 

Her sorrows share and make them leas ? 



VL 



Ye winged hours that o'er vm past, 

EnrapturM more, the more enjoy'd, 
Your dear remembrance in my brrast. 

My fondly-trcasurM thoughts employ'd* 
That breast how dreary now, and void, 

For her too scanty once of room ! 
VWn ovVy ray of hope destroyed. 

And not a wisfi to gild the gloom ! 

vn. 

riie mom that warns th' approaching day, 

Awakes me up to toil and wo : 
1 SCO the hours in lonff array, 

That I must suffer, lingermg, slow. 
Full many a pan^^, and many a throeii 

Keen recollection''s direfm train. 
Must wiing my soul, ere Phcsbus, low. 

Shall kiss tiie distant, western main. 



vm. 



And when my nightly couch I tiy, 

Soro-harass'd out with care and grief^ 
My toil-beat nerves, and tear-worn eye, 

Keep watchings with the nightly thief: 
Or if I alumbcr, fancy* chief, 

Reigns hagrgrard-wild, in sore affiight : 
Ev*n oay, all-bitter, brings relief. 

From such a horror-breathing night. 

IX. 

O I thou bright queen who o^er tli' expanse. 

Now highest rcign'st, with boundless sway ! 
Oft has tliy fdlcnt-marking glance 

ObpcrvM us, fondly-wandering, stray ! 
Fho time, unheeded, sped away. 

While lovers luxurious pulse beat high, 
IjMioath thy fiilvcr-glcammsf ray. 

To mark the mutual kiudling eye 



Oh ! scenes in strong remembrai 

Scenes, never, never, to retail 
Scenes, if in stupor I forget. 

Again I feel, again I bum ! 
From ev'ry joy and pleasure tor 

Life's weary vale ill wander : 
And hopeless, comfortless. 111 m 

A faiUiless woman's broken vi 



DESPONDENC 



ANODE. 



I. 



Oppress'd with grief, oppress' 
A burden more Uian I can bea 

I sit me down and sigh : 
O life I tliou art a galling loac 
Along a rough, a weary road. 

To wretches such as 1 1 
Dim backward as 1 cost my vi 
What sick'nintr scenes appe 
What sorrows yet may pierce i 
Too justly I may fear ! 
Still caring, Jespairinff, 

Must bo my bitter door 

My woes hero Bhall close 

DWt with tlie closing to 

n. 

Happy, ye sons of busy life, 
WTio equal to the bustling slrii 

No otiicr view regard ! 

Ev'n when the wisiied end 's d 

Yet while the busy mcatvt are j 

They bring their own rewar* 

Whilst I, a hopo-abandonM wij 

Unfitted with an aim^ 

Meet ev'ry sad returning night 

And joyless mom tlie same ; 

You, bustling, and jiistlin^ 

Forget each grief and p 

I, listless, yet restless. 

Find every prospect vai 

UI. 

How blest the Solitary's lot, 
WTio, all-forgetlini: all-forgot. 

Within his humble cell. 
The cavern wild with tangling 
Sits o'er his newly-gather d fru 

Beside his crystal well ! 
Or, haply, to his evening thoug 

By unfrc(]ucnted stream. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



39 



B wtyi of men are distant brought, 
I faint collected dream : 
While praising, and raising 

His thoughts to heav^ on high* 
As wand^rin^, meand'zing, 
He yiewB uie solenm sk j. 

IV. 

bin I, no lonely hermit plac'd 

'hen never homan footstep traced, 

Lea fit to play the part ; 

be lucky moment to improve, 

nd^ to stop, and ju«/ to move. 

With self-respecting art : 

at ah ! those pleasures, loves, and joys 

Which I too keenly taste, 

be Solitary can despise, 

Can want, and yet bo blest ! 

He needs not, he heeds not. 
Or human love or hate, 

Whilst I here must cry here. 
At perfidy ingrate '. 



V. 



! enviable, early davs, 
icn dancing thoughtless pleasnre^s maze, 
i!*o care, to guilt unknown ! 
w in exchan^'d for riper times, 
feel the folhes, or the crimes, 
)f others, or my own ! 
tiny elves that guiltless sport, 
Jke linnets in the bush, 
little know the ills ye court, 
Yhen manhood is your wish ! 

The losses, the crosses, 
That active man engage! 

The fears lUl, the tears ul. 
Of dim-declining age 



n. 



" The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercaat,'** 

The joyless winter-day, 
Let others fear, to mo more dear 

Than all the pride of Mav : 
The tempest's howl, it soothes my sool, 

My gncfs it seems to join. 
The leafless trees my fancy please, 

Theu' fate resembles mme 

in. 



Thou Poic^r Supreme^ whose mighty 

These woes of mine fulfil. 
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best. 

Because they are Thy Will ! 
Then all I want (O, do thou grant 

Tliis one request of mine !) 
Since to enjoy thou dost deny 

Assist me to rtfi^n. 



THB 



COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT 

INSCRIBED TO R. A****, ESO- 



WINTER. 

A DIRGE. 

I. 

B wintry west extends his blast, 

bid hail and rain does blaw ; 

, the stormy north sends driving forth 

rhe blindinij sleot and snaw : 

lUe tumblmg brown, the bum comes 

down, 
ind roars frao bank to brae ; 
d bird and beast in covert rest 
ind pass the heartless day. 

W 



Let not ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joya, and destiny obtcure ; 

Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile, 
The abort but simple annals of tlie poor. 

Gray. 



Mt lov'd, my honoured, much respected 
friend I 
No mercenary bard his homage nays ; 
With honest pride 1 scorn each selnsh end ; 
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and 
praise: 
Toyou I sinir, in simple Scottish lays, 

The lowly train in life's scquester'd scene ; 

The native feelings strong, tlie guileless 

wavs : 

Wliat A'**** in a cottage would have been; 

Ah ! tho' his worth unknown, far happier there, 

I ween. 



11. 



November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ; 

The shortening winter-day is near a close ; 
The miry beasts retreatiqg frae the pleugh , 

The black'ning trains o'^craws to their re- 
pose: 

Dr. Toang. 



40 



BURNS' POEMS. 



The toil-worn CoUer free hii kboar goee. 
This nifiht \nn weekly moil is at an end. 
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his 
hoes. 
Hoping the mom in ease and rest to spend, 
And weary, o'er the moor, his course does 
hameward bend. 



m. 



At length his lonely cot appears in view, 

B^ioath the shelter of an aged tree ; 
Th* expectant wee-^hingt^ toddlin, stacher 
thro' 
To moot their Dad, wi' flichterin noise an* 
glee. 
His weo bit inglo, blinkin bonnily, 
His clean hearth-stane, his thriflie v\fie't 
smile, 
The lispin^r infant prattling on his knee, 
Does a' liis weary, carkin^ cares beguile. 
An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his 
toil. 



IV. 



Bely ve the older bairns come drepping in. 

At service out, amang the famiers roun*; 
Some ca' the pluugh, some herd, some tentie 
rin 
A cannie errend to a neobor town : 
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman 
grown. 

In youthfu* bloom, lore sparkling in her 
e*e, 
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a bnw new 
gown. 
Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee. 
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. 



V. 



Wi* joy mifeignM brothera and ristera ineet. 

An' each for other's woelfare kindly spiers : 

The social hours, swifl-wingM unnotic'd 

fleet; 

Each telln the imcos that he sees or hears ; 

The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ; 

Anticiiiation forward points the view. 
The mother^ wi* her needle an' her sheers. 
Gars auld clacs look amaist as weeKs the 
new; 
Vhefatfur mixes a' wi* admonition due. 



VI. 

Their master's an' their mistreat command, 
Tlie younkers a' are warned to obey ; 

^ An' mmd their labours wi' and eydent hand. 
An' ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play : 



An' O ! be soM to Iknr Um Loid «lwij! 

An' mind your du^ duly, mom ■nMugllt ! 
Lest in temptation's path ye g^piig astray* 
Implore his counsel and assisting mignt : 
They never sought in vain that aonght the 
Lord ai^ht !" 



VII 



But hark ! a rep comes gentler to the door; 

Jennjh wha kens the meaning o' the same, 
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er tho moor. 

To do some errands, and convoy her hama. 
Tho wily mother sees tlie conscious flame 

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek ; 
With heart-struck, anxious care, inqoirea hia 
name. 
While Jenny hafilins is affraid to speak ; 
Weel pleas'd the mother hears, it^ nae wild, 
worthless rake. 



vin. 

Wi* kindly welcome Jenny lainws him ben ; 
A streppan youth ; he take uie mother^ 
eye; 
BIyU*e Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en ; 
Tlie father cracks of horses, ploughs, and 
kye. 
The youngster's artless heart o'erflowi wi* 
joy. 
But blate and laithfd', scarce can waal 
behave ; 
, The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy 
What makes the youth sae bashfu' an saa 
greve; 
Wee] pleas'd to think her Mm't re ap ac la d 
like the lave. 



DT. 



O happy love ! where love like this ia feimd ! 
O neart-felt raptures 1 bliss beyond oom- 
pare! 
I've paced much this weaiy morfal muni^ 

And sage experienee bids me this deoUr*— 
^ If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleaaoie 
spare. 
One cordial in tliis melancholy vale, 
Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair. 
In othera arms breathe out the tender tale. 
Beneath the milk-white thorn that loants the 
ev'ning gale." 



Is there, in human form, that baana 1 
A wretch! a yillaln! loat to lova and 
truth! 
Xhat can, with studied, sly, enmaring art, 
^Betray awect JermyU unsuspecting yoath ? 



BURNS* POEMS. 



41 



Cam on hk pojnr'd arti ! duMmUing 
■mooth! 
Are honour, Tirtue, oonacunee, all ezil'd ? 
li there no pi^, no relenting rath. 

Points to the parents fbodlinff o*er their 
chUd? 
Than paints the ruinM maid, and their dis- 
traction wild? 



XL 



Bat now the supper crowm their sample 
hoard. 
The halesome parrikh^ chief o* SeotiaU 
fbod: 
The soupe their only Hawkie does afford. 
That yont the hallan snugly chows her 
cood : 
Hie dame brings forth in oomplunental 
mood. 
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, 
fell. 
An' aft he^ nrest, an' aft he ca's it gnid; 
The frugal wifie, garrulous, win tell. 
How twas a towmond anld, sin' lint was i' the 
belL 

xn. 

The dMofti' supl^ done, wi' seiious fa^, 

Tl)P7TOund the inj^le, form a circle wide ; 
T%e sire turxu o V, wi' patriarchal grace, 

The big ha^-BibU, ance his fathers pride : 
I£s bonnet reTVently is laid aside. 

His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare ; 
Those strains that once (ud sweet in Zion 
glide. 
He i^les a portion with judidous care ; 
And ^Lei vm Vfonhip God r he says, with 
solemn air. 

xm. 

Tbej chant their artless notes in simple 
guise; 
They tnno their hearts, by far the noblest 
aim: 
Peihaps DvnieeU wild warbling measures 
rise. 
Or pUinti ve JMorfm worthy of the name : 
Or noUe Elgin beets the heav'kiward flame, 

The sweetest far orSeoHa'i holy htys : 
Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame ; 
The tickled ears no heart-Alt raptures 
raise; 
l?aA unison hae they with our Creator's praise. 

XIV. 

The priest-like fiither reads the sacred page, 
How Abram wis the JHtmj^ God on 
high; / 

Or, AfoMfbade eternal warfare wage ■ 
With AmtaMtU ungracious prijgeny ; . 

D2 



Or how tne rojftd bard did sroaning lie 
Beneath the stroke of Heaven'to avenging 
ire; 
Or, Job^i pathetic plaint, and wailing cry ; 
Or rapt lioia/Ct wild, seraphic fire ; 
Or other lioly seers that tune the sacred lyre. 

XV. 

Perhaps the ChritHan vohune is the theme. 
How guiltless blood for guilty man was 
shed ; 
How Hie, who bore in Heaven the second 
name; 
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head : 
How his first followers and servithts sped ; 
The precepts sage they wrote to many a 
land: 
How htj who lone in Patmot banished. 
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ; 
And heard great Bab^lorCt doom pronouncM 
by ueav'n's command. 

XVI. 

Then kneeling down, to Heaven^s Eternal 

King, 
The 9ttmt^ the father^ and the kuiband 

prays: 
Hope **' springs exulting on triumphant 

'^ngi"* 
That thus they all shall meet in future 
days: 
There ever bask in uncreated nj»^ 

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear. 
Together hymning their Crea/or'« praise, 
m such society, yet still more dear ; 
WhUe aiding time moves lound in an etomtl 
sphere. 

xvn. 

Compar'd with this,, how poor lleligion*B 
pride. 
In all the pomp of method, and of art. 
When men display to congregations wide, 
Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart ! 
The Poiff'r, inoens d^the pageant will desert. 
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; 
.But haply, in some cottage far apart, 

May hear, well pleas d, the langotge of 
the 80u1 ; 
And in lus book of life the inmates poor enroL 

xvm. 

Then homeward all take off their sev'ra] 
way; 
Tlie yougling cottagers retire to rest : 
The parent-pair their seerei homage pay. 
And profit up to H«tMii Iho Wftnn ra- 
quest %^,.»/. 

* rope*i Wlnd^ Forest. 



4S 



BURNS' POEMS. 



That He who ftUls the raven^s clamorous 
nest. 
And decks the lilv fair in flow'iy pride, 
Would, in the way nia wisdom sees tiio best, 
For them and for their little ones provide ; 
But chiefly, in their hearts with i;raet divine 
preside. 

XIX. 

From scenes like these old Scotia*t grandeur 
spring 
That makes her lov'd at home, rererM 
ahrond : 
Princes and lords arobut the breath of kings, 
^ An honest mou^s the noblest work of 
God :" 
And eertes^ in fair virtue's heavenly road, 

The cottat^e leaves the paiace far behind ; 
What is a lordling*s pomp ! a cumbrous load, 
Disffuising oil the wretch of humankind, 
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refinM ! 

XX. 

f 

O Scotia ! my ocar, my native soil ! 
For whom my warmest wish to Heayen is 
sent ! 
L<mg may thy hardy sons of rustic toil. 
Be blessM with health, and peace, and 
sweet content ! 
And, O I may Heaven their simple lives pre- 
vent 
From luxury^ contagion, weak and vile I 
Then, however crownt and coroneU be rent, 
A virhwut poptdaee may rise the while. 
And stand a wall of firo around their much- 
lov'd Isle. 

XXI. 

O Thou I who pour'd the patriotic tide 
That streamed thro' WaUace^t imdaunted 
heart; 
Who darM to nobly stem tyrannic pride. 
Or nobly die, the secona fflorious part, 
(Tlie patriot's God, peculiarly thou lurt. 
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and re- 
ward !) 
O never, newQT^Seotia'B realm desert: 
But still the pairioU and the patriot hard^ 
In bright succession raise, her ornament and 
guard! 



MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN. 

A DIRGi:. 

Whrw chilUTovember^ surly blast 
Made -fields aud forests bore, . 



One evening, as I wander'd forth 

Along the banks o^Ayr^ 
I spyM a man, whose aged step 

tSecm'd weary, worn with care ; 
His face was furrowM o'er with yeaza, 

And hoary was his hair. 



II. 



^^ Young stranger, whither wand'rest th 

Began the reverend sage ; 
^ Does tliirst of wealth thy step constra 

Or youthful pleasure's rage ; 
Or haply, prcs8*d witli cares aud woes, 

Too soon tliou hast began 
To wander forth, witli me, to mourn 

The miseries of man ! 

in. 

^ Tlie sun tliat overhangs yon moo^^ 

Out-spreading far and wide, 
Wliere hundreds labour to support 

A haughty lordluig's pride ; 
IVe seen yon weary winter-sun 

Twice forty times return ; 
And cv'ry time has added proofs. 

That man was made to mourn. 

IV. 

M O man ! while in tiiy early years, 

How prodigal of time ! 
MiroencUng aul tiiy precious hours, 

Tliy glorious youtliful prime ! 
Alternate follies take tlie sway ; 

Licentious passions bum ; 
Which tenfola force gives nature's law, 

That man was mode to mourn. 



V. 



** Look not alone on youthful prime, 

Or manhood's active mi^ht ; 
Man then is useful to his kmd, 

Supported is his riffht : 
But see him on tlie edge of life. 

With cares and sorrows worn. 
Then age and want, Oh ! ill match'd pai 

Show man was made to mourn. 

VL 

** A few seem fovountes of fate. 

In pleasure's lap corest ; 
Yet, think, not all the ridi and great 

Are likewise truly blest. 
But, Oh ! what crowds in ev'ry land, 

Are wretched aud forlorn ; 
Tliro' weary life tluM lesson loam. 

Thai man was inaUc to uioum 



'J 



BURNS' POEMS. 



43 



vn. 

Bilany and aharp the num^rom iOa 

Inworen with oar frame \ 
Aon pointed still we make muwlTea, 

Re^t, remone, and shame ! 
\nd man, whoee heaven-erected face 

The sniilea of love adorn, 
Utn^B inhomanity to man 

Hakea countless thousands mourn ! 



vm 



^ See yonder poor, o Wabour'd wight* 

So u)ject, moan, and vile. 
Who begs a brother of the earth 

To give him leave to toil ; 
And Bee his lordly fellow-icorm 

The poor petition spimi. 
Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife 

And helpless offiiphng mourn. 



DC 



If Fm designM yon lordling*8 slave,- 
"Bj natureVi law designed, 
^^ was an independent wish 
JETer planted in mjr mind ? 
' not, why am I subject to 
His cruelty or scorn f 
r why has man the will and pow*r 
To make his fellow mourn ? 



f et, let not this, too much, my 8on« 
Disturb thy youthful breast : 
his partial view of human-kind 
Is surely not the last ! 
be poor, oppressed, honest man, 
Had neiver, sure, been bom, 
ad there not been some recompense 
To comfort those that mourn ! 



XI 



3 death ! the poor man's dearest friend* 
The kindest and the best ! 
'eloome the hour my aged limbs 
Are laid with thee at rest ! 
be great, the wealthy, fear thy tilow, 
From pomp and pleasure torn ; ^ 
It, Oh I a Ueas'd relief to those 
That weary-laden mourn !" ^ 



PRATER IN THE PROBPECT 
OF 

DEATH. 



O THOU unknown, Almightv Cause 

Of all my hope and fw I 
In whose (Iroad presence, ere an hour, 

Perhaps I must appear I 

n. 

If I have wanderM in those paths 

Of life I oucht to shun ; 
As Jome^^tng, loudly, in my breast, 

Remonstrates I Have done ; 

in. 

Thou know^st that thou hast formed me 
With passions wild and strong ; 

And list ning to their witching voice 
Has often led me wrong. 

IV. 

Where human wtahMU has come short, 

Or fraUiy stept aside. 
Do thou AU-Good I for such thou art, 

In shades of darkness hide. 



V. 



Where with vUenHon I have err'd, 

No other plea I have. 
Bat, 7%m art good : and goodness still 

Delighteth to forgive. 



STANZAS 



ON THE SAME OCCASION. 

Why am I loath to leave this earthly scene ? 
Have I BO found it full of pleasing channs f 
Scnme drops of joy with diuughts of ill be- 
tween: 
Some gleams of sunshine Md renewing 
storms: 
Is it departing pangs my ■ool flanns ? 

Or death's unk>v»ly,dr0«i7t^^k abode? ' 
For guilt, for guilt, mypmtn are in^ttns ; 
-1 trdhible to approadi an angry God, 
And justly smart beneath liis sin-a vending rod* 



44 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Fain woald I ■ajt^'FoTgive my foul offence!*' 

Fain promise never more to diiobey ; 
But, dioold my Author health again dia- 
penae, 
A^n I might deeert fair virtueVi way ; 
Agam in foU^a path might so astray : 

Again exalt the brute ancTsink the man ; 
Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray, 
Who act so counter heavenly morcy^s 
plan? 
Who sin BO ofl have moumM, yet to tempta- 
tion ran P 

O thou, great Governor of all below I 
If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, 
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to 
blow, 
Or still the tumult of the raging sea : 
With what controlling pow V assist ev'n me, 
Those headl o ng furious passions to con 
fine; 
For all unfit I feel my powers to be, 
To rule their torrent in th' albwed line ; 
Of aid me with thy help, Omnipotence Diome ! 



V. 



LTINO AT A REVEREND FRIEND'S HOUSE 
ONE NIGHT, THE AUTHOR LEFT 

THE FOLLOWING VERSES 

Of THK EOOIC WHEEK BX tLBPT. 



I. 



O THOU dread Pow'r, who reign'st abi»ve ! 

I know thou wilt me hear : 
When for this scene of peace and love, 

I make my pray'r sincere. 

n. 

The hoary sire— the mortal stroke. 
Long, long, be pleas'd to spare I 

To bless hislittle filial flock. 
And show what good men are. 

m. 

She, who her lovely offimring eyes 

With tender hopes and fears, 
O, bless her with a mother's joys. 

But spare a mother^s tears ! 

Thekr|K»pfi;&r stayUlbl' darling youth. 
In manhood^ dawmnvblush ; ' 

Bless bin, thou God of love an4.4|afai ^ 
l/p to a parent's wish l«i *l^^ 



The beauteous, seraph BiBter4>aiid 

With earnest tears I pray. 
Thou know'st the snares on ev^ hand. 
Guide thou their steps alway I 

VI. 

When soon or late they reach that coast, 
O'er life's rough ocean driv^. 

May the^ rejoice, no wand'rer lost, 
A family m Heav'n ! 



THE FIRST PSALM. 

Ths man, in life wherever placed. 

Hath happiness m store. 
Who walks not in the wicked'b way. 

Nor learns their guilty lore ! 



Nor fSrom the seat of soomfbl ^ 
Casts forth his eyes abroad,' 

But with humility and awe 
Still walks before his God. 



That man shall flourish like the 
Which bv the streamlets grow ; 

The fruitfw top is spread on high. 
And firm tlie root below. 

But ho whose blossom buds in guilt 
Shall to the ground be cast. 

And like the rootless stubble, tost 
Before the sweeping blast. 

For why ? that God the good adore 
Hath giv'n them peace and rest. 

But hath decreed that wicked men 
Shall ne'er be truly blest. 



A PRAYER. 

UTOER THE rEESSUEB OF VIOLENT AITCnnnL 

O THOU Great Being ! what thou ait 

Surpasses me to uiow : 
Tet sure I am, that known to thee 

Are all thy works below. 

Thv creature here before thee standii 

All wretched and distrest ; 
Tet sure those ills that wring my soul 

Obey thy high behest. 

Sure thou. Almighty, canst not act 

From cruelty or wrath ! 
O, free my weary eyes from teari^ 

Or close them fast in death ! 

But if I nuA afliictod be. 

To suit some wild des^ ; 
Then man my soul with firm retohiS 

To bear and not rsfnoa \ 



BURNS' POEMS. 



46 



FDurrsa 



VWMBEB or THB 
P8ALB1 



O TBOO, ^ finrt, the gTMieit fHflod 

Of an the human race I 
'Whose iCroiig xiflfat hand has e?er been 

Their atay anodweDing place ! 

Before the monntaina heaT'd thair head* 

Beneath thy fbrminf hand, 
B^ne this pradVooa globe itaelf« 

Aroae at thy command : 

Thai pow^ which raia'd and ftill opholda 

Thia nnmraal frame^ 
From coontleaa, mibegmning time 

Was ever atill the aame. 

•nuMw mi^^i^ peiiode of yean 

Which aeem to na ao vast, 
Appear no more befi»e thy aight 

%an yeeteiday that'a pel*. 

Tboa pVit the word : Thy ereatme, 

b to existence broa|dit : 
Again thoo aay*st, **Te sons of men, 

jUtnm ye into nought t** 

Tbon layest tham, mth all their cares, 

In eyadasting aleep ; 
As with a flood thou tak'tt them off 

With oven^ehnmg sweep. 



They flooridi like the monung flowV, 
In beauty's pride arrarM ; 

But long ere night eat aown it lies 
AU Mher'd and deca/d. 



TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY, 

OK TUBinNO ONE DOWN WITH THB PLOUOB 
IN APRIL 1780. 

Wek, modest, erimacm-tipped flow^ 
Thoa'a met me in an eril hour ; 
For I maxm croah tr^ ^wg the stonre 

l^y slender stem; 
To spare thee now is paat mr powV, 

nou Donnie gem. 

Alas*, it's no thy neebor sweet, 
The bonnie XarJk, companion meet ! 
Bending thee ^oumg the dewy weet ! 

Wi* spreckled breast 
\MMn npward-springing, biythe to greet 

The purpling east* 



Cauld blew the bitter-biting north 
Upon thy eariy, humble birth ; 
Tet cheerfully thou glinted Ibfth 

Amidtestonn, 
Scarce rear'd abore the pamt earth 

Tl^ tender fiann. 

The flaunting flowVi our gardena yield, 
High ahelt'ring woods and wa*s maun diield. 
But thou beneath the random bield 

O' dod or stane, 
Adorns the histie «t6Ue;/Seltf, 

UnsesD, alane. 

There, in thy acanty mantle dad. 
Thy snawy boaom sun-ward spread, 
Thou lifts thy hit— ''*"^"g head 

In humble ffuise; K* 

But now the thare upte&rs thy hA, 

And low thou lies I 

Such is the fkte of artleas Maid, 
Sweet/otff're< of the rural shadel 
By lovers simplicity betray'd. 

Ana guileleas trust, 
Till aha, like thee, all soil'd IS faud 

Low i' the dust 

Such is the fate of simple Bard, 
On life*s rough ocean luddeas starr'd! 
Unskilful he to note the card 

OCprvdenihre^ 
TW billows rage, and gales blow hard. 

And whelm him o'er! 

Such fate oftyffering worth isnv^ 
Who long with wants and woes has striven. 
By human pride or cunning driv'n, t 

To mis'ry's Ipink, 
Till wrench'd of evVy stay but JBto'n, 

He,roiA'd,Bmk! 

E*m thou who moum'st the Daiiy'a &te 
TTuUfaU iff tfktn^— no distant date ; 
Stem Ram^Bplough-^uare drives, elat«; 

Full on thy bloom. 
Till crushM beneath the fuzrnr^ wei^t, 

Shall bray doom! 



•■y 



TO RUIN. 



L 



All hail ! mezoiable lord ! 

At whose destruetkte-breathing word, 

The mightiest empires fUl I 
Thy cruel wo-delighted train. 
The ministere of grief and pain, 

A sullen welcome, all ! 



46 

With ftem-rafoIvM, despairing eye, 

I see each aimed dart ; 
For one has cut my dearest tie^ 
And quiven in my heart. 
Then lowVing, and pouring, 
The tiorm no more I dread ; 
Tho' thick'ninf and blackening. 
Round my cwroted head. 



n. 



And, thoa grim powV, by life abhorred. 
While life a pleasure can afford, 
« Oh I hear a wretch's prayV ! 
No more I shrink appalled, afraid ; 
I court, I beg thy ftiendly aid. 
To close una scene of care ! 
WIm^ jhall my soul in silent peace, 

4ungn life's jo|^2e» day ; 
Hy weaxy heart its throbbing cease, 
' *X)old mouldering in the clay f 
* NofSsv more, no tear more. 
To stain my lifeless face ; 
Enclasped, and grasped 
\^thin thy cold embrace I 



BURNS' POEMS. 



TO MISS 



WITH BEATTIFS POEMS AS A NEW TBAB*8 
GIPT, JANUAEY 1, 1787. 

Aa4ur the silent wheels of time 
Their annual round IiaTo driv^ 

And youHho' scarce in m^en prime, 
Are Bcnhuch nearer HetrVi. 

Nogifts have ftnm IniHan coasts 

^le infant year to hail ; 
I sendyou moro4han India boasta, 

h^tdwuCs simple tale. 

Our aez with gmle and faithless love 

Is cfaaq^difMtiaps, too true ; 
Butniay,aear maio, each lover prove 

Anjtdmn still to you ! 



EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND. 



MAT*1788. 



« 



I LAN tt hae thought, my youthfu* fiiend, 
A something to have sent you, 

Tho' it should serve nae other end 
Than just a kind memcnio; 



But how the subject-theme ma^ gang 
Let time and chance detennme ; 

PerhuM it may turn out a sang 
Peznaps turn out a sermon. 



n. 



Tell try the world soon, my lad. 

And, .^nirfvdear, believe me. 
Tell find mankind an unco squad. 

And muckle they may grieve ye . 
For care and trouble set your thougfatf 

£v^ when your end's attained ; 
And a' your views may come to nought 

Where evVy nerve is strained. 



m. 



ni no say, men are villains a'; 

The real, harden^ wicked, 
Wha hae nae check but human law. 

Are to a few restncked : 
But och ! mankind are unco weak. 

An* little to be trusted ; 
If fe^the wavering balance shake, 

It's rarely right adjusted I 



IV. 



Tet they wha fa' in fortune's strife. 

Their fate we should nae ccnsurSi 
For still th' importani end of life. 

They equally mav answer; 
A man may hae an nonest heart, 

Tho' poortith hourly stare him; 
A man may tak a neebor's part, 

Tet hae nae cash to spare him. 



V. 



Ay firee, aff ban' your story tell. 

When wi' a bosom crony ; 
But stUl keep something to yoursel 

Te scasoely tell to onv. 
Conceal yoursel as weel s ye can 

Frae critical dissection ; 
But keek thro' ev'ry other man, 

Wi' aharpen'd, slee inspection. 

VL 

The sacarad low* o' wed-plac'd love, 

Luxuriantly indulge it; 
But never tempt th' illieit ttwe, 

Tho' naething should divulge it 
I wave ihe quantum o' the sin. 

The hazard of concealing ; 
But och*. it hardens a' within. 

And petrifies the feeling ! 



BURNS' POEMS. 



47 



vn. 



To cttch dame Fortuoe^s gt>Iden imile, 

AaBkhioaa wait upon her ; 
And gather gear by cv'ry wile 

Tluit'i justified by honour ; 
Not for to hide it in a hcd^. 

Not for a train-attendant ; 
Bat for the glorious privilege 

Of being iruUpctideni. 

VUl. 

Hm fear o* belles a )ian^an*s whip, 

To hand the wretch in order ; 
But where ye feel your honour grip, 

Let tiiat ay be your border ;. 
Itiili^tcst touches, instant pause-— 

Debar a^ side pretences ; 
And resolutely keep its laws 

l-ocahng consequences. 

IX. 

The great Creator to revere, 

Must sure become the creature ; 
Bat rtill the preaching can^orbear, 

And ev'n the rigid feature : 
Yet ne'er with wits prol'one to range, 

Be complaisance extended ; 
An Atheist^s laud's a poor exchange 

f'or Deity offended ! 



^fhen ranting round in pleasure's nng, 

Religion may be blinded ; 
Or if she fie a random ttingj 

It may M little minded ; 
^t whea on life we're tempest-driv'n, 

A eoQscienoe but a canker— 
A correspondence fiz'd wi' HeavVi, 

Is sore a noble anchor ! 

XI. 

Adien, dear, amiable youth ! 

Tour heart can ne'er be wanting : 
Mar pradence, fortitude, and trut^ 

£rect your brow undaunting ! 
In ploufffaman phrase, ^^ God send yoa speed," 

Still daily to grow wiser : 
And may you better reck the rede^ 

Than erer did th' adviser ! 



ON A SCOTCH BARD 



GONE TO THE WEST INDIES. 



A* Ti wha five by soups o' drink, 
A' ye wha live by crambo-dink. 



A' ye wlia live and never tliiiik, 

Como mourn wi' me ! 
Our bilUe *s gion us a^ a jink, 

An' owre the 



Lament him a* ye rantin core, 
Wha dciirly like a randoiii-splorc, 
Nao niair he'll join llio ni^rry-ro//r, 

In stK'ial key ; 
For now he's ta'cn anither phoro. 

An' owre the sea. 

The bonnio I.t-scs woel may wiss liinii 
And in their d(*ar pftitiota placo*him : 
Tiic widows, wives, an' a' may bless 1*1^ 

Wi' teart'u' o'c • 
For weel I wat they'll wirly miss hin 

That's owre the 



O Fortune, they liae room to frruifliler 
lladst thou ta'en at}' some drowsy bummle, 
Wha can do uouirht but fyke an* fumUe, 

'Twad l>een noe plea ; 
But ho was gleg as onv wuiuhle, 

Thafs owre tlio sea. 



Auld, cantio Kylr. may weepers w»'ar, 
An* stain tliem wi' the naut, Kaut tear; 
Twill mak her poor auld heart I tear. 

In ilinders llee ; 
He was ber laurcale monic a year, 

That's owre the 



He saw misfortune^s cauld nor-vnt 
Lanj? mnstehng up a bitter blaiit ; 
A jiUet brak liis heart at last, 

111 may she bo ! 
So, took a birtli afore tlie mast. 

An' owre the sea. 



To tremble under Fortune's cummoekf 
On scarce a beUyfa' o^ drummock, 
Wi' his proud, independent stomachy 

Could ill agree ; 
So, row^ his hurdles in a hammock^ 

An* owre the sea - 



)Vr was ^en to ^cat misguiding, 
1 liis pouches wad mi hide in ; ', 



lie no' 
Yet coin 
Wi' him it neor was wider hiding ; 

Ho dealt itwee: 
The muse was a* that ho took pride in. 
That's owre the sea. . 



Jamaica bodies^ use him weel. 
An' hap liim in a cozio biol : 
Yell find him ay a dainty chicl, 

. And fou' o^ glee ; 
He wad na wi'ang'd'me vera deil. 

That's owre the sea. 



48 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Fuvw9d^mj rhjfm e -€onaating hiUie! 
Tour natifeaoil wuiifffat ul-wiliie ; 
Bot iDAy ye flooriih like a lily. 

Now bonmlie ! 
rn toMlye in my hindmost gillie, 

Tho* owre the 



TO A HAGGIS. 



Faie fa* yotir honett, sonsie face, 
Gkeat chieftain o' the puddin-race ! 
Aboon them a* ye tak Voor place, 

Painch, tripe, or thairm 
Weel are ye wordy of a mte 

As lang^i my arm. 

■ 

The groanioff trencher there ye fill, 
Tour hurdies like a distant hill. 
Your jnn wad help to mdld a xnill 

In time o' need, 
"While thro' your pores the dews distil 

Like amber bead. 

Ifis knife see rustic labour di^ht. 
An' cut you up with ready slight. 
Trenching your ^Aahin^ entrails brifffat 

Lake onie ditch ; 
And then, O what a glorious sight, 

Warm-reekin, rich ! 

Then horn for horn they stretch an' strive, 
Dttl tak the hindmost, on they drire, 
TUl a' their wcel-swall'd kyteebelyye 

Are bent like drums ; 
Than anld guidman, maist like to ryve, 

BethankU hums. 

Is there that o'er his French ragoui^ 
Or oHo that wad staw a tow, 
Orfiioame wad mak her spew 

Wi' perfect scomier, 
Looks down m' sneering, scomfu' view 

On sic a dinner ? 

Poor devil ! see hinl owre his trasfa«^ 
As ftflUessas a wlBier'd rash. 
His spindle shmk a goid whip lish, 

s His nieve a nit ; 
Thro' Uoody flood or field to dash, " 
•X Ohow unfit! 



Bol mark the rustic, haggit-fed^ 
The iiembling earth fesounds his tread. 
Clap m his waHe nieve a blade, 

Hell mak it whissla ; 
An' legs, an* arms, an' heads will sned. 

Like taps o' thrissle. 



Te pow'rs, wha mak mancinn yonr oartii 
And (ush them out their bill o' fare. 



Anld Scotland wants nae skinkiny 

That jaups m lnggi« s 

Bat, if ye wish her gratefh' pray'r, 

GieheraHoeeit/ 



A DEDICATION 



TO OAVIN HAMILTON, ESa 

ExPKOT na. Sir, in this narration, 
A fleecliin, fleth'rin dedication. 
To roose you up, an' ca' you guid, 
An' sprung o' great an' noble bluid. 
Because ye're sumam'd like hi$ graee^ 
Perhaps related to the race ; 
Then when I*m tir'd — and sae are ye^ 
Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' he. 
Set up a face, how I stop short. 
For fear your modesty be hurt. 

This may do — maun do, Sir, wi' them whi 
Maun please the great folk for a wamefbu; 
Forme! sae laigh I needna bow. 
For, Lord be thankit, / can plough ; 
And when I downa yoke a nai^. 
Then, Lord, be thankit, lean beg; 
Sae I shall say, an' that's nae flatt'rin, 
It's just He poet^ an' tic patron. 

The Poet, some guid angel help him, 
Or else, I fear some ill ane skelp him. 
He may do weol for a' he's done yet. 
But only he's no just begun yet. 

The Patron, (Sir, ye maun forgie me, 
I winna he, come what will o' ;me) 
On cr'ry hand it wiD allow'd be. 
He's just — nae better than he diould be. 

I readily and freely grant. 
He downa see a poor man want ; 
What's no his ain he winna tak it, 
What anee he sajrs he winna break it ; 
Ought he can lend hell no relnst, 
Tillaft his guidness is abus'd : 
And rascals whyles that do him wniif , 
Ev'n thai^ he does na mind it fanff : 
Ai master, landlord, husband, faUier, 
He does na fiul his part in either. 

But then, na thanks to him for &'that{ 
Nae godiv syrmttom ye cai^ ca' that ; 
It's naething but a milder feature. 
Of our poor, sinfu,' corrupt nature * 
Tell get the best o' moral works, 
'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks, 



BURNS' POEMS. 



49 



OrboBlen wild on Ponoloxi, 
Wha BtTcr beard of ortlMido^. 
Hat htfitba poor man'iftMPdia need, 
IWfoillaMOi in word and deedi 
Vu no thro' terror of d-mnJtkm ; 
B^ joit a dkmal inclinatkm. 



Molality, thoa deadljL^Mne, 

'Tij ton o' thounnda tRonhigt 

Yunii his hope, whoee ita^ and tnut ia 
b anm^ merqr, truth, and juatice ! 

No— ■tretch a pmnt to catch a plad^t 
Alnie a brother to hi§ back ; 
Stall thro' a wimoek firae a wh-re, 
Botpomt the rake that taks the door: 
Be to the poor like onie whunstane. 
And band their notes to the gnuutane, 
Fly ereiy art o' legal thiering ; 
No matter, itick to aovnd beHaring, 

ft 

Learn three-mile pray're, ^and half-mile 



Wi* weel-ffpread Iootop, an' lang wrj &ces ; 
Grant up a solemn, lengthened groan. 
And damn a' parties but your own ; 
^ warrant then, ye're nae deceiver, 
Aiteady, sturdy, staunch belieTer. 

ye wha leave the springs of C'hHh 
^ffganUieduht of your ain delvin ! 
I Teions of heresy and error, 

TeH loiiie day squeel in quaking terror I 
^Vhen vengeance draws the sword in wrath. 
And in the fire throws the sheath ; 
When Ruin, with his sweeinn^ beaom, 
Jut fieta tin Heav^ commission gies him : 
While o'er the harp pale misery moans. 
And strikes the ever deep^iin|3f tones, 
Still loader ahridu, and heavier groa[n8 ! 

Tour pardoo. Sir, for this digression, 
Imaist rorgat my dedieoHon ; 
But wlieo divinity comes cross me. 
My readers still exe sore to lose me. 

So, Sir, ye see twas nae daft vapour. 
But I maturely thou^t it proper, 
When a' my work I did review. 
To de«ficate them, Sir, to You: 
Because (ye need na tak it ill) 
I thou^ them something like yoorsel. 

Then patronise them wi' your &voar. 
And vour petitioner duJl ever — 
I haiTamaist said, ever pniy, 
But that's a word I need na say : 
Forprayin Ihae UtUe skmoH; 
Ym baith doad-eweer, an' wretched Ul oH; 
But FsB repeat each poor mansprajTr, 
That kfloaor hears about you. Sir— 

E 



** Biav ne'er mIrfbrtuneVi gowling bark. 
Howl thro' the dwelling o' Uie Clerk ! 
Bilay ne'er his gen'rous, honest heart. 
For that same genVoos spirit smart ! 
Blay K******S far honoured name 
Lang beet his hymeneal flame, 
TillH*******'s, at least a dizen. 
Are frae their nuptial labours risen : 
Five bonnie lasees round their table. 
And seven braw fellows, stout on' able 
To serve their king and country weel, 
Bv word, or pen, or pointed steel ! 
May health and peace, with mutual rays. 
Shine on the evening o' his days ; 
Till his woe curlie John't ier-oe, 
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow, 
The last, saa, mournful rites bestow !" 



I win not'wind a lan^ conclusion, 
Wi' complimentajy effusion : 
But whilst your wishes and endeavours 
Are blest with Fortune's smiles and favomv, 
I am, dear Sir, with zeal most fervent. 
Tour much indebted, humble servant. 



But if (which Pow'tb above prevent !) 
That iron-hearted carl, JVani^ 
Attended in his grim advances, 
By sad mistakes, and black mischances. 
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him. 
Make you as poor a dog as I am. 
Your humble tervant then no more ; 
For who would humbly servo the poor ! 
But by a poor man's hopon in Heav'n ! 
While recollection's powV is given. 
If, in the vale of humble life. 
The victim sad of fortune's strife, 
I, thro' the tender gushing tear. 
Should recognize my master dear^ 
If friendless, low, we meet together. 
Then, Sir, your hand — my friend w[id brother I 



TO A LOUSE. 

ON SEEINO ONE ON A LADY'8 BONNET 
AT CHUBCH. 



Ha ! whare yegaun, ye crowlin fcrlie ! 
Your impudence protecU you sairly : 
I canna say but ye strunt rarely, 

Owre gauze and lace ; 
Tho' fwth, I fear ye dine but sparely 

On sic a place. 

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner. 
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner. 



60 



BURNS* POEMS, 



How daro ye let jour fit upon her, 

Sae nuo & lady ! 

6ao somewhere else and sock your dinner 

On some poor body. 

Switli, in some boggards haffet squattle ; 
Where ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle 
Wi' ither kindred, jumpin cattle, 

In shoals and nations | 
Wliare Aom or b<me ne^cr daro unsettle 

Your thick plantations. 

Now haud ye there, ye^re out o* eighty 
Below the fatfrils, snug an* ti^ht ; 
Na, faith ye yet ! yell no be right 

Till yoVe got on it, 
The vera tapmost, towVin? height 

O* Misses bonnet. 



Mr sooth ! right bauld ye set your nose out, 
As plump and ffray as onie grozet ; 
O for some rank, mercurial rozet, 

Or fell, red smeddum, 
Vd gie you sic a hearty doze o\ 

Wad dress your droddum ! 

I wad na been surprisM to spy 
Ton on an auld wifo^s flainen toy ; 
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy, 

On's wyliecoat ; 
But Misses fine Lunardi ! fie, 

llow dare ye d^ot ! 



O Jenny^ dtnna toss your head. 
An* set your beauties a abread ! 
Te Uttle ken what cursed speed 

The blastie's makin ! 
Th&e iDinki nuA. finger-ends^ 1 dread, 

Are notice takin ! 



O wad some powV the gifiie gie us 
To iee ourselt cu others tee tu ! 
It wad irae monie a blunder free us 

And foolish notion : 
What airs in dress an* ffait wad loa'e us. 

And 0T*n Devotion ! 



ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH. 



I. 



EdinaI 5ro/ta*« darling seat! 

All hail thy palaces and towers. 
Where once beneatli a monarches feet 

Sat legislation's sovereign powers ! 



From marking wildly-seatterM flowY 
As on tlie banks otAyr I itraVd, 

And singing, lone, the Ime^ring noan 
I shelter m thy honour^ shade. 



n. 



Here wealth still spellB the golden tid 

As busy trade his labours ^es ; 
There architectun^'s noble pmie 

Bids elegance 4i^ splenoor rise ; 
Here justice, fromfier native skies, 

j^pgh wields her balance and her re 
There learning, with his eagle eves, 

Seeks science in her coy abode. 



HL 



Thy Sons, Edina, social, kind. 

With o[An arms the stranger hail ; 
Their views enlarg'd, their lioVal mio 

Above the narrow, rural vale ; 
Attentive still to sorrow^s wall. 

Or modest merit's silent claim ; 
And never may their sources fail ! 

And never envy blot their name ! 

IV. 

Thy daughters bright thy walks adon 

Cay as the gild^ summer sky. 
Sweet as the dewy milk-wliite tbom, 

Dear as the raptured tlirill of joy I 
Fair B strikes tli' adoring eye, 

Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shini 
I see the sire of love on hif^h^ 

And own his work indeed divine ! 



V. 



There, watcliing high the least alamt 

Thy rou£[h, rude fortress gleams af 
Like some bold veteran, gray in arms, 

And markM with many a seamy sc 
The [lond'rous walls and massy bar. 

Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock ; 
Have oft withstood assailing war. 

And oil roKird the invader's shod 

VI. 

With awe-struck thougnt, and pitying 

I view that noble, stately dome, 
Wierc Scotia^s kinss of other years, 

Fam'd heroes ! had tlieir royal ho 
Alas ! how chanrrM the times to com* 

Their royal name low in the dust! 
Their hapless race wild-wand'ring ro 

Tho' rigid law cries out, 'twas juet 



BURNS* POCMS. 



51 



vn. 



ild beats my heart to trace your itepti 
V¥hoee aBcestors, in dayi oi yore, 
iro* hostile ranks and roin'd gaps 
Old ScoHa*t bloody lion bore : 
'^ / who sing in rustic lore, 
Haply my sires have left their shed^ 
kd facM ffrim danger's loudest roar, 
Bold-following where your fitthers led ! 

vm. 

Una ! Scotia's darling scat ! 
All hail thv palaces and towers, 
hepj once beneath a monarches feet 
Sal legislation's sovereign powers ! 
nm marking wildly-scatter d flowVs, 
As on the banks of Ayr I strayed, 
nd singing, lone, the linff'nng liours, 
1 shelter in tliy honourM shade. 



EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK, 



AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD. 

APRIL 1st, 1785. 

^mLE briers and woodbines budding green, 
paitricks scraicliin loud at e'en, 
mining poussie whiddin seen, 

Inspire my muse, 
ifieedom in an unknoum fricn\ 

I pray excuse. 

a fasten-een we had a rockin, 

iSk the crack and weave our stockin ; 

there was muckle fun an' jokin. 

To need na doubt ; 
sigth we bad a hearty jokin 

At sang about, 

lere was ae «ang, amang the rest, 
m them a' it pleased me best, 
; some kind husband had addrest 

To some sweet wife : 
ilM the heart-strings thro' the breast, 

A^to the life. 

• scarce heard ouf ht describes sae weel, 
t rai'roos, manly t)osoms feel ; 
i|^t I, *^ Can this be Pope, or Steele, 

Or Beattie's wark "* 
r tald me Hwas an odd kind chiel 

About MtUrkirk. 



pat me fidffin-fain to hearH, 
sae about Dim there I spiert 



Then a' that kent hkn roond declared 

Hehadtngme, 

That nane ezoeU'd it, few cam near\ 

It was sae fine. 



That set him to a pint of ale. 
An' either douce or merry tale. 
Or rhymes an' sangs heM made himseU 

Or witty catches, 
'Tween Inverness and Tiviotd&le, 

He had few matches. 



Then up I gat, an' swoor an' aith, 
Tho' I shouldpawn my plough and graitli, 
Or die a cadger pownie's death, 

At some dyke-back, 
A pint an' gill I'd gie them baith 

To hear your crack. 

■ 

But, first an' foremost, I should tell, 
Amaixt as soon as I could spell, 
I to the crambo-jingle fell, 

Tho' rude an' rough, 
Tet crooning to a body's sel. 

Does well cneugh. 

I am nao ooe^ in a sense, 
But tust a rnymerj like, by chanco. 
An' Lae to learning nae pretence. 

Yet, what the matter ? 
Whene'er my muse does on mo glance, 

I jingle at Lor. 

Your critic-folk may cock their noso, 
And say, ** How can you e'er propose. 
You wha ken hardly verse frae prose. 

To mak a sajig ? 
But, by your leaves, my learned foes, 

Ye're maybe wrang. 



What's a' your jargon o' your schools, 
Your Latin names for horns on" stools ; 
If honest nature made you foolsy 

What soirs your grammars 
Ye'd better ta'en up spades and shools. 

Or knappin hanmiers. 



A set o' duU conceited hashes. 
Confuse their brains in college classes ! 
They gang in stirks, and come out aspcs. 

Plain tnitli to speak i 
An' syne they think to climb Parnassus 

By dint o' Greek * 

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's firo. 
That's a' the leaminc I desire ; 
Then tho' I drudge uu*o' dub an' mim 

At plcugii or cait, 
My muse, tho' hamely in attire. 

May touch the hca; r. 



BURNS' FO£Mi;. 



O for a spunk o* AUarCi glee, 
Or FemutovCt^ the b&uld and dee. 
Or bright Lapraik^t my friend to be, 

frlcanhitit! 
That would be lear eneiif h for me. 

If! could ret it. 



Now, Sir, if yo hao friends enow, 
Tho' real friends, I blievc, are few, 
Tet, if your catalogue be fou, 

I*se no insist. 
But gif ye want ae friend that*s true, 

Vm on your list. 



I winna blaw about mysel ; 
As ill I like my fauts to tell ; 
But friends, and folk that wish me well. 

They sometimes roose me, 
Tho* I maun own, as monie still 

As far abuse me. 



There^s ae tteeftnU they wliyles lay to me, 
I like the lasses — Gude forgie mo ! 
For monie a plack they whcodlo frae me. 

At dance or fair ; 
May be some itfur thing tbey gie me 

Tiicy wool can spare. 



But Mauehiine race, or Mauchline fair, 
( should be proud to meet you there ; 
Wo*ao gie ae night^*s discharge to care. 

If we torgathcr, 
An' hae a swap o' rhymin-'icare 

Wi* ane anither. 



The four-^ill chap, we'se gar him clatter. 
An' kirsen him wi' reckin water ; 
Syne we*ll sit down an' tak our whitter. 

To cheer our heart ; 
An' faith we^se be acauaintod l>etter 

Before we part 



Awa, ye selfish warly race, 
Wha think that havina, sense, an' grace, 
£y*n loye an' friendship, should give place 

To eaiehrlht-plaek ! 
I dinna like to see your face. 

Nor hear you crack. 



But ye whom social pleasure charms. 
Whose heart the tide of kindness warms. 
Who hold your beir^ on the terms. 

Each aid tlie othcr8\ 
Come to my bowl, come to my arms. 

My friends, my brothers ! 



But to conclude my lang epistle, 
Af my auld pen's worn to the griaile 
Twa lines frae you wad gar me fisda, 

Who am, most ferrei 
While I can either ting or whisile, 

X our friend and mm 



TO THE SAME. 



APRIL 31st, 1785 



While new-ca'd kye rout at the stake, 
An' pownies reek in plough or braik. 
This hour on e'enin's ed^ I take. 

To own I'm debtor 
To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik^ 

For ins kind letter. 



Forjesket sair, with weary legs, 
Rattlin' the com out-owrc tne ngs. 
Or dealing thro' amang the naigs 

Thoir ten-hours' bite, 
My awkart muse sair pleads and be^ 

I would na wnte. 



The tapetless ramfeezl*d hizzie, 
She^s saft at best, and something lazy. 
Quo' she, **Te ken, weVe been sae busy. 

This month an' mair, 
That trouth my head is grown right dizzie 

An somethmg sair." 



Her dowfi* excuses pat mo mad ; 
^ Consdenoe," says I, ^ ye thowlees jtd i 
1*11 write, an' that a hearty blaud. 

This yera night; 
So dinna ye afiront your trade. 

But rhyme it right. 



** Shall bauld Lapraik^ the king o' bearti, 
Tho' numkind were a pack o' cartes, 
Roose you sae weel for your deserts. 

In terms so friendly 
Tet yell neglect to shaw your parts. 

An' thanK him kindlj 



Sae 1 gat paper in a blink. 
An' down gaed ttumpie in the ink : 
Quoth I, **• Before I sleep a wink, 

I yow 111 close it; 
An' if ye winna mak it clink. 

By Joye 111 prose Ur 






BURNS* POEMS 



53 



Ve begun to leniwl, Mki whether 

le or proee, or baith thMritber, 

9 hotch-potch that's rightly neither, 

Let Ume mak' proof; 
laD acribble down some blether 

Just dean aff-loof. 



rorthy friend, ne V grodfe an' carp, 
rtune lue you liard an* sharp ; 
bttle up jour moorland Juarp 

Wi* gleesome touch ! 
dnd how fortune vHifl an* %Darp : 

She*s but a b-tch. 



I gien me monie a jirt an* fleg, 
ould stiiddle awn a rig ; 
the L— d, tho^ I should beg 

Wi' lyart pow, 
rh, an* ong, an* shake my leg, 

As Uuag*s I dowT 



comes the sax an* twentieth simmer 
n the bud npo* the timmer, 
oecuted by the limmer 

Frae jrear to year ; 
;, despite the kittle kimmer, 
/, 12o6, am here. 



e enry the city Oeni^ 
a kist to lie and sklent, 
le-proud, big wi* cent, per cent. 

And muckle wame, 
9 bit bmgh to represent 

A JBailie't name f 



i*t the panghty feudal Thane, 

Sl'd sark an' glancin' cane, 

links himsel nae sheep shank bane. 

But lordly stalks, 
cape and bonnets affare ta'en, 

Ashy he walks? 



rhou wha ffies us each guid gift \ 

9 o* wit an'sense a lift, 

.mn me, if T%ni please, adrift, 

Thro' Scotland wide ; 
■ nor hurds I wadna shift. 

In a* their pride !'* 



•6 this the charter of onr state, 
lain o' hell be rich an' grbat," 
ation then would be our fate. 

Beyond remead ; 
tmnku to Hcav'n ! that's no the fate 

We learn onr creed. 



I For thus the royal mandate ran, 
When first the human race b^gan, 
^ The social, friendly, honest man, 

Whate'er he be, 
Tis he fulfils great MUure*i pUm^ 

An* none but Ae .'*' 



O mandate dlorious and diyine ! 
The rafgec foTlowerB of the Nine, 
Poor, thoughtless deyils ! }ret may shine 

In fflorious li^bt, 
While sordid sons of Mammon's line 

Are dark as night. 



Tlio* here they scrape, an' squeeze, an' growl. 
Their worthless nieyefu* of a soul 
Iflay in some future carcase howl. 

The forest's fHght ; 
Or in some day-dcicsting owl 

May shun the light. 

Then may Lapraik and Bum* arise. 
To r^ach their native, kindred skies. 
And ting their pleasures, hopc»B, an' joys. 

In some mild sphere, 
Still doeer knit in friendship's tie 

Each passing year. 



TO W. S ***** N, 



OCHILTREE. 



May, 178SL 



I GAT your letter, winsome JFilUe ; 
Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you brawlie ; 
ThoU maun say't, I wad be silly, 

An' unco vain, 
Should I believe my coaxin' billie, 

Your ilatterin strain. 



But Tso believe ye kindly meant it, 
I sud be laith to think ye hmted 
Ironic satire, sidelin's sklontcd 

On my poor Musie ; 
Tho'in sic phrasin* terms ye've pcnn'd it 

I scarce excuse ye. 



My senses wad be in a creei 
Should I but dare a hope to speel 
Wi' AUan, or wi' GUbert/ield, 

The Sraes o' fame ; 
Or FerguuoTH the writer-diiel 

A deathless name. 



54 



BURNS' POEMS. 



(O Fereuison ! tliy glorious porta 
111 suited law^s dry, musty arts ! 
My curse upon your whunstone hearts, 

Ye I'lubrugh Gentry ! 
Tlie tythe o* what ye waste at cartes. 

Wad stow'd his pantry !) 



Tet when a tale comes i* my Head, 
Or lames gie my heart a screed, 
As whyles they re like to be my deed, 

(O sad disease !) 
I kittle up my nutie reed; 

It ^es me ease. 



Auld CojUa now may iid^ fu* fain, 
Sho*s ;^ottcn Poets o^ her am, 
Cliiels wha their chanters winna hain. 

But tune tlieir lays. 
Till echoes a* resound again 

Her wcel^fomg praise 



Nae poet thouj^ht her worth his while, 
To sot ner name m measured style ; 
She lay like some unkenn'd-of isle 

Beside J^eic Holland^ 
Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil 

Besouth Magellan, 



Ratruay an^ famous Fergutson 
Gied Forth an* Tay a lift aboon ; 
Yarrow an* Tweed to monie a tune, 

Owre Scotland rings, 
While Irwitij Lttgar, Ayr^ an* Doon, 

Nae body sings. 



Th' niisnts, Tiber, Thames, an* Seine^ 
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line ! 
But, WiUUi set your fit to mine. 

An cock your crest, 
We*ll gar our streams and bumics shine 

Up wi* the best. 



We*ll sing auld CoUaU plains an* fells. 
Her moors red-brown wi' neather bells. 
Her banks an* braes, her dens and dells, 

Where glorious Wallace 
Afl bure the gree, as story tells, 

Frae southron billies. 



At Wallace* name what Scottish blood 
But boils up in a spring-tide flood ! 
Oft haye our fearless fathers stn>de 

By Wallace' side. 
Still presnng onward, red-wat-shod. 

Or glorious dy*d. 



O, Sweet axe OnlaU haugfas an' woodii 
When lintwhites chant amang the bads. 
And jinkiu hares, in amorous whids, 

Their loyes enjoy. 
While thro* the braes the cushat croods 

With wailfii* cry ! 

£y*n winter bleak has charms for me 
Wlien winds raye thro' the naked tree; 
Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree 

Are hoary gray ; 
Or blinding drifts wild-furious flee, 

Dark'ning the day I 

O Nature ! a* thy shows an* forms 
To feeling, pensiye hearts hae charms ! 
Whether the simmer kindly warms, 

Wi* life an' light, 
Or winter howls, in^usty storms. 

The lang, dark night ! 

The Muse, nae poet eyer fknd her, 
Till by himsel, he leam'd to wander, 
Adown some trotting bum s meander, 

&* no think lang; 
O sweet ! to stray, an* pensiye ponder 

A heart-felt sang t 

The warly race may drudge an* driye, 
Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch, an* striye. 
Let me fair J>ralure''t face descriye, 

And I, wi* pleasure, 
Shall let the busy, grumbling niye 

Sum owre their treuoTB. 



Fareweel, ^ my rhyme-composing brither ! 
We*ye been owre lang unkenn'd to ither : 
Now let us lay our heads thegither. 

In loye fraternal : 
May Enoy wallop in a tether, 

Black fiend, infernal I 

While highlandmen hate tolls and taxes; 
While moorian* herds like fguid fat brazies : 
While terra firma, on her axis 

Diurnal turns, 
Count on a friend, in faith an* practioe, 

In Robert ovBrru, 



POSTSCRIPT. 

Mr memoiT*s no wortlva preen ; 
I had amaist forgotten clean, 
Te bade me write you what they mean 

BythisAetc-JDigA/,* 
*Bout which ovaherdt sae aft hae been 

Maist like tofigfat 

* 8«e nolo, page 18. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



55 



iji when mankind were but callanfl 

•OTiur, hgicj an^ sic talents, 

ook nae pains th^ speech to balance, 

Or rules to fie, 
ik their thoughts in plain, braid Tallans, 

Like you or mo. 

tae auld times, they thought the moon, 
le a sark, or pair o* shoou, 
}j degrees, till her last roon, 

Gaed past their viewing, 
3rtly after she was done, 

They gat a new one. 

past for certain, undisputed ; 
* cam i* their heads to doubt it, 
iels gat up an* wad confute it. 

An* ca'd it wrong ; 
ickle din there was about it, 

Baith loud and lang. 

e herds^ wee! leamM upo' the beuk, 
ireap auld folk the thin^ misteuk ; 
ras ue auld moon tum^aa neuk. 

An' out o* sight, 
cklimhoomin, to the leuk, 

She grew mair bright. 

: was deny^d, it was affirmed ; 

rdt an' histeU were alarm'd : 

v^rend gray-beards rav'd an' storm'd. 

That beardless laddies 
I think they better were informed 

Than their auld daddies. 

t lees to mair it gaed to sticks ; 
"ords an' aiths to clours an' nidu ; 
mie a fallow gat his licks, 

Wi' hearty crunt ; 
ne, to learn them for tlicir tricks. 

Were hang'd an' burnt. 

game was play*d in monie lands, 
la-Hghi caddies bure sic hands, 
aitJi the yoimgHters took the sands 
Wi' nimble shanks, 
irds forbade, by strict commands. 
Sic bluidy pranks. 

neuhlight herds gat mc a cowe, 
iought them ruin'd stick-an'-stowe, 
>w amiust on ev>y knowe, 

Te'll find ano plac'd ; 
me, their neio-light fair avow. 

Just quite barefac'd. 

doubt the atdd-di^JU flocks are bleatin ; 
lealous herds are vexM un' sweatin ; 
, rVe even seen them grectin 

Wi' gimin spite, 
ar the moon sae sadly lie'd on 

By word an' write. 



But shortly they will cowe the louns ! 
Some auldrlight herds in neebor towns 
Are mindt, in things they ca' balloons^ 

To tak a flight. 
An' stay a month amang the moons 

An' see them right. 

Guid observation they will gie them ; 
An' when the atdd moons eiLuii to lea^e them. 
The hindmost shaird, they^l fetch it wi' them, 

JuKt i" their pouch. 
An' when the new-light billies see them, 

I think they'll crouch ! 

Sae, ye observe tliat a' this clatter 
Is noething but a ^ moonshine matter;" 
But tlio' dull prose-folk Latin splatter 

In logic tulzie, 
I hope, we bardies ken some better 

llian mind sic bruhde. 



EPISTLE TO J. R****** 



ENCLOSING BOMB POEMS. 



O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******, 
The wale o' cocks for fun an' dnnkin I 
There's mony godly folks are th'uikin, 

Your drcaftui* an' tricks 
Will send you, Korah-like, a-shikin, 

Straught to auld Nick's. 

Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants. 
And in your wicked drucken rants. 
Ye mak a devil o' the saunts. 

An' fill them fou; 
And then their failings, flaws, ai\' wants. 

Are a' seen thro'. 



Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it ! 
That holy robe, O dinna tear it I 
Spare 't for their sokes wha af\en wear it. 

The lads in 6/r£ffc / 
But your curst wit, when it comes near it, 

Rives 't sJS their back. 



Think, wicked sinner, wha yc'ro skoithing, 
Its just the bltte-gown badge on' claithing 
O' saunts ; tak Siat, ye lea'e them naefhing 

To ken them by, 
Frae ony unregenerate heatlien 

Like you or I. 



* A certain bumoitmi dream of bis was then maldng 
a noise in the country-side. 



56 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Pre lent 70a home some rhjrmmg wire, 
A' that I barg&m'd for an* mair; 
See, when ye hae an hour to spare, 

I willex^t 
Ton itmgi* yo'U Mn't wi' canme care, 

And no neglect 

Tbo' faith, sma^ heart hae I to lin^ ! 
My muse dow scarcely spread her ynng ! 
VvB play'd mysel a bonnie sprint. 

An* dances my fill ! 
Pd better tnxie an* sairM the king. 

At Bwik^tHUL 



Twas ae ni^^t lately in my fun, 
I gaed a roving wi* the gun, 
Aa* brought t^paitrick to the grun, 

A bonnie hen, 
And, as the twilight was bc^un, 

Thou At nane wad ken. 



The poor woo thing was little hurt ; ^ 
I straikit it a wee for sport, 
Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me for't ; 

But, deil-ma-care ! 
Somebody tells the poacher-cowi 

The hale affair. 



Some auld us'd hands had ta'en a note. 
That sic a hen had got a shot ; 
I was suspected for me plot ; 

IscomM to lie; 
So gat the whissle o'my groat, 

An' pay t they^ 

But, by my gun, o' gaxa the wale. 
An' by my pouther air my hail. 
An' by my hen, an' by her tail, 

I vow an' swear ! 
The game shall pay o'er moor an' dale, 

For this, niest year. 

As soon's the dockin-time is by, 
An' the wee pouts begun to cry, 
L— d, Fse haie sportin by an' by, 

For my gowd guinea : 
Tho' I should herd the buektkin kjre 

Fort in Virginia. 

Trowth, they had muckle for to blame ! 
'Twas neither oroken wing nor limb, 
But twa-three draps about the w^me 

Scarce thro' the feathers ; 
An' baith a yellow George to claim, 

An*^ thole their blethers ! 



It pits me ay as mad's a hare ; 
80 1 can rhyme nor write nae mair ; 

* A i0nf he had promised the Aatbor. 



Bat jMm^yworl^ agam is fair, 

When time's expo 
Meanwhile I am, respected Sir, 

Tour most 



JOHN BARLEYCORN,* 



A BALLAD. 



I. 



There were three kings into the east, 
Three kings both great and high. 

An' they hae sworn a solemn oath 
John Barleycorn should die. 



U. 



They took a plough and plough'd hhn 

Put clods upon nis head, 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath 

John Barleycorn was dead. 

m. 

But the cheerful spring came kindly fl 
And showr's began to fall ; 

John Barleycorn ^t up again. 
And sore surprised them alL 

The sultry suns of summer came. 
And he grew thick and strong. 

His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spea 
That no one should him wrong. 



V. 



The sober autumn enter'd mild, 
When he grew wan and pale ; 

His bending joints and drooping head 
Show'd he began to fail. 

VI. 

Hii colour sicken'd more and more, 

He faded into age ; 
And then his enemies began 

To show their deadly rage. 

vn. 

They Ve ta'en a weapon long and ahaii 

Aiid cut him by the knee ; 
Then ty'd him fast upon a cart, 

Like a rogue for fozgerie. 

* This Ifl partly composed on the plan of an oli 
known by the same nsmst 



BURNS' POEMS. 



57 



VUL 



0j hid him down apoo hu btek, 
bid codlgellM him rail tore ; 
c J hnng him up bef(»e the ibmit 
Ind turned him o^er and oVr. 



IX. 



NT fiDed op a dariDMme pit 
mth wmter to the brim, 
BT heaved in John Barie^com, 
Inere let him nnk or awmi. 



m laid lum ont upon the floor, 
to work him farther wo, 
id ftiD, as tdgDM of life appearM, 
They toMM him to and nt>. 



XL 



Wf waited, o W a icorching flame, 

The marrow of hie bones ; 

tta miUer aa*d him wont of all,' 

For he cnuhM him between two atonea. 



xn. 

d ther hae ta'en hie Tory heart*e Uood, 
bid ibank it round and round ; 
d atill the more and more they drank, 
Vbmt yxj did more abound. 



xm. 



n Barleycorn waa a hero bold, 
)f noble enterpiiee, 
if yoa db but taste his blood, 
rwiU make your courage rise. 



XIV. 



riU make a man 5>r^t his wo; 
rwill heighten all his joy : 
rill make the widow's heart to sing, 
1m>' the tear were in her eye. 



XV. 



m let us toast John Barleycorn, 
ladi man a glass in hand ; 
i may his greatpoeteri^ 
[e'er fail in old Scotknd ! 

£2 



A FRAGMENT. 



Tun—*' Gi]]]crankia.*» 



Whxn OuUford good our pOot stood. 

And did our helm threw, man, 
Ae night, at tea, began a plea. 

Within America^ man : 
Then up they gat the maskin-pat. 

And m the sea did jaw, man ; 
An' did nae less, in full congress. 

Than quite refuse our law, man. 



n. 



Then thro' the lakes Montgomtry takes, 

I wat he was na slaw, man ; 
Down Lowriet bum ho took a turn. 

And Carltton did ca\ man : 
But yet, what reck, he, at Quc6ee, 

^Kintgomery-like did fa\ man, 
Wi' sword in hand.) before his band, 

Amang his en'niies a', man. 

m. 

Poor Tammy Oag^ within a cage 

Was kept at Button ha\ man ; 
Till Willie Hmce took o'er the knowe 

For PhUaddpkiOy man : 
Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sin 

Guid chiistian blood to (Saw, man ; 
But at Ahr-FoHb, wi' knife an' fork. 

Sir-loin he hacked ima', man. 

IV. 

Burgoyfu gaed up, like spur an' wlup^ 

Till Frater brave did fa', man; 
Then lost his way, ae nusty day. 

In Saratoea shew, man. 
CormpaUiM fought as long's he dought. 

An' did the Buckskins claw, man ; 
But Cliniori's glaive fiae rust to save. 

He hung it to the wa', man. 



V. 



Then Montaene^ an' Quilford too. 

Began to fear a fa', man ; 
And Saekvillt doure, wha stood the sUnuc, 

The German chief to thraw, man : 
For Faddy Buries^ like ony Turk, 

Nae mercy had at a', man ; 
And Charlie Fox threw by the box, 

An' lows'd his tinkler jaw man. 



60 



BURNS' POEMS 



II. 



The warbr race may riches chaae, 
An* richee still may fly them, O ; 

An* tho' at last they catch them fast, 
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O. 

Chreen grow^ See, 

UL 

But gie me a canny hour at e'en, 

My arms about my dearie, O ; 
An* warlv cares, an* wariy men. 

May a' gae tapsalteerie, O ! 

Oreen ^row. Sec, 



IV 



For you sae douse, ye sneer at this, 
Te*er nought but senseless asses, O : 

The wisest man the warP e*er saw. 
He dearly loT*d the lasses, O. 

Oreen gnw^ See. 



V. 



Auld Nature swears, the lovely dean 
Her noblest work she classes, O : 

Her 'prentice han' she try'd on man. 
An then she made the lasses, O. 

Green grmo^ See 

***** 



SONG. 

ToH»— " Jockey*s Grey Breeks.* 
I. 

AoAiN rejoicing nature sees 

Her robe assume its vernal hues. 
Her leafy locks wave in the breeze. 

All freshly steep'd in morning dews. 

CH0RUB> 

And maun 1 tiUl on Menief doai. 
And hear the Kom ihatt in her e^ef 

Fw iftjei^jet blacky an" ift like a hawk, 
win' ii vnnna let a body be ! 

I. 

In vain to me the cowslips blaw. 

In vain to me the vilets spring; 
In vain to me, ih. glen or shaw, 

Tlia mavis and the lintwhite idnf . 

And maun 1 still, See, 

* Tbtoebomsis iiartof a song comiKiMd by a gentleman 
to Idh^rgh, a paitiinilat fHend of 0)6 autbor*!. 
t Mndt \m th« comironn sbbrevisUun of MtritmM. 



m. 



The merry ploughboy cheen his teaniy 
Wi* joy the tentie seedsman stalks, 

But life to me *s a weaxy dream, 
A dream of ane-that never wauks. 

And maun I itiXLi ScCm 

IV. 

The wanton coot the water skims, 
Amanff the reeds the ducklings cry. 

The stately swan majestic swims, 
And every thing is blest but I. 

And maun JtiULt &c 



V. 



The sheep-herd steeks his fauldinc slap. 
And owre the moorlands whistfes ahilli 

Wi* wild, unequal, wand'ring step 
I met him on the dewy hill. 

And maun I sHUt io^ 

VI. 

^^d when the lark, Hween li^ht and daric, 

Bly the waukens by the daisy's side^ 
And mounts and sings on flittering wmgB, 
A wo-wom ghaist 1 hameward glide. 

And maun J ttUlt Sec 

• vn. 

Come, \^^ter, with thine ansry howl. 
And raging bend the naked tree ; 

Thygloom will soothe my cheerless eoiil, 
v\^en nature all is sad like me ! 



CHORXTS. 

And maun Ittill on Menie doal^ 
And bear ^ scorn thats in her e*e f 

For if s jet Jet blaek^ on^iTsUkea hawky 
Afi it uinna let a body be,* 



SONG 

TuKB— ^*RoBlm Castle." 

I. 

The gloomy night is gathMng fkst, 
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast. 
Ton murky doud is foul with rain, 
I see it driving o'er the plain ; 

* We cannot pretnme to alter any of the poems of 
our bard, and BM>re eipecially those printed under his 
own direction ; yet It ia to be regretted that this chorM, 
which is not of his own eomporition, should be s^ 
tached to theie fine itanzas, as it perpetually interrupts 
the train of sentiment which they excite. E. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



61 



The hunter now hia left the mooTf 
Tlie icatterM coveys meet lecure, 
While here I wander, preit with care, 
AloDg the lonely banks of Ajfr. 



n. 



The Autamn mourns her rip'nmg corn 
By early Winter^s ravage torn ; 
Across ner placid, azure sky, 
She sees the scowl'mg tempest fly ; 
Chill rons my blood to hear it ray^ 
I think upon the stormy wave, 
Where many a danger I must dare, 
Far fh>m th* bonnie banks of Ayr. 

m. 

^Tie not the mxrging billow^s roar, 
Tis not that fatal deadly shore ; 
Tho* death in every shape appear. 
The wretched have no more to fear : 
But round my heart the ties are bound, 
TbMt heart transpierced with many a wound ; 
Theae bleed afresh, those ties I tear, 
To leave the boxmie banks of Ayr. 



IV. 



Farewell, old Coila*t hills and dales, 
Her heathy moors and winding vales ; 
Tlie scenes where wretched ft^cy roves, 
Pursuixig past, unhappy loves ! 
Farewell, my fiiends ! Farewell, my fbes ! 
My peace with these, my love with thoee^ 
The bursting tears my heart declare. 
Farewell the bonnie banks o£Ayr. 



SONG. 



TuicE— ^ Guilderoy." 
I. 

Fkom thee, U/tso, I must go. 

And &om my native shore ; 
The cruel fates between us throw 

A boundless ocean^s roar : 
Hut boundless oceans, roaring wide. 

Between my love and um, 
Tliey never, never can divide 

Mj heart and soul from thee. 

• n. 

FareweD, farewell, ElisM dear. 

The maid that I adore ! 
A boding voice is in mine ear. 

We part to meet no more ! 



But the last throb that leaves my heart. 
While death stands victor by, 

That throb, ElixtL, is thjr part, 
And thine the latest sigh ! 



THE FAREWELL 



TO TBS 



BRETHREN OF ST. JAMES'S LODGE, 



TARBOLTON. 



Tuns— ^ Good night and joy be wi* you a' T 



Adieu ! a heart-warm, fond adieu I 

Dear brothers of the nwtHe tye I 
Ye favoured, ye enlighten d few. 

Companions of my social joy ! 
Tho* I to foreign lands must hie. 

Pursuing FOTtune's slidd^ry ba\ 
With meltmg heart, and brimful eve, 

111 mind you still, tho' far awa.' 



n. 



Oft have I met your social band. 

And spent the cheerful, festive night ; 
Oft, honourM with supreme command. 

Presided o'er the tons of light : 
And by that hieroglyphtt bright. 

Which none but crafltmen ever saw ! 
Strong memory on my heart shall write 

Those happy scenes when far awa.' 

in. 

May freedom, harmony, and love. 

Unite us in the grand design^ 
Beneath th' omniscient eye above, 

The glorious architect divine ! 
That you may keep th' unerring ImCt 

Still rising by the pkanmetU Uno^ 
Till order bright completely shine, 

Shall be my pray'r when far awa'. 

IV. 

And you farewell ! whose merits claim. 

Justly, that highest badge to wear ! 
Heav'n bless your honourd, noble name. 

To Mcuonry and Scotia dear ! 
A last request permit me here. 

When yearly ye assemble a'. 
One round, I ask it with a tear^ 

To him, the Bard thai't fiar awa\ 



BURNS' POBMS. 



SONG. 

Tumc — ** Prepare, my dear brethren, to the 
Tavern let's fly." 

I. 

No churchman am I for to raO and to write, 
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to figfat. 
No sly man of business contriving a snare, 
For a big>bellyM bottle's the whole of my care. 



n. 



The peer I dont envy, I give him his bow ; 
I scorn not the peasant, though ever so low ; 
But a club of good fellows, hLe those that are 

here, 
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care. 



m. 



Here passes the equire on his brother — his 

horse; 
There centum per centum, the cit, with his 

purse; 
But see you the Crotm how it waves in the abr, 
There, a big-belly'd bottle still ceases my care. 

IV. 

The wife of my bosom, alas ! she did die ; 
For sweet consolation to church I did fly ; 
I found that old Solomon proved it fair. 
That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care. 

V. 

I once was persuaded a venture to make ; 
A letter inform'd me that all was to wrtMck ; — 
But the pursy old landlord just waddled up 

stairs. 
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares. 

VI. 

* life's cares they are comforts,"* — a maxim 

laid down 
By the bard, what d'ye call him that wore the 

black gown ; 
And faith I agree with th' old prig to a hair ; 
For a big-belfy'd bottle's a heav'n of care. 

A Stanga added in a Mason Lodge. 

Then fill up a bumper and make it overflow. 
And honours masonic prepare for to throw; 
May every true brother of the compass and 

square 
Have a big-belly'd bottle when harassed with 

care. 

* Toong'b Night Thougbts. 



wRirnBNnf 



FRIARS-CARSE HERMITAGE, 



OK NITH-81DB. 



Thou whom chance may hither 
Be thou clad in russet weed. 
Be thou deckt in silken stole. 
Grave these counsels on thy sooL 



Life is but a day at most. 
Sprung from ni^ht, in darkness lost; 
Hope not sunshme ev^ry hour. 
Fear not clouds will always lower. 

As youth and love with sprightly danoe. 
Beneath thy morning star advance. 
Pleasure with her siren air 
May delude the thoughtless pair ; 
Let prudence bless enjojrment's cup^ 
Then raptur'd sip, and sip it up. 

As thy daj grows worm and high, 
Life's meridian flaming nigh. 
Dost thou spurn the humble vale ? 
Life's proud summit wouldst thoa scale ? 
Chedk thy climbing step, elate, 
Evils lurk in felon wait : 
Dangers, eagle-pinion'd, bold. 
Soar aroundeach difly hold. 
While cheerful peace, with linnet i 
Chants the lowly dells among. 

As the shades of ev'ning close^ 
Beck'ning thee to long repose ; 
As life itwlf becomes disease. 
Seek the chimney-neuk of ease. 
There ruminate with sober thought, 
On all thou'st seen, and heard, and wrought ; 
And teach the sportive younkers round, 
Saws of experience, sage and sound. 
Say, man's true, genuine estimate. 
The grand criterion of his fate. 
Is not, Art thou so high or low f 
Did thy fortune ebb or flow ? 
Did manv talents gild thy span? 
Or frugal nature grudge thee one ? 
Tell them, and press it on their mind. 
As thou thyself must shortly find. 
The smile or frown of awful Heav* 
To virtue or to vice is giv'n. 
Say, to be iust, and kind, and wise. 
There soliu self-enjoyment lies ; 
That foolish, selfish, faithless wavs. 
Lead to the wretched, vil^, and case. 

Thus resign'd and quiet, creep 
To the bed of lasting sleep ; 
Sleep, whence thou Bhalt ne'er awake. 
Night, where dawn shall never break. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



63 



TBI fbtnre life, fbture no mote, 
To light and joy the good restafB, 
To light and joy unknown bdbra. 

Stnniger,go! Heaven be thj goida ! 
Quod tlw beadaman of Nith-nde. 



ODE, 



8ACRED TO THE MEMORY OF 



MR& 



OF 



DwxLLia in yon dungeon dark. 
Hangman of creation ! mark 
Who in widow-weeds appears, 
Laden with unhonoor'd years, 
Noosing with care a bursting parse, 
Baitod with many a deadly corse i 



■raoFHSa 

View the witherM beldam's face— 
Can thy keen inspection trace 
Aught of humanity's sweet, meltmg grace ! 
Note that eye, tis rheum o'erflowa, 
Pity's flood there never rose. 
See those hands, ne^er stretchM to save, 
Hands that took — but never gave. 
Keeper of Mammon's iron chest, 
Ix>, there she goes, unpitied and unblest 
She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest ! 

ANTISTROPHE. 

Plunderer of armies, lift thine eyes, 
(A while fbibear, ye torturing fiends,) 
Seeet thou whose step unwilling hither bends ! 

No fallen angel, hurlM from upper skies ; 
'TIS thy trusty quondam mate^ 
Doomd to sKare thy fiery fate. 

She, tardy, hc^-ward plies. 



EfOOE. 

And are they of no more avail, 
Ten thousand fflitt^rin^ pounds a year? 

In other worlds can Mammon fail. 
Omnipotent as he is here f 
O, bitter mock'ry of the pompous bier^ 
While down the wretched vUal part is driv'n ! 

TJie cave-lodg'd beggar, with a conscience 
clear, 
Ezpirea in rags unknown, and goes to 
Heav'n. 



ELEGY 



ON 



CAPT. MATTHEW HENDERSON, 

A OENTLEMAN WHO HELD THE PATENT rOE HIS 
BONOI7R8 IMMEDIATELY FEOM ALMIGHTY GOD. 



But DOW hli radiant courie ii run, 
For Manhew'i course was bright ; 

Hii aoul was like the glorioui lun, 
A matchlen, Ucav'nly Light ! 

O DEATH ! thou tyrant fell and bloody ! 
The meiklo devil wi* a woodie 
Haurl thee hame to his black smiddie. 

O'er hurcheon hides, 
And like stock-fish come o'er his studdie 

Wi' thy auld sides ! 

He^s gane, he^s gane ! he^s frae us torn. 
The ae best fellow e'er was bom ! 
Thee, Matthew, Nature's scl shall mourn 

By wood and wild. 
Where, haply, pity strays forlorn, 

Frae man exil'd. 

Te hills, near neebors o' the stams, 
That proudly cock your cresting cairns ! 
Te diflb, the haunts of sailin£^ yearns. 

Whore e<3io slumbers ! 
Come join, ye Nature's sturdiest bairns. 

My wailing numbers 

Mourn, ilk a grove the cushat kens ! 
Te hazily shaws and briery dens ! 
Te bumies, whimplin down your glens, 

Wi'toddlindin, 
Or foaming Strang, wi, hasty stens, 
Frae lin to lin. 

Mourn little harebells o'er the lee ; 
Te stately foxgloves fair to see ; 
Te woodbines hanging bonnilie. 

In scented bow'lrs ; 
Te roses on your thorny tree. 

The first o' flow'rB. 

At dawn, when ev'ry grassy blade 
Droops with a diamond at his head. 
At evX when beans their fragrance shed, 

I' th' rustling gale, 
Te maukins whiddin thro' the glade, 

Come join my wail. 

Mourn, ye wee songsters o' the wood ; 
Te grouse that crap Oie heatlier bud ; 
Te curlews calling thro' a clud ; 

Te whistling plover ; 
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick brood ; 

He's gane for ever i 



64 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Moani, sooty coots, and speckled teals, 
Ye fisher herons, watchin^r eels ; 
Te dock and drake, wi' airy wheels 

Circling the lake ; 
Ye bitterns, till the quagmire reels, 

Rair for his sake. 



Mourn, clamoring craiks at close o' day, 
'Mang fields o^ flowr^ing clover jg^y ; 
And when ye wing your annuaTway 

Frae our cauld shore, 
TeU thae far warlds, wha lies in day, 

Wham we deplore. 



Ye houlets, frae your ivy bow'r. 
In some auld tree, or eldritch towV, 
What time the moon, wi* silent glow'r. 

Sets up her horn. 
Wail thro* the dreary midnif ht hour 

'tan waulrife mom! 



O rivers, forests, hills, and plains I 
Oft have ye heard my canty strains : 
But now, what else tor me remains 

But tales of wo ; 
And firaa my aen the drapping rains 

Maun ever flow. 



Mourn, spring, thou darling of the year I 
Dk cowslip cup shall kep a tear : 
Thou, ainuner, while each corny spear 

Shoots up its head. 
Thy gay, green, flowVy tresses shear. 

For him that^s dead ! 



Thou, autumn, wi* thy yellow hair. 
In grief thy sallow mantle tear ! 
Thou, winter, hurling thro* the air 

"nie roaring blast, 
Wide o'er the naked world dedare 

The worth we've lost ! 



Mourn him, thou sun, great source of light ! 
Mourn, empress of the ^lent night ! 
And you, ye twinkling stamies, bright. 

My Matthew mourn ! 
For thro' your orbs he's ta'en his flight. 

Ne'er to return. 



O Kendenon ; the man ! the brother ! 
And art thou gone, and gone for ever ! 
And hast thou crost that unknown river. 

Life's dreary bound ! 
Like thee, where shall I find another. 

The world around ! 



Go to jrour sculptur'd tombs, ye Great, 
In a' the tinsel traish o' state \ 



But by the honest turf IH wait. 

Thou man of WQfth ! 

And weep the ae best fellow's fiate 

E'er lay in earth. 



, THE EPITAPH. 

Stop, passenger ! my story's brief; 

Ana truth! shall relate, man ; 
I tell nae common tale o' grief. 

For Matthew was a great man. 

If thou uncommon merit hast. 
Yet spum'd at fortune's door, man ; 

A look of pity hither cast. 
For Matthew was a poor man. 

If thou a noble sodger art. 

That passest by this grave, man. 

There moulders here a valiant heart; 
For Matthew was a brave man. 

If thou on men, their works and ways, 
Canst throw uncommon li^ht, man; 

Here Ues wha weel had won thy praiai 
For Matthew was a bright man. 

If thou at friendship's sacred ca' 
Wad lift Hself resign, man ; 

Thy syiopathetic tear maun &,' 
For Matthew was a kind man ! 

If thou art staunch without a stain. 
Like the unchanging blue, man ; 

This was a kinsman o^thy ain. 
For Matthew was a true man. 

If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire, 
And ne*er guid wine did fear, man; 

This was thy billle, dam, and sire. 
For Matthew was a queer man. 

If ony whlggish whingin sot. 
To blame poor Matthew dare, man j 

May dool and sorrow be his lot. 
For Matthew was a rare man. 



LAMENT 



OF 



MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, 

Olf THE APPEOACH OF SPRINO. 

Now nature hangs her mantle green 
On every blooming tree. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



65 



«adf har iheeu u dakam white 
»'er the pnasy lee : 
uBbm cEeen the oyital itieeine, 
^rlads the azure ikies ; 

* it can glad the wearj wight 

ast in durance hes. 



t 



rVocks wake the meny mom, 
on dew^ wing ; 
rle, in his noontide bow'r, 
« woodland echoes ring ; 
vis mild, wi' many a note, 
drowsy day to rest : 
BJid freedom thej rejoice, 
are nor thrall opprest. 



x>nis the lily by the bank, 
irimrose down the brae ; 
iirthom 's budding in the glen, 
nilk-white is the elac : 
ane^ hind in fair Scotland 
rove their sweets aman^ ; 
be Queen of a' Scotland, 
1 lie in prison Strang. 



Le Queen o* bonnie France, 
e happy I hae been ; 
tly raiFe I in the room, 
^the lay down at e'en : 
I the sovereign of Scotland, 
nony a tridtor there ; 
s I he in foreign bands, 
lever ending care. 



or thee, thou false woman, 

ster and ray fae, 

^ngeance, yet shall whet a sword 

thro* thy soul shall gae : 

9ping blood in woman^s breast 

lever known to thee ; 

balm that draps on wounds of wo 

woman's pitymg e*e. 



I my son ! ma^ kinder stars 

thy fortune shme ; .. 

y tnose pleasures gild thy reign, 

neVr wad blink on mine ! 

•p thee frae tliy mother's faes, 

m their hearts to thee : 

ere thou meet*st thy mother's friend, 

mber him for me ! 



I, to me, may summer-suns 
laix light up the mom ! 
tr, to me, the autunm winds 
o'er the yellow com I 
Jie narrow house o' death 
inter round me rave ; 
next flow'rs that deck the spring, 
1 on inr peaceful grave ! 
F 



TO ROBERT GRAHAy, Esq.. 



OF FINTBA. 



Latb crippl'd of an arm, and now a leg. 
About to beg a pott for leave to beg ; 
Dull, listless, teas'd, dejected, and deprest, 
(Nature is adverse to a ciimle's rest :) 
Will generous Oraham list to his Poet's wail ? 
(It soothes poor misery, hevk'nin^ to her tale,) 
And hear lum curse the licht he mvt survey'd« 
And doubly curse the luddess rhyming traoe ? 

Thou, Nature, partial Niture, I arraign ; 
Of thy caprice maiemal I complain. 
The hoB and the bull thy care hare found. 
One shikes the forests, and one spurns the 

grotmd: 
Thou giv m the ass his hide, the snail his shell, 
Th' envenom'd was^, victorious guards his 

cell.— 
Thy minions, kings, defend, control, devour, 
In all th' omnipotence of rule and power. — 
Foxes and statesmen, subtile wiles ensure ; 
The cit and polecat stink, and are secure. 
Toads with their poison, doctors with their 

drug. 
The priest and hedgehog in their robes are 

snug. 
Ev'n nlly woman has her warlike arts, 
Her tongue and eyes, her dreaded spear and 

darts. 



But Oh ! thou bitter step-mother and hard. 
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child — the Bard ! 
A thing unteachable in worlds skill. 
And half an idiot too, more helpless still. 
No heels to boar him fh>m the op'ning dun; 
No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun ; 
No horns, but wose by luckless Hviaen worn. 
And those, alas ! not Amalthea's horn ; 
No nerves ol&cfiy, Manunon's trusty cur, 
Clad in rich dulness' comfortable fur. 
In naked feeling, and in aching pride. 
He bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side : 
Vampyro booksellers drain him to the heart, 
And scorpion 4pitic8 careless venom dart 

Critics — appall'd I venture on the name, 
Tliose cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame : 
Bloody dissectors, worse tlian ten Monroes ; 
He hacks to teach, th^ mangle to expose. 




By miscroants torn, who ne'er one sprig muMt 

wear: 
Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd, in the unequal strife 
The hapless poet flounders on thro' life. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



T3I flad each hope that onoa hia boaom fir^d. 
And fled each maae that glorious ODoe inapirM, 
Low annk iniiiqnalid, unprotected affe. 
Dead, even resentmeot, tor his injur d page. 
He heeda or feela no more the ruthleaa critic*f 
rage! 

So, by some hedge, the gcneroua ateed de- 
ceaa^d, 
For hair-«tanr*d anarling cut* a dainty fbaat ; 
B^ toil and famine wore to akin and Done, 
Lies aonseleaa of each tugging bitch's son. 

dulnel^ ! portion of the truly blest ! 
Cahn sIielterM haven of eternal rest ! 

Thy sons ne*er madden in tlie fierce extremes 
Of fortune's i>olar frost, or torrid beama. 
If mantling high she fills the ^Iden copi 
With sober semsh ease they sip it up : 
Conscious th^ bounteous meed they well de- 
serve, 
They only wonder ^ some folks'' do not starve. 
The grave, sage hem thus easy picks his frog, 
And thinks the mallard a sad, worthless dog. 
When disappointment snaps the clue of hope, 
And thro' disastrous nifht they darkling grope, 
WitlT deaf endurance sriiggishly they beur. 
And just conclude that '^ foou are fortune's 

care." 
So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks, 
Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid oz. 

Not so the idle muses' mad-cap train. 
Not audi the workings of their moon-struck 

brain; 
In equanimity they never dwell, , 
By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaulted helL 

1 dread thee, fate, relentless and severe. 
With all a poet'-s, husband's, father's fear ! 
Already one strong hold of hope is lost, 
OUncaim^ tlie truly noble, lies in dust ; 
(Fled, like thovun eclipe'd as noon appean, 
And left us darkling in a world of tears :) 
O ! hear my ardent, grateful, selfish pray>! 
FbfUrti, my other stay, long bless ana spare ! 
Thro* a lon^ life his hopes and wishes crown ; 
And bright m cloudless skies his sun go down ! 
May blSt domestic smooth his private path t 
Give energy to life ; and soothe his hitflat 

breath. 
With many a filial tear drding the bed of 
death! 



LAMISJ^T 



F0» 



JAMES, EARL OF OLEf^CAIRN. 

Tbb wind blew hollow frae the hills, 
Br fits the sun's departing beam 

LooVd on the finding yellow woods 
That wav'd o'er Lugor'a winding atnam ; 



Beneath a craigy ataep, a bard. 
Laden with years and meiUe paiot 

In loud lament bcwail'd his lord. 
Whom death had oil untimely ta'en. 



Ho loon'd hini to an ancient aik, 

Whoso trunk was mouldering dowr 
years ; 
His locks were l)loached white wi' time * 

His hoary check was wot wi' tears ! 
And as he touched bin trembling harp. 

And as he tun'd his doleful song. 
The winds, lamenting thro' their caves. 

To echo bore the notes along. 



" Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sinff. 

The reliques of the vernal quire T 
Te woods that shed on a' the wind* 

The honours of the ogcd year ! 
A few sliort inoutlis, and glad and gayt 

Again yeUl charm the ear and €i*p ; 
But notcht in all revolving time 

Can gladness bring agam to mo. 



" I am a bending aged tree. 

That long has stood the wind and 
But now has come a cruel blast. 

And my last hald of earth is gono : 
Nae leaf o' mine shall irrcct the spring. 

Nac simmer aun exalt my bloom ; 
But I maun lie before the storm. 

And ithera plant thcin in my room. 



" I've scon pae mony changofu* yean 

On earth I am a straniTer grown ; 
I wander in the ways of men, 

Alike unknowinjr and unknown : 
Unheard, unpiticd, unreliev'd, 

I bear alone my lade o' care. 
For silent, low, on beds of dust. 

Lie a' that would my sorrows share 



" And last (the sum of a' my griefs *) 

My noble master lies in clay ; 
The flow'r amang our barons b«jld» 

His country's pride, his count / f all 
In weary being now I pine, 

For a^ tlie life of life is dead, 
And hope has Icfl my aged ken* 

On forward wing for ever f a4 



" Awoke thy last sad voice, my harp ! 

The voice of wo and wild despair ; 
Awake, resound thy latest lay, ^ 

Then sleep in silence ev«rmair ! n 

And lliou, my last, best, orJy ftiend. 

That fillest an onlimcly tomb. 
Accept tlftis tribute f^m the bard 

Thou brou'/ht from fortune's mirkcst gid 



BURNS' POEMS. 



6Pt 



* In povert^B low, barren ymb, 

Tnick mute, obacure, uitoItM me roand ; 
rkoDgfa ofti tum'd iho wistful eje, 

Nae raj of fame was to be found : 
Thoa found^ot me, like the morning son 

That melts the fogs in limpid air, 
Hie friendless bard and nutic song, 

fiecame alike thy fostwing care. 

0! why has worth so short a date ? 
While villains ripen gray with time ! 
lost thoa, the noble, gen reus, great, 
FaD in bold manhocm^s hardy prime ! 
I17 did I live to see that davr 
A day to me so full of wo I 
! had I met the mortal shafl 
IVhich laid my benefactor low ! 

Hie bridegroom may for^t the bride 
^18 made his wedded wife yestreen ; 
be monarch may forget the crown 
That on his head an hour has been ; 
he mothcff may forget the child 

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee ; 
ut in remember thee, Glencaim, 

•And a^ that thou hast done for mo !'^ 



LINES 



SENT TO SIR JOHN WHITEPOORD, 



OF WHTTEFOORD, BART., 



wrre the foregoing poeic 

Jjl^, who thy honour as thy God reyer'st, 
'<>o, mye thy tmncTi reprocuh, nought earthly 

fearsti 
^tjiee this yotiye offering I impart, 
^ tearfU tribute of a broken heart. 
)^ friend thou yalued'st, I ihe patron loy'd; 
!* worth, his honour, all the world approy^d. 
«ll mourn till we too go as he has gone, 



While we nt bousing at the nappy. 
An* ffettin fou and unoo happy. 
We think na on the lang Scots miles, 
The mosses, waters, ilaiM, and Bti]ei^ 
That lie between ns ana our hame, 
Wharo site our sulky sullen dame, 
GaUiering her brows like gathering storm, 
Nursing her wrath to keep it worm. 



Tliis truth fand honest Toon 6* Shan^^ 
As ho frae Ayr, ae night did cantor, 
(Auld A3rr whom ne'er a town surpasses. 
For honest men and bonny lasses.) » 



O 7hm / had*st thou but been sae wise, 
As ta*en thy ain wife Kate'i adyice ! 
She tauld thee we^ thou was a skelhim, 
A blethering, blustering, dnmken bleUom ; 
That frae Noyanber tiill October, 
Ae market-day^on was nae sober. 
That ilka mekler, wi* the miller. 
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller ; 
That ev'ry naigwas ca'd a shoe on. 
The smith and thee gat roaring fon on, 
That at the L — d's house, ey^ on Sunday, 
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday. 
She prophesy^d, that late or soon, 
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doonj 
Or catchM wi* warlocks in the mirk. 
By AUowoyU auld haunted kirk. 



Ah, gentle dames ! it gars me^jrreet. 
To think how mony counsels sweet. 
How mony lengthen'd sage odyices. 
The husband nae the wife despises \ 



But to our tale : Ae market night. 
Tarn had got planted unco right ; 
Fast by an ingle, bleezin^ finely, 
Wi' reaming swate, that drank diyinely ; 
And it his elbow, souter Johnny^ 
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony ; 



^ tmd the dreary path to that dark world ^ f Tom lo'ed him like a yera brither ; 



unknown* 



TAM O' SHANTER. 

A TALE. 

or BrowBjis and of Bogilia full is tbii Buke. 

Gawin Douglas. 

Wbxii diapman billies loayo the street, 
id drouthy neebors, neebors meet, 
I market-days are wearing late, 
A* folk begin to tak the gate ; 



They had been fou for weeks thegither. 
The night draye on wi' sangs an' clatter; 
And ay the ale wasgrowing better : 
The Jandlady and 7am grew gracious; 
Wi- ihyours, secret, sweet, and precious : 
The souter tauld his queerest stories ; 
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus : 
The storm without might roir and rustle, 
7fam did na mind the storm a whistle. 



Care, mad to see a man sae happy, 
E*en dit>wn*d himself amang the nappy ; 
As bees flee hame wi^ lades o' treasure'. 
The minutes wingM their way wi' pleasuie : 
Kmgs may be blert, but 7bm was gluriouf 
O'er a' the ills o' life yictoriou& 



BURNS' POEMS. 



But pleasuret are like poppies ipread, 
Tou seize the flowV, its bloom is stied ; 
Or like the snow-falls in the river, 
A moment white — ^then melts for over ; 
Or like the boreal is race, 
That flit ero jrou can point their place ; 
Or like the rainbow^s lovely form 
Evanishinjif amid the storm. — 
Nae man can tetlior time or tide ; 
The hour approaches Tarn maun ride ; 
That hour, o night^s black arch the kej-stane, 
That dreary hour he mounts his beast m ; 
And sic a night he taks the road in, 
As ne^er poor sinner was abroad in. 



The wind blow as Hwad blawn its lost ; 
The rattling sliow^rs rose on the blast ; 
The speedy gleams the darkness swallowM ; 
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellowM : 
That nitrht, a child might understand, 
The dcil had business on his hi^d. 



Weol mounted on his gray mare, Meg^ 
A better never lilted leg. 
Tarn skolifii on thro^ dub and mire, 
Despising wmd, and rain, and fire ; 
Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet : 
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet ; 
Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cores, 
Lest bogles catcSi him unawares ; 
Kirk-AU9way was drawing nigh, 
Whan^ghaists and houlets nightly ciy. — 



^y tliis time he was cross the ford, 
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoorM ; 
And past the birks and meikle staiio, 
Whare drunken Charlie brak^ neck-bane ; 
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, 
Whare hunters fand the murderM bairn ; 
And near the thorn, at>oon the well, 
Where Mun^o't mither hang'd herael. — 
Before him Do<m pours all his floods ; 
The doubling storm roars thro' tlie woo,!s 
The lightnings flash from pole to pole ; 
Near and more near the thunders roll ; 
W2ien, glimmering thro' the groaning trci?. 
Kirk-Ailoxcay seem'd in a blecze ; 
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing ; 
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.-— 



Inspiring bold John Barleycorn ! 
What dangers thou canst make us scorn ! 
Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil ; 
Wi' usquabae we'll face the devil !— 
The swats sae ream'd in Thntmie's noddle, 
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddlc. 
But Maggie stood right soir astonish'd, 
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd. 
She ventur'd forward on the li^ht ; 
And, TOW ! Tarn saw an unoo sight ! 



Warlocks and witches in a dance ; 
Nae cotillon brent new ftae France^ 
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeyi, and neb^ 
Put life ana mettle in tlieir oeels. 
A winnock-bunker in the east. 
There sat auld Nick, in sliape o' beast; 
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large, 
To gie them music was his charge : 
He scrow'd the pipes and gart them ikiri. 
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. — 
Coffins stood round hkc open presses, 
That shaw'dthe dead in tncir last dreflseas 
And by some dcvilinh cantraip slight. 
Each m its cauid hand held a light,-^ 
B^ which heroic Tixm was able 
To note upon the haly table, 
A murderer's banes in gibbot aims ; 
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristenM bairns ; 
A thief, new cutted froe a rapes 
Wi' his lost gasp his gab did gape ; 
Five tomahawks, wi' blnid red-rusted; 
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted ; 
A garter, which a babe had strangled; 
A knife, a father's throat had mangled. 
Whom his ain son o' life bereft. 
The gray hairs yet stack to the hefl ; 
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu', 
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawful 



As Tammie glowT^d^ amaz'd, and curious. 
The mirth anufun grew fast and furiona 
The piper loud and louder blew ; 
The dancers quick and quicker flew; 
They reel'd, they set, tliey cross'd, they cleekii 
Till ilka carlin swat and rcekit. 
And coost her daddies to the wark. 
And Vaakei at it in her sark ! 



Now Thm, O Thm ! had they been qoeana 
A' plump and strapping, in their teens; 
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen. 
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen ! 
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair. 
That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair, 
I wad hae ffi'en them aff my hurdles, , 

' Tot ae blink o' the bonnie burdies ! 



But wither'd beldams, auld and droll, 
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal, 
Lowping an' flinging on a crummock, 
I wonder didna turn thy stomach. 



But Thm konn'd what was what fu' brawlio« 
Thefe was ae winsome wench and walle. 
That night inlistcd in the core, 
(Lang aSlcr koHn'd on Carrick shore 1 
For mony a beast to dead she shot. 
And pensh'd mony a bonnie boat. 
And shook baith meikle com andlH»ar, 
And kept the country-side in fear.") 



fiURNS' POEMS. 



69 



Hero enttie lark, o* Pakley ham. 
That while a laaaie she had worn. 
In longitude tho' sorely scanty. 
It was bar beat, and she was vanntie. — 
Ah ! little kenn'd th^ rereiend ffrannie, 
That aazk ahe cofl for her wee Abimte, 
"Wi' twa pnnd Scots (twas a' her richesO 
Wad ever giac'd a dance of witches I 

But here my mose her wing maun cour ; 
Sic flights are far beyond her pow>; 
To sing how Jfcmnie lap and fl&ng, 
(A soople iade she was and Strang) 
And how Jhm stood, like ane bewitchM, 
And thought his very o>n enriched ; 
Even Satan glowrM, and fid^'d fu^ fain, 
And hotchM and blew wi' nugbt and main : 
TQl first ae caper, syne anitiier, 
7\an tint his reaaon a* thegithert 
And roars out, ^ Wecl done, Cutty-aark V^ 
And in an instant all was dark : 
And acarcely had he Metric rallied, 
When out tne hellish legion sallied. 

As beea biza out wi* angry fyke, 
When plundering herds assail their bykq 
Aa open pussie's mortal foes, 
When, pop I she starts before their nose ; 
As eager runs the market-crowd, 
When, ^ Catch the thief !*^ resounds aloud ; 
So Maggie runs, the witches follow, 
Wi* mony an eldritch skreech and hollow. 

Ah, Thm! ah. Tarn ! thou'll get thy fairin ! 
In heU theyH roaat thee like a nerrin i 
In vain thy Kaie awaits thy comin ! 
KaU soon will be a wofU* woman ! 
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Jtffg, 
And win the key-atane* of the brig ; 
There at them thou thy tail may toss, 
A running stream they dare na cross. 
But era the key-stano she could make, 
The fiont a tail she had to shake ! 
For Aannie, far before the rest, 
Hard upon noble Ma^pe prest, 
And flew at 7hm wi* mrious ettle ; 
Bat little wist she Ma^p^ie't mettle — 
Ae spring brought offlier master hole. 
Bat left behind her ain trny tail : 
The carlin clau^ht her by the mmp, 
And lefl poor Maggie scarce a stump. 



NoiT, wha this tale o^ truth shall read. 
Ok An and motlier^s son, tak heed: 



l^liene'er to drink you are uiclin*d, 
Or cutty-sarks run m your mind, 
Tliink, ve may buy the joys o'er dear, 
Romem1)er Turn o^S lunlert mare. 



'^It is a wen-known fact that witchns, or any evil 
^rlts, have do power \o ibllow a poor wff ht any far- 
ther than tbe middle of the next running stream.— It 
Hiar be proper tlkewiwi to mention to the benighted 
traveller, Ihat wlien he falli in witli hogUty whatever 
daafer may be in hia going forward, there i« much 
in laming back 



ON SEEING A WOUNDED HARE 
LIMP BY ME, 

WHICH A FELLOW HAA JUST SHOT AT. 

Inhuman man ! eurse on thy barbarous art. 
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye : 
May never pity soothe thee with a siffh, 

Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart! 

Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and fidd* 
The bitter little that of life remains ; 
No more the thpekening brakes and verdant 
plains. 

To thee aall home, or food, or piprtime yield. 

Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted 
rest. 
No more of rest, but now ihj during bed ! 
The sheltering rushes whisthng o*er thj 
head, 
Tlie cold earth with thy bloody boaam preat, 

Ofl as by Winding Nith, I, musing, ^ait 
The sober eve, or haU the cheerful dawn, 
I'll miss thee sporting o^cr the dewy lawn. 

And curse the rufiiana ainv and mourn thy 
hapless fate. 



ADDRESS 
TO THE SHADE OF THOMSON, 

9N caowNiNo ms bust at ednam, aoxBUftCB- 
afiRE, with bats. 

■ 

WinLE virgin Spring, by Eden^s flood, 
Unfolds her tender mantle green. 

Or pranks the sod in frolic mood 
Or tunra Eolian strains between : 

While Summer with a matron grace 
Retreats to Dryburgh^s cooling shade, 

Yet oil, delighted, stops, to trace 
The progress of tho spiky blade : 

While Autumn, benefactor kind, 
j$v Xwecd erects his aged head. 

And sees, with self- approving mind, 
Kaoh rrcattire on his bounty fed : 



70 



BURNS' POEMS. 



While maniac Winter n^ta 6*er 
The hills whence cIomic Yarrow flows, 

RooBing the turbid torront^s roac, 
Or mxreoping, wild, a waste of snows ; 

So lon^, sweet Poet of the year, 

Shall bloom that wreath thou well Inuit won ; 
While Scotia^ wiUi exulting tear. 

Proclaims that Thomson was her son. 



EPITAPHS, 



ON A CELEBRATED WJIfUSG ELDER. 

Hkkk souteL* * * * in death does mcp ; 

To h-ll, ifno^s gane thither, 
Satan, gie him thy gear to keep, 

Hellliaud it weefthegither. 



ON A NOISY POLEMIC. 

BsLow uar stanes lie JamieV haneis : 

O dtath, it^s my opmion, 
Thou ne*er took such a bleth^rin b-tch 

Into thy dark dominion ! 



ON WEE JOHNIE. 

Hlc Jacot wee JobnlOi 

Whoe'er tliou art, O reader, know. 
That death has murder'd Johnie ! 

An' here his body lies fii' lo w 
For'mul he ne er had ony 



FOR THE AUTHOR'S FATHER. 

O TE, whose check the tear of pity sUiins, 

Draw near with pious reverence and attend ! 
Here lie the loving husband^s dear remains, 

The tender fother, and the gen'rous friend. 
The pitying heart that felt for human wo ; 

The dauntless heart that fear'd no hnman 
pride : 
The friond of man, to vice alone a foe ; 

•* For ov'n his failings leanM to « virtue's 
side."* 

• Gold«mith. 



FOR R. A. Eiq. 



Know thou, O stranger to the iiui 
Of this much lov'd, much honoured i 
(For none that knew him need be to 
A warmer heart death ne'er made o 



FOR G. H. Esq, 



The poor man weeps — ^here 

Whom canting wretches blam'd : 

But with tudi as he^ where'er he boi 
May I be ua)*d or damrCd ! 



A BARD'S EPITAPH. 



Is there a wliim-inspired fool, 
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for n; 
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to sna 

Let him draw near 
And owre this gras^ heap sing dool. 

And drap a tear. 

Is there a bard of rustic song, 
Who, noteless, steals the crowds amon 
That weekly this area throng, 

O, pass not by ! 
But with a fiutcr-feeling strong, 

Here, heave a siglL 



Is there a man, whose judgment clea 
Can others teach the course to steer, 
Yet runs, himself life's mad career. 

Wild as the wave ; 
Here pause — and, thro' the starting t» 

Survey this grave. 



This poor inhabitant below 
Was quick to learn and wise to kno^ 
And keenly felt the friendly glow, 

And Mofierjiame^ 
But thoughtless folhes laid him low. 

And stain'd his nan 

Reader, attend — ^whether thy sooP 
Soars fancy's flights beyond the polo, j 
Or darkling gn£s thn earthly hole, 

In low pursuit; 
Know, pnidcnl, cAutioua. sfJf-cmiJtrof^ 

Is wisdom's root. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



71 



OMTBX LATI 



CAPT. GROSE'S PEREGRINATIONS 
THROUGH SCOTLAND 

COLLECTING THE ANTIQUITIES OP THAT 
KINGDOM. 

HiAi, Land o' Cakes, and blither Scots, 
Trae Maideokirk to Johnie Groat's ; 
If there's a hole in a' your coats, 

I rede 70a tent it : 
A cfaield's amang 70a taking notes, 

And, ntth, he'll prent it 

If in 7oar bounds 70 chance to light 
^m a fine, fat, fodgel wight, 
0^ itttore short, but genius bright, 

That's he, mark weel— 
^ TOW ! he has an unco slight 

O' cauk and keeL 

By fome anld, houlet*haunted biggin,* 
Y^ urk deserted by its ri^^gin, 
't« ten to ane 7e'li find him sno^ in 
. Some eldntch part, 

*m' doiia, the7 8a7, L— d savo's ! colleaguin 

At some black art— 

y Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha* or chamer, 
JT® ^ps7-gang that deal in glamor, 
"^Q you deep read in hell's black grammar, 
•^ Warlocks and witclies ; 

^^1} quake at his coniurin^ hammer, 

Yo midnight b— es, 

. It*s tauld he was a sodger bred, 
"^^^ fuie wad rather fa'n than fled ; 
^Ut now he's qoat the spurtle blade, 

- And dog-skin wallet, 

"^^d ta^en ib.o-^niiquarum trader 

I think tho7 call it. 

w lie has a fouth o* auld nick-nackets : 
^^usty aim caps and jinglin jacket8,t 
^Vad baud the Lothians throe in tackets, 

A towmont ffuid ; 
"^^id pazritch-pats, and auld saut-backets, 

Pefbro the Flood. 

Of Eve^s first fire he has a cinder ; 
^uld Tubal Cain's fire-shool and fonder t 
X^l«i which distinguished the gender 

O' Balaam's ass ; 
•^ broom-stick o* the witch of Endor, . 

Weel shod wi* brass. 

* Vide hti AatiquitlM of ScoUsnd. 
t VUs hU Trsatlio on Anctent Arawur sud 



Forb7e, hell snape 700 aff^ fii* gleg, 
The cut of Adam's philibeff ; 
The knife that nicket Abers craig 

Hell prove 70a fully. 
It was a faulding joctelc^. 

Or lang-kail gullie.— • 

But wad 70 see him in his glee. 
For mcikle gleo and fun has he, 
Then set him down, and twa or three 

Guid fellows wi* him ; 
And porf, O ptn-tl shine thou a wee, 

And then 70!! see him I 

Now, b7 the pow'rs o' verse and prose ! 
Thou art a dauit7 chield, O Grose ! — 
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose, 

The7 sair misca' thee ; 

I'd take the rascal b7 the nose, 

Wad say, Shamefa' thee. 



TO MISS CRUIKSIIANKS, 

A VERY YOUNG LADY. 

WRFTTEN ON THE BLANK LEAF OF A BOOK, 
BENTEO TO HEE BY THE AUTHO|l. 

Beaitteous rose-bud, young and ga7. 
Blooming on thy early May, 
Never may'Ht thou, lovely llow'r, 
Cliilly shrink in sleety shovv'r I 
Never Boreas' hoary path, 
Never Eurus' poi^'nouH brt'alh, 
Never baleful stellar lights 
I'aint tlice with untimely blights [^ 
Never, never reptile thief 
Riot on thy virgin leaf I « 

Nor even Sol too fiercely view 
Tliy bosom, blusliiug btul with dew ! 



May'st thou long, sweet crimson geai 
Richly deck thy naUvu stem ; 
Till some cv'niiig, sober, cainu 
Droi)pin^ dews, and breatliin**' halm, 
While all around tlio woodland rings. 
And ev'ry bird thy requiem sings ; 
Thou, oniid the dirgctul sounJ, 
Shed thy dying honours round. 
And rcsimi to i)arcnt earth 
The loy^est form she e'er gave birth. 



SONG. 



Anna, tliy charms my bosom iire. 
And waste my soul witii care ; 



72 



BURNS' POEMa 



Btft ab I how bootiew to admire, 
When fated to despair I 

Tet in thy preieiiee, lovely Fair, 
To hope may be for|^yii ; 

For ■are 'twere impiomi to deipair. 
So much in sight of HeayVi. 



oil aSADINO, IN A IfEWaPArKa, 

THE DEATH OF JOHN M*LEOD, Eaa. 

■aOTHER TO A TOUNO LADT, A PAaTICULAR 

raiEND or the author^s. 

Sad thy talo, thou idle page. 

And rueful thy alarms : 
Death tears the brother of her love 

From Isabella's arms. 

Sweetly deckt with pearly dew 

The morning rose may blow ; 
But cold successive noontide blasts 

May lay its beauties low. 

Fair on Isabella's mom 

The sun propitious smiPd ; 
But, long ere noon, succeeding clouds 

Suqpceding hopes beguiled. 

Fate oft tears the bosom chords 

That nature finest strung : 
So Isabella's heart was formM, 

And so that heart was wfnng. 

Dfead Omnipotence, alone, 

Can heal the wound he nye ; 
Can peint the brimful grie'wom eyes 

To scenes beyond the grave. 

Virtue'sblossoms there shall blow . 

And fear no withering blast ; 
There Islbella's spotless worth 

Shall happy be at last. 



the 



HUMBLE PETITION 

OF 

BRUAR WATER* 

TO 
THE NOBLE DUKE OP ATHOLE. 

Mt Lord, I know, your noble ear 
Wo noW assails in vain ; 

* Draar Falli In Athole are exceedingly pletnresque 
and beautiful ; but their effrct it mueb Impaired by the 
jram of trees and ihralM. 



Embolden'd thus, I b^ youll hear 
Tour himible Slave complain. 

How sancy Phoebus' scorcmng beaiUi 
In flammg summez^pride, 

Dry-withering, waste my foamy ■trem 
And diink my crystal tide. 

The lightly-iumping glowrin trouts. 

That thro my waters play. 
If, in their random, wanton spouts, 

They near the margin stray ; 
If, hapless chance ! they linger lang, 

Pm scorching up to shallow. 
They're loft the wuitening stance anMua 

In gasping death to wallow. 



Last day I sfrat wi' spite and teen, 

Ar Poet B**** came by. 
That to a Bard I should bo seen 

Wi' half my channel dry : 
A panegyric rhyme, I ween. 

Even as I wan ho shor'd me ; 
But had I in my glory been, 

Ho, kneeling, wad adorM me. 



Here, foaming down the shelvy rocks, 

In twisting strength I rin ; 
There, high my boning torrent smokes, 

Wild-roaring o'er a linn : 
Enjoying largo each spring and well 

As nature gave them me, 
I am, altho' I say't mysel. 

Worth gaun a mile to see. 



Would tlien my noble master please 

To grant my highest wishes. 
Hell shade my banks wi' towering trees 

And bonnie spreading bushes ; 
Delighted doubly then, my Lord, 

Youll vrander on my banks. 
And listen mony a grateful bird 

Return you tunenil thanks. 



The sober laverock, warbling wild. 

Shall to the skies asnire ; 
The gowdspink, music s gayest child. 

Shall sweetly join the choir : 
The blackbird strong, the lintwhite cU 

The mavis mild and mellow ; 
The robin pensive autumn cheer. 

In all her locks of yellow ; 



This too, a covert shall ensure. 

To shield them from the storm ; 
And coward maukin sleep secure. 

Low in her grassy form : 
Here shall the shepherd make his seat. 

To weave his crown of flow'rs ; 
Or find a pheltering safe retreat. 

From prone dosccndioi^sliowVs. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



73 



And bflvSi, bj fwovt endeannf itathht 

Shan meet the loving Mtir, 
DMpnBg worids with all their wetith 

As empty, idle care : 
TheflowT* afamll Tie in all their chaniM 

The hour of heaven to grace, 
And hirks extend their fragrant arme. 

To screflo the dear emhraoe. 

Hen, haply too, at Temal dawn. 

Some muBixl^ bard may atray. 
Aid m tbTi^oking, de^ Um, 

Ana nuity mountain, nay ; 
Qr^ the reaper^a nightly beam, 

MJUnsheqaerinf tlm>' the trees, 
RiTQ to my darkly dashing stream, 

Hotne-swellmg on the breeza 

Ut lofty finu and ashes cool. 

My lowly^anks overspread. 
And liew, deep-pending in the pool, 

Thai ihadows' watery bed ! 
Ut fragrant birka in woodbines drest 

H7 craggy cliffii adorn ; 
And, for Uw little songster^s nest. 

The close embow^hiig thorn. 

80 may, old Seotia^s darling hope, 

Toar little an^ band, 
8pnng, like their fathers, up to prop 

Thdr honooT'd native land ! 
^may tluo' Albion's farthest ken, 
^ ^6 lodal flowing glasses. 
To grace be— ^ Atrole's honest men, 
^od Athole's bonnie If—— "• 



^% SCARING SOME wAtER FOWL 
IN LOCH-TURIT. 

A VnX4> SOClfC AMONO TH^ RILLS OF 
OUOSTKETYRE. 



Why, ye tenants of the lake, 
For me yoqr wat'ry haunt forsake ^ 
Ten me, feUow-creatures, why 
At mj jiresence thus jrou fly ? 
Wl^ disturb ydur social joys, 
Puent, filial, kindred ties ?— # 
Common fKend to you and me, * 
I'^iture's giltf to all are free : 
Peaoefbl keep your dimpliiif vrave, 
fiosy feed, or wanton lave ; 
Or beneath the sheltering rock, 
%de the swging billow's shock. 

Conscious, blushing for our race, 
^oon, too soon, your ftan I triee. 



Man, yew proud usurping foe, 
Would be lord of all below : 
Plumes himself in Freedom's pride, 
Tyrant stem to all bc»ide. 

The eagle, from the cliffy brow, 
Marking you his prey below. 
In his breast no pity dwells. 
Strong necessitY compels. 
But, man, to wnom alone is giyVi 
A ray direct fVom pitying Heavhi, 
Glones in hli^ieart humano^- 
And creatures for his pleasure daiii. 

In these savage, liquid plains. 
Only known to wand ring swains. 
Where the mossy rivlet strays, 
Far from human haunts and ways ; 
All on Nature you depend, •* 

And life s poor season peaceful spend. 

Or, if man's superior mi^ht. 
Dare invade your native nght. 
On the lof\y ether borne, 
Man with all his powers you seom ; 
SwifUy seek, on clanging wings. 
Other lakes and other springs ; 
And the foe you cannot brave, 
Scom at least to be his slave. 



WRITTKN WITH A PXNCII. 

OVER THE CHIMNEY-PIECE, 

IN THE PAlLOUa OF THE TNN AT KlNMOaif ' 
TATMOUTH. * 

Admirino Nature in her wildest grace, 
These northern scenes with weary feet I traee ; 
0*er nikny a windin^f dale and painful steep, 
Th' abodes of coveyM grouse aud tfmid sheepii 
My savofo journey, cunous, I pursue, 
Till fam XI Breadalbaiie opens to my view. 
The meeting cliffi each deep-sunk glen dividea, 
The woods, wild scattered, cloUio their ample 

sides; 
Th* outstretching lake, emboeom'd 'mong the 

hills. 
The eye witli wonder and amazemeill fills ; 
The Tay meand'riiig swoot in infant pride. 
The palace riKing on his verdant side ; 
The lawns wood-fring'd in Nature's natire 

taste; 
The hillocks dropt in Naturc^s carelesa haste 1, 
The arches striding o*ecthe new-bom atreaittt^ 
The village, glittering in the moontide beam^ 



Poetic ardours in my bosom swell. 

Lone wand'ring by the hermit *a mossy cell ; 



74 



DURNS* POEMS. 



The iwoeping theatre ofhanfnnf woods ; 
Th* incemant roar of headlong tiuubling 
floods — 



Here poofiy miglit wake her heaven-taught 

lyre, 
And look Uirou;;li nature with creative fire ; 
Hero, to the wr<»njrK of fate half reconcird, 
MitifortunuH lightcn'd btopu niighl wander 

wild; .i 

And Disappointment, in tho.so lonely bounds. 
Find balm to uootJiu her blttiT rankling wounds; 
Hero heaK-struck Grief might heavn-ward 

stretcii her scan. 
And injnrM Worth forget and pardon man. 



May He who ^vee the rain to pooTt 

And wings uio blast to blaw. 
Protect thoo frae tlie driving show^, 
The bitter fVost and snaw ! 

May Ho, the friend of wo and want. 
Who heals litems various stounds, 

Protect and fuard tlie mother plan!* 
And heal nor cruel wounds ! 

But late she flourish'd, Toote4 fast. 
Fair on the summer mom : 

Now feebly 1mm ids she in the blast, 
Unsheltered and forlorn. 

Blest bo th V bloom, thou lovely gem. 
Unscathed by ruffian hand i 

And from thee many a parent item 
Arise to dock our land 1 



WRrPTEN WITH A PENCIL, 

STANDING BT THE FALT. OF FYERS, NEAA 

LOCH-NESS. 

Amosq the heathy hills and rnnrgcd woods 
Tlie roaring Kvers pours his mossy floods; 
Till full liollaslios on the rocky mounds, 
Where, tiirounrh a shapeless breach, Ins stream 

resounds. 
As hiph in air tlio burHtinjr torrents flow, 
Aai dcpp recoiling surges foam below, 
Prone down the rock the wJiitening sheet de- 
scends. 
And viewless echo's car, astonished, ronds, 
Dim-Bcen, throui^h rising uiists and ceaseless 

show'rx, 
Tlic hoafV cavern, wide-Hurronndiuij low'rs. 
Still tliro^ tlie gap the strujrglinff river toils, 
And still below the horrid caldron boils^ 



ON THE BIRTH 

OF A 

POSTHUMOUS CHILD, 

BOItN IN PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANOBI OF 
FAMILT DISTRESS. 

Sweet FlowVct, pledge o' melklo love. 

And ward o' monv a prayV, 
Wliat heart o' stane wad Uioo na move, 

Sae hclplc&s sweet, and fair ! 

November hirples o*cr the lea. 

Chill, on tliyiovoly form ; 
And gane, alas ! the sheltering tree. 

Should sliicld thee firao the storm. 



THE WHISTLE, 

A BilLLAD. 




Ai the aathentie pro9§ history of the Whlstlv Is evl- 
oos, I BhaU here give IL— In the train of Aue of Den- 
mark, when Bbe came to Scotland, with our Jsbms th» 
Siith, there came over alio a Daoith gentleman of gl — 
gantic itatare and great proweM, and a matchic 
plon of BacchiM. He had a little ebony Whittle, whi< 
at the commencement of the orgies be laid oa the ta.— - 
ble, and whoever was last able to blow it, every I 
elae being dliabled by the potency of the bottle, 
carry off the Whittle as a trophy of victory. The Dan <^ 
produced crcdcntiala of hb victories, without a slngl « 
defeat, at the courti of Copenhagen, Stockholm, ] 
cow, Warsaw, and leveral of the petty courts la 
many ; and challenged the Scots Bacchanalians to 
alternative of trying his proweas, or elae of i 
lug their inrcriorlty.— After many overthrows cm i 
part of the Scots, the Dane was encountered bj 8ir ! 
bcrt Lawrie of Ma^welton, ancestor of tlie present ^ 
thy baronet of that name ; who, after three days* 
three nights* hard coolest, leA the Bcandinaviaa under 
the table, *" 

And bUw on the fVkutU kit refuittm tkriU. 

Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before mentioned, allir 
wards lost the WhiaUe to Walter Riddel of Glesrli. 
del, who had married a sister of .Sir WaIlei'Sw--Qi 
Friday tlie IGtli of October, 1790, at Frian-Cane, te 
Whistle was once more contended for, as related la tbs 
ballad, by tlie present Sir Robert Lawrie of Mszwet* 
ton ; Robert RUWc), Emi. of Glenriddel, Uneal deaceirf- 
ant and re^csentatlvc of Walter Riddel, who woo Um 
Whistle, and in whose family it had cootianed t sad 
Alexander FerRiisaoo, Esq. of Craigdarroch, IlkiwiM 
d H^endcd of the great Sir Robert ; which laa fsalls 
inau carried off the hard-won hououmef ttM i 



1 SING of a Whistle, a Whistle of worth, 
1 sing of a Whisths, Uie prido of tlie Nortli, 



BURMS' POEM& 



75 



Wtt bioiu^ to tba ootnt of oor good Soottiih 

tang% 

Aad kn^ivitiiUui Whistle an Scotludiluai 

ring. 

• 

■ Old Loda,* still meinff the arm of Fingal, 
' Tho god of the bottle sends down from his ball — 
''Thui Whistlers your challenge to Scotland 

eet o^er, 
And diink them to hell,£Ur! 

morel'' 



or ne^er see me 



Old poets baye song, and old chronicles tell, 
What oiunpions ventured, what champions fell; 
The §QQ of great Loda was conqueror still. 
And Uflw cm Uie whistle his requiumshiilL 

Tin Robert, tfie lord of the Cairn and the 
Scaur, 
tJnmatchM at the bottle, unconquer'd in war. 
He dnnk hu poor j^rod-ship as deep as the sea, 
No tide of the Baltic e^er drvnker tiian he. 

Thus Robert, Tictorious, the trophy has 

gainM ; 
^'^hichnow in his house has for ages remainM ; 
T9I three noble chieftains and all of his 

blood, 
^jovial contest again have renew*d. 

Three joyous good fellows with hearts ciear 

of flaw; 
Craigdarroch, so famous for wit, worth and 

law; 
And trusty Gleniiddel, so skiird in old coins ; 
And gallant Sir Robert, deep read in old wines. 

Craigdarroch. began, with a tongue smooth 

asoil^^ 
Desiring Glenriddel to yield up the spoil ; 
Or else ne would muster the heads of tho dan. 
And once more, in daret, try which was the 

man. 

•* By the*ods of the andents !" Glenriddd 
replies, 
Before I surrender so glorious a prize, 
ni conjure the ^host St the great Rone More,t 
And bunmer his horn with him twenty times 
^er." 

Sir Robert, a soldier, no speech would pre- 
tend, 
But he ne^er tumM his back on hie foe — or his 
« friend, 

Said, toes down the Whistle, the prize of the 

field. 
And knee-deep in daret, he'd die or hoM yidd. 



•SeeOMisn'sCanicUitirri^r t; 
t flee leinsnn's Toor to the HcWUes. 



To the board of Glenriddel our heroes repaii^ 
So noted for drowning of sorrow and eare ; 
But for wine and for welcome not more known 

to fame, 
Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a sweet, 

lovely dame. 

A bard was selected to witness the fhiy. 
And tell future ages the feats of the day ; 
A bard who detested all sadness and spleen. 
And wishM that Parnassus a vineyard had 
been. 

The dinner beinf over, the claret they ply. 
And every new coi^ is a new spring of loy ; 
In the bands of old firiendship and Icinared fo 

set. 
And the bands grew the tighter the more they 

were wet. 

Gay pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o*er ; 
Bright rhoBbos ne'er witnessed so joyous a core, 
And vowM that to leave them he was quite 

forlorn, 
Till Cynthia hinted he'd see them next mom* 

Six bottles a^-pieoe had well wore out the 

night. 
When gallant Sir Robert to finish the fight, 
TumM o^er in one bumper a bottle of rcKl, 
And swore twos the way that their anceeto w 

did. 

Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautioiM and 
sage, 
No longer the warfare, ungodly, would wage 
A high ruling Elclsr to wallow in wine ! 
Helefl the foul biSdness to folks less divine* 

Tho gallant Sir Robert fought hard to the 
end; 

But who can with fate and quart bumpers con- 
tend? 

Though fate said — a hero should perish in 
light; 

So uprose hrij^ht Phcsbus— and down fdl the 
knight 

Next uprose our bard, like a prophet 5n 
drink:— 
** Craigdarroch, thoult soar when creation 

shall sink ! 
But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme. 
Come— one bottle more— and have at the sub- 
lime! 

^ Thy line, that have struggled for Freedom 

with Bruce, 
Shall heroes and patriots ever produce : 
So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay ; 
Tlio field thou hast won, by yon bright god of 

dayr 



m 



MISCELLANEOUS PIECES OF POETRY, 



EXTRACTED 



FROM 1;HE correspondence of burns ; 



3®IT(&3d 



OOMPOKD FOR THC MUSICAL PUBUCATIONB Ot MBtSRl. THOMIOlf J^ JOmUOVf 



WITH ADDITIONAL PIECES. 



SECOND EPISTLE TO DAVIE, 

j9 brother poet* 



AVLD NEIBOR 

Fm three times dooUj o*er your debtor, 
For your auld-farrant, frien% letter ; 
Tfao^ I maun saj^ I doubt ye flatter, 

Ye^pyak sae fair; 
For my puir,-eilly, rhymin'clatter, 

Some lefl^ maun sair. 



Halo be your heart, hale be your fiddle ; 
Lang may ypur elbuck jink aa!j4iddle, it 
To dieer you thro' the weary widdle 

O' warly cares, 
Tni baim' bairns kindly cuddle 
J Your auld, gray hairs. 

But, Davie, lad, I'm redyeVe glaikit ; 
Fm tauld lie Muse ye hae negleckit ; 
An* gif it*8 sae, ye sud be licket 

Until ye fyke ; 
Sic hauus as you sud ne'er be foikit, 

Bo hain't wlia like. 

For me, I'm on Parnassus' brink, 

Rivin the words to gar them clink ; 

Whyles daisH wi' love, whiles dais^ wi' drink, 

Wi' jads or masons ; 
An' whyles, but ay owre late, 1 think 

BraW sober lessons. 

•> 
* This \n pr«fixed to the poem* nfDKvIil Pillur, pub- 

lUthed at Kilmarnock, 1789. 



Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man, 
Commen' me to the Bardie clan; 
Except it be some idleplan 

The devil-haet, that I sud ban. 

They ever think. 

Nae thought, nae view, nae schttne o* Iiym't 
Nae cares to gie us joy or grieyin' : 
But just the pouchie put tha nieye in. 

An' whiU oughts thersi 
Then, hiltie, skiltie, we ffae a||^yin', 

An^ fash nae main 

Leeze me on rhyme ! it's aye a treasora, 
Mhr chief, amaist my only pleasure, 
At hame, a-fiel', at wark or leisure. 

The Muse, poor hinie! 
Tho' rough an' rj^loch be her mwure. 

She's seldom lazy. 

Hand to the Muse, my dainty Davie ; 
The warl' may play yott monie a akavie; 
But for the Muse, shell never leave ye, 

Tho' e%r sae pair, 
Na, even tho' limpin wi' the spavie 

Frao door to door 



THE LASS Q'.BALLOCHMTLE. 

Tywi^cn-^e dewy fields wpn 
On ^'ry blade tlie pearls h^ng : 

The Zephyr want#nea roun44lie Man, 
And Dore its fragrant sweets alang: 



BURNS' POEMS. 



77 



(ton the ma?is sang, 
tre fiftening seemM the while, 
lere g^reen-wood echoei ran^« 
the braes o^ BaUochmyle. 



km itep I onward itrajedf 
rt rejoiced in nature^s joy, 
nng in a lonely fflade, 
an ndr I chanced to ipy ; 
waa like the monang s ey*, 
like nature's vernal smite, 
i whisperedjmssing by, 
the lass o* Ballocumyle ! 



9 mom in flowery May, 
eet is ni^ht in Autumn mild ; 
ing thro" the garden gay, 
dering in the lonely wild : 
in, nature^s darUnff child ! 
lU her charms she does compile ; 
"9 her other works are foil n 
boony lass o' Ballochmy]^ 



e been a country maid, 
he happy country swain, 
tered m the lowest shed 
^er rose in Scotland's plain ! 
uy winter's wind and rain 
»y, with rapture, I would toil ; 
uy to my bosom strain 
any lass o** BaUochmyle. 



ie might climb the slippery steep, 
fame and honours lofty shine ; 
t of gold might tompt the deep, 
niwud seek the Indian mine ; 
the cot below the pine, 
d the flocks or tiil the soil, 
y day have joys divine, 
oe bonny lass o* BaUochmyle. 



3 MARY IN HEAVEN. 



giering star, with lessening ray, 
)v*st to greet the eariy mom, 
ou ushcr'st in the day 
iry from my soul was tom. 

dear departed shade ! 

is thy olace of bliraiul reat ? 
3U thy lover lowly laid ? 
t thou tbe groans that rend his breast ! 
red hour can I forget, 
fbnr^t the hallow^ grove, 
f the winding Ayr we iQet, 
) one day oTparting loV^ ! 



Eternity wiU not efiaee. 

Those retords dear <^transpoiti put; 
Thy image at our last ei&hraoe ; 

Ah I Uttle thought we '^as our last I 
Ayr ffurgling kisMd his pebbled ihortt, 

O^rhung witV wila woods, tluck'niift 
green; 
The fia^ant birch and hawthom hoar, 

Twind amorous round the rapturtd ttmB 
The flowers sprang wanton to be prest, 

The birds sang love on eveiy spray, 
TiU too, too soon, the glowinff west. 

Proclaimed the speed ojpymged day. 
StiU o'er these scenes my mem^ wakes, 

And fondly broods with miser we ! 
Time but the impression deeper makes. 

As streams their channels deeper wear 
My Mary dear departed shade ! 

Where is thy blissful place of rest^ 
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid? 

Hear'st thou the groans that rend hiabraMt? 



LINES ON 



AN INTERVIEW WITH LORD DAER. 



This wot ye all whom it conoems, 
I Rhymer Robin, aUas Bums, 

October twenty-third, 
A ne V to be forgotten day, 
Saefar I sprackled up the brae, 

I dinner*d wi* a Lord. 



Fve been at druken wri/ert* feasts, ^ 

Nay, beeo'^itch-fou 'mang godly priests, 

Wi* rev^nce be it spoken ; 
Fve even joinM the honoured jorum. 
When mighty Sauireships of the ouorum, 

Their hyora drouth did rioun. 



But wi* a Lord — stand out my shin, 
A Lord<»a. Peer — an Earl's son. 

Up higher yet my bonnet ; 
An* sic AXiord — ^lang Scotch c^ twa, 
OurPeerageibe overlooks them a\ 

As 1 look o*er my sonnet. 



But oh for rfogarth's magic powV . 
To show Sir Biurdy^s wriUvart glowr. 

And how he star*d and stammered, 
\Yhen goavan, as if led wi* branks. 
An* stumpan' on his ploughman shanks^ 

He in the parlour hammar'd. 



«*«««««« 



78 



I fictfiiiff die1Ur*d in a nook. 
An' at nifl Lordship itealH a looic 

Liko some portentous omen ; 



BURNS'. POEMS. 




I watcVd the symptoms o^ the Great, 
The gentle pride, tlie lordly state, 

The arrogant assuming ; 
The fSnnt a pride, nae prido had ne. 
Nor saooe, nor itate tluit I could sec, 

Mair &an an honest ploughman. 



Hien from his Lordship I shall learn, 
Henceforth to meet with unooncom 

One rank as welPs another ; 
Nae Aonet/ vmihv man noed care. 
To meet with noible, youthful Daer, 

For he but meets a brother. 



.k 



ON A YOUNG LADY, 



Rssldtng on the baidu of .the aoMlI river Deron, in 
Clackmannsn^re,* but whoes Infant yean were 
spent in Ayrshire 



How pleasant the banks of the dear-winding 
Devon, 
t With green-spreading bushes, and flowers 

r?^ t>looming fair ; 

' ' Bat ^e todniest ^wer on the banks of the 

Devon, 
* Wui once a sweet bod on^thA braes of the 

Ayr. 

Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower. 
In the gay rosy mom as it bathes in uie dew ! 

And genUe the iall of the soft vej^ shower, 
That steals on the evening eiuih kaf to re- 
new. 

O, spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes. 

With chill hoary wing as ye'lteher the dawn ! 
And far be thou distant, thou reptile that 
seizes 
The verdure and pride of the garden and 
lawn! 

Let Bourbon ezult in his gay gilded lilies, 
And England triumphant display her proud 
rose; 
A fairer than either adorns the green vallejrs 
Whore Devon, sweet Devon, meandering 
flows. 



CASTLE GORDON. 



SraiAMs that glide in orient plai 
Never bound by winter^s chains ; 
Glowing hero on golden sands. 
There commixM witii foulest sta 
From tyranny's empurpled band 
These, tlicir richly-gleaming wai 
I leave to tyrants and their slave 
Give me the stieam that sweetly 
The banks, by Ca«tle Gordon. 

II. 

Spicy forests, ever gay, 
shading from the burning ray 
Hapless wretches sold to toil. 
Or the ruthless native^s way. 
Bent on slaughter, blood, and Mp» 
Woods that ever verdant wave, 
I leavQ^e tyrant and the slave. 
Give me the groves that loAy br 
The storms, by Castle Gordoi 

m. 

Wildly hero without control, 
Nature reigns and rules the who 
In that sober pensive mood. 
Dearest to the feeling soul. 
She plants the forest, pours the i 
Life s poor day HI musing rave. 
And find at night a sheltering ca 
Where waters flow and wild wo* 
By bonnie Castle Gordon.* 



NAE-BODY. 

I HAS a wife o* my ain, 
III partake wi' nae-body; 

Fn tak cuckold frae nane, 
111 gie cuckold to nae-body 

I hae a penny to spend. 
There— thanks to nae-body 

I hae naething to lend, 
111 borrow frae nae-body. 

I am nae-body*s lord, 
111 be slave to nae-body; 

I hae a guid braid sword, 
111 tak dunts frae nae-body 



* Them verses our Poet compoeed to be i 
ragf Highland air, of which he wasezSrei 



BURNS' POEM& 



79 



m be merrjr and dree, 
ni be lad for nae-body ; 

Ulnae-body core for me, 
Ill^cue for nae-body. 



N THE DEATH OF A LAP-DOG, 
NAMED ECHO. 



rood and wild, ye warbling throng, 
four heavy loeg deplore ; 
w half-extinct yoor powen of long, 
Iwwt Echo is no more. 

janing acreediing things around, 
xmm your disoordant joyi ; 
w half your Sn of tnnelew sound 
rith Echo silent lies. 



SONG.* 

Tune— *^ I am a man unmarried.*' 

nrci I IotM a bonnie lass, 

17, and I love her stfll, 

f whilst tBat virtue warms my breast 

11 love my handsome Noll. 

Ihl lai de ral. See, 



x>nnie lasses I hae Bccn, 
nd mony full as braw, 
for a modest gracefu' mien 
he like I never saw. 

nu^e lass, I will confess, . 
pleasant to the e*e, 
without some bettor qualities ^ 
le^s no a lass fbr me. 

Nelly*s looks are blithe and sweet, 
ad what is best of a\ 
reputation is complete, 
nd fair w^l^out a flaw. 

dresses ay sae clean and neat, 
>th decent and genteel ; 
then there's something in her gait 
an ony dress look wecL 

tndy dress and gentle air 
ar rii^tly touch the heart, 
JAi innocence and modesty 
bat polishes the dart. 

• Tula was our Poet*a flnt attempt 



*Tis this hi Nelly pleases me, 
Tis this enchants my soul ; 

For absolutely in my breast 
She reigns without control. 

Tal kU de rtime. 



INSCRIPTION 

TO THE MEMORY OF FERGUSSON. 

HERE UES ROBERT FERGU8BON, POIT. 
Bem SepUmber SO, VtSl—Died^ IM OdobeTf 1774. 

No sculpture marble here, nor pompons lay 

** No storied urn nor aninuited bast,*' 
This 8imple*%tone directs pale Scotia's war . ^ 

To pour h«r so vows o'er her port's dniC 'f. \ £ 



THf CHEVALIER'S LAMENf . 

The small birds fojoice in the green leaves re- 
turning, 
The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' 
the vole ; 
The hsNFthom trees blow m* the dews of the 
mommg. 
And wild scattered cowslips b«deck the green 
dale: 

But what can give pleasure, or what canr seem 

fair. 
While the lingering moments are numbered bf 

care? [singing. 

No flowers gaily springing, nor birds sweetly 
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless d«pair. 

The deed that I dar'd could it merit their malice, 
A king and a father to place on his throne ? 

His right are these hil^ and his right an 

y* these valleys. 

Where the wild beasts find sheifer, but I can 
find none. 

But 'ds not my sufibrin^ thus wretched, for- 
lorn, 1^, 
My bravo galUht friend<^ tis your ruin I 
mourn : ftrialf 
Your deeds provM so loyal in hot bloody 
Alas ! can I make yq|i no sweeter return ! 



EPISTLE TO R. GRAHAM, Eaq, 

When Nature her great master-niece designed. 
And fram'd her last best work the human 
mind. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



HdT eye intent on all the mazy plan, 

Sbe fonn*d of various parts tlio various man. 



Then first slio calls thn ur>oru1 many fortli ; 
Plain ploddizi^ industiy and sober worth : 
Thence peasants, farmcrsy^atiTO sons of earth. 
And meichand^* v?hoIe genus take their 

birth: 
Each prudent cit a warm existence Bnds, 
And all mochanicd' many aprfl^*d kin<l9. 
Some other rarer sorts are wanted vvt. 
The kad and buoy are nce<Uul to tne not ; 
The eapui morluum of gross desires 
Makes a material for mere knights and 

auires; 
phoftpliorus istauglit to flow. 
She kneads tJie lumpish philosophic dough. 
Then marks th* unyivlunig mass with grave 
desi^s, 
^ Ib^t^i I^nicsii politics, and deep divines : 
Knst, ibeiablhnes th" Aurora of tlie pules. 
The flashing elements of female souls. 

The ordered system fair before her stood, 
Nati^, well-plcaaidi pronounced U very'^good ; 
But e*er she gave creating labour oVr. 
Half jest, she tzyM one curious labour more. 
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fnluus matter ; 
Such as the slightest ureatli of air niitrht scat- 
ter; 
With arch-alacrity and conscious ."Iro 
(Nature may havn her whim a:* well a.s we. 
Her Hogartn-art perhaps fIic meant to sliow it) 
She ioins the thin^, and christenK it — a poet. 
Creaturfe, tho* oil the prey of care and sorrow. 
When blest to-dny unmindful of to-morrow. 
A beinff formed t^ amuse his graver friends, 
Admir'd and prais'd — and there the homage 

ends: 
A mortal quite unfit fbr Fortunc^H strife. 
Yet ofltlie sport of all the ills of life ; 
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riclies give. 
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to hve : 
Lonffing to wine each tear, to heal eadi groan. 
Yet frequent ail unbred in his own. 



But honest nature is not quite tt Turk, 
She laughM at first, tlicn fel^ for her poor 

work. 
Pityid|g tlie proplcM cllm1>er of mankind. 
She cast about a t6ndarri trte to find ; 
And, to support liis helplnss woodbine state. 
Attached him to the gmerotis tfuiy gnat, 
A title, and the onlv one 1 claim. 
To lay Btrontr hold for help on bounteous 

Grauajn. 



Pity the tuncflil mustv^'* hapless Iniiii, 
Weak, timid landmen on life h stormy main I 
Their hearts no selfish Ftoni absorbent stuff. 
That never gives — tho' liunibly takes enough ; 



The little fate allows, they i^hare as soon. 
Unlike sage, proverb'd \visdom^B hard-wrungf 

boon. 
The world were blest did bless on them de- 
pend. 
Ah, that ^ tho friendly e'er should want a 

fHend I" 
Let prudence number o^er each sturdy mo, 
Who life and wisdom at one race bepin. 
Who feel by reason, and who giro by rule, 
(Instinct *s a brute, and sentiment a fool I) 
Who make poor tcill do wait upon / thould'^ 
We own they^re prudent, but who feels they*re 

good ? 
Ye wise ones, hence ! ye hurt tho social eya ! 
God*s image rudely etchM on base alloy 1 
But come ye who the godlike pleasure Juiow, 
Heaven^s attribute distmguish d — to bestow! 
Wliose arms of love would grasp tlie human 

race: 
Come ihoii who giv^st with all a courtier*! 

grace; 
FHend of my life, true patron of my rhymes ! 
Prop of my dearest hoytca for future times. 
Why shrinks my soul half blushing, half 

afraid. 
Backward, abasVd to ask thy friendly aid? 
I know my need, I know thy giving hand, 
I crave thy friendship at thy kind command; 
But there are such who court the tuneAl 

nine — 
Heavens ! should the branded character b« 

mine! 
Whose verse in manhood's pride sublimclj" 

Hows, 
Yet vilest reptiles in their begging prose. 
Mark, how tlicir lody independent spirit 
Soars on tho spuming wing of injur d merit ! 
Seek not the proofs in private life to find ; 
Pity the best of words should be but wind ! 
So, to heaven^s gates the lark's shrill aosi 

ascends. 
But rrrovelling on the earth tlie carol ends. 
In all tho clam'rotis cry of Biarving want, 
Tlicy dun benorolencc with shameless front » 
Oblige them, patronitic tlicir tinsel lava, 
They persecute you all vour future days! 
Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain, 
Mv homy fist assumes the plough again ; 
Tfic piebald jj^idcet let me patch once more ; 
On eightcon-ponce a wek, IVe liv*4 befbre. 
Though, tlianks to Heaven, I dare eren tint 

last shifl, 
I trust meantime my boon is in thy a£i : 

'Mi d4br hei 



That plac'd by thee uj^on the wj|)i 
Where, man an^ nature taircr in her sighC 
My muse may imp licr wing for some sdHim- 
er flight.* 



* This if our Pixit's firot I'pisile to Graham of Fls 
try. Ii is uut equal to tiie second ; but It contains loo 
much of the cii«raci«ri8tir rigour of its aatJior tabeisp* 
preaed. A little uiore knuwiidge of BaturaTUNMy, 
or of cbeniisi/y, was wanted to enable bim to eiceate 
tile original conception correctly. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



81 



FRAGMENT, 



TO THS UOHT BON. O. 3. FOX. 



How wiidoin and folly meet, mix, and unite ; 
How Tirtue and vico blend their black andtlieir 

white; 
Bow feniiM, the illnetrioaa father of fiction, 
ConfiNmda rale and law, reconcile! contra- 

diction-^ 
lang: If theoe mortals, the critics, ahoold 

bustle, 
lent not, not I, let tho critics go whistle. 



Bit now for a Patron, whose name and 
niiose ^ory 
At tooe may fUnstTate and honour my story. 



Tbon first of our orators, first of our wits ; 
Til vhose parts and acquirements seem mere 

\uckv hits; 
^ith knowleage so vast, and with judgment so 

strong, 
^ msn with the half of 'em e*er went far 

wrong; 
^itlipasrions so potent, and fancies so bright, 
rfo nun with the half of 'em e'er went quite 
. right ; 

^■orrjr, poor misbegot son of the Muses, 
"or Uflog thy name offisrs fifty excuses. 

Good L — d, what is man! for as simple he 

looks, 
*^ but tiy to develop his hooks and his 

crooks; 
With hia dspths and his shallows, lus good and 

his evil, 
AO in an he*s a proUem must puzzle the devil. 



Qa bif one ruling paasion Sir Pope hugely 
labours. 
That* like th' old Hebrew walking-switch, eats 

op its neighbours : 
lfci»Hw*i are his show-box — a fnend, would 

you know him? 
PoU the string, ruling passion the picture wiU 
him. 



What ^^, in rearing so beauteous a K^stora, 
OfeM tziflm^ particular, truth, should have 

miss'dhim; 
For, i|ttte of his fine theoretic positions, 
lf«ifcinil if a sdenoe defies definitions. 



Some sort all our qualities each to its tribe, 
And think human nature they truly describe ; 
Have you found this, or t'other? there's more 

in the wind. 
As by one drunken ieUow his comrades youll 
find. 

O 



But such is the flaw, or the depth of the plan, 
In the make of that wonderful creature, called 

Man, 
No two virtues, whatever relation they claim, 
Nor oven two different Hhaden of tJie Mune, 
Though like as was over twin brother to bro- 
ther, 
Possessing the one shall imply you've the 
other. 



TO DR. BLACKLOCK. 



Enislsnd, Slst OeL 170. 



Wow, but your letter made me yavitie ! 
And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie? 
I kenn'd it still your wee bit jauntie 

Wad brinfye to: 
Lord send you ay as weors iwant j% 

And then yell do. 



The ill-thief blaw the Heron south ! 
And never drink be near his drouth ! 
He tald myself by word o' mouth. 

He'd tak my letter; 
I lippenM to the chiel in trouth. 

And bade nae better. 



But aiblins honest Master Heron 
Had at the time some dainty fair one. 
To ware his theologic care on, 

And holy study ; 
And tir'd o' sauls to waste nis lear on. 

E'en tried the body.* 



But what d*ye think, my trusty fier, 
Fm tum'd a ganger — Peace be here ! 
Parnassian queens, I fear, I fear 

Yell now disdain me, 
And then my fifty pounds a year 

Will Uttle gain me. 

Ye glaikit, gleesome, daintie damies, 
Wha by Castalia's wimplin streamies, 
Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty limbiMii 

Ye ken, ye ken, 
That Strang necessity supreme is 

'Mang sons o' men. 

I hae a wife and twa wee laddies, 

Theyj maun hae brose and brats o' duddies ; 



• Mr. Henm, author of the Htalocy of Scotisad, 
of various other works. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Y% kMi yonnels my heart right proud is, 

I need na vaunt, 

Bat ni sued besoms — thraw saugh woodies, 

Before they want. 

Lord help me thro* this warld o* care ! 
Fm wear^ sick oH late and air ! 
Not but r hae a richer share 

Than mony ithers; 
But why should ao man better fare, 

And a* men brithers ? 

Com% Firm Resolve, take thou the van. 
Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man ! 
And lot us mind, faint heart ne'er wan 

A lady fair; 
Wha does the utmost that he can. 

Will whyles do mair. 

But to conclude my rilly rhyme, 

(Vm scant o^ verse, and scant o* time) 

To make a happy fire-side clime * 

To weans and wife, 
That*8 the true pathos and sublime 

Of human life. 

My compUments to sister Beckie ; 
And eke the same to honest Lucky, 
I wat die is a dainty chuckie. 

As e*er tread day ! 
And gratefully, my ruid auld cockie, 

Fm yours for ay. 

RoBiRT Burns. 



PROLOGUE, 

■FOKBlf AT THE THEATRI ELLISLAND, ON 
NKW-TKAR-DAT EVININO. 

No son^ nor dance I bring from yon great 

city 
That queens it o^er our taste^ — ^the more ^ the 

pity: 
Tho', by the by, abroad why will you roam ? 
Good sense and taste are natives here at home : 
But not for panegyric I appear, 
I come to wi^ you all a good new year ! 
Old Fatlier Time deputes me here Mfore ye, 
Not for to preach, but tell his simple story : 
The sage grave ancient coughed, and bade me 

say, 
* You're one vear older this important day," 
If irtffr /oo— oe hinted some suggestion. 
Bat Hwould be rude, you know, to ask the 

question; 
And with a would-be-roguish leer and wink. 
He bade me on you press this one word — 

•^ think !'* 



Te sprightly youths, quite flash wi 

and spirit, 
Who think to storm the world by dint c 
To you the dotard has a deal to say, 
In ms sly, dry, sententious, proverb wa^ 
He bids you mind, amid your thov 

rattle. 
That the first blow is ever half the battl 
That tho' some by the skirt may try to 

him; 
Yet by the forelock is the hold to catc 
That whether doing, suffering, or fort 
You may do miracles by persevering. 

Last, tho' not least in love, ye youth 
Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar « 
To you old Bald-pate smooths his w 

brow. 
And humbly begs you'll mind the impo: 

now! 
To crown your happiness be asks your 
And offers, bliss to give and to receive. 

• 

For our sincere, tho' haply weak endei 
With grateful pride we own your 

favours ; 
And howsoe'er our tongues may ill revi 
Believe our glowing bMoms truly fisel i 



ELEGY 



ON THE LATE MISS BURNE 



OP MONBODDO. 

Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize. 
As Burnet, lovely from her native skies 
Nor envious death so triumphed in a bio 
As that which laid the accomplishM ] 
low. 



Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can I f 
In richest ore the brightest jewel set ! 
In thee, high Heaven above was truest s 
As by his noble work the Godhead I 
known. 



In vain ye flaunt in summer's pride, ye g 
Thou crjTstal streamlet with thy flowery 

Ye woodland choir that chant your idle 
Ye cease to charm — Eliza is no more ! 



Ye heathy wastes, immixM with reedy f( 
Ye mossy streams, with sedge and 
stor'd; 

Ye rugged cliffs, overhanging dreary glei 
To you I fly, ye with my soul accord. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



83 



bo« emnbVooi pnde wai «n their 

rorth, 

nal lays their pompoue exit hail ? 

■weet ezceUenoe ! fomke oar earth, 

a miue in honeit grief bewail f 

,ee shine in yoath and beaoty'a pride, 

tne^s light, that beams beyond the 

pheres; 

e son eclipsM atmoniinf tide, 

fl*st ns darkling in a world of teara. 

Vn heart that nestled fond in thee, 

lart how sunk, a prey to grief and 

are! 

tie woodbine sweet yon affed tree, 

it raTiah'd, leaves it Ueak and bare. 



IMITATION 

' AN OLD JAC?0B1TE SONG. 

itle wa*, at the close of the day, 
nan sin^, tho' his head it was gray ; 
I was singing, the tears fast down 
ame — 
sver be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

h is in mins, the state is in jars, 
oppressions, and murderous wars ; 
a weel say \ but we ken wha's to 
'hune— 
ever be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

braw sons for Jamie drew sword, 

[ greet round their green beds in the 

erd: 

e sweet heart o* my faithfii* auld 

lame— 

ever be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

I a burden that bows me down, 

my bairns, and he tint his crown ; 

y last moment my words are the 

am&— 

ever be peace till Jamie comes hame. 



SONG OP DEATH. 

d •f baUU ; time of the dof^evtning ; U* 
m4 iifing of the metorioue armf are ei^ 
im in thefettewing S^ng. 

% thou fair day, thou green earth, 

nd ye skies, 

w with the bright setting sun ! 

lores and friendships, ye dear ten- 

er ties, 

s of existence is run ! 



Thou grim king of tenon, thoa lifb^i glooniy 
foe. 
Go, firiffhten the coward and dave ; 
Go, teach them to tremUe, fell tyrant ! bat 
know. 
No terrors haist thou to the braye ! 

Thou strik^st the duU peasant— he sinks in the 
dark. 

Nor saves e*en the wreck of a name ; 
Tliou strik^st the young hero— a glorious mark ! 

He falls in thehlaze of his fame ! 

In the field of proud honour — our swords \sk 
our hands. 

Our King and our countrr to sav»^ 
While victory shines on life s last ebbing sand«, 

O who would not rest with the brave ! 



THE RIGHTS OP WOMAN. 

An Oceaeienai JUdreee spoken hf Miee FenUndU •» 
her BeneJU-Jfight. 

WiiiLK £urope*s eye is fix'd on miffhty things, 
The fate of empires and the fall of kings ; 
While quacks of state must each pnMuce his 

plan, 
And oven children lisp the Righit of Man ; 
Amid this miffhtv fuss, just let me mention, 
T%e Rights offroman merit some attention. 

First, in the sexes^ intermix^ connection. 
One sacred Right of Woman is prottctiffti. — 
The tender flower that lifts its head, elate. 
Helpless, must fall before the blasta of fate. 
Sunk on the earth, defacM its lovely form. 
Unless your shelter ward th' impendmg storm.— 

Our second Right — but needless here is 
caution. 
To keep that right inviolate^s the fashiv^n. 
Each man of sense has it so fVill before him, 
HeM die before heM wrong it — *tis decorum. — 
There was, indeed, in far less polish'd days, 
A time, when rough rude man had naughty 

ways ; 
Would swagger, swear, get drunk, kick up a 

riot ; 
Nay, even thus invade a lady's quiet — 
Now, thank our stars ! these Gothic times are 

fled; 
Now, well-bred mAn — and you are all well- 
bred — 
Most justly think (and we are much the 

cainers) 
Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor manners. 

For Right the third, our last, our best, oui 
dearest, 
That right to fluttering female hearts the 
nearest. 



84 



BURNS* POSMB* 



IPniich even the RighiB of Kings in low pros- 

tration 
Moft humbly own — His dear, dear admiration I 
In that blest sphere alone we live and more ; 
There taste that life of life — immortal love. — 
Smiles, glances, sighs, tbars, fits, flirtations, 

airsi, 
'Gainst such an host what flint? savage dares — 
When awful Beauty joins witn all her charms, 
Who JB so rash as nse in rebel arms i 



But truce with kings, and truce with consti- 
tutions, 
With bloody armaments and revolutions ; 
Let majesty our first attention summon, 
Ah ! ea ira ! the Majesty of Woman ! 



ADDRESS, 



ifhtn hf Mitt FontensUSf on her hen^fit-iUgkt^ Dteem- 
btr 4, 179S, at tkt Theatrtf Dumfritt. 

Still anxious to secure your partial favour. 
And not less anxious, sure, this night, than 

ever, 
A Prolomie, Epilogue, or some such matter, 
TwoulcTvamp my bill, said I, if nothing bet 

ter ; 
Sq, sought a Poet, roosted near the skies ; 
Told him I came to feast my curious eyes ; 
Said, nothing like his works'was ever printed ; 
And last, my Prologne-business slily hmted. 
** Ma^am, let me teU you,*' quoth my man of 

rhymes, 
^ I know your bent — these are no laughing 

times : 
Can you— rbut Miss, I own I have my fears. 
Dissolve in pause^ — and sentimental tears — 
With hiden sighs, and solemn-rounded sen- 
tence. 
Rouse firom his sluggish slumbers, fell Repen- 
tance ; 
Paint Vengeance as he takes his horrid stand, 
Waving on high the desolating brand. 
Calling the storms to bear lum o^er a iruilty 
land?" 



I could no more — askande the creature eye- 
ing, 

D^ye think, said I, this face was made for 
crying? 

m laugh, that*8 pot— nay more, the world 
shall know it ; 

And so, your servant ! gloomy Master Poet ! 



Finn as my creed. Sirs, ^tis my fix'd belief. 
That Misery s another word for Grief: 



I also think — so may I be a bride ! 
That so much laughter, so much lift en 

Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless s: 
Still under bleak Miefortuno^s blasting < 
Doomed to tliat sorest task of man alive 
To make three guineas do the work of : 
Laugh in Misfortunc*8 face — the beldam 
Say, you''ll be merry, thou^ you canH 1 

Thou other man of care, the wretch i 
Who long with jiitisli arts and airs hast i 
Who, as the boughs all temptingly proji 
Measur^'st in desperate tliought — a rop 

neck — 
Or, where the beetling clilT o'erhan, 

deep, 
Peerest to meditate the healing leap ; 
Wouldst thou be curM, thou silly, mopii 
Laugh at her follies — laugh e'en at tliyt 
Learn to despise those frowns now so U 
And love a kinder — tbat^s your grand s 

To sum up all, bo merry, I advise ; 
And as we're merry, may we still be wii 



SONGS. 



THE LEA-RIG. 

When o'er the hill the eastern star. 

Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo ; 
And owsen frae the furrowed field. 

Return sae dowf and weary, O ; 
Down by the bum, whore scented birl 

Wi' dew are hanging clear, my jo, 
111 meet thee on the lea-rig. 

My ain kind dearie, O. 

In mirkest glen, at midnight hour, 

I'd rove and ne'er be eerie, O, 
If thro' that glen, I ^raed to thee. 

My ain kind deane, O. 
Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild, 

And I were ne'er sae wearie, O, 
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig. 

My ain kind dearie, O. 

The hunter lo'es the morning sun, 
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo, 

At noon the fisher seeks the glen. 
Along the bum to steer, my jo ; 



♦ 



fiURNS' POEMS. 



B6 



Gm me the hmit o' gloamm grar. 
It maksngr heut sae choeiy, 0| 

. To meet thee on the lea^riif, 
Mj urn kind deehe, 0« 



TO MARY. 
TcNE — "Ewe-bugbta, Marion." 

V^iLL je go to the Indies, my Maiy, 
And leave atild Scotia*s shore ? 

Win ye go to the Indies my Mary, 
Acroes th^ Atlantic's roar ? 

Oiweet arrows the lime and the ormfOb 

And the apple on the pine ; 
Bat a* the charms o* the Indies, 

Can never equal thine. 

I hae sworn by the Heavens to my Mary, 
I hae sworn by the Heavens to be true; 

And sae may the Heavens fonget me, 
When I forget my vow ! 

plight me your faith, my Mary, 
And plight me your Uly-white hand ; 

plight me your faith, my Mary, 
Beu>re I leave Scotia's strand. 

We hae plighted our troth, my Mary, 

In mutu^ affection to join. 
And eont be the cause that shall jpart ns ! 

The hour, and the moment o' time I* 



\IY WIFE'S A WINSOME WEE THING. 

She is a winsome wee thing. 
She is a handsome wee thing. 
She is a bonnie wee thing, 
Tliis sweet wee wife o^ mine. 

I never saw a fairer, 

I never lo'ed a dearer. 

And niest m^r heart I^ wear her, 

For fear my jewel tine. 

She is a winsome wee thing. 
She is a handsome wee thing, 
She is a bonnie wee thing. 
This sweet wee wife o' mine. 

The warld*8 wrack we share o't, 
The warstle and the care o^ ; 
Wi' her ra blithly bear it, 
And think my lot divine. 

*This SoBff Mr. Tbomson has not sdoptsd in hU 
^^^^ketkm. II deserves, liowsvflr, to be prsMrved. E. 



BONNIE LESLEY. 

O SAW ye bonnie Lesley 
As she gaed o'er the border? 

She's gane, like Alexander, 

To spread her conquests ftrther. 

To see her is to love her. 
And love but her for ever; 

For Nature made her what she is. 
And ne'er made sic anither! 

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley, 
Thy subjects wo, before thee ; 

Thou art divine, fair Lesley, 
The hearts o' men adore thea 

The Deil ho could na scalth thee. 
Or aught that wad belang thee ; 

He'd look into thy bonnie face. 
And say, ** I canna wrang thee.** 

The Powers aboon will tent thee ; 

Misfortune sha'na steer thee ; 
Thou'rt like themselves sae lovely 

That ill theyll ne'er let near thee. 

Return again, fair Lesley, 

Return to Caledonie f 
That we may brag, we hae a lass 

There's nane again sae bonnie. 



HIGHLAND MARY 



Tune — ^^ Catharine Ogie." 

Te banKs, and braes, and streams around. 

The castle o' Montgomery, 
Green be your woods, and mir your flowen^ 

Your waters never drumlie ! 
There simmer first unfiiuld her robes. 

And there the lansregt tarry ; 
For tlicre I took the last farawcel 

O' my sweet Highland Mary. 

How sweetly bloom'd the ffay groen bfrk. 

How rich the hawthorn s blossom ; 
As underneath their fragrant shade 

I clasp'd her to my bosom ! 
The golden hours on angel wings. 

Flew o'er me and my dearie ; 
For dear to me, as light and life, 

Waa my sweet Highland Mary. 

Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace. 

Our parting was fa* tender ; 
And pledging aft to meet again. 

We tore otirsels asunder ; 



BURNS' POEMS. 



But Oh ! ftU death's untimely fro«t. 
That nipt my flower sae early ! 

Now jpreen's ther sod, and cauld's the clay. 
That wrapt my Highland Mary ! 

O pale, pale now, those rosy lipt, 

I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly ! 
And cloeed for ay, the •parJdlnff glance, 

That dwelt on me sae kmdly ! 
And mouldering now in ailent dust. 

That heart that loled me dearly I 
But still within my bosom^s core. 

Shall liye my Highland Mary. 



AULD ROB MORRIS. 

Thxrb^b auld Rob Morris that wons in yon 

fflen, 
He's the king o' guid fellows and wale of auld 

men; 
He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and 

Idne, 
And ae bonnie lassie, his darling and mine. 

She*8 fresh as the morning, the fairest in May ; 
She's sweet as the oy'ning amang the new hay ; 
As blithe and as artless as the Iambs on the lea. 
And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e. 

But Oh ! she's an heiress, auld Robin's a laird, 
And my daddie has nought but a cot-house 

and yard ; 
A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed, 
Tlie wounds I must hide that will soon b« my 
dead. 

The day comes to me, but delight brings me 

nane; 
The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane : 
I wan£r my lane like a night-troubled ^laist. 
And I sigh as my heart it would burst m my 

oreast. 

O, had she been but of lower degree, 

I then might hae hop'd she waid smil'd upon 

met 
O, how past descriying had then been my 

As now my distraction no words can express ! 



DUNCAN GRAY. 

• 

Duncan Gray came here to woo. 
Ho, Ao, the wooing oX 

On blythe yule night when we were fou, 
HtL, ha^ tilt wooing o'/. 



Mnane coost her head fb' higfa^ 
LooFd asklei^t and unco 8ke^;hf 
Gart poor Duncan stand abeiffh ; 
Hoy ha, the wooir^ o7. 



Duncan fleech'd, and Dmican prayd 

Ho, hOy ke. 
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig, 

Ha, hay See. 
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in, 
Grat his een baith bleer't and Uin', 
Spak o' lowpin owre a linn ; 

Ha, ha, See, 



Time and chance are but a tide. 

Ha, hay See. 
Slighted loye is sair to bide, 

Ha, hay See. 
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he, 
For a haughty hizzie die ? 
She may gae to— France for me ! 

HayhOySee, 



How it comes let doctors tell« 

Hoy hoy See. 
Meg grew sick — as he grew heal, 

Hoy hoy Sec. 
Something in her bosom wrings, 
For relief a sigh she brings ; 
And O, her een, they spuL slo things 

HcLy hOy See. 



Duncan was a lad o' grace. 

Ha, ha, See. 
Maggie's was a piteous case. 

Ha, hoy See. 
Duncan could na be her death. 
Swelling pity smoor'd his wrath; 
Now they re crouse and canty hMu 

Hay ha. See. 



SONG. 



Tunc— ^ I had a horse." 



O PooRTiTH cauld, and restless loye, 

Te wreck my»peace between ye; 
Tet poortith a' I could fbrgiye. 

An' twere na for my Jeanie. 
O why should fate sic pleasure haye, 

Life*8 dearest bands untwining ? 
Or why sae sweet a flower as loye 

Depend on Fortune s phining f 



BURNS' POEMS. 



87 



realth when I think on, 
d a* the lare o\ ; 
r coward man, ^ 

old be the ilave o*t. J^ 

ninie blue betray, 
>ay8 my panion ; 
U her o*erword ay, 
' rank and fashion, 
lyi Sec, 

idence think upon, 
ssie by him ? 
idence think upon, 
ove as 1 am ? ^ 

humble cotter^s fate 1 
10 ample dearie ; 
es, w«ilth and itate, 
aake them eerie, 
fate sic pleasure have, 
st bands untwining ? 
reet a flower as love, 
Portune^s shining f 



\LLA WATER. 



, braw lads on Yarrow braes. 
If thro* the blooming heather; 
raes, nor Ettric shaws, 
tiic lads o' Galla water. 

le, a secret ane, 
I a* I lo^e him better ; 
I, and hell be mine, 
lad o' Galla water. 

die was nao laird, 

lae nae raeikle tocher ; 

idest, truest love, 

ur flocks by Galla water. 

ealth, it ne^er was wealth, 
mtentmont, peace, or pleasure, 
1 bhss o* mi\tual love, 
chiefest warld's treasure I 



mD GREGORY. 

is this midnight hour, 
le tempest^s roar ; 
derer seeks tliy towV, 
»ry, ope thy 'Joor. 



An exile frae her fathar^a W, 
And a* for loving thee ; 

At least some jnty OQ me diaw, 
If love it may na be. 



Lord Gregory, mind^st thoa not tho groTOi 

By bonnie Irwine side. 
Where first I own'd that Tirgin-loTe 

I lang, lang had denied. 

How aflen didst thou pledge and tow, 

Thou wad for ay be mine ! 
And my fond heart, itsel sae true, 

It ne*er mirtrusted thine. 



Hard is thy heart. Lord Gregory, 

And flinty is thy breast : 
Thou dart of heaven that flashert by, 

O wilt thoo give me rest * 

Ye mustering thunders from above, 

Your willmg victim see ! 
But spare, and pardon my fause love, 

His wrangs to heaven and me ! 



MARY MORISON. 



TuwB— "Bide ye yet." 

O Mary, at thy window be. 

It is the wish d, the trysted hour ! 
Those smiles and glances let me see. 

That make the miser^s treasure poor : 
How blithly wad I bide the stoure, 

A weary slave frae sun to sun ; 
Could I the rich reward secure, 

The lovely Mary Morison. 

Yestreen when to the trembling string. 

The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha'. 
To thee my fiuicy took its wing, 

I sat, but neither heard or saw : 
Tho* this was fair, and that was braw. 

And yon the toast of a* the town, 
I sigh'd, and said amang them a\ 

*^ Ye are na Mary Morison.** 

• 

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace, 

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die ? 
Or eanst thou break that heart of hia, 

Whase only fault is loving thee.' 
If love for love thou wiltna gie. 

At least be pity to me shown ! 
A thought ungentle caima be 

The thouglit o* Mary Moriaon. 



BURNS* POSM8. 
WANDERING WILUE. 



Hbrb awa, there awa, wandering Willie, 
Now tired with wandering, hand awa hame ; 

Come to my boeom my ae ^y dearie, 
And tell me thou bnng^at me my Willie the 
same. 

Loud blew the cauld winter windi at our part- 
ing; 
It was na the blaat brought the tear to my 
e^e : 
Now welcome the aimmer, and welcome my 
Willie, 
The nmmer to nature, my WUlie to me. 

Ye hurricanes, rest in the cave o^ your slum- 
ben, 
O how your wild horrors a lover alarms ! 
Awaken ye breezes, row gently ye billows. 
And waft my dear laddie anco mair to my 
arms. 

fiutif ho*8 forgotten his faithfuUest Nannie, 
O still flow between us, thou wide roaring 
main ; 

Mav I never see it, may I never trow it, 
But dying believe tliat my Willie's my ain ! 



THE SAME, 



As altered by Mr. Ettkine and Mr. TIkmdsod. 



there awa, wandering Willie, 
\y there aica, baud awa hame. 



Here awa, ».«.» ^^^ ^ ...«.«»«.( .....«^ 
Here awa^ there aica, baud awa hame. 

Come to my bosom my ain only dearie, 
Tell me thou bring'st me my WiOiA the 
me. 



same. 

Wtnier-irindt blew loud and eaul at our part- 
ing, 
Feartfor my Wiilie brouglU tears in mjf €e% 
Welcome now simmer, and welcome my Wil- 
lie, 
At simmer to nature, lo Willie to me. 

RtU^ ye wild ttomuy in the cave o* your slum- 
bers. 
How your dread howling a lover alarms ! 
Blow tofl yo breezes ! roll gently ye billows ! 
And watl-my dear laddie auce moir to my 
arms. 



But oh, ifhe^sfaUhleu, andmindt na his Nannie, 
Flow still hetween us thou dark-heaving 
main ! 

May I never see it, may I never trow it, 
ITAOs d|ymg / (^inl; that my Willie's my ain. 



Our P»€tt wUk kit uaumt jmigmmt, •itfit 
tket9 alUrations, mnd rijteUd ttktrt. 71 
iion iA0» foUotcM : 

Here awa, there awa, wandering WiJ 
Here awa, tliere awa, baud awa hai 

Come to m V bosom my ain onlv dean 
Tell me tuou bring'st me my Willia 1 



Winter winds blew loud and cauld at < 

ing, 
Fears for my Willie brought tears L 
Welcome now simmer, and wdcome ] 

lie, 
The simmer to nature, my Willie to 

Rest, ye wild storms in the cave of yo 

bers. 

How your dread howling a lover al 

Wauken yo breezes, row gently ye bil 

And waft my dear laddie ance ma 

arms. 

But oh ! if he's faithless, and mind 
Nannie, 
Flow still between us thou widi 
main ; 
Mav I never see it, may I never trow 
But, dying, believe that my Wil 
ain. 



OPEN THE DOOR TO ME, < 



WITH ALTERATIONS. 

Ob, open the door, some pity to show, 
Oh, open the door to me, Oh ! 

Tho' thou hast been false. 111 ever pre 
Oh, open the door to me. Oh ! 

• 

Cauld is the blast npon my pale cheek 
But caulder thy love for mo, Oh ! 

The frost that freezes the life at my he 
Is nought to my pains frae thee, Oh 

The wan moon is setting behhid th 
wave. 

And time is setting with me. Oh ! 
False friends, false love, farewell ! for 

111 ne^er trouble tlicm, nor thee. Oh 

She has openM the door, she has o 
wide ; 
She sees his pale corse on the plain, 
My true love, she cried, and sank d 
his side. 
Never to rise again. Oh !— 



BURNS* rOdlB. 



JESSIE. 



Tum— ^ Bonny Dundoe." 



learted was he, the nd swain o* the 

Yarrovr, 
&ir are the maidi on the banks o* the 

Ayr, 
the sweet side o' the Nith*s winding 

river, 
)ven as faithfu], and maidens as fair : 
J young Jessie seek Scotland all over ; 
iial yoiuij^ Jessie you seek it in vain ; 
>eauty, and elegance fetter her lover, 
oaidenly modesty fixes tlie chain. 

is the rose in the gay, dewy morning, 
sweet is the lily at evening close ; 
M fair presence o^ lovely young Jessie, 
n is the lily, unheeded the rose. 
B in her smile, a wizard ensnaring ; 
<m'd in her een he delivers his law ; 
I to her charms she alone is a stranger ! 
lodest demeanour's the jewel of a'. 



WILD WAR'S DEADLY BLAST 
WAS BLAWN. 

Air—" The MiU MiU O." 



wild war^s deadly blast waablawn, 
gentle peace returning, 
my a sweet babe fartherless, 
mony a widow mourning, 
le lines and tented field, 
3re lang I'd been a lodger, 
mble imapsack a' my wealth, 
lor and honest sodger. 

light heart was in my breast, 
hand nnstain'd wi' plunder; 
r fair Scotia's hame again, 
$ery on did wander. 
iit npon the banks o' CoO, 
'Ught upon my Nancy, 
^ht upon the witching smile 
t caught my youthfiU fancy. 

rth I reach'd the bonnie glen, 
re early life I sported ; 
I the mill, and trysting thorn, 
re Nancy afl I courted : 
lied I but my am dear maid, 
n bv her mother's dwelling ! 
mM me round to hide the flood 
m my een was swelling. 
O 9 



Wi' alter'd Toiot, qooth I, lirMilafli^ 

Sweet as yon hawthorn's hlcwin. 
O ! happy, hlappy may he be, 

ThaVs dearest to thy bosom • 
My purse is light, I've far to gang« 

And fain wad be thy lodger ; 
Fve sert'd my king and country laqg • 

Take pity on a sodger. 

Sae wistfbUy she gaz'd on me. 

And lovelier was than ever : 
Quo' she, a sodger ance I lo*ed, 

Forget him cuiall I never : . 
Our humble cot, and hanicly fare. 

Ye freely shall partake it. 
That gallant badge, tlie dear ceckade, 

Ye're welcome for the sake o*t. 



She gaz'd — she redden'd like a 

Syne pale like ony lily ; 
She sank within my arms, and cried. 

Art thou my ain dear Willie ? 
By him who made yon sun and skv— 

By whom true love's regarded, 
I am the man ; and thus may still 

True lovers be rewarded. 



The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame. 

And find thee still true-hearted ; 
Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love, 

And mair we'se ne'er be parted. 
Quo' she, my grandsire lefl me gowd, 

A mailen plenish'd fairly ; 
And come, my faithfu' soagerlad, 

Thou'rt welcome to it dearly ! 

For gold the merchant ploughs the main, 

The farmer ploughs the manor; 
Butglory is the sodger's prize ; 

Tnesodger's wealth is nonour , 
The brave poor sodger ne'er despise. 

Nor count him as a stranger. 
Remember he's his country's stay 

In day and hour of danger. 



MEG O' THE MILL. 



Am— ^ O bonny lass, will you lie in a Barrack?" 

O KEN ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten, 
An' ken ye what Meg o' the M31 has gotten f 
She has gotten a coo? wi' a claut o' siUer, 
And broken the heart o* the barley Miller. 

The Miller was strappin, the Miller was ruddy ; 
A heart like a lord, and a hue like a lady : 
The laird was a widdiefu', bleerit knurl >— 
She's left the gold ftUow and ta'cn ftlie ohuil. 



90 



VJRNS' POEMS. 



Tiitf miUflr be becht her heart led uid hmng^: 
The Lftird did addreee her wi' matter mair 
moyingr, 

A fine peeing horse wi* a clear chained bridle, 
A whip by her side, and a bonnie lide laddlo. 

O wae on the siller, it issae prevailing; 
And wae on the love that is nxM on a mailen ! 
A tocbery nae word in a true lover's parle, 
But, gie me my love, and a fig for the warl ! 



SONG. 



Tuif K— " Liggeram Cosh." 

BuTHB hae I been on yon hill, , 

As the lambs before me ; 
Careless ilka thought and firee, 

As the breeze flew o V me : 
Now nae longer sport and play. 

Mirth or san^ can please me; 
Lesley is sae fiur and coy, 

Care and anguish seize me. 

Heavy, heavy, is the task. 

Hopeless love declaring : 
Trembling, I dow nocht but glowV, 

Sighing, dumb, despairing ! 
If she winna ease the thraws. 

In my bosom swelling; 
Underneath the grass freen-sod, 

Soon maun be my dwdling. 



SONG. 



TuK»—^ Logan Water.'' 

O LooAif, sweetly didst thou fi[lide, 
That day I was my Willie's bnde ; 
And yean sinsjme has o'er us run, 
Like Logan to the simmer sun. 
But now thy flow'ry banks wpear 
Like drumhe winter, dark and drear. 
While my dear lad maun face his fi^s, 
Far, far firae me and Logan braes. 

Again the merry month o' May, 
IUm made our hills and valleys gay ; 
The birds rejoice in leafy bow'rs. 
The bees hum round the breathing flow'rs 
blithe, morning lifts his rosy eye. 
And ev'ninff^s tears are tears of joy : 
My soul, ddightless, a' surveys. 
While Willie^ far firae Logan braes. 

Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush, 
Amang her neetlingt ntsthe thmsh ; 



Her faithfii' mate will share her toil. 
Or wi' his song her cares beguile, ' 
But I wi' my sweet nurslings hei«, 
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer 



Pass widowed nights and joyless day 
While Willie's far frae Logan braes ! 

O wae upon you, men o' state. 
That brethren rouse to deadly hate ! 
As ye make mony a fond heart mooi 
Sae may it on your heads return ! 
How can your flinty hearts enjoy. 
The widow's tears, the orphan's cry 
But soon roav peace bring hi^py daj 
And Willie, name to Logan braes ! 



FRAGMENT, 



IN 



wrrHERSPOojs'^s collec 



OF 



SCOTS SONGS. 
Air — ^'' Hufirhie Graham." 

** O GIN my love were yon red rose. 
That grows upon the castle wa'. 

And I mysel a drop o' dew. 
Into her bonnie oreast to fa' ! 

^ Oh, there bojond expression blest, 
rd feast onocauty a' the night ; 

Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest, 
TiU fiey'd awa' by Phoebus' Ught" 

* O were mv love yon lilac fair, 
Wi' purple blodsoms to the spring; 

And I, a bird to shelter there, 
Wlien wearied on my little wing : 

How I wad mourn, when it was torn 
By autumn wild, and winter rude! 

But 1 wad sinff on wanton wing, 
When youthfu' May its bloom ran* 



BONNIE JEAN. 

Thrrp. was a lass, and she was fair, 
At kirk and market to be seen. 

When a' the fairest maids were met. 
The fairest maid was bonnie Jean 

* These tftanssM were addeJ by Bui« 



BURNS' POEMS. 



•I 



M wrought her mammie'i wirk. 
' dbi nng MA mARifia: 
est faiid upon the bmh 
'er a tighter heart then ihe. 



B win rob the 

ees the little lintwhite'e nert ; 
win btight the ftiiMt flowers, 
re wiU break the loiindeet reet 



>bie wai the brawest lad, 
wer and pride o* a* the fi^en ; 
id oweea, iheep and kye, 
tnton nyg^** nine or ten. 



ri' Jeanie to the tryite, 

c'd wi' Jeanie on the down ; 

ere witless Jeanie wist, 

irt was tint, her peace was stown. 



boBom 6* the stream, 
on beam dwells at dewy e'en ; 
ing, pore, was tender loye, 
the ureast o' bonnie Jean. 



she works her mammie''8 wark, 
she righs wi* care and pain ; 
& what her ail might be, 
t wad mak her weel again. 



L Jeanie's heart loup light, 
1 na joy blink in her e'e, 
tanld a tale o' love, 
'enin on the lily lea? 



wna sinking in the west, 
ds sang sweot in ilka grove ; 
. to hen he fondly prest, 
lisper'd thus his tale o' love : 



fair, I lo> tbee dear ; 
thou think to fancy me ! 
lou leave thv momuiie'H cot, 
.m to tont the farms \vi^ ino ? 



r byre thou shalt na drudge, 
hing else to trouble thee ; 
amang the heather-belK 
it the waving com wi* me. 



t could artless Joanie do ? 
i nae will to say him na : 
she blush'd a sweet consent, 
re was ay between them twa. 



PHILLIS THE FAIR. 
Tuna—" RoWn Adair." 



While lai^ with little wing, 

Fann'd the pure air. 
Tasting the breathing spring, 

Forth I did fkre : 
Gay the sun*s golden eye, 
Peeo'd o'er the mountams high; 
Budi thy mom ; did I ciy, 

Phillis the fair 



In each bird's careleBs song, 

Glad did I share; 
While yon wild flowVs among, 

Chance led me there : 
Sweet to the opening day. 
Rosebuds bent the oewy spray ; 
Such thy bloom ! did I say, 

PhiUis the fair. 

Down in a shady walk. 

Doves cooing were, 
I mark'd the cruel hawk 

Cauffht in a snare : 
So kind may fortune be, 
Such make his destiny. 
He who would injure thee, 

Phillis the fair. 



SONG. 



To the same Tune. 



Had I a cave on some wild, distant shore. 
Where the winds howl to the waves' dashing 
There would I weep my woes, [roar r 

There seek my last repose. 
Till grief my eyes should dose, 
Ne'er to wake more. 

Falsest of womankind, canst thou declare, 
All thy fond plighted vows — fleeting as air ! 
To thy new lover hie, 
Laugn o'er thy perjury. 
Then in thy liosom tiy. 

What peace is there ! 



SONG. 



TuHi— •* AUan Water." 

By Allan stream I chanc'd to rove, 
While Phcebus sank beyond Benleddi ;* 

* A mouotaln watt of Btratli Anan, 3,000 feat hifttk 



BURNS' POEMa 



The windf were whi^wring^ thro* the grove, 
The yellow com was waving ready : 

I listen d to a lover^s sanff. 
And thought on youtmu' pleasures mony ; 

And ay the wild-wood echoes ranf — « 
O, dearly do I love thee, Annie f 



O, happy be the woodbine bower, 

Noe nightly bogle make it eerie ; 
Nor ever sorrow stain the hour, 

The place and time I met my dearie ! 
Her head upon my throbbing breast, 

She, sinking, said, " Viu lliino for ever !" 
AVhile mony a kiss the seal imprest, 

Tlio sacred vow, we ne'er should sever. 



The haunt o' spring s tlio primrose brae. 

The simmer joys the ilocks to follow ; 
How cheery thro' her shortening day. 

Is autumn, in her weeds o^ yellow ; 
But can they melt the glowin^r heart. 

Or chain the soul in speech&as pleasurt, 
Or thro' each nerve the n^yture dart. 

Like meeting her, our boeom'e treamire? 



WfflSTLE, AND TLL COME TO YOU, 

MY LAD. 



O wmsTLE, and 111 come to you, my lad : 
O whistle, and Fll come to you, my lad : 
Tho' father and mither and a' should gae mad, 
O whistle, and HI come to you, my lad. 



But warily tent, when ye come to court me. 
And come na unless the back-yett be a-jee ; 
Bjne up the back-stile, and let nae body see. 
And come as ye were na comin to me, 
And come, &c. 



At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me. 
Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd na a flic : 
But steal me a blink o' vour bonnie black e'e, 
Tet look as ye were na looking at me. 
Yet look. Sic, 

O vfhialle^ See. 



Ay vow and protest that ye care na for me. 
And whiles ye may lightly m^ beauty a wee ; 
But court na anitber, the' jolun ye be. 
For fear that she wyle your fancy frae mo. 
For fear, kc 

OwhuUe^ice. 



SONG. 



Tuns — ^^ The mucking o' Geordie^ b 

Adown wuiding Nith I did wander. 
To mark the sweet flowers as tlwjr ^ 

Adown winding Nith I did wander. 
Of Phillis to muse and to sing. 

CHORUS. 



j^wa wi' your beUe* and your beauHi 
Tkey merer %H^her can conuaare : 

Whaei-er has met wV my Phillis^ 
Hcu met vC the queen o- tliefair. 

The daisy amus'd my fond fancy, 
So artless, so simple, so wild ; 

Thou emblem, said 1, o' my PhUlis, 
For she is simplicity's cmld. 
AuHi,ke. 

The rose-bud ^ the blush o' my channe 
Her sweet balmy lip when His prest : 

How fair and how pure is the lily, 
But fairer and purer her breast. 
AwtLiSce. 

Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbour. 
They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie : 

Her breath is the breath o' the woodbine 
Its dew-drop o' diamond, her eye. 
Atoa^ &c. 

Her voice is the song of the moniii^ 
That wakes thro' tne green-spreamng 

When Phoebus peeps over tho mountains 
On music, and pleasure, and love. 
Awa^ See, 



But beauty how frail and how fleeting, 
The bloom of a fine summer's day! 

While worth in the mind o* my Phillis 
Will flourish without a decay. 
AujaySce 



SONG. 



Air— « Cauld Kafl." 

Come, lot me take thee to my breast. 
And pledge we ne*er shall sunder ; 

And I shall spurn as vilest dust 
The warm's wealth and grandeur 



BUERB* POKMS. 



93 



1 1 Imv niy Jeanie own, 
; eooml tnowpoila movv hir? 
Mr aeaiesi liro alone 
; I ma,j lire to love her. 

B nqr armi, wi' «I1 tfaj chamt, 
ip mj coontien trBasare ; 
k naa mair o* heaTwi to duurs ; 
n BO a moment*! pleaion : 
r thy een, sae bonnie Uue, 
nr I'tai thine for ever ! 
1 thy lips I seal my vow, 
bfclakit shall I never. 



DAINTY DAVIE. 

My Bfay comet in wi* flowers, 
k her gay, green spreading bowers ; 
>w comes in my happy hours, 
} wander wi' my Davie. 

CHOKUS. 

me on ffie varlodc knowt, 
tunhf Davitt dainiy Daxne^ 
1 1 U ipend the dtiwfyou^ 
tkar damijf Davit, 



ystal waters round us ik', 
eny birds are lovers a\ 
ented breezes round us blaw, 
wanderinff wi' mj Davie. 
Meetme^ie, 

purple morning starts the hare 
il upon her early fare, 
hro the dews I will repair, 
9 meet ray faithfii' Davie. 
Meet mtt ice. 

day, expiring in the west, 
irtain draws o* nature's rest, 
his arms I lo'e best, 
od that^s my ain dear Davie. 

CHOKUS. 

'me on the tearlock knowe^ 
vnnie Davit, dainty Davit, 
^e PU tpend the deiwi' you, 
'y am aatr damty Davie. 



BONO 

TuHB— ** Oran GaoiL" 

D the hour, the boat arrive ; 

a goest, thou darling of mv heart ! 

1 m>m thee can I survive .' 

(kic has willed and wo must part 



rn oltflB greet this SQinnf swell, 
Ton distant isle wiUVrf&n haU : 

** E'en here I took the last &reweU ; 
There latest marii'd her vanished sail'' 



Along the solitary shore, 

While flitting sea-fowl round me cry. 
Across the rolhng, dashing roar 

rU westward turn my wistfUl eye : 
Happy, thou Indian gfrove, Fll say. 

Where now my Nancy's path may be ! 
While thro' thy sweets she loves to stray, 

O tell me, cbes she muse on me ! 



SONG. 



Tum— ^Fee himFathir.'' 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, Thou haat lift 

me ever. 
Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, Thou haat bft 

me ever. 
Aften hast thou yow'd that death. Only shmild 

us sever. 
Now thou'st left thy lass for av— I maun see 

thee never, Jamie, 
111 see thee never. 

Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie, Thou hast me 

forsaken. 
Thoil^st mo forsaken, Jamie, Thou hast me 

forsaken. 
Thou canst love anither jo. While my heart is 

breaking. 
Soon my weary een 111 close— Never mair to 

waken, Jamie, « 
Ne'er mair to waken. 



AULD LANG SYNE. 

Should auld acquaintance be fbigot, 

And never brought to min' f 
Should auld acquamtance be forgot. 

And days o' lang syne ? 

CHORUS. 

For auld lang tyne^ my dear^ 

For attld lang »yne^ 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet. 

For auld lang syne. 

We twa hae ran about the braes. 

And pu't the gowans fine ; 
But we TO wancbred mony a waaiy fool« 

Bin auld lang syne. 
Formddfie* 



A Bounr 

W« tva haa pudn r te bam* 

Ftm moffmn ann tin dint : 
Bat mam be l wae u oi braid haa niar'd, 

flm sold hnf fjiie. 
JP«r otf^^Tlf. 

And hero's a hand, bit trait j fier. 

And ne*8 a hand o thina ; 
And wall tak a rifht (uid-wiDia wangfaft. 

For aold lang ijna. 

And aoralf Tall ba jonr pint-atowp, 

And anralT IH ba mina ; 
And wall tak a cop o* kindnf jat. 

For aold lanf gjnb. 
For auiilt le. 



BANNOCK-BURN 

lOBSBT BmnCE*8 ADDRESS TO HIS ASMT. 

Soon, wfaa haa wT Wafiaaa blad, 
Soota, wham Bnioa haa ailao lad, 
Wdeoma Xojoat ^rj bad, 
Or to gionoua nctoiy. 

llow^a tlM daj, and now*! tha hour ; 
8aa tha ntmt o* battla lowar ; 
8aa approach orood Edwaid^s powar 
Edward ! cnaini and daTaiy ! 

Whawni baa traitor knaya? • 

IVha can fill a coward^a gnva ? 
Wha na baae as ba a dava ? 
Traitor *. coward ! turn and flaa ! 

Wha for ScotfaAd's king and law 
Freadom*a award will itrongly draw, 
Fiae-man atand, or fi^ea-man &', 
Caladonian ! on wi' ma ! 

Bj oppraMonVi woaa and paina ! 
Br joor aona in Mnrila ofaaina ! 
Wa will drain onr daareat vaina, 
But they ihallba dullbafiraa! 

Laj tha piood aaarpari low ! 
Trranta fall in ayarr foa ! 
Ldbartj'a in vterj uow ! 
Forward ! lat na do, or dia ! 



PAIR JENNY. 
Ton ■-> Saw yt my fkther r* 

Wmai ara tha joys I hava met in tha morning. 
That dancM to tha lark^s early song ? 

Where is the peace that awaited my wandMng, 
At CTeoiiig the wild woods among ? 




■■iMjIiwjr Aa 




the hght 
and aadsifhi^g caia. 




Is il that 

And gran, 
lloi,nOi,tha' 

Fhxiaim it the 

F^ would I hide what I fear to 
Tat long, long too well haTe I kno^ 

AH that haa cauaed thia wreck in my 
la Jenny, ftir Jenny alone. 

Time cannot aid ma, my grieft are in 
Nor hope dare a comfort beatow : 

Coma then, enamoorM and fond of nr 
JEInjoyment HI seek in my wo. 



SONG. 
Toim— ■'The CoQiar^ Doditi 

I>sLUDxn awain, tha pleaaora 
The fickle Fair can gnra thaa 

!■ hot a fairy tr eas ur e. 

Thy hopes will soon deoeire 1 

The billows on the ocean. 
The breezes idly roaming. 

The clouds* uncertain motion, 
They are but types of woman 

O art thou not ariuumed. 
To dote upon a feature ? 

If man thou jyouldst be named, 
Dei^Maa the silly creature. 

Go, find an honest fellow ; 

Good daret set before thee : 
Hold on till thou art mellow. 

And then to bed in glory. 



SONG. 



Tinci— ^ The Quaker's wife 

Think am I, my faithful fkir. 
Thine, my lorely Nancy ; 

Ev'iy pulaa alonjr my yaina, 
EvTy roving rancy. 

To thy bosom Xzy my heart. 
There to throb and languish 

Tho* despair had wrung its core 
That would lical iu* angubh. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



95 



ly tbeM rosy fip«t 
nth balm J treasure : 

rr thine eyes of loTe» 

due with pleasure. 



ife when wanting lore ? 
without a morning : 
le doudleas summer son, 
) gay adorning. 



I 



SONG. 



SONG. 



TuifB— ** Jo Janet" 

S husband, cease your strife, 
Dger idly rave, Sir ; 
n your wedded wife, 
mi not your slave. Sir. 

two must stin obey, 
fNancy ; 
1 or woman, say, 
ouse, Nancy ^^ 



1 the lordly word, 
e and obedience ; 
t my sovereign lord, 
), good b*ye allegiance ! 



U I be, so bereft, 
, Nancy ; 
ry to make a shift, 
ouse, Nancy.*' 

heart then break it must. 

It hour I'm near it : 

»u lay me in the dust 

, think how you will bear it. 



lope and trust in Heaven, 
', Nancy ; 

to bear it will be given, 
ouse, Nancy." * 



r, from the silent dead 
11 try to daunt you ; 
nd your midnight bed 
i sprites shall miunt you. 



i another, like my dear 
r, Nancy ; 

. hell will fly for fear, 
touse. Nancy." 



Aia— *" The Sutor's Doefaler.'* 



Wilt thou be m^ dearie ? 
When sorrow wrings thy gentle 
Wilt thou let me cheer thee ? 
By the treasure of my soul, 
lliat's the love I bear thee ! 
I swear and vow that only thou 
Shall ever be my dearie. 
Only thou, I swear and vow, 
Shall ever be my dearie. 

Lassie, say thou lo*es me ; 
Or if thou wilt na be my ain. 
Say na thoult refuse me : 
If it winna, canna be. 
Thou, for thine may choose m«i| 
Let me, lassie, quicby die. 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 
Lassie, fot me auickly die. 
Trusting that tnou lo'es me. 



BANKS OF CREE. 

Hekb is the glen, and here the bower. 
All underneath the birchen shade » 

The village-bell has toU'd the hour, 
O what can stay my lovely maid ? 

'Tis not Maria's whispering call ; 

'Tis but the balmy-breaming sale ; 
Mizt with some warbler's dyinglall 

The dewy star of eve to hail. 

It LB Marians voice I hear I 

So calls the woodlark in the grovai 
His little faithful mate to cheer. 

At once His music — and 'tis love. 

And art thou come ! and art thou true ! 

O welcome dear to love and me ! 
And let us all our vows renew. 

Along the flowery banks of Cree. 



VERSES TO A YOUNG LADY, 



WITH 

A PRESENT OF 0ON6S. 

Heex, where the Scottish muse immortal lives, 
In sacred strains and tuneful numbers joined, 

Accept the' gift ; tho' humble he who gnres. 
Rich is the tribute of the grateful mind. 



96 



BURNS' P08M8- 



80 maj no niffian-foeUiy in thy breast, 
Diticordant j&r tliy bosom-diords among ; 

But peace attune tliy ecntle soul to rest, 
Or love ecstatic wake his seraph song. 

Or pityli notes, in lujniry of tears, 
As inodost want the tale of wo reveals ; 

While conscious viKuc all the strain endoan, 
And heaveii-bom piety her sanction seals. 



,0N THE SEAS AND FAR AWAY. 

Tuif E— ^ O'er the Hills," kc 

How can my poor heart be glad, 
When absent fVom mv sailor lad f 
How can I the thought forego. 
He's on the seas to meet the foe ? 
Let me wander, lot mo rove ; 
Still my heart is witli my love ; 
Nightly dreams and thoughts by day 
Are with him that's far away. 

cnoaus. 

On the seat and far airoy, 
Ontionnff tea» and far away: 
Jfighiijf dreamt ana ihoughit by day 
Art ay with him IhaCtfar avay. 

When in summer's noon I faint, 
As weary flocks around me pant. 
Haply in this scorcliing sun 
My sailor's thundering at his gun : 
Bullets, spore my only joy ! 
Bullets, spare my darling boy ! 
Fate do with mo what you may 
Spare but him that^ far away 1 
On the teat^ &c. 

At the starlen midnight hour. 
When winter rules with boundless pow'^ ; 
As the storms the forests tear. 
And thunders rend the howling air, 
Listening to the doubling roar. 
Surging on the rocky shore, 
All 1 can — I weep and pray, ^ 

For his weal thars far away 
Ontheteat^ iee. 

Peace, thy olive wand extend. 
And bid wild war his ravage end, 
Man with brother man to meet. 
And as a brother kindly greet : 
Then may heaven with prosperous gales, 
Jl^ my sailor's welcome sails. 
To my arms their charge convey. 
My dear lad thafb far away. 
On Uu teat ke. 



SONG 



Tun E^** Ca' the Towes to the Know< 



CHORUS. 

Ca' the ytncet to the ibieirei, 
Co* tliem trhare the heather growth 
Co* them tchare the bumie roicst. 
My bonnie dearie. 

Hakk, the mavis' evening sang 
Soundine Cloudcn's wo<n1s amang; 
Then a-faulding let us gang. 
My bonnie dearie. 
Ca* the. See. 

Well gae down by Clouden side. 
Thro' the hazels spreading wide. 
O'er the wavoe, that sweetly glide 
To the moon sae clearly. 
Co* the. See, 

Tender Clouden's silent towers. 
Where at moonshine midnight hoan» 
O'er the dewy bending flowers, 
Fairies dance sae cheery. 
Co" the, &c. 

Ghaiflt nor bogle shalt thou fear ; 
Thou'rt to love and hcav'n sae dear, 
Nocht of ill may come thee near. 
My bonnie dearie. 
Ca'the,i:e. 

Fair and lovely as tlioa art. 
Thou hast stown my very heart ; 
I can die — ^but camia part, 
My bonnie dearie. 
CaUhe,Sce. 



SHE SAYS SHE LO'ES MS BEl 

OF A'. 

TuHi— ".Onagh's Wator-fidL" 

Sab flaxen were her ringlets, 

Her eyebrows of a darker hue, 
Bowitchmgly o'er-arching 

Twa laughing een o' TOnnio blue. 
Her smilinf sac wyling, 

Wad muce a wretch forget his wo ; 
AVhat pleasure, what treasure. 

Unto these rosy lips to grow ! 
Such was my Cmoris' bonnie face. 

When first her bonnie face I saw ; 
And ay my Chloris' dearest charm. 

She says she lo'es me best of a'. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



97 



like haniioi^ her motion ; 

Hor JvetUr ancle m a wfj 
Betraying fair proportion. 

Wad mak a aaint forget the wky, 
Sae wanning, sap chaiming. 

Her faulUeas form, and gracefu* air } 
nk feature— aald nature 

Declar'd that ibe ooold do nae mair : 
Hen are the willing chaini o* love. 

By conquering beauty ^e aovereign law ; 
And ay my Chloris^ dearert charm, 

She saya she lo^et me beet of a\ 

Let others love the city, ^ 

And gaudy ihow at sunny noon ; 
Gie me the lonely valley. 

The dewy eve, and rising moon ; 
Fair beaming, and streaming. 

Her silver ught the bouglu amang ; 
While fUlmg, recallmfr, 

The amorous thrush concludes her sang 
Tliere, dearest Chloria, wilt thou rove 

By wimpling bum and leafy shaw. 
Ana hear my vows o^ truth and love. 

And say tnoa lo^es me best of a^ ! 



SAW YE MY PHELY. 

(Quasi dicat Phillis.) 
Tvm — ^ WhMi she cam ben she bobbit" 

O SAW ye my dear, my Phely ? 
O saw ve my dear, my Fhely ? 
She^s oown r the grove, she's wi* a new love, 
She winna come hame to her Willy. 

• 

What says she, my dearest, my Phely ? 
What says she, my dearest, my Phely? 
She lets thee to wit that she has thee forgot,' 
And for ever disowns thee her Willy. 

had I ne W seen thee, my Phely ! 
had I ne'er seen thee, my Phely ! 
As Ught as the air, and fause as tnou^s fair, 
Thoa*s broken the heart o' tliy Willy. 



SONG. 



Tuifi — " Cauld Kail in Aberdeen."" 

How long and dreary is the night, 
When! am frae my dearie ; 

I restless lie frae e*en to mom, 
Tho* 1 were ne^tr sae wearj; 
H 



cHoaus. 



For oh^ her Umdy nights art long 
Jind oh^ her dreamt are eerie ; 

Artd ok, her widowed heart u »air<t 
Thai's absent frae her dearie. 

When I think on the lightsome days 
I spent wi' thee my dearie ; 

And now what seas between us roar, 
flow can I be but eerie f 
For oht &c. 

How sldW ye move, ye heavy hours ; 

The joyless day bow dreary ! 
It was na sae ye glinted by, 
I was wi' my deari 



When 
For oh^ ice. 



my dearie. 



SONG. 



TcNE — ** Duncan Gray.** 

Let not woman e'er complain, 

Of inconstancy in love ; 
Let not woman e'er complain. 

Fickle man is apt to rove : 

Look abroad through Nature's range, 
Nature's mi^ty law is change ; 

Ladies, would it not be strange, 
Man should then a monster prove ? 

Mark Uie winds, and mark the skies ; 

Ocean s ebb, and ocean's flow : 
Sun and moon but set to rise. 

Round and round the seasons go. 

Why then ask of silly man. 
To oppose great Nature's plan ? 

Well be constant while we can — 
You can be no more, you know. 



THE LOVER'S MORNING SALUTE 
TO HIS MISTRESS. 

Tune—" Dcil tak Uie Wars." 

Slkep'st thou, or wak'pt thou, fairest crea- 

Rosy morn now lifls liis eve, [turo 

Numboring ilka bud which Nature 

Waters wi' the tears o' joy : 

Now thro' the leafy woods. 

And by the reeking floods. 
Wild Nature's tenants, freely, gladly stray ; 

The lintwhitc in his bower 

Chants o'er the breathing flower ; 

The lav 'rock to the sky 

ANceuds wi' sangs o' joy, [day. 

While the sun and thou ^xim to blc&s the 



es 



BURNS' POEMS. 



PhflBbuf gilding tho brow o^ morning, 

Baniflhee ilk darksome shade. 
Nature gladdening and adorning ; 

Such to me my lovely maid. 

When absent irae my fair, 

The murky shades o care 
With starless ^loom overcast my sullen sky ; 

But when, m beauty *s li^ht. 

She meets my rayisn'd sight. 

When through my very heart 

Her beaming glories dart ; 
Tis then I wale to life, to light, and joy. 



THE AULD MAN. 



Birr lately seen in gladsome gnon 

The woods rejoiced tho day, 
Thro^ genUe showers the laughing flowon 

In double pride were gay : 
But now our ioys are fled. 

On winter blasts awa ! 
Yet maiden May, in rich array. 

Again shall bring them a\ 

But my wliito pow, nao kindly thowe 

Shall melt the snaws of age ; 
My trunk of eild, but buss or bield. 

Sinks in timers wintry rage. 
Oh, age has weary days. 

And nights o* sleepless pain ! 
Thou golden time o^ youtnfu' prime, 

Why com^st tliou not again I 



SONG. 



TuHK — ^ My Lodging is on the cold ground." 



Mt Chloris, mark how greon tho groves. 
The primrose bonks Iiow fair : 

The balmy gales awake the flowers. 
And wave thy flaxen hair. 

The lavVock shuns the palace gay. 

And o^er the cottage sings : 
For nature smiles as sweet I ween. 

To shepherds as to kings. 

Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string 

In lordly lighted ha' : 
The shepherd stops his simple reed. 

Blithe, in the birkon shaw. 



The princely reyel may aunrey 

Our rustic danoe wr foom ; 
But are their hearts as light as oiun 

Beneath the milk-whniB thom? 

The shepherd, in the flowery glen, 
In 8hepherd*s phrase will woo : 

The courtier tells a finer tale, 
But is his heart as true ? 

These wild-wood flowers IVe pa'd, to dec 

That spotless breast o* thine : 
The courtiers' gems may witness love-^ 

But tis na love like mine. 



SONG, 

AT.TBKED FROM AN OLD KNGLISa OHS. 

It was the charming month of May, 
When all the flowers were fre^ and gay. 
One morning, by the break of day. 
The youthful, charming Chloe ; 

From peaceful slumber she aroee. 
Girt on her mantle and her hose. 
And o*er the flowery mead she goes. 
The youthful, charming Chloe. 

ciioaus. 

Lovely leas the by the daum^ 

Ymtihjid Chloe^ charming Chloe^ 

TVwping o^tr Ihe pearly laten^ 
The ymttlifuli aiarming CKbc. 

The featherM people, you might see 
Perch'd all around on every tree, 
In notes of sweetest melody, ^ 

They hail the chsuming Chloe ; 

Till, painting gay the eastern skies. 
The fflorioufl sun began to rise, 
Out-nvallM by the radiant eyes 
Of youthful, charming Cmoe 
Lately uhu the^ See, 



LASSIE WI' THE LINT-WHITE LOCK 
TuNK— " Rothemurchie's Rant* 

CHORUS. 

Latsie iri* the lint-while lorh^ 
Bonnie laiftu^ arlltu la^sie^ 

Will Ihoii wV mc taU tlie flocks^ 
Will tluni be my dearie^ O ? 



If ow nature deeds the floweiy lea. 
And a* is joong and iweet Ifte thee ; 
O wih thoQ ihare its joji wi' me. 
And saj thouHt be my dearie, O? 
Louie v€^ ice. 

And when the wdcoine wamer-ihower« 
Haa cfaeer'd ilk drooping little flower. 
Well to the breathing woodbine bower 
At toltrjr noon, m j deurie, O. 
Lassie m\ See, 

When Cynthia lights, wi' nlrer ray. 
The weajnr shearer's hameward way ; 
Thro' yellow waving fields well stray^ 
And talk o' love, my dearie, O. 
Lottie wT, ice. 

And when the howling wintry blast 
Disturbs my lassie^ midnight rest; 
Cndaaped to my faitlifu' breast, 
111 comfort thee, my dearie, O. ^ 

Lassie teV the Uni-^kUe locks, 

Bonme lastic, art lets lassie^ 
O wilt thou wC me tent thejheksy 

Wilt thou be my dearie^ O? 



BURNS' POEMS. 



DUET. 



SONG. 

f _ 

TuNK — ^Nancy's to the Greenwood,^' &c. 



Faexwxll thou stream that winding flows 
Around Elixa's dwelling ! 

memVy ! ^are the cruu throes 
Within my bosom swelling : 

Coodenm'd to drag a hopeless chain, 

And yet in secret lan^^uish. 
To fed a fire in ev'ry vem, 

Nor dare disdoee my angmsh. 

Love's veriest wreidi, miseen, unknown, 

I fiun my griefii would cover : 
The burvtmg sigh, th' unweetmg groan. 

Betray thehaplcsR lovor. 

1 know thou doom'st me to despair, 

Nor wilt« nor canst relieve me ; 
But oh, Eliza, hear one prayer, 
For {Hty's sake forgive me. 

Tlie music of thy voice I heard. 

Nor wist while it enslaved me ; 
I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd, 

Tdl fears no more had savM me : 
Th* unwary sailor thus a^ast. 

The wheeling torrent viewing ; 
'Mid circling horrors sinks at Uwt 

la ovorwhelioing ruin. 



Tui»— "The Sow^i Tail." 



HK — O Phi LLY« happy be that day 

When rovinff tnrough the gather'dha 
My youthm^ heart was stown away, ' 
And by thy charms, my PhiUy. 



SHI — O Willy, ay I bless the grove 

Where first I own'd my maiden love, 
Whilst thou did pledge the Powei 
above 
To be my ain dear Willy. 



HS — As songsters of the early year 
Are ilka day mair sweet to hear. 
So Uka day to me mair dear 
And charming is my PhiUy. 

SHE — As on the brier the budding rose 

Still richer breathes, and fairer blows. 
So in my tender bosom grows 
Tlie love I bear my Willy. 

HE — The milder sun and bluer sky. 

That crown my harvest cares wi' joy. 
Were ne'er sae welcome to my eye 
As is a sight o' Philly. 



SHE — ^The little swallow's wanton wing, 
Tho' wafting o'er the flowery spring. 
Did ne'er to me sic tidinss bring. 
As meeting o' my W^y. 



HE — ^Tlie bee that thro' the sunny honr 
Sips nectar in the opening flower, 
Compar'd wi' my delight lb poor, 
Upon the lips o' Plmly. 



SHE-— The woodbine in the dewy weet 

When evening shades in mlence meet. 
Is nocht sae fragrant or sae sweet 
As is a kiss o Willy. 



HE — ^Let fortime^s wheel at random rin. 
And fools may tine, and knaves may 

win; 
My thoughts are a' bound up in ane, 
And that's my ain dear Philly. 



SHE — What's a* the joys that ffowd can giot 
T rare nae wealth a single flie ; 
Tlie lad I lovers the lad for me« 
And that's my ain dear Willy. 



>:>.■'• 



-f^ \ 






100 



BURNS* POEMS. 



SONG. 



TuHE — ^^ Lompi o' Padding. 

Contented wi' little, and cantio wi' mair, 
Whenever I forgather wi* torrow and care, 
Iffie them a skolp, aa they're creepin alang, 
Wi' a cog o* guid swats, and an auld Scottiah 
sang. 



[ whyles claw the elbow o* troablesome 

Thought; 
But man ia a soger, and life is a faught : 
My mirth and guid humour are coin in my 

pouch. 
And my Freodom^s my lairdship nae monarch 

dare touch. 



A towmond o* trouble, should that be my fa', 
A night o* guid fellowship sowthers it a' : 
When at the blithe end o' our journey at last, 
Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has 
past? 

Blind chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her 

way; 
Be\ to me, beH frae me, e*en let the jade gae : 
Come ease, or come travail ; come pleasure, 

or poin, 
My waist word is — ^ Welcome, and welcome 



agam 



i« 



CANST THOU LEAVE ME THUS, MY 

KATY > 

Tone—" Roy's wife." 

CHORUS. 

Canti tfufu leave m^. thtu, iny KcUy? 
CanH thou leave me thus, my Kaiy ? 
Well thou knnw^st my aching hearty 
And canst thou leave me tfiusfor pity? 

Is this thy plighted, fond re^rd. 

Thus cruelly to port, my iCaly ? 
Is this thy faithful swain^s reward — 

An aching, broken heart, my Katy f 
Canst thouy &e. 

Farewell ! ai^d ne^er such sorrows tear 
That fickle heart of thine, my Katy ! 

Thoa may'st find those will love thee dear- 
Bat not a love like mine, my Katy. 
Camt thm^ ke. 



MY NANNI&S AWA. 



Tune— ^ Therell never be peace.'' &c. 

Now in her green mantle blithe nature airaysy 
And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er the 
braes, [shaw; 

While birds warble welcome in ilka green 
But to me it's delightless-Hny Nannie's awa. 



The snaw-drap and primrose our woodlands 

adorn. 
And violets bathe in the weot o' the mora ; 
They pain my sad bosom sae sweetly they 

blaw. 
They ihmd me o' Nannie— and Nannie's awa. 

Thou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the 

lawn, 
The shepherd to warn o' the gray-breaking 

dawn, (k 

And thoa meUow mavis that haili the night-&' 
Give over for pity — my Nannie's awa. 



Come, autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and 

And sooth me wi' tiding o' nature*s decay : 
The dark, dreary winter, and wild-driving 

snaw, 
Alane can delight mc — now Nannie^ awa. 



FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT 



Is there, for honest poverty. 

That hangs his head, and a^ that ; 
The coward-sIavc, we pass him by. 

We dare be poor for a"* that ! 
For a' that, and a' that. 

Our toil's obscure, and a' that. 
The rank is but the guinea*8 stamp, 

The man's Uio gowd for a' that. 

What tho* on hamely fare we dine, 

Wear hoddin gray, and a' that ; 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wini 

A man''s a man for a' that; 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Their tinsel show, and a' that ; 
The honest man, though e^er sae poor, 

Is king o** men for a° that 



Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord, 
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that ; 

Tho' hundreds worship at his woidi 
He^s but a coof for a' that : 



BURNS' posiia 



101 



For a' that, md a that, 
Hii liband, star, and a' that. 

The man of independent nund. 
He looks and laughs at a' that 

A prince can mak a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, and a^ that ; 
Bat an honest man's aboon his might, 

Giiid faith he mauna fa* that ! 
For a' that, and a* that, 

Their dignities, and a' that. 
The pith o^scnse, and pride o' worth, 

Are higher ranks than a* that. 

Then let us pray that come it may. 

As oon|e it wiU for a* that. 
That sense and worth, oW a* the earth, 

BAaY bear the gree, and a' that. 
For tfthnt, and a' that. 

It's coming yet, for a* that. 
That man to man, the warld o'er. 

Shall brothers be for a' that 



SONG. 



TuNB— Craigie-bum-wood. 

Sweet fa's the evo on Craigie-bum, 
And blithe awakes the morrow. 

Bat a* the pride o' springes return 
Can yield mo nocht but sorrow. 

1 see tlie flowers and spreading trees, 
I hear the wild birds singing : 

Bat what a weary wight can please, 
And care his bosom wringing ^ 

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart. 

Yet dare na for vour anger ; 
^t secret love'wiU break my heart, 

If I conceal it langor. 

If thou refuse to pity me, 

If thou shalt love anither. 
When yon green leaves fade fVae tlie tree. 

Around my grave they'll wither. 



SONG. 

TuifE— ^ Let mo in this ae night" 

O LASSIE, art thou sleepinff yet ? 
Or art thou wakin, I would wit ? 
For love has bound mo hand and foot. 
And I would fain be in, jo. 



OBOEUI. 



out me in thit ae nMi, 

This at,aA,tte n^A/; 
f\>rpit}/*t take this ae rifhi^ 

O rite and letmein^jo. 

Thou hears't the winter wind and 

Nae star blinks thro' the driving sleet ; 
Tak pity on my wcazy feet. 
And shield me frae the rain, jo. 
O Ui me in, See, 

The bitter blast that round me blaws 
Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's ; 
The cauldness o' thy heart's the cause 
Of a' my grief and pain, jo. 
Oletmtin, See 



HER ANSWER. 

O TELL na mo o' wind and rain. 
Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain ! 
Gae back the gate ye cam again, 
I winna lot you in, jo. 

CHoaus. 

/ idl you now thit ae night. 

Thit aeyoe^ae night ; 
And ancefor a' thit ae nighty 

I winna let you tn, jo. 

The snellost blast, at mirkest hours. 
That round the patlilcss wand'rer poun, 
Is nocht to what poor she endures, 
That's trusted faithless man, jo. 
/ tell you noio, ke. 

The sweetest flower that deck'd the mead. 
Now trodden like Uie vilest weed ; 
Let simple maid tlie lesson read, 
The weird may bo her ain, jo, 
I teU you notr, See, 

The bird that charm'd his summer-day. 
Is now the cruel fowler's prey ; 
Let witless, trusting woman saj^ 
How aft her fate s the same, jo, 
/ tell you now. See, 



ADDRESS TO THE WOOD-LARK. 

TiTKE— ** Where'U bonnie Ann lie." Or, •• liocb. 

Eroch Side." 

O STAY, sweet warbling wood-laA stay. 
Nor quit for me the trmiMing spray. 



B0RNS' POEMS. 



(ver courts thy U}r, 
hing, fond complaining. 

in that tender part, 
y catch thy melting art ; 
that wad touch her heart, 
ills me wi' disdaining. 

thy little mate unkind, 
rd tnee as the careless wind? 
it but love and sorrow join*d, 
>te8 o* wo could wauken. 

oils o* never-ending care ; 

ichless grief, and dark despair ; 
y *s sake, sweet bird, nae mair ! 
ny poor heart is broken ! 



N CHLORIS BEING ILL 
TuWE— " Ay wakin O." 

CUOKUS. 

Lone^ long the night, 
Hemy cornea the morrow^ 

While my touVt defight<, 
Is on her bed ofn?rotc. 

Cak I cease to care ? 

Can I cease to lan^ruish. 
While mv darling fair 

Is on the couch of anguirii? 
Long^Sce. 

Eveiy hope is fled. 

Every rear is terror ; 
Slumber even I dread. 

Every dream is horror. 
Long<,&e. 

Hear me, Powr^s divine ! 

Oh, in pity hear me ! 
Take aught else of mine, 

But my Chloris spare me ! 
Long^ ice, 

:> 



SONG. 

TuHE— •* Humours of Glen." 

iKiK groves o^ sweet myrtle let foreign lands 
reckon, [j^rfume, 

Where bright-beaming summers exalt the 
r dearer to me yon lone glen o'green breckan, 
l¥i' the bum stealing under thB hung yellow 
broom. 



Far dearer to me are yon hmnUe faioom bon 

Where the Uue-bell and govaa huk lo 

unseen: [Bom 

For there, lightly tripping amang the i 
A-Gstening the linnet, aft wanders my J« 

Tho* richi* th^ breeze in their gay somiy 
leys, 
And'cauTd Caledonia's bUtst on the wave 



Their sweet-scented woodlands that 

proud palace, [sli 

What are they ? The haunt of the tyrant 

The slave's q>icy forests, and gold-bubb 
fountains. 
The brave Caledonian views wi* di«dain 
He wanders as free as the wijuds of his mc 
tains. 
Save lovers willing fetters^ the chains o' 
Jean. 



SONG. 

TuHt — " Laddie, lie near me." 

'TWAS na her bonnie blue e^e was my ruin 
Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my undoing 
Twas M dear smile when naebody did n 

us, 
'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance 

kindnesa. 

Sair do I fear that to hope'is oenied me, 
8air do I fear that despair maun abide me 
But tho* fell fortune should fate us to aeve 
Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever. 

Mary, I'm thine wi' a passion sincerest. 
And thou hast plighted me love o' the d< 
And thou'rt the an^l that never can alt 
Sooner the sun in ms motion would fait 



ALTERED FROM AN OLD EN< 

SONG. 

TuNi — ^^ John Anderson my j< 

How cruel are the parents 

Who riches only prize. 
And to the wealthy booby. 

Poor woman sacrifice. 
Meanwhile the hapless dauf 

Has but a choice of strife 
To shun a tyrant father's h 

Become a wretched wife. 

The ravening hawk pursu' 
The trembling dove thu 

To shun impellmg ruin 
A while her pinions trii 



BURNS' POEMS. 



103 



No riMltor or retreat, 
Sbe tniitB the mthleM fidooner, 
And droiNi beneath his ftet 



SONG. 



Tuin— ««Deil tak the WarB." 



kEK jonder pomp of costly fashion, 
Ronnd the wealtny, titled bride : 
It when compar'd with real paasion. 
Poor is all that princel j pride. 
What are the showy treasures ? 
What are the noisy pleasures ? 
ny, gaudy flare of vanity and art : 
Toe polished Jewells Maze 
May draw the wondVing gaze. 
And courtly grandeur bn^t 
The fancy jmay delight, 
never, never can come near the heart. 



at did you see my dearest Chloris, 
h multeity's array ; 
oraly as yonder sweet opening flower is, 
ffluinking from the gaze of day. 

then, 2e heart alarming, 
And all resistless charming, 

Love's deli^htfhl fetters she chains the 

willing soul ! 
Ambition would disown 
The world*s imperial crown 
Cren Avarice would deny 
His worshipped deity, 

1 feel thro' evory vein I^ova's raptures roll. 



SONG. 



Tdmi — ^This is no my ain House. 



CHORUS. 

Otkiiitnomy am lastie^ 
IW Ihci* the lauie be ; 

Otfeet ten / my ain lasne^ 
Kind love it in her eV. 

'K tfbnn, I see a face, 
' ^"ftel may wi' the fairest place : 
^ts, to me, the witching grace, 
'^ lond love that's in her e'e. 
O this tt no^ I'c, 



She's bonnie, blooming, straii^ht, and taU 
And lan^ has had my iieart m thrall ; 
And ay it charms my vexy saul. 
The kind love that's in her e'e. 
X) this u no^ See. 



A thief sae pawkie is my Jean, 
To steal a luink, by a' unseen; 
But gleg as light are levers' een, 
when kind love is in the e'e, 
O thii it no^ See, 



I may escape the courtly sparks. 
It may escape the learned clerks ; 
But weel the watching lover marks 
The kind love that^ in her e'e. 
O this it no. See. 



TO MR. CUNNINGHAM. 



SCOTTISH BONO. 

Now Spring has clad the groves in green, 

And strew'd the lea wi flowers ; 
The furrow'd, waving com is seen 

Rejoice in fostering showers ; 
While ilka thing in nature join 

Their sorrows to forego, 
O why thus all alone are mine 

The weary steps of wo ! 

The trout within yon wimp] in burn 

Glides swift, a silver dart, 
And safe beneath the shady thorn 

Defies the angler's art : 
My life was ance that careless stream. 

That wanton trout was I ; 
But love, wi' unrelenting beam. 

Has scorch'd my fountains dry. 

Tlie little flow'ret's peaceful lot. 

In yonder cliff that grows, 
Which, save the linnpt's flight, I wot, 

Nae ruder visit knows, 
Was mine ; till love has o'er me past. 

And blighted a' my bloom. 
And now beneath tlie withering blast 

My youth and joys consume. 

The waken'd lav'rodc waibling springs. 

And climbs the early sky. 
Winnowing blithe her dewy wings 

In morning's rosy eye ; 
As little reckt I sorrow's power. 

Until the flowery snare 
C witching love, in luckless hour 

Made me the thrall o' care. 



SCOTTISH 80NG. 

That ciu gweeier " ^, 






v« frr fro"* rt.^ *e »• jSr 
^"f^ from ""*!► Vetto^l"''*' 

,^ but"*"'"*' 



i 






Thatot>ly";ycttot»*«*''° 
Cb» on u»J 
O wwt, kt- 



SCOTTISH BAI^^^^ 

The <«--' '^••" "' 



BURNS' POEMS. 



105 



ik o' the darti in mj bonnie Uack e*eii, 
vowM for my love lie wu djiag ; 
le might die when he liked, rorJean, 
Lora forgpe me for Ijing, for lying, 
Lord forgie me for lying !• 

1-etocked mailen, himiel for the laird, 
marriage afT-hand, Were hia proffers : 
r loot on that I kennM it, or car'd, 
thought I might hae waur offers, waur 

oners, 
thaught I might hae wanr offers. 

Iiatj|r&d ye think ? in a fortnight or less, 
deu tak nia taste to goe near ner ! 
the lang loan to my olack cousin Bess, 
ss ye 'how, the jad! I could bear her, 

could bear her, 
«8 ye how, the jad ! I could bear her. 

the niest week as I fretted wi* care, 
ed to the tryste o^ Dalgamock, 
'ha but my fine fickle mer was there, 
>wr'd as I d seen a warlock, a warlock, 
>wr*d as Td seen a warlock. 

vre my left shouther I gae him a blink, 
: neebiors might say I was saucy ; 
9oer he caperM as noM been in drink, 
i vowM I was his dear lassie, dear lassie, 
^ vowM I was his dear lassio. 

• 

M for my cousin fu' couthy and sweet, 
she had recoycrM her hearin, 
low her now shoon fit her aidd shachl^t 

feet, 
, heavens ! how ho fell a swearin, a 

swcarin, 
heavens ! how he fell a swearin. 

gged, for Gudcsakc ! I wad be his wife, 
else I v^ad kill him wi' sorrow : 
m. to preserve the poor body in life, 
ink I maun wed Imn to-morrow, to-mor- 
row, 
ink I maun wed him to-morrow. 



FRAGMENT. 



E— ."The Caledonian Hunt's Delight" 

T, why tell thy lover, 
tliss he never must enjoy ! 
y, why undeceive him, 
ind give all his hopes the he ? 

7hy, wliilc fancy, rapturM, slumbers, 
/hloris, Chloris all the theme ; 
ly, why wouldst thou cniel, 
Vakc ihy lover from his dream ? 

He 



HEY FOR A LASS WT A TOCHER. 

TcNX — ^ BaUnamana onL** 

AwA wi' your witchcraft o* beauty's alanna, 
The slender bit beauty you graip in your 

arms: 
O, gie me the lass that has acres o* charma, 
O, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms. 

CHORUS. 

Then hey^for a last wC a toctuTy then hey for 

a lau wV a tocher^ 
Then hey^ for a hut wC a tocher ; the nice 

ydiow guineat for me. 

Tour beauty's a flower, in the morning that 

blows, 
And withers the faster, the faster it grows ; 
But the rapturous charm o' the bonnie green 

knowes, 
nk spring they're new deckit wi' bonnie white 

yowes. 
Then hey, Sec, 

And e'en when this beauty your boaom haa 
blest, [Mat; 

The brightest o' beauty may cloy, when ]>oe- 

But the sweet yellow darlings wr Geordie im* 
prest. 

The langer ye hae them — the mair theyVe 
carest. 
Then hey. Sec, 



SONG. 

TuNi— "Here's a health to them that's awa, 

hiney." 

CHOKUS. 

Uere't a health to one I lo'e dear. 

Here's a health to one I lo*e dear 

Thou art sweet as the smUe vfhenfbnd levers meet. 

And soft as their parting tetKr^— Jessy ! 

Altho' tliou maun ncyer be mine, 

Altho' even hope is denied ; 
Tis sweeter for tneo despairing, 

Than aught in the world beside— Je«y ! 
HereU a heaith, See, 

I mourn thro' the gay, gaudy day. 
As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms ; 

But welcome the dream o' sweet slumber, 
For then I am lockt in thy armr — '•-^^ ' 
Here'^s a health. See. 



106 



BURNS' POEMS. 



I goMi hj the dear angel anile, 
1 ganm by the love-roUing e> ; 

Bot why urge the tender cMifeMion 
'Gainst fortune^s fell cruel ' 
Hare't a healthy kc. 



SONG. 
Tunc— **Rothermnrchiei'B Rant' 



CHOEUB. 

Fairest maid on Deton banks^ 
Crystal Drrott, vtndmg Deoon^ 

Wiit thou lay that frown aside^ 
And smile as tJiou were wont to do? 

Full well thou know'st I love thee dear, 
Couldst thou to malice lend an ear ! 
O, did not love exclaim, ^ Forbear, 
Nor uae a faithful lover eo V* 
Fairest nudcU See, 

Then come, thou fairest of the fair, 
Thoee wonted smiles, O, let me share ; 
And bv thy beauteous self I swear, 
No love but thine my heart shall know. 
Fairest maid, ice. 



Let fortuned giAs at random flee, 
They ne'er ahall draw a wiA fiaamiii 
Supremely blest wi' love and tbee^ 
In the fiirks of AberieldT. 
Bonnie loMtittix, 



STAY, MY CHARMER, CAN YOl 
LEAVE ME ? 



THE BIRKS OF ABERFELDY. 



Bonnie lassie, wUyego,wiUyego,wmyen. 
Bonmelassie,yriUyegotothelnrksofAberfdd^f 

Now nmmer blinks on flowery braes. 
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays. 
Come let us spend the lightsome days. 
In the Birks of Aberfeldy. 

Bonnie lassie. Sec. 



While o'er th«r heads the hazels hing. 
The little birdies blythly sing. 
Or lightly flit on wanton wing 
In the Birks of Aberfeldy. 

Bonnie lassie. See. 

The braes aaoend like lofty wa's, 
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa*s, 
O'er-hung wi' fragrant spreading shaws. 
The Birks of Aberfeldy. 

Bonnie lassie. See. 

The hoary cliflb are crown'd wi' flowers. 
White o'er the linns the bumie pours. 
And rising, wects wi' misty showers 
The Birks, of Aberfeldy. 

Bonnie lassie. See. 



Tmn—f* An Gille dubh 



qar-dluAh.* 



Stat, Yny charmer, can you leaTe me ? 

Cruel, cruel to deceive me ! 

Well you know how much you grieve 

Cruel charmer, can you go ? 

Cruel charmer, can you go^ 

By my love so ill requited ; 

By tbte faith you fondly plu^ted ; 

By the panes of lovers sugfated ; 
Do not, do not leave mo so i 
Do not, do not leave me so ! 



STRATHALLAN'S LAMENT. 

Thicsbst mgki o'eriiang my dweUiiig ! 

Howling tempests o'er me rave! 
Turbid torrents, wintry swelling, . 

Still surround my lonely cave ! 

CiTstal streamlets, gently flowing 
Busy haunts of b^ mankind. 

Western breezes, softly blowing. 
Suit not my distracted mind. 

In tlie cause of right engaged. 
Wrongs injurious to lecureas, 

Honour^s war we strongly waged. 
But the heavens deny 'a i 



Ruin*8 wheel has driven o*cr us. 
Not a hope that dare attend. 

The wide world is all before 
But a world without a friend ! 



THE YOUNG HIGHLAND ROVER- 

Tune—** Morag." 

liOUD blaw Uie frosty breezes. 
The siiaws the mountains covcar ; 

I Jke winter on me seizes. 

Since my yoimg Highland Rover 
Far wanders nations over. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



Hi 



Vm thmkni, wi' tic a bnw fellow, 
In pooftitlr I iniffht mak a ftn' ; 

What tmn I in Eicnes to wallow, 
If I mannTia many Tarn Gkski 



the laird o' DnumiMDer, 
* Goid daj to yoa,bnita,'* he oomea ben : 
He hraga anid he olaws o^ hji nller. 
But when will he dance like Tain Gkn? 



My nunnie doee constantly deare me, 
And bids me beware o* joang men ; 

They flatter, the mti, to deceive me ; 
Bat wha can think aae o' Tarn den? 

Mydaddie aayi, g^ 1*11 fonako him. 
Hell sie me ^d hmider marks ten : 

But, if ivi ordam'd I maun tak him, 
O wha win I get but Tarn Glen f 

Teetreen at the Valentine's dealing. 
My heart to my mou ^ed a sten ; 

For thrice I drew ane without fidling. 
And thrice it was written, TamCSen 



• 

The laat Halloween I was waukin 
My dzoukit sark-sleeve, as je ken 

Hb fikenees cam up the house staukin. 
Ana tibe very gray hreeks o' Tam Gkn! 

Come eonnsd, dear Tittie, don^t tany ; 

m gieyoa^ny bonnie black hen, 
Oifye will advise me to marry 

The lad I lo*e dearly, Tam Glen 



MY TOCHER'S THE JEWEL. 



^ lEiKLB thinks my luve o' my beauty, 
f. And meiklo thinks my luvo o' my km ; 

4^1ittle thinks my luve I ken brawlie, 
Ir^y Tocher's the jewel has charms for him. 

^ a.' for the apple ne'll nourish the tree ; 
w't^B a' for the niney hell cherish the bee ; 
^lad<tie's sae meikle in luve wi' the siller, 

*^^ canna hae luve to spare for me. 

'^^r proffer o' luve's an airl-penny, 
^ -^^y Tocher's the bargain ye wau buy ; 

^J> an ye be crafly, I am cunnin, 
\- ^ae ve wi' anither your fortune may try. 

^^^^Jc like to the trimmer o' yon rotten wood, 
"y- V'e're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree, 

^^U slip frac mo like a knotless thread, 
"^nd ycTi crack your credit wi' raao nor me 



a 



THEN GUIDWIFE COUNT THB 
LAWIN, 

Gane is the day, and mirk's the nig^t. 
But we'll ne'er stray for faute o' h^t, 
^ For ale and brandy's stars and moon, 
' And bluid-red wine's the rysin sun. 

Tlun gittdwife count the kncin^ the lawmt iht 

Then gwdwife count the lawin, and 
eoggUmavr. 



There's wealth and ease for gentlemen. 
And semple-folk maun fecht and fen' ; 
But here we're a' in ae accord, ' 
For Uka man that's drunk's a lord. 

Then gudewift county ke* 

My coggie is a haly pool. 

That hMJs the wounds o' care and dool ; 

And pleasure is a wanton trout. 

An' ye drink it a' ye'll find him out. 

Thin guidmfc county See., 



WHAT CAN A YOUNG LASSIE DO 
WI' AN AULD MAN? 

What can a young lassie, what shall a young 
lassie, 
What can a young Itl|p0 do wi' an auld 
man? ^' ^ 

Bad luck on the pennie ftat tempted my 
mimue 
To sell her poor Jenny for siller an' Ian' ! 
Bad htck on the pennie^ Sec. 

He's always compleenin frao momin to e'enln. 
He hosts and he hirples the weary day lang ; 

He's doylt and he's dozen, his bluid it is fro- 
frozen, 
O, deary's the night wi' a crazy auld man 1 

Ho hums and he honkers, he fVots and he can- 
kers, 
I never can please him, do a' that I can ; 
He's peevish and jealous of a' the young fel- 
lows : 
O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man \ 

My auld auntie Katie upon me taks pity, 

rll do my endeavour to follow her plan ; 
ril cross hmi, and wrack liim, until I heart- 
breoik him. 
And then his auld brass will buy me a new 
pan. 



lis 



BURNS' POEMS. 



THE BONNIE WEE THING. 



Bomcis wee thinj^, cannie wee thing, 
Lov«l7 wee thmg, wast thou mine, 

I wad wear thee in my boeom, 
Leat mj jewel I ahoidd tine. 

Wiahfully I look and lanffuiah 
Ib that bonnie face o* Uiine ; 

And my heart it atomids wi* angaiafi, 
Leit my wee thing be na mine. 

Wit, and grace, and love, and beauty, 

In ae constellation ahixie ; 
To adore thee ia my doty, 

Goddesa o' this aoul o^ mine ! 
' Bonnie tree, &c. 



O, FOR ANE AND TWENTY, TAM ! 

TuHE— "The Moudiewort," 

An O^for am and twaihf^ Tarn ! 

An ofy, twtU one and twenty^ Thm I 
ru learn my km a ratUm <anf. 

An I taw one and twenty., Thm. 

Tbet snool me tair, and haud me down, 
And gar me look like bluntie. Tarn ! 

But three short years will soon wheel roun\ 
And then comes ane and twenty, Tam ! 
An O.,for one., kc. 

A ffleib o^ lan\ a elaut o* gear, 
Was left me by my auntie, Tam ; 

At kith or kin I ncedna spier, 
An I saw ane and twenty, Tam ! 
An Ojfor ane. See, 

Theyll hae mo wed a wealthy coof, 
Tno' I mysel' hae plenty, Tam ; 

But hear*st thou, laddie, there*s my loof, 
Fm thine at ane and twenty, Tam ! 
An O^forane^ Sec. 



BESS AND HER SPINNING WHEEL. 

O LBEZE me on my spinning wheel, 
O leeze me on my rock and red ; 
Frae tap to tae that deeds me bien. 
And haps me fiel and warm at o^en ! 
ni set me down and sing snd spin, 
While laigh descends the simmer sun, 
Blest wi* content, and milk and meal — 
O leeze me on my spinning wheel. 



On ilka hand the bumies troL 
And meet below my theekit cot ; 
The scented birk and hawthorn whit 
Across the pool their arms unite. 
Alike to screen the birdie^s nest. 
And little fishes' caller rest : 
The son blinks kindly in the bieP, 
VI^Mre blithe I turn nty qiinning wh< 



Oclofly aiks the cushats wail, 
And ecno cons tliee doolfu' tale ; 
The hntwhites in the hazd braes. 
Delighted, rival ither^s lays : 
The craik aman^ the elaver hay. 
The naitrick whurin o*er the ley. 
The swallow jinkin round my shiel. 
Amuse me at my spuming waeel. 



Wi' sma' to sell, and leas to buy, 
Aboon distress, below envy, . 
O wha wad leave this himible st&to. 
For a' the pride of a* the great ? 
Amid their flaring, idle toys, .^ 
Amid their cumbrous, dinsome joys. 
Can thay the peace and pleasure fee 
Of Beasy at her spinning wheel f 



COUNTRY LASSIE. 



In simmer when the hay was mawn. 

And com wav'd green in ilka fidd, 
While elaver blooms white o^er the Ic 

And roses blaw in ilka bield ; 
Blithe Bessie in the milking shiel. 

Says, 1^11 be wed, come oH what w 
Out spak a dame in wrinkled eild, 

^ O' guid advisement comes nae ill 



" It's ye hae wooers mony ane, 

And lassie, yoVe but young ye ken 
Then wait a wee, and cannie wale, 

A routhie but, a routhio ben : 
There's Johnie o' the Buskie^glcn, 

Fu' is his bam, fu^ is his byre ; 
Tak this frao me, niv bonme hou. 

It's plenty beets the Iuver''s fire.*' 



For Johnie o* tlie Buskic-^Ien, 

I dinna care a single flio ; 
He lo'es eao well his craps and kyc, 

He has nae luve to spare for nic : 
But blitho's the blink o* Robie's c>, 

And wed I wat he lo'cs me dear : 
Ac blink o* him I wad na gio 

For Buskic-glen and a' nis gear. 



HUANS' POEMS 

DAY RETURNS, MY BOSOM 
BURNS. 



>" Seventh of November." 



y retuniB, mj bosom bame, 
blifleful dajr wc twa did meet, 
inter wild in tempest toilM, 
r smnmer-son was half sae sweet. 
' the pride that loads the tide, 
crosses o*er the sultry line ; 
ingly rob^ than crowns and globes, 
rengave me more — ^it made thee mine. 

lay and night can bring delight, 
ature aught of pleasure give ; 
joys above, my mind can move, 
liee, and thee alone, I hve ! 
that grim foe of life below 
ee in between to make us part ; 
o hand that breaks our bud, 
Mks my bliss, — ^it breaks my heart 



THE LAZY MIST. 

mist hangs from the brew of thehiU, 

3g the course of the dark winding rill ; 

^d the scenes, late so sprightly, ap- 
pear 

on to winter resigns the pale year ! 

ists are leafless, the meadowis are 
brown, 

be gay foppery of summer is flown ; 

me wander, apart let me muse, 

ck time is flying, how keen fate pur- 
sues; 

g I have liv^d — ^but how much Uv'd 
in vain : 

le of lifers scanty span may remain : 

pectfl, old Time, in his progress, has 
worn; 

«, oruel fate in my bosom has torn. 

)lish, or worse, till our summit is 
gain'd ! 

mward, how weaken^, how darkened, 
how painM '. 

's not worth having with all it c&n 
give, 

ethmg beyond it ooor man sure must 
hve. 



^RE I ON PARNASSUS' HILL! 

UNK — ^ My love is lost to me." 

RE T on Parnassus' hill ! 
d of Helicon my All ; 



That I might catch poetic skill. 
To sing, how dear I love thee. 

But Nith maun be my mnse*s well. 

My muse maun be thy bonnie sel ; 

Chi Corsincon I'll glowr and spell. 
And write how dear I love thee. 



Then come, sweet muse, inspire my li 
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day, 
I coudna sin^, I coudna say, 

How much, how dear I love thee. 
I see thee dancing o'er the green. 
Thy waist sae jimp, thy linibs sae cle 
Thy tempting lips, thy roffuish oen — 

By heaven and earth 1 love thee ! 

Bv night, by day, a-field, at hame, 
llie thoughts o' thee my breast inflan 
And ay I muse and sing thy name, 

I only Hve to love thee. 
Tho' I were doom'd to wander on. 
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun. 
Till my last weary almd was run ; 

Till then — and then I love thee. 



I LOVE MY JEAN. 



Tune— ^ Mist Admiral Gordon's Strai 



Or a' the airts the wind can blaw, 

I dearly like the west, ^ 
For there the bonnie lasiue Uvee, 

The lassie I lo'e best: 
There wild woods grow, and nvcrs r 

And mony a lull between ; 
But dajr and night my fancy's flight 

Is ever wi' my Jean. 

I see her in the dewy flowers, 

I see her sweet and fair : 
I hear her in the tunefu' birds, 

I hear her charm the air : 
There's not a bonnie flower that spri 

By fountain, shaw, or green, 
There's not a bonnie bird tliat sings, 

But minds me o' my Jean. 



THE BRAES O' BALLOCHW 

The Catrine woods were yellow seei 
The flowers decay'd on Catrine le 

Nae lav'rock sang on hillock green, 
But nature sickcn'd on the e'e. 



'«f 



BURNS' POEMa 



Thro* faded grove Maria nng, 
Menel in beauty *« bloom the while, 

And ay tJio wild-wood echoes mub 
Foroweel the bracio^ Bollochm^e. 

LfOW in your wintry beds, re flowen, 

Again yell floonih freiii and fair; 
Ye birdies damb, in withVing bowen, 

Afain yell charm the tocoI air. 
But here, alas ! for me nae maJr 

Shall birdie charm, or floweret mile ; 
Fareweel the bonnie banks of Ayr, 

Fareweei,fareweel ! sweet Boilocfamyleb 



WDLLIE BREiyT> A PECK O' MAUT. 

O, WILLIE brew*d a peck o* maul, 
And Rob and Allan came to see ; 

Three blither hearts, that Ice-Ion^r nigfat, 
Ye wad na find in Christendie. 

We are nafoiu, xcere na thaifou^ 
But just a drappie in our e'e; 

The cock may crate^ the day may daw 
And ay tee^U taste the barley bree. 

Here are we met, three merry Doys, 
Threemerry boys I trow ore we ; 

And mony a night woVe merry been, ^ 
And mony moe wo hope to be ! 
We are nafouy See, 

It is the moon, I ken her horn, 
That's blinkin in the lift see hie ; 

She shines sae bright to wyle us hame 
But, by my sooUi, shell wait a wee 
We are ruxefnu, Sec. 

Wha first shall rise to gon^ awa, 

A cuckold, coward loon is he ! 
Wha lost beside his choir shiJl fa\ 

He is the king amang us three ! 
We are nafou. Sec. 



THE BLUE-EYED LASSIE. 

I GAED a wacfu* ffatc, ycftirren, 

A gate, I fear, iMl dearly rue ; 
I gat my death froe twa sweet cen, 

Twa lovely een o' bonnie blue. 
TTwas not hor golden ringlets bright ; 

Her lipuB like roscH wat wi' dew, 
Her heaying bosom, lily-white ; — 

It was her cen sae bonnie blue. 



She talked, M smiled, rnvtoOit she wyM 

She cbaimM my soul 1 wist na how ; 
And ay the 8louna,the deadly wound. 

Com firne her een sae bonnie.blae. 
Bot spore to speak, and qiore to speed ; 

Shall oiblins listen to my yow : 
8bo«ld iho lefose, IH lay my dead 

To bar twa een ne bonnie blue. 



THE BANKS OF NITH. 
Timi— **Robie Dona Goracfa.'' 

Tbk Thames flow* proudly to the mMf 

¥^ere royal dties statdy stand ; . 
Bot sweeter flows the Nith tome. 

Where Commins once hod high conunar 
When shall I see that hononr^dlond. 

That winding stream I loye so dear ! . ' 
Most wayward fortnne^sadyene hand 

Tor ever, eyer keep me here? 

How loyely, Nith, thy fruitful yoleiv 

Where ^reading hawthomsgayh^ blooi 
How sweeny wina thy sloping dueoi 

Where lambkins wanton tmo^ the hnm 
Tho' wandering, now, must be jny doo^i^ 

For from thy bonnie banks and fanMi 
May there my latest hours 'cansamo,' 

Amang the friends of early days \ 



JOHN ANDERSON MT JO. 

John Andeeson my jo, John, 

When we were nrst acquent ; 
Your locks were like the rayen. 

Your bonnie brow was brent ; 
But now your brow is held, John, 

Your locks are like the snaw ; 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 

John Anderson my jo. 

John Anderson nijr jo, John, 

We clamb the hifl thegither; 
And mony a canty day, john. 

We Ve nad wi* sne anitl^r : 
Now we maun totter down, John 

But hand and hand well go, 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson my jo. 



TAM GLEN. 

My heart is a-breaking, dear Tittie, 
Some coimscl unto me come W\ 

To anger them a' is a pity ; 

But what will I do wi* Tarn Gleu? 



BURNS' POEMS. 



107 



mhrngOf whem^er he itmjr, 
Heayvi be his wwdaa : 
Um nfe to fair Stielh^tey, 
Moiiie CaiUe-Gordoft ! 



ee now naked groanmg, 
■Qon wi* leaves be hinging, 
lies dowifi moaning, 
a' be blithly singing, 
every flower be spnnffing. 
rejoice the lee-lang £iy, 
Q bj his mighl^ warden 
th's retumM to fiur Strathspey, 
bonnie Castle-Gordon. 



NG WINDS AROUND H£K 
BLOWING. 

> M^Grigor of Ruaro's Lament" 

inds aromid her blowing, 
Lves the woodlands strowing, 
hoarsely roar^ig, 
ray'd deploring. 
I, boors that late did measure 
days of joy and pleasure ; 
I gloomy nifht of sorrow, 
night tuat knows no morrow. 

past too fondly wandering, 
*poles8 future pondering ; 
ef my life-blood freezes, 
ir my fancy seizes, 

soul of eveiy blcsdng, 
liseiy most distressing, 
&dly Td resi^ thee, 
jk oblivion join thee !" 



'r ON THE ROARING OCEAN. 

Tune — ^^* Druimion dubh." 

NO on the roaring ocean, 
hich divides my love and me ; 
rying Heaven in warm devotioh, 
ir his weal wherever he be. 

) and fear^s alternate billow 
elding late to nature^s law ; 
roaring spirits round my pillow 
ok othim thaCs far awa. 

horn sorrow never wounded, 
> who never shed a tear, 
•untroubled, joy-surrounded, 
iudy day to you is dear. 



Gentle night, do thou befriend me ; 

Downy sleep, the curtain draw ; 
Spirits kmd, again attend me, 

Talk of him that's far awa *. 



BUTHE WAS SHE. 



BWht^ blithe and merry wu the^ 
Bliiht wot the but tmd ben : 

BlUhe by the bank* ofEm^ 
And bathe in QUnturit glen. 



Bt Oughtertyre grows the aik, 
On Y arrow banks, the birken shaw ' 

But Phemie was a bonnier lass 
Than braes o* Yarrow ever saw. 
Blithey Sec. 



Her looks were like a flower in May, 
Her smile was like a simmer mom : 

She tripped by the banks of Em, 
Aslignt's a bird upon a thorn. 
Blithe^ Sec. 



Her bonnie face it was as meek 

As ony lamb upon a lee ; 
The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet 

As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e. 
BUthe^Scc. 



The Highland hiUs I've wander'd wide. 
And o'er the Lowlands I hae been ; 

But Phemie was the blithest lass 
That ever trod the dewy green. 
BUthe^Scc. 



A ROSE-BUD BY MY EARLY WALK. 



A ROSE-BUD by my early walk, 
Adown a corn-enclosed bawk, 
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk 
AU on a dewy morning. 

Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled, 
In a' its crimson glory roread. 
And drooping rich the dewy head. 
It scents the early morning. 

Within the bush, her covert nest 
A little linnet fondly prest. 
The dew sat chilly on her breast 
Sae early in the morning. 



106 



BURNS* POEMS. 



She soon nhall see her tender brood. 
The pride, Uie pleasure o* the wood, 
Amanur the frutin green loa?es bedew'd, 
Awake Uio c&rly morning. 

So tliou. dear bird, young Jcanj fidr, 
On trembling string or yo^ air, 
S}iaII Rwt^etly pay the tender care 
That tents tiiy early morning. 

So tliou, sweet rose-bud, young and gay, 
Shalt beauteous blaze upon the day. 
And bloiM Uie parentis evening ray 
That watch d thy early morning. 



WHERE BRAVING ANGRY WINTER'S 

STORMS. 

Tone — ^N. Gow's Lamentation for 
Abercaimy.** 

Where braving angry winter^s stonns, 

Tlio lofty Ochils rise, 
Far in their shade my Peggy *8 cfaarms 

Fintt blest my wondering eyes. 
As one by whom some savage stream, 

A lonely gem siurveys, 
AstniiiKh a, doubly marks its beam, 

With art's most polish^ blaze. 

Blest l>e the wild, sequestered shade. 

And bloKt the day and hour. 
Where Pcj^ra-y's charms I first surveyed. 

When finjt I felt their pow'r ! 
The tyrant death with grim control 

May seize my fleeting breath ; 
But tearing Peggy Ooni my soul 

Must bo a stronger death. 



TIBBIE, I HAE SEEN THE DAY. 
Tune— ^ Invorcald's ReeL** 

CHORUS. 

O Tibbie^ I hoe teen the day. 
Ye would nae been toe thy; 

For laik o* gear ye lightly me. 
But, trowth, I care na by. 

Yestreen I met you on the moor. 
Ye spak na, but gaed by like stoure : 
Ye geek at me because Pm poor. 
But feint a hair care I. 
O Tibbie, r hae, ice. 

T doubt na, lass, but ye may think, 
Because ye hae the name o* clink, 



That ye can play na at a win 
Whene'er ye like to tir. 
O Tibbie, I hae, iui. 



But sorrow tak him that's 
Altho' his pouch o' coin were d 
vVha follows ony saocy quean 
That looks sae proud and hi| 
O Tibbie, I hae, ke. 



Altho^ a lad were e'er sae mar 
If that he want the 3reUow dirt, 
Ye'U cast your head anither ain 
And answer him fu' dry. 
O Tibbie, I hae. See. 



But if ho hae the name o' gear, 
Yell fasten to him like a brier, 
fho' hardly he for senM or leai 
Be better than the kye. 
O Tibbie, I hae, ice. 



Bui, Tibbie, lass, tak my advice 
Your daddie's gear maks yon m 
The dcil a ano wad spier yoor ] 
Wercye as poor as I. 
O Tibbie, J hae, ice. 



There lives a lass in yonder pax 

I would na ffio her in her sane. 

For thee wi a' thy thousand m 

Ye need na look sae high. 

O Tibbie, I hae. See. 



CLARINDA. 



Clarinda, mistress of my soul, 
The measured time is run ! 

The wretch beneath the dreary 
So marks his latest sun. 

To what dark cave of frozen ni 
Shall poor Sylvander hie ; 

Denriv'd of thee, his life and lij 
The sun of all bis joy. 



Wo part — but by tliesjc precioui 
That fill thy lovely eyes I 

No other licrht shall gmde my i 
Till thy bright beams arise. 

She, the fair sun of all her sex, 
IIa«blo8t my glorious day : 

And shall a glirnmeri:!!; planet 
My worship to its ray ? 



BURNS' POEMS. 



J 13 



'0 tboaghtkM Itnie, life's ft fknght ; 
HMomnmt gate, the ttrift is Mir ; 
3at aj (Vi' hant is feditin best, 
A hitagry carets an tmco care : 
Kt wine will spend, aad some will spare, 
An* wilfu^ folk mami hae their will; 
Ae as ye brew, my maiden ikir, 
Ceep mind that ye mami drink the yiO.' 

pear will bay me rigs o* land, 
Snd gear will bay me sheep and kye ; 
t the tender heart o* leeeome lave, 
Whb gowd and siller canna boy : 
9 may be poor— Robie and I, 
light is the harden laye lays on;^ 
Btent and lave brings peace and joy, 
BVhat mail hae qoeens upon a throne ' 



FAIR ELIZA. 



A GAELIC Alft. 



Toaif a^rain, thoa fur Eliza, 

Ae kmd blink before we part, 
Rew on^hy despairing lover ! 

Canst thou break his faithfu* heart? 
Tom acain, thou fair Eliza ; 

tfto love thy heart denies, 
For pity hide tne cruel sentence 

Under friendship's kind disguise 

Thee, dear maid, hae I offended ? 

The offence is loving thee : 
Canst thou wreck his peace for ever, 

Wha for thine wad gladly die? 
V^e the life beats in my bosom, 

Thoa shalt mix in ilka throe : 
Tom again, thou lovely maiden, 

Ae sweet smile on me bestow. 

Kot the bee upon the blossom. 

In the pride o' sinny noon ; 
JKot the little sporting fairy, 

An beneath the mmmer moon ; 
Not the poet in the moment 

Fancy lightens on his e'e, 
Kens the {Measure, feels the raptore, 

Thattl^ presence gies to me. 



Bat I win down yon river rove, amang the 
wood sae green. 
And a' to pu' a posie to my ain dear May. 

The primrose I win pa\ the firstling o* the 

year. 
And I win pu' the pink, the emUem o* my 



pu' \ 
dear. 



THE POSIE. 

t'Uvi win venture in, where it daor na weel 

beseen, 
Iqts win venture in, where wiwlom anoe 

has been; 
I 



For she's the pink o' womankind, and blooms 
without a peer ; 
And a* to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

m pu' the budding rose when PhoBbus peeps 
in view, 

For it's like a baumy kiss o' her sweet bonnie 
mou; 

The hyacinth 's for constancy wi' its unchang- 
ing blue. 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

The lily it is pure, and the lily it is fair, 

And in her lovely bosom 111 place the lily 

there ; 
The daisy 's for simplicity and unaffected air 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

The hawthorn I wiU pu\ wi' its locks o' siller 

Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o* 

day. 
But the songster's nest within the bosh I win- 

na tak away ; 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

The woodbine I wiU pu' when the e'ening star 

is near, 
And the diamond-draps o' dew shaU be her 

een sae clear : 
The violet 's for modesty which weel she fa's 

to wear. 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 



I'n tie the 



posie 
tuve. 



round wi' the silken band of 



And I'n place it in her breast, and PU swear by 

a' above. 
That to my latest draught o' lift the band shall 

neler remuve. 
And this win be a posie to my ain dear May. 



THE BANKS O* BOON. 

Tb banks and braes o' bonnie Doob, 

How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair ; 
How can ye chant, ye little birds, 

And I sae weary, fu' o' care ! 
Thoult break my heart, thou warbling bird, 

'That wantons thro' the flowering thorn : 
Thou minds me o' departed joys. 

Departed never to return. 



It4 



BURNS* POEMS. 



Oft Iwa I rovM by honnio Doon, 

To Me the rose and woodbine twine ; 
And ilka bird Hang o^ its luve. 

And fondiy sae did i o' mine. 
Wi* lightMme heart I pu'd a rose, 

]>V tweet upon its thorny tree : 
Bat my fkiue luver atole my rose. 

But ah ! he left the thorn wi* me. 



SONG. 
TuNi— "" Catharine Ogie.** 

Yb flowery bankn o* bonnie Doon, 

How can ye blume sae &ir. 
How can ye chant, ye little birdi, 

And I lae fu' o care ! 

Thou*U break my heart, thou bonnie bird 

That sinfs upon the bough ; 
Thou min£ me o* the happy days , 

When my fause luve was true. 

Thoull break my heart, thou bomiie bird 

That sings beside thy mate ; 
For sae I sat, and sae I sang, 

And wist na o* my fate. 

Aft hae I ror'd by bonnie Doon, 

To see the wood-bine twine, 
And ilka bird san£ o* its love, 

And sae did I o mine, 

Wi* lightrome heart I puM a rose, 

Frae aff its thorny tree. 
And my fause luver staw the rose. 

Bat left the thorn wi* me. 



SIC A WIFE AS WILLIE HAD. 

WnxiB Wastle dwalt on Tweed, 
The spot they caM it Linkamdoddie, 

Willie was a wabster guid, 
Coa*d stown a due wi' ony bodie ; 

He had a wifb wis dour and din, 
O Tinkler Madgie was hei mither; 

Sieawtfeat WUtUhady 
I wad nagiea butUmfor her. 

She has an e*e, she has bat ane, 
The cat has twa the very colour; 

Five rusty teeth, forbye a stamp, 
A clapper tongue wad deave a miller ; 

A whisken beara about her mou. 
Her nose and chin they threaten ither ; 
Sicawife^tic. 



8he*s bow-liough'd, she^s hein-shi 
Ae limpin teg a hand-breed sha 

She 's twisted ri^t, she V twiste« 
To balance fair in ilka ouarter : 

She has a hump upon her breast. 
The twin o* that upon her shot 
Sie a wife^ &c. 

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits. 
An* wi* her loof her face a- was 

But Willie*8 wife is nae sae trig. 
She dights her grunzio wi* a hi 

Her walie nieves like midden-cret 
Her face wad fyle the Logan-A 

Sie a teife at Willie had, 
I toad nagiea button for her. 



GLOOMY DECEMBE 



Ahcb mair I hail thee, thou gloomy ] 

Ance mair I hail thee wi* sorrow i 
Sad was the parting thou makes me 

Parting wi* Nancy, Oh ! ne*er to : 
Fond lovers* partiji^ is swoet painft 

Hope beaming mud on the soft pai 
But the dire feeTing, O farewell for t 

Is anguish unmingled and agony 

Wild as the winter now tearing the 
Till the last leafo* the summer is 

Such is the tempest has shaken my 
Since my last hope and last comfi 

Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy De< 
Still shall I hail thee wi' sorrow a 

For sad was the parting thou ma 
member, 

Parting wi* Nancy, Oh, ne*er to me< 



WILT THOU BE MY DE 

W11.T thou be my dearie ? 

When sorrow wrings thr gei 
O wilt thou let me cheer ^ee ^ 

By the treasure of my soul. 
And that 's the love I bear thee 

I swear and vow, that only i 
Shall ever be my dearie. 

Only thou, I swear and vow, 

Shall ever be mv dearie. 



Lassie, say thou lo*es me ; 

Or if thou wilt na be my tin, 
Say na thou*lt refuse me : 

If it winna, canna be. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Tboa for tliiiM may dMXMeme ; 
Let me, hwie, qmckly ilie, 

l^netmg that thou lo'es me. 
LaflBe, let me anicUj die, 
Trnetiiig that thou lo'ee me. 



SHE'S FAIR AND PAUSE. 



ftir and fanae that eamwt mj tmuiy 

I lo'ed her meikle andJanff ; 
Saie'e broken her tow, abeVoroken mj heart. 

And I ma^ e'en gae hang. 
A ooof cam m wi' rowth o' sear, 
And I hae tint mj deareet oear, 
But woman is hot warld'e gear, 

Sae let the bonnie laai gang. 

WhaeV re be that woman love. 

To thia oe nerer blind, 
Nae feilie Hia tho' fickle the prove, 

A woman hasH by kind : 
woman lorely, woman fair 1 
An uWB^'ft fivm '■ fiion to thy ihare, ^ 

IVadoeen o*er meikle to gien thee mair, * 

I mean aa angel mind. 



APTON WATER. 

•^*Low gm^, fweet Afton, among thy green 

braee, 
^low gently, ill amg thee a song in thy praise ; 
•^y BSaiy^ asleep by thy monnming stream, 
^riow gently, sweet Afton, disturo not her 

dream. 

TThoa stock-dofe whose echo resounds thro' 

the^fleii. 
To wild idustling blackbirds in yon thorny 

den. 
Hum green-erested lap-wing, thy screaming 

forbear, 
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair. 

How loftr, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring 

Far mazkM wi' the courses of clear, winding 

rills; 
There daily I wander as noon rises high, 
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye. 

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys 

below. 
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses 

blow; 
There, oft, as mild evening weeps over the lea, 
The sweet-scented birk soades my Mary and 

me. 



115 

Thy aystal stream, Afton, how lofty it glides, 
And wmds by the cot where my Mary resides ; 
How wanton thy waters her snowy Met lave. 
As gathering sweet flowerets she stems thy 
rloar wave. 

Flow gently, sweot Afton, among thy green 

braes. 
Flow £rcntly, sweet river, the theme of my lays ; 
My IVfary 's asleep by thv murmuring stream. 
Flow gently, sweet Anon, disturb not her 

dream. 



BONNIE BELL. 

The smiling spring comes in rejoicing. 

And surly winter grimly flies : 
Now crystal clear are the falling waters. 

And bonuie blue are the suimy skies ; 
Fresh oVr the mountains breaks forth 
morning. 

The ev'nin^ gflds the ocean's swell ; 
All creatures joy in the sun's returning 

And 1 rejoice in my boimie Bell. 

The flowery spring leads sunny summer 

And yellow autumn presses near. 
Then in his turn comes gloomy winter, 

Till smiling spring again appear. 
Thus seasons dancing, ufe advancing. 

Old Time and nature their changes tell. 
But never ranging, still unchanging 

I adore my bonnie BeU. 



the 



THE GALLANT WEAVER 

Where Cart rins rowin to the sea. 
By mony a flow'r, and spreading tree. 
There lives a lad, the lad for me. 
He is a gallant weaver. 

Oh I had wooers aught or nine, 
They giod me rings and ribbons fine ; 
And 1 was fear'd my heart would tine. 
And I giod it to the weaver. 

My daddie sij^'d my tocher-band 
To gio the lad that has the land ; 
But to my heart 111 add my hand. 
And sic it to tlio weaver. 

While birds rejoice in leafy bowers ; 
While boos rejoice in opening flowen ; 
Wliile corn grows green in simmer showers, 
ru love my gallant weaver. 



116 



BURNS* POKli& 



LOUIS WHAT RECK I BT THEE? 

Loun, what rack I by thee. 

Or Oeordie on his ocean f 
Dyror, beggar louna to me, 

I leign in Jeanie^ boaom. 



Let her crown my loTe her law. 
And in her breast enthrone me : 

Kinga and nations, swith awa ! 
ffeif randies, I disown ye ! 



FOR THE SAKE OF SOMEBODY. 



Mt heart is sair, I dare na tell. 

My heart is sair for somebody ; 
I could wake a winter night 
For the sake o* somebody. 
Oh-hon ! for somebo^ ! 
Oh-hey ! for somebody ! 
I could range the world around. 
For the sake o* somebody. 



Te powers that smile on yirtuous love, 

O, sweetly smile on somebody ! 
Frae ilka danger keep him free. 
And send me safe my somebody. 
Oh4ion! for somebody! 
Oh-hey ! for somebody ! 
I wad do — ^what wad I not ? 
For the sake of somebody ! 



THE LOVELY LASS OF INVERNESS. 



Thv lovely lass o* Inverness, 

Nae joy nor pleasure can she see ; 
For e*en and mom she cries, alas ! 

And ay the saut tear blins her e^e : 
Drumoasie moor, Dramossie day, 

A Waefu* day it was to me ; 
For there I lost my father dear. 

My father dear, and brethren three. 



Their winding sheet the bluidy day, 

Their graves are growing green to see ; 
And by them lies the dearest Tad 

That ever blest a woman's e*e ! 
Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord, 

A bluidy man I trow Uiou be ; 
For mony a heart thou hast made sair. 

That ne'er did wrong to thine or thee. 



A M0THER*8 LAMENT FOR THE 
DEATH OF HSR SON. 

TuMx— ^ Finlayaion Houe.'* 

Fats gave the word, the arrow q>ed« 

And piercM mv dailing's heart : 
And with him all the joys an fled 

Lift can to me impart. 
By cruel hands the saplinff drops, 

In dust dishonoured laid : 
So fell the pride oTall my hopes. 

My age's future shade. 

The mother-linnet in the brake 

Bewails her ravish'd young ; 
So I, for my lost darling's sake, 

Lament the ttve-d&y long. 
Death, ofl I've fear'd thv fatal blow, 

Now fond I bare my breast, 
O, do thou kindly lay me low 

With him I loVo, at ~-> * 



O MAY, THY MORN. 



O Mat, thy mom was ne'er sae sweet. 
As the mirk night o' December ; 

For sparkling was the rosy wine. 
And private was the chamber : 

And dear was die I dxte na name. 
But I will ay remember. 



And here's to them, that, like onrael. 
Can push about the jorum ; 

And here's to them that wish as weol. 
May a' that's guid watch o'er them ; 

And here's to them, we dare na tdl, 
The dearest o' the quorum. 
And hert'i to, &e. 



O, WAT YE WHA'S IN YON TOW! 



O, WAT ye wha's in yon town. 
Ye see the e'enin sun upon f 

The fairest dame 's in yon town, 
That e'enin sun is shining on. 

Now haply down yon gay green shaw. 
She wanders by yon spreadmg tree : 

How blest' ye flow'rs that roundner Uaf 
Ye catch the glances o' her e'e \ 



BURNS' POEMS. 



117 



»w bla0t ye biidf that nmiid har dBf , 
Aad wiuoBM in the blooiBfai|f yeer 1 
■d 4eiQbly welcome be the iprmg, 
to my Lucy deer. 



he sun blinks blithe on yon town^ 
And on yon bonnie breee of Ayr ; 
at my deUght in yon town, 
And deereit bUas, ie Lucy feir. 

?ithoat my love, not a' the chanmi 
O* ParacuBe could yield me joy ; 

kit gie me Luey in my arms, 
Am welcome Laplaad^i dreary iky. 

Mhrcaye wad be a lover's bower, 
Tho' raginf winter rent the air; 

&nd she a lovely little flower. 
That I wad tent and shelter there. 

), sweet is she in yon town, 
ToA sjnkin son's gane down upon ! 

I &irer than*s in yon town, 
His setting beam ne'er shone upon. 

fiagry late is sworn my foe, 
And snffiBnng I am doom'd to bear ; 

eirdeas quit aught else below. 
But spare me, spare me Lucy dear. 

^or while life's dearest blood is warm, 
Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart, 

^ndihe — as fairest is her form ! 
She has the truest, kindest heart. 



A RED, RED ROSE. 

O, MT lure's like a red, red rose, 
liiat's newly sprung in June : 

O, my luve's like the melodie 
lliat's sweetly play'd in tune. 

Am &ir art thou, my bonnie lass. 

So deep in luve am I : 
And I will luve thee still, my dear. 

Till a' the seas gang dry. 

%]] a' the seas gan^ dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt wi' the sun : 

I will luve thee still, my dear. 
While the sands o' hfe shall run. 

And fare thee weel, my onl^ luve ! 

And (are thee weel a while ! 
And I will come again, my luve, 

Tho' it were ten thousand mile. 



A VISION. 



As I stood by yon roofless tower, 

Wheve the wa'.^wer scents the dewy air, 
Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower, 

And t^ the midnight moon her care. 

The winds were laid, the air was still. 
The stars they shot alang the sky ; 

The fox was howling on tl^ iull. 
And the distant-echoing glens reply 

The stream, adown its hazelly path. 
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's. 

Hasting to join the sweeping Nith, 
Whate distant roaring swells and fa's. 

The cauld blue north was streaming forth 
Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din ; 

Athort the hil they start and shift. 
Like fortune's Aivours, tint as win. 



By heedless chance I tumM mine eyes. 
And by the moon-beam, shook, to see 

A stem and stalwart ghaist arise, 
Attir'd as minstrels wont to be. 



Had I a statue been o' stane. 
His darin look had daunted me : 

And on his bonnet grav'd was plain. 
The sacred posy — Libertie ! 

And frae his harp sic strains did flow, 
Mi^ht rous'd the slumbering dead to hear ; 

But on, it was a tale of wo. 
As ever met a Briton's ear ! 

He sang wi' joy his former day. 
He weeping wail'd his latter times ; 

But what he said it was nae play, 
I winna ventur't in my rhymes. 



COPY 



OF A POETICAL ADDRESS 

TO Ma. WILLIAM TTTLEa, 

With the praent of the BanPi Picture, 

RavaaiD defender of beauteous Stuart, 
Of Stuart, a name once respected, 

A name, which to love was the mark of a true 
heart. 
But now 'tis deseised and negleeted. 



U8 BURNS' POEMS. 

Tho something like moiiUmcoDglobei in mjr 
eye, 
Let no one miBdeem me dialoyal ; 
A poor fiiendlea wand'rer may well cUim a 
si^i. 
Still more, if that wandVef were royiL 



My fathers that name have rever*d on a 
throne; 
My fathers have fallen to riffht it; 
Those fathers would spurn their de|;enerate 
son. 
That name should he sooffingly slight it. 

Still in prayers for K — G^ — I most heartily 
join. 
The Q— ^, and the rest of the gentry, 
Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of 
mine; 
Their title^s avow*d by my country. 

But why of this epocha make such a ftiss, 

« « « ♦ « 

♦ « ♦ ♦ 
« « « ♦ « 



But loyalty truce . wbVe on dangerous |rit>nnd, 
Who knows how the fashions may after? 

The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound. 
To-morrow may bring us a halter. 

I send joa a trifle, a head of a bard, 
A tnjQe scarce worthy your care ; 

But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of regard. 
Sincere as a saints dying prayer. 

Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your 
eye, 
And ushers the long dreary mght ; 
But you, like the star that athwart gilds the 
sky, 
Your oourse to the latest is bright. 



\ 



CALEDONIA. 

Tune—** Caledonian Hunt's Delight'' 

There was onc^a day, but old Time then was 
young, 
That brave Caledonia, the chief of her line. 
From some of your northern deities sprung, 
(Who knows not that brave CaJedonia's 
divine ?) 
From Tweed to the Orcades was her domain. 
To hunt, or to pasture, or do what she 
would : 
Her heavenly relations there fixed her reign. 
And pledg'd her their godheads to warrant 
it good. 



A lambkin in peace, bat a lion in war, 

The pride <» her kindred the heroine grav . 
Her grandsire, old Odin, tiinmphantly swoi*! 
*^ Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' eneoiiiiler 
shaUrue!^ 
With tillage or pasture at times she would 
sport. 

To feed her fair flocks by her green rust- 
ling com? 
But chiefly the woods were her fav^ite resort. 
Her daning amusement, the hoonde and the 
hon. 



Long i^uiet she reign'd ; till thitherward steers 

A flight of bold eagles from Adria^ strand : 
Rmeated, successive, for many long years. 

They darken'd the air, and they plonder'd 
the land: 
Their pounces were murder, and terror their 
cry. 

They'd conquered and ruin'd a world beaide ; 
She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly. 

The daring invaders they fled or they died. 



The fell Harpy-raven took wing fiom the 
north. 
The Bcourgn of the seas, and the dread tif the 
shore ; 
The wild Scandinavian boar issuM fbrth 

To wanton in carnage and wallow in gore: 
O'er countries and kingdoms the ftaxy pre- 
vail'd. 
No arts could appease them, no anna ooold 
repel; 
But brave Caledonia in vain they aasail'd. 
As Largs well can witness, and Loncartie 
tell. 



The Chameleon-eava^ distorb'd her repoae. 

With tumult, disqmet, rebellion and strife, 
Provok'd beyond bearing, at last she arose. 

And robbM him at once of his hopes and his 
hfe: 
The Anglian lion, the terror of France, 

Ofl prowUng, ensanguin'd the Tweed's sil- 
ver flood; 
But, taught by the bright Caledonian lance. 

He learned to fear in his own native wood. 



Thus bold, independent, unconqoer'd, and free. 

Her bright course of glory for ever shall ran. 
For brave Caledonia immortal must be ; 

111 prove it from Euclid as dear as the son ; 
Rectangle-triangle, the figure well chooee. 

The upright is Chance, and old Time is tlM 
base; 
But brave Caledonia's the hjrpotemise ; 

Then erfiro, shell match tbeni, and matcdi 
tbem always. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



lit 



THEfiO^wing foem wu wHim i» a OenlU- 
Mfln, who had teni kim a Xewtpaper^ and 
tfftnd to eotUmut Ufru ofExpaae* 

Kind Sir, Pve read joar papertfiroogii, 
And faith, to me, twas reallj new ! 
How go e wed ye. Sir, what maiat I wanted f 
Una mony a day IVe giamM and ffaonted. 
To ken mat French mischief waafurewin ; 
Or what the dromlie Dutch were doin ; 
That yile doup-akelper. Emperor Joaqth, 
If Venus yet had cot his nose off ; 
Or how the collieraangie works 
Atween the Rnasians and the Turks ; 
Or if the Swede, before he halt. 
Would play anither Charles the twalt : 
If Denmars, any body spak o\\ 
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o^ ; 
How cat-throat Prussian bladea were bingin. 
How hbbet Italy was singin ; 
If £^ianiaTd, Portugese, ot Swiss, 
Were sayin or takm aught amiss : 
Or how our merry lads at hame. 
In firitain*s court kept up the fame : 
How Royal George, the Lordleuk oW him ! 
Was mansging St. Stephen^s quorum ; 
If deekit ChaSiam WUl was liyin. 
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieye in i 
How daddie Burke the plea was oookin. 
If Warren Hastings* neck was yeukin ; 
How oesees, stents, and fees were rax*d, 
Or if bare ar— s^et were taxM ; 
The news o' prmces, dukes, and earls. 
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-giris ; 
If that daa buckie, Geordie \V^**s, 
Waa threahin still at hizzies* tails. 
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser. 
And no a penect kintra cooeer, 
A* this ana mair I neyer heard of ; 
And but for you I might despaired of. 
So mtefti*, back your news I send you. 
And pray, a' guid things may attend you. 

EOialand, Monday Mommgy 1790. 



POEM ON PASTORAL POETRY. 



Hail, Poesie ! thou Nymph reservM ! 
fn chase o' thee, what crowds hae sweryM 
Frae oommon sense, or sunk eneryM 

'Mang heaps o* clayera ; 
And och ! o*er aft thy joes hae stanrM, 

Mid a* thy fayours ! 



Say, Lassia, why thy train amang, 
While loud the trump^s heroic clang. 



And sock or boakin tktip akng 

' To death or marriaga ; 
Scarce ana has tried the shepherd sang 

But wr miscarriage ? 



In Homer's craft Jock Milton thriyes 
Esch^us' pen Will Shakspeare driyes ; 
Wee rope, the knurlin, tiU him riyes 

Horatian fame ; 
In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, surriyes 

Eyen Sappho^s flam*. 



But thee, Theocritus, wha matches ? 
They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches : 
Squue Pope but busks his skinklin patchea 

O' heathen tatters : 
I pass by bunders, nameless wretches. 

That ape their betten. 



Ld this braw age o' wit and lear 

WiH nane the Shepherd's whistle mair 

Blaw sweetly, in its natiye air 

And rural grace; 
And wi' the far-fam'd Grecian, share 

A riyal place i 



Tes ! there is ane~-a Scottish callan ! 
There's ane ; come forrit, honest Allan ! 
Thou needna jouk bebint the hallan, 

A chiel sae cleyer ; 
The teeth o' Time may gnaw Tamtallan, 

But thou 's for eyer. 



Thou paints auld nature to the nines, 

In thy sweet Caledonian lines ; 

Nae gowden stream tliro' myrtles twines, 

Where Philomel, 
While nightly breezes sweep the yines. 

Her grioft wiU teU I 



In gowany glens thy bumie strays. 
Where bonnie lasses bleach their daes ; 
Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes, 

Wi' hawthorns gray. 
Where blackbirds join the shepherd*s lays 

At close o' day. 



Thy rural loyes are nature's sel ; 

Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell ; 

Nae snap conceits, but that sweet wpeU 

O* witchin loye. 
That charm that can the strongest quell ; 

The sternest moye. 



ISO 



BURNS' P0BM8. 



ON THE 



BATTLE OF SHERIFF-MUIR, 



B«twe6D ClM Dttkt of Argfto aikl Um Earl of Mar. 



** O GAM ys hflre the fi^t to than. 
Or herd the sheep wi' me, man f 
Or were ye at the aiieiTa-muir, 

And did the battle see, man ?" 
I saw the battle, sair and toufh, 
And jreekin-red ran mony a sEeugh, 
My heart, for fear, gae sough for sough, 
To hear the thuds, and see the duds, 
O^ dans frae woods, in tartan duds, 
Wha giaumM at kingdoms three, man. 



The red-coat lads wi' blade cockades 
To meet them wore na slaw, man ; 

They rushM and pushM, and blude outgushM, 
And monv a bouk did fa\ man : 

The great Argyle led on his files, 

I wat thev jzlanced twenty miles : 

They hack^ and hash'd, while broad swords 

clashed, 
'And thro' they dashM, and hewM and smashed. 
Till fey-men died awa, man. 



But had you seen. the philibegs, 
And skyrin tartan trews, man. 
When in the leetfa they dar'd our whigs, 

And covenant true blues, man ; 
In Imes extended lang and large, 
When bayonets opposM the targe. 
And thousands hastenM to the charge, 
Wi^ Highland wrath, they frae the weath 
Drew blades o* death, till, out o* breath, 
They fled like frighted does, man. 



** O how deil, Tam, can that be true ? 

The chase gaed frae the north, man : 
I saw myself, they did pursue 

The horsemen oack to Forth, man ; 
And at Dumblane, in my ain sight. 
They took the brig wi^ a' their mifht. 
And strau^ht to Stirling wing'd their flight ; 
But, cursed lot ! the gates were shut. 
And mony a huntit, poor red-coat. 

For fear amaist did swarf, man." 



My sister Kate cam up the gate 

Wi' crowdie unto me, man ; 
She swore she saw some rebels run 

Frae Perth unto Dimdee, man : 
Their lefl-hand general had nae skill. 
The AngTJs lads tiad nae good will 
That day their neehora* blood to spill ; 



For ftar, b j foes, that they sfaonld 
TlMir oogs o' broee ; all dying woos« 
And so it goes you f6e,fliiaii. 



TheyVe lost some gallant gentlemeo, 
Amang the Higmand duif, man ; 

I ftar my lord Panmure is dalii, 
Or faUen in whif^ish hands, man : 

Now wad ye sing uSs double fijg^t, 

Some feU for wrang, and some fbr ri|^; 

But mony bade the world guid-nigfat ; 

Then ye may tdl, how peO and omU, 

By red daymores, and muskets' knioB, 

Wi' dyinff jell, the tones fell. 
And wnigs to hell did flee, man. 



SKETCH.— NEW-YEAR'S DAY. 

TO MKB. DUNLOP. 

This day. Time winds th' ezhaosted ditin. 
To run the twdvemonth's length again : 
I see the old, bald-pated fellow, 
With ardent ejes, complexion sallow. 
Adjust the ummpairM machine. 
To wheel the equal, dull routiofV 



The absent loyer, minor heir. 

In vain assail him with their prajrer. 

Deaf as my friend, he sees them press, 

Nor makes the hour one moment less. 

WOl you (the Major's with the hounds 

The happy tenants share his rounds ; 

Coila 's mr Rachers care to-day. 

And blooming Keith's engaged with Qny) 

From housewife cares a minute borrow — 

— That grandchild^s cap will do to-morrow — 

And join with me a-moralizing. 

This day^s propitious to be wise in. 

First, what did yesternight deliyer ? 

" Another year is gone for ever." 

And what is this day's strong suggestion ? 

^ Tlie passing moment 's all we rest on \^ 

Rest on — ^for what ? what do we here f 

Or why regard the passing year f 

Will Time, amusM with proverb'd lore. 

Add to our date one minute more ? 

A few days may — a few years must — 

Repose us in the silent dust. 

Then is it wise to damp our bliss ? 

Yes — all such reasonings are amiss ! 

The voice of nature loudly cries, 

And many a message from the diies, 

That something in us ncyer diee : 

That on this frail, imcortain state. 

Hang' unatters of eternal weight ; 

That future life in worlds ui&nown 

Must take its Ime from this alone ; 



BURNS' POEMS. 



If I 



w lieayenly f^ory bright, 

I mimy'e woAd night— 

^ my honoured, fint of fiiendi, 

or being all depends; 

important tww employ, 

8 thoee that nererdie. 

with day and honoari crown*d, 

lat filial circle round, 

e*M lorrowB to repuke, 

le envy to conToW,) 

w claim your chief regard : 

rou wait your bright reward. 



>RE,ontheIate Mr. WiUiamSmd- 
•of the PkUotophy o/JSTahiral Hit- 
Member of the Antiquarian and 
jetiu of Edinburgh. 

To Crochallan come 
:M hat, the gray surtout, the same ; 
beard just risinf in its mi^ht, 
long nights ana days to waring- 
light, 

)ed grizzly locks wild staring, 
hatchU 

thought profound and clear, un- 
natchM ; 

caustic wit was biting, rude, 
IS warm, benevolent, and good. 



How can ye chann, ye flowVi with all your 
dyes? 
Ye blow UDon the sod that wraps my fiiend ; 
How can i to the tuneful strain attend? 
That strain flows round th* untimely tomb 
where Riddel lies. 

Yes, pour, ye warblers, pour the notes of wo, 
And soothe the Virtua weeping on this bier: 
The Man of Worthy and has not leflhispeer, 

Is in his ** narrow house** for ever darkly low. 

Thee, Spring, again with joy shall othcn 

greet; 
Me, memTy of my loss will only 



MONODY 



I 
« 

L msCRIPTIOJ^for an Altar to 
nee, at Kerroughirv, the Seat ofMr» 
lUen in tummor^ 1795. ' 

ndependent mind, 

•olv d, with soul resigned ; 

ver's proudest frown to brave, 

t be, nor have a slave ; 

who dost revere, 

»roach alone dost fear, 

is shrine, and worship here. 



SONNET, 



oil THE 



)P ROBERT RIDDEL, Esq. 

LEIf RIDDEL, APRIL, 1794. 

warblers of the wood, no more, 
rour descant, grating on my soul ; 
ag-eyed Spring, gay in thy ver- 
it stole, 

me were to me grim Winter's 
dest roar. 

12 



ON A 



LADY FAMED FOR HER CAPRICE. 

How cold is that bosom which folly once fir*d, 
How pale is that cheek where the rouge 
lately glisten'd! ^ 

How silent that tongue which the echoes oft 
tir'd. 
How dull is that ear which to flattery lo lis- 
tened! 

If sorrow and anguish their exit await. 
From friendship and dearest affection re- 
mov*d; 

How doubly severer, Eliza, thy fate. 
Thou diedst unwept as thou hvedst unloved. 

Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you ; 

So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a 
tear: 
But come, all ye offipring of folly so true, 

And flowen let us cull for Eliza^s cold bier. 

Well search thro* the garden for each silly 
flower, 
Well roam thro* the forest for each idle 
weeo ; 
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower. 
For none e>r approach a her but ru'd the 
rash deed. 

We'll sculpture the marble, well measure the 
lay; 
Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre ; 
There keen Indignation shall dart on her prey. 
Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from 
his ire. 



Iff 



BURNS* POEMS. 



THE BPITAPB. 



Hifti Um, now a prey to insoltiiig noflact, 
What ooce was a butterfly, gay in lift^i 
beam: 

Want only of wisdom denied her reepect. 
Want only of goodneoi denied her eeteem. 



AJiSWER to a Mandate teni hy the Surveyor 
of tiu Wmiowt^ Caniaget^ See. to each Far' 
mer^ ordering him to tend a ngned lAit of kit 
HoTset^ Servantt^ Wheel-Carriaget^ Sce.^ and 
whether he wot a married Man or a Bachelor, 
and tohat Children they had. 



Snt, an your mandate did request, 
I eend you here a faithfu^ list, 
My horses, servants, carts, and (raith. 
To which Pm free to tak my aiui. 



Imprimis, then, for carriage cattle, 
I hae four brutes o* gallant mettle. 
As ever drew before a pettle. 
My hand afore^ a guid auld has-been. 
And wight and wilfu* a' his days seen ; 
My hand a hin, a guid brown fflly, 
\Vna aft hae borne mc safe frae Killie, 
And your old borough mony a time, 
In days when ridinj^ was nae crime : 
My fur a hin, a guid gray beast. 
As e*er in tug or tow was traced : 
The fourth, a Highland Donald hasty, 
A d-mn'd red-wud, Kilbumie blastie. 
For-by a cowt, of cowts the wale, 
As ever ran before a tail ; 
An' he be sparM to be a beast. 
Hell draw me fiileen pund at least 



Wheel carriages I hae but few, 
Three carts, and twa are feckly new ; 
An auld wheel-barrow, mair for token, 
Aeleg and baith the trams are broken ; 
I made a poker o' the spindle. 
And my auld mither brunt the trundle. 
For men, Tve three mischievous boys, 
Run-deils for rantin and ibr noise ; 
A ffadsman ane, a thrasher toother. 
Wee Davoc bauds the nowte in fother. 
I rule them, as I ought, discreetly, 
And often labour them completely, 
And ay on Sundays duly nightly, 
I on the questions tairge them tightly. 
Till faith wee Davoc's frown sae gleg, 
(Tho* scarcely langer than my leg,) 
Hell screed you on effectual ealHng, 
As fast as ony in the dwalling. 



I*?e nane in female senraat ftatioii. 
Lord keep meay iVae a' temptatioQ ! 
I hae nae wife, and that my uiss is, 
And ye hae laid nae tax on misses ; 
For weans Vm mair than wdl contentad. 
Heaven sent me ane mair than I wanted ; 
My sonsie, smirking, dear-bought Be«, 
She stares the dadme in her face, 
Enough of ought je like but grace. 
But her, my bonnie, sweet, wee lady 
IVe said enough for her already. 
And if ye tax ner or her mither. 
By the L— d ye*se get them a* thegither I 

And now, remember, Mr. Aiken, 
Nae kind of license out I^m taking. 
Thro' dirt and dob for life FIl paidks 
Ere I sae dear pay for a saddle ; 
Fve sturdy stumps, the Lord be thanked 
And a' my gates on foot 111 shank it. 

This list wi' my ain hand IVe wrote it, 
The day and date is under noted ; 
Then know all ye whom it concerns, 
Subtcriptihuie 



RoBiftT Buftid 



MottgiO, SSi, Feb. 1786. 



SONG. 

Nae gentle dames, tho' e'er sae fair, 
Shall ever be my muse's care ; 
Their titles a' are empty show ; 
Gie me my highland lassie, O. 

Within the glen sae huthy, O, 
Ahoon the plain toe ruthy, O, 
Itetme down m' right good will: 
To nng my highland lattie, O. 

Oh, were yon hills and valleys mine, 
Ton palace and yon gardens fine ! 
The world then the love should know 
I bear my highland lassie, O. 
Within the glen, See, 

But fickle fortune firowns on me. 
And I maun cross the raging sea ; 
But while my crimson currents flow 
I love my highland lassie, O. 
Within tite glen, kc, 

Altho' thro' foreign climes I range, 
I know her heart will never change, 
For her bosom bums with honours flow 
My faithful highland lassie, O. 
Within the glen. See. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



1S3 



For hv rndMB the biUow^ lotr. 
For her rn trace a durtant oliora, 
Thit IndiaA wealth may hwtie throw 
Aromid my highland laane, O. 
WUhiMihegkn^Sce. 

89»hae mj heart, ihe haa my hand, 
Bt ncred troth and honour*! band ! 
Till the mortal stroke ohall by me low, 
Vm tinne, my highland laMie, O. 

Fanwdl ihe gltn iae buafuf, O ! 
Ftrtwdi the pUrin »ae nimjf, 0/ 
Tt other ktnoM I now mutt go, 
To ting mjf highland lattie^ O ! 



IMPROMPTU, 

ON BfRS. '• BIRTH-DAY, 

NOVEUBBR 4, 1793. 

Old Winter with hia frosty beard, 

TluM OBce to Jove his prayer preferrM ; 

WktthaTe I done of all tne year. 

To bear this hated doom severe ? 

Hf cheerless sans no pleasure know ; 
J^fight's horrid car drags, dreary, slow ; 
My dismal months no joys are crowning, 
Hat spleeny English, hanging, drowning. 

Now, Jove, for once be mighty dyil. 
To ooanterbahince all this evd ; 
Oive me, and IVe no more to say, 
Crtre me Marians natal day ! 
That brilliant gift will so enrich me. 
Spring, summer, automn, cannot match me, 
^Tii done \ says Jore ; so ends my story, 
And Winter onoe rejoio*d m glory. 



ADDRESS TO A LADY. 

Oh, wert thou in the cauld blast. 

On yonder lea, on yonder lea ; 
My plaidie to the angry aiit, 

IM shelter thee, Pd shelter thee : 
Or did misfortune's bitter storms 

Around thee Uaw, around thee blaw, 
Thy bield should be my bosom. 

To share it a* to share it a*. 

Or were I in the wildest waste. 

See hUck and bare, sae black and bare, 
The desart were a paradise. 

If thou weit then, if thou wert there. 



Or were I monarch o* the globe, 
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to rajgn ; 

The brightest jewel in my crown. 
Wad De my queen, wad be my queen. 



TO A YOUNG LADY, 



MISS JXSST 



DVMraixs; 



Wiih Bookt tchieh the Bard pretented her. 

Think be the volumes, Jessy fair. 
And with them take the poet's prayer ; 
That fate may in her fairest page. 
With evenr kmdliest, beet presage 
Of future bliss, enrol thy name : 
With native worth and spotless fame. 
And wakeful caution still aware 
Of ill — but chief, man's felon snare ; 
All blameless joys on earth we find, 
And all the treasures of the mind^ 
These be thy guardian and reward ; 
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard, 



SOJfJfET, written on the 'USth of January^ 1793, 
0u BirOi-day of tlu Author^ on hearing a 
Tknuh ting in a morning Watk. 

SiNo on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough : 
Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain : 
See aged Winter, 'mid his suriy reign. 

At thy mythe carol clears his furrow'd brow. 

So in lone Poverty's dominion drear. 
Sits meek Content with li^t mkanzions 
heart, [part. 

Welcomes the raoid momenta, bida them 

Nor asks if they onng aught to hope or fear. 

I thank thee, Author of this openiz^g day . 

Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient 
skies'. 

Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys, 
What wealth could never give nor take away * 

Yet come, thou child of poverty and care ; 
The mite high Heaven bestowed, that mite 
with thee 111 share. 



EXTEMPORE^ to Mr, S^E, on rtfimng to 
dine toiihhim^ after having Iteenpromued the 
firtt of Company, and thefirtt of Cookery , 
nth December^ 119^ 

No more of your guests, be they titled or not. 
And cook ry the first in the nation ; 

Who is proof to thv personal converse and wit. 
Is proof to all other temptation 



)t4 



BURNS' POEMS 



7b Mr. S**E^ wiih a PremU €f a Damn of 

Porter. 

O, HAD the malt thy strenffth of mind. 
Or hops the flavour of Uiy wit, 

Twere drink for first of human kind, 
A gift that e'en for S* * e were fit 

Jenualem Tlnem, Dumfriet. 



THE DUMFRIES VOLUNTEERS. 



TuifK — ^ Push about the Jorum.'* 



April, 1795. 

Dots hau^rhty Gaul invasion threat ? 

Then let the loons beware, Sir, 
There*s wooden walls upon our seas. 

And volunteers on shore. Sir. 
The Nith shall run to Condncon, 

And Criffel sink in Solway, 
Ere we permit a foreign foe 

On British ground to rally ! 

FaUde rail. See 

O let us not like snarlinfir tykes 

In wrangling be divided ; 
Till slap come m an unco loon 

And wi' a rung decide it. 
£e Britain still to Britain true, 

Amang oursels united ; 
For never but by British hands 

Maun British wrangs be righted. 
Fall de raB, See. 



The kettle o' the kirk and state. 

Perhaps a claut may fail inH ; 
But deil a foreign tinkler loun 

Shan ever ca' a nail inH. 
Our fathers* bluid the kettle bought. 

And wha wad dare to spoil it ; 
By heaven the sacrilegious dog 

Shall fuel be to boil it. 

FaU derail. See. 



The wretch that wad a tyrant own, 

And the wretch his true-born brother, 
Who would set the mob aboon the throne. 

May they be damn'd together ! 
Who will not sinff, " God save the King," 

Shan hang asnigh*s the steeple ; 
But while we sing, " God save the King," 

Well ne'er forget the People. 



POEM, 

AOPEU8IO TO ME. MITOHXLL, OOLUCTOft 
IXCI8X, DUMFftlBS, 1796. 

FftiBifD of the Poet, tried and leal, 
Wha wanting thee, might beg or steal ; 
Alake, alake, the meikfe deil 

Wi' a* his witches 
Are at it, skelpin \ jig and reel. 

In my poor pouchea. 

I modestly fu' fain wad hint it. 
That one pound one, I sairly want it : 
If wi' the hizsde down ye sent it, 

U would be kind ; 
And while my heart wi* life-blood donted, 

Fd bear \ in mind. 

So may the auld year gang out moaniqg 
To see the new come laden, groaning, 
Wif double plenty o*er the loanin 

To thee and thine ; 
Domestic peace and comforts crowning 

Thebaic ' ' 



POBTSCaiPT. 



YeVe heard this while how Pve been licket, 
And by fell death was nearly nicket : 
Grim loun ! he gat mo by the fecket. 

And sair me sheuk ; 
But by guid luck I lap a wicket, 

And tumM a neok. 

But by that health lire got a riiare o\ 
And by that lUb, Fm promisM mair oX 
My hale and weel 111 take a care o\ 

A tentier way ; 
Then farewell folly, hide and hair o\ 

For ance and aye. 



Sent to a Gentleman tohom he had tfferM 



The fiiend whom wild from wisdom^s wtj 
The fumes of wine infuriate send ; 

(IVot moony madness more astray) 
Who but deplores that hapless friend ? 

Mine was th* insensate frenzied part. 
Ah why should I such scenes outlive ! 

Scenes no abhorrent to my heart ! 
Tis thine to pity and forgive. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Its 



POEM ON LIFE. 

IID TO COLONEL DE FITtrKK, 
DUMFftnS, 1796. 

d colonel, deep I feel 
It in the Poet'f weal ; 
!&' heart hae I to neel 

The steep ramaMiu, 
thufl by bolus puU 

And potion glasses. 

ntj warld were it, 

and care, and sickness spare it ; 

favour worth and merit, 

As thej deserve : 
povrth, roast beef and claret; 

Sync wba wad stanre f) 

tho' fiction out may trick her, 
gems and frippery deck hor ; 
1^, feeble, and nnsicker 

I've found her still, 
I like the willow wicker, 

Tween good and ilL 

int carmagnole, auld Satan, 
e baudrans by a rattan, 
kul to get a claut on 
Wi' felon ire ; 
his tail yell ne'er cast saut on, 
I^'s off like fire. 

Nick ! it is na fair, 
^ us the tempting ware, 
I and bonnio lasses rare, 

To put ua daf\ ; 
unseen, thy spider snare 

C heU's danmM waft 



te flie, aft bizzes by, 
lance he comes thee nigh, 
an'd elbow yeuks wi' joy. 

And hellish pleasure ; 
ly fancy's eye, 

Thy sicker treasure. 

*er gowdie ! in he gangs, 
eep-head on a tangs, 
laugh enjoys his pangs 

And murdering wrestle, 
in the wind, ho hangs 
4 A gibbet's tassel. 

think 1 am uncivil, 

•u with this draunting drivel, 

itentions evil, 

I quat mv pen : 
serve us frae the devil ! 

Amen! amen! 



ADDRESS TO THE TOOTH-ACH. 



Mt corse upon thy TenomM ftang. 
That shoots my tortor'd gmnt aSng ; 
And thio' my uigB ffies mony a twmg, 

Wi'ffnawing yengeaaee ; 
Tearing my nenres wi' bitter pang. 

Like radong engines ! 

When ftyeiB bum, or ague freeiei, 
Rheumatics gnaw, or c£oUo sqoeeies ; 
Our neighbour's sympathy may ease us, 

VrV pitying moan; 
But thee-thou hell o' a' ^UMyes, 

Ay mocD onr groan ! 

Adown my beard the slayers trickle ! 
I throw the wee stoob o'er the mickle. 
As round the fire the giglets keckle. 

To see me loup ; 
While raying mad, I wish a heckle « ^ 

Were in their doop. 

O' a' the numV>U8 human dools, 
111 har'sts, daft bargains, eu/Zy-Jtoo^, 
Or worthy friends rak'd i' the mools, 

Sad sight to see ! 
The tricks o' knayes, or fuh o' fools. 

Thou bear'st the gree. 



Where'er that place be priests ca' hell. 
Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell. 
And ranked plagues their numDers tell. 

In dreadfh' raw. 
Thou, Tooth-ach, surely bear'st the bell 

Amang them a' ! 



O thou grim, mischief-making chiel, 
That eus the notes of dtKonTsqueeJ, 
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel 

In gore a shoe-thick ; — 
Gie a* the fiMs o* Scot&nd's weal 

A towmosd's Tooth-ach ! 



SONG. 



Tuwi— "Morag." 

O WHA is she that lo'es me. 
And has my heart a-keeping ? 

O.'sweet is die that lo'es me, 
As dews o' simmer weeping. 
In tears the rose-buds staeptfig. 



110 



BURNS* POEMS. 



CBOEUf. 



lhai*t (he Uu9U o* my heart, 

Jtfy lassie ever dearer ; 
O (hats the queen o* womankind^ 

And ne^er a one to peer her. 

If thoa shalt meet a Itsne, 
In gnoe and beaaty channing, 

That e'«:i thy choeen lane, 

Ere while thy breaat lae warming. 
Had ne*er sic powen alaiming. 
O thafs, ice. 

If thoa hadst heard her talking, 
And thp attentions plighted 

That illukbody talking. 
But her by thee is uighted 
And thou art all delighted. 
O thats, ice. 

If thou hast met this fair one ; 

^JUThen firae her thou hast parted, 

jPereiT other fair one. 
Bat ner thou hast deserted. 
And thou art broken-hearted. — 
O that's. See. 



m 41 



SONG. 

JooxiT^s ta'en the parting kiss, 
0*er the mountams ho is gane ; 

And with him is a' my bliss, 
Nought but griefs with me remam. 

Spare my lave, ye winds that blaw. 
Flashy sleets and beating *ain ! 

Spare my lave, thou feathery snaw. 
Drifting o*er'the frozen plain. 

When the diadee of evening creep 
0*er the day's fair, gladsome e e, 

Sound and safely may he sleep, 
Sweetly blithe his waukening be ! 

He win tlunk on her he loves. 
Fondly hell repeat her name ; 

For where'er he distant roves. 
Jockey's heart is still at hame. 



SONG. 



Mr Peggy's face, my Peg^s form, 
Vth» frwt of hermit age might warm ; 
ftfy Peny's worth, my Peggy's mind, 
Might 3arm the first of humap kind. 



I love my Peggy's angel air. 
Her face so truly, heavenly &ir, 
Her native grace so void of art. 
But I adoro my Peggy's heart. 

The lily's hue, the rose's dyv, 
The W^TiHHng lustre of an eye; 
Who but owns their msfic sway. 
Who but knows they au decay ! 
The tender thrill, the pityinff tear, 
lie generous purpose, nobW dear. 
The gentle look, tnat race msarms, 
These are all immortal cnarme. 



WRTTTEH in a Wrapper enclosing a 
to Copt. Chose, to be left with Mr. Can 
AnUquarian. 

Tuns— ** Sir John Malcolm." 

KxN ye ought o' Captain Grose? 

^0, ic ago, 
Khe's amang his mends or fbus? 

Iram, coram, dago. 

Is he South, or is he North? 



Igo,icago, 
led in 



Or drowned in the river Fortli ? 
Iram, coram, dago. 

Is he slain by Highland bodies ? 

Igo,kago, 
And eaten like a weather-haggis 

/ram, coftim, dago. 

Is he to Abram's boeom gane ? 

Igo,Sca^, 
Or haudin Sarah by the wame? 

Iram, coram, dago. 

Where'er he be, the Lord be near li 

Igo, ic ago. 
As for the deil, he daur na steer hin 

Iram, coram, dago. 

But please transmit th' enclosed let 

Igo, ic ago. 
Which will oblige your humble del 

Iram, coram, dago. 

So may ye hae auld stanee in store 

Igo,icaro, 
The very stanes that Adam bore. 

Iram, coram, dago. 



So may ye get in glad 

Igo, ic ago. 
The coins o' Satan's coronatioDi 

Iram, coram, dago. 



BURNS* POEMS. 
3ERT GRAHAH,E8a., 



127 



OF FINTRY, 

ftBCBXTmO A FATOUft. 

Idea to inspire mr ftniiiSf 
e may sait a barathat feigns ; 
life ! my ardent spirit bums, 
ibute of my heart retoms, 
x>rded, goodness ever new, 
dearer, as the giver you. 

if day ! thou other paler light \ 
my sparkling stars of night ; 
mer from my mind efface ; 
rs bounty e*er disgrace ; 
ne, along your wandering si^beres, 
>er out a villain's years ! 



7APH ON A FRIEND. 

an here lies at rest, 
wtth his image blest ; 
'man, the friend of truth : 
f age, and guide of youth : 
ke nis, with virtue warmed, 
rith knowledge so informM : 
ither world, he lives in bliss ; 
oe, he made the best of this. 



ACE BEFORE DINNER 

> kindly dost provide 
creature's want ! 
e, God of Nature wide, 
f goodness lent : 
lase thee. Heavenly Guide, 
r worse be sent ; 
r granted, or denied, 
s OS with content ! 
Amen I 



Mr and nmeA honoured Driendf 
fit, Dtmiop^ of Dunlop, 

ON SENSIBILITY. 

, how charming, 
/ri«nc{, canst tml]^ tell; 
with horrors arming, 
t also known too well.' 



Fairest flower, behold tlie lily. 
Blooming in the sonny ray: 

Let the blast sweep o'er tlie vifleyt 
See it prostrate on the ei^. 

Hear the wood-lark charm the forartf 
TeUinff o'er his little joys; 

Haplessbird! a pre^ tlie sorest. 
To eaflh pirate of the skies. 

Dearly boofht the hidden treasort, 
Finer feehngs can bestow ; 

Chords that vibrate sweetest pleanire, 
Thrill the deepest notes of wo. 



A VERSE eempoaed and repeated by Buna to 
the MaUer of the Houte^ on taking teaoe ai a 
Place in the Highlander uhert he had been 
hotpitably entertained, 

Wexif death's dark stream I ferry o'er, 
A time that surely shall come; 

In Heaven itself. 111 ask no more. 
Than just a Highland welcome. 



FAREWELL TO AYRSHIRE. 

ScsicEs of wo and scenes of pleasure. 
Scenes that former thoughts renew, 

Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure. 
Now a sad and last adieu ! 

Bonny Doon, sae sweet at gloamin, 
Fare thee wed before I gang I 

Bonny Doon, whare eariy roamfaig. 
First I weav'd the rutHe tang ! 

Bowers, adieu, whare Love, deeoyiiy. 
First inthrall'd this heart o' mine, 

There the safest sweets enjoyingy— 
Sweets that Mem'ry ne'er shul tyne ! 

Friends, so near my bosom ever, 
Ye hae render'd moments dear ; 

But, alas! when fbrc'd to sever, 
Then the stroke, O, how severe ! 

Friends ! that nartmg tear reserve it« 
Tho' tis doubly dMr to me ! 

Could I think I md deserve it. 
How much happier would I be ! 

Scenes of wo and scenes of pleafore. 
Scenes that former thoofpts renew 
Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure, 
I Now a sad and last adieu I 



MISCELLANEOUS POETRY, 



tBLSCTSD FBOM 



vmx ifixoiscwxs 



BOBfl&T BV&irjl 



FIRST PUBLISHED BY R. H. CROMEK. 



VERSES WRITTEN AT SELKIRK. 



Auu> ohuolde RukieU* nir diitrest, 
Down droops her ance weel bumiBht ere it, 
Nae joy her bonnie busket nest 

Can jrield ava, 
Her darling bird that she lo'es best, 

Wiltie's awa ! 



n. 



O Willie was a witty wight, 
And had o* things an tinco sligfat ; 
Aold Reekie ay ne keepit tight, 

And trig an' braw : 
But now they'll bosk her like a fii^t, 

Willie's awal 

m. 

The sti^Test o' them a' he bow'd. 
The bauldest o' them a' he cow'd ; 
They durst nae mair than he allow'd, 

That was a law : 
WeVe lost a birkie weel worth gowd, 

Wniie's awa ! 

IV. 

Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools, 
FiBe coll^fes and boardmg schools, 

* Cdlnburith. 



Ifay sproat like iimnMr poddock-stodii, 

Inglenori^w; 
He whs oonld brash tnem down to mook, 

WilHe'b 



V. 



The brethren' o' the Commerce-Chaomei* 
May moom their loss wi' doolfU' damoor; 
He was a dictionar and grammar 

Amangthema'; 
I fear theyll now mak mony a stanuneiL 

WillieS awa ! 

VL 

Nae mair we see his levee door 
PhiloBophen and Poets poiir,t 
And toothy critics by the 

m bloody 
The adjutant o' a' the core, 

Willie's 

vn. 

Now worthy G*****y'» J**™ ftoe, 

T*** Vs and G*********'s modest gnm 

M' K****e, S****t, such a biaoe 

As Rome hoWmiw ; 
They a' maun meet some ither pkee, 

Willie\i ^^ 



*Tbe Chamber of Oommerot or lOibarih, if wl* 
Mr. C. wu BserMsry. 

t MsnyUtsrarygoiflsiiMBWvre 
at Mr. C— *s taouss at bnakfut 



BURNS* POEMS. 



129 



vnL 



' Bomt-— e^eii Scotch drink canna quicken, 
Jieepa like eome bewildered chicken, 
"d £rae its minnie and the cleckin 

By boodie-eraw ; 
f 'S gien hia heart an unco kickin, 

Wime*8 awa \ 

r er'r]f eoor-moa'd ffimin* blellum, 
Calvin^a fock are nt to fell him ; 
■el^nxmceited critic ikellum 

Hii quill may draw ; 
wha ooold farawlie ward their beUum, 

Willie's awa ! 



X. 



wimpling stately l^wced Pre sped, 
i Eden ecenee on crystal Jed, 
d Ettrick banks now roaring red, 

While tempests blaw ; 
t ereiy joy and pleasure's fled, 

WiUie'sawa! 

XL 

vfl\m dander^s common speech ; 
text for infamy to preach ; 
^ lutly, streekit out to bleach 

In winter snaw ; 
^Ifbrfetthee! WilUe Creech, 

Tho*farawa! 

xn. 

'7 Berer wicked fortune toozle him ! 
*J nsyer wicked men bamboozle him ! 
■^ i pow as aiild*s Methusalem ! 
^^ He canty claw ! 

'^ to the MiMwd, New Jerusalem, 

Fleet wing awa I 



LIBERTY. 

A FRAGMENT. 

"^ Caledonia, thy wild heaths among, 
|**i famed for martial deed and sacred song, 
lathee I torn with swimming eyes ; 
^ is that soul of freedom £d r 
^^ingled with the mighty dead ! 
BeoMth that hallowed turf where Wallaoe 

Has* 
|tr it not, Wallace, in thy bed of death ! 
J^ babbling winds in silence sweep ; 
%Ktaib not ye the hero's sleep, 
t£tye the coward secret breath — 

K 



Is this the power in freedom s war 
That wont to bid the battle raga.' 

Behold that eye which shot immortal hate, 
Crushing the de8pot*s proudest bearing. 

That arm which, nenred with thundering fate, 

. Braved usurpation's boldest daring ! 

One qucnch'd in darkness like the sinking 
star, 

And one the palsied arm of tottering, power- 
losii age. 



ELEGY 



ON THE LEATH OV aOBXaT KUISSBAUX.* 



Now Robin Ues in his last lai% 

Hell gabble rhyme, nor sing nae mair, 

Caula poverty, wi' hungry stare, 

Nae mair shall fear him ; 
Nor anxioos fear, nor cankert care 

E'er mair come near him. 

To tell the truth, they seldom fasht him ; 
Except the moment that they crusbt him ; 
For sune as chance or fate had husht 'em 

Tho' o'er sae short. 
Then wi^ a rhyme or song he lasht 'em. 

And thought it sport.— 

Tho' he was bred to kintra wark. 

And counted was baith wight and stark. 

Yet that was never Robin's mark 

To mak a man ; 
Bot tell him, he was leam'd and daik. 

Ye roos'd him then ! 



COMIN THRO' THE RYE. 



CoMiN thro' the rye, poor body, 

Comin thro' the rye. 
She draiglt a' her petticoatie 
Comin thro' the rye. 
Oh Jenny's a' weet, poor body, 

Jenny s seldom dry : 
She draiglt a' her petticoatie 
Comin thro' the rjre. 

Gin a body meet a body 

Comin thro' the rye. 
Gin a body kiss a body. 

Need a body cry. 

Oh Jenny *s a' weet, Sic 



* Ruuseaux-^ti play oa Ms owa name 



130 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Gin a body meet a body 

Comin thro' the glen ; 
Gin a body kin a body, 

Need tlie warld ken, 

Oh Jenny '■ a' weet, &c 



THE LOYAL NATIVES' VERSES * 

Yi sonf of ledition, nwe ear to my eong, 
Let Syme, Bams, and Maxwell, pervade ereiy 

throng, 
With Craken, the attorney, and Mundell the 

ouack, 
$end Willie the monger to heU with a fmack. 



BURNS — Extempore, 

Yi trae ** Loyal Natives,'^ attend to my long, 
In uproar and riot rejoice the night long ; 
From envy and hatred your corps is exempt; 
But where is your shield from tiie dart of 
contempt? 



TO J. LAPRAIK. 

Sept. nth, 1785. 

GuiD speed an' furder to you Johnie, 

Guid health, hale ban's, and weather bonnie ; 

Now when ye're nickan down fu' cannie 

The staff o' bread. 
May ye ne'er want a stoup o' brandy 

To clear your head. 

May Boreas never thresh your rigs, 
Nor kick your rickles aff their legs, 
Sendin the stuff o'er muirs an' haggs 

Like drivin wrack ; 
But may the tapmast grain that wags 

Come to the sack. 

I'm bizzie too, an' skelpin at it. 

But bitter, daudin showers hac wat it, 

* Attbii period of our Poet*i life when political sol- 
moslty was made the ground of private quarrei, the 
above foollih verses were tent as an attack on Bums 
and his friends for their pnlittcal opinions. Ttiey were 
written by some member of a club styling themselves 
the Leiyal Jfative* of Dumfries, or rather by tlie united 
geniui of that club, wlilch was more distinguished for 
drunken loyalty, than either for respectability or poeti- 
cal talent. The verses wers handed over the table to 
Bums at a convivial meeting, and be Instantly endorsed 
tlM saljlolnsd reply. Rdifues^p- 166. 



Sae my old rtompie pea I gmt it 

^'moddewark. 

An* took my jocteleg an* wfaatt it. 

Like ony cleik. 

It*8 now twa month that I'm yoor debtor, 
For your braw, nameless, datele« letter, 
Abuan me for harsh ill nature 

On holy men. 
While diel a hair yoursel ye're better. 

But mair profane. 

But let the kirk-fblk rinf then- beUn, 
Let's eing about our noble sels ; 
Well cry nae jads free heathen hills 

To help, or rooee tis, 
But browiter wives and whiskie stills, 

Thei/ are the muaea. 

Your fViendship, Sir, I winna quat it. 

An' if ye mak objections at it. 

Then nan' in nieve son te day well knot it* 

An' witness take. 
An' when wi' usquebae weVe wat it 

It winna break. 

But if the beast and branksbe sparM 
Till kve be gaun without the herd, 
An' a^ the vittel in the yard. 

An' theckit right, 
I mean your inglo-sido to ^ard 

Ae wmter night. 

Then muse-insniring aqua-vitas 

Shall make us baith sae blithe an' witty. 

Till ye forget ye're auld an' gatty, 

An' be as canty 
As ye were nine years less than thret^, 

Sweet ane an' twen^. 

But stooks are cowpet wi' the blast. 
An' now the stm keeks in the west. 
Then 1 maun rin amang the reet 

An' quat my chanter 
Sae I subscribe mysel in haste, 

Totus, Rab the Ranter. 



TO THE REV. JOHN MldATH. 

INCLOSUfO A COPT OF BOLT WILLIb's FKA 
WHICH HI HAD ftBQUSeTBD. 

Sept. 17th, 1785. 

While at the stock the shearen oowV 
To shun the bitter blaudin show'r, 
Or in gulravage rinnin scowV 

To pass the time, 
To you I dedicate the hour 

In idle rhyme. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



131 



Mj nnuie, tir'd wi* m<my & tonneC 

Ota gown, aa' baa\ an* clooae black bonnet. 

Is grown right eerie now she^a done it. 

Lest they should blame her 
An* rouse their holy tliunder on it 

And anathem her. 



I own 'twas rash, an' rather hard j. 
That I, a simple, kintra bardie, 
Should meddle wi' a pack sae sturdy, 

Wha, if they ken me, 
Can easy, wi' a single wordie, 

Lowse h-11 upon me. 



But I gae mad at their grimaces. 
Their sighan, cantan, grace-prood faces, 
Their three ooile pnyers, an hauf-mile graces. 

Their razan conscience, 
Whase greed, rerenffe, an' pride disgraces 

Waur nor their nonsense. 



There's Gotm,* miskaH waur than a beast, 
iVba has mair honour in his breast, 
Hian mony scores as guid's the priest 

Wha sae abus't him ; 
An' may a bard no crack his jest [him. 

What way theyVe uset 



himt th« poor man*8 friend in need, 
^'he gentlemaii in word an' deed, 
<^n' shall his fame an' honour bleed 

By worthless skellnmsv 
•Ad' not a muse erect her head 

To cowe the bldlums? 



O Pope, had I thy satire's darts 
^0 ^ the rascak their deserts, 
M^A np their rotten, hollow hearts. 

An' tell aloud 
^w jugglin hocus-pocus arts 

To cheat the crowd. 



1^ knows, Fm no the thing I should be, 
?|^ am I even the thing I could be, 
^ twenty times, I rather would be, 
M|. An' atheist clean, 

^fliii under gospel colours hid be. 

Just for a screen. 



^ booest man may like a glass, 
^ West man may like a lass, 

^GkTfai Hmmittoo, Esq. 

tths poet has Introdncsd Che two lint ttass of the 
"^u into the dedication of bit works to Mr. Hamilton. I 



But mean revenge, an' malice fause, 

Hell stiU disdain. 

An' then cry zeal for gospel laws. 

Like some we ken. 



They take religion in their mouth ; 
They talk o' mercy, ^raco an' truth. 
For what ? to gie their malice skouth 

On some puir wight, 
An' hunt him down, o'er right an' ruth. 

To ruin straight. 



All hail, Religion ! maid divine ! 
Pardon a muse sae mean as mine. 
Who in her rough imperfect line 

Thus daurs to name thee ; 
To stigmatize false friends of thine 

Can ne'er defame thee. 



Tho' blotcht an' foul wi' mony a stain. 

An' far unworthy of thy train, 

With trembling voice I tune my strain 

To join with those. 
Who boldly dare thv cause maintain - 

ia spite of foes : 



In spite o* crowds, in spite o' mobs. 
In spite of undermining jobs. 
In spite o' dark banditti stabs 

At worth an' merit* 
By scoundrels, even wi' holy robes. 

But heOish spirit 



O Avr, my dear, my native ground. 
Within thy presbjrtereal bound 
A candid UbTal band is found 

Of public teachen. 
As men, as christians too renown'd. 

An' manly preachers. 



Sir, in that circle you are nam'd ; 

Sir, in that circle you are fam'd ; 

An' some, by whom your doctrine's blam'd 

(Which gies you honour^ 
Even, Sir, by them your heart's esteem'd. 

An' winning manner. 



Pardon this fireedom I have ta'en. 

An' if impertinent I've been, 

Impute it not, good Sir, in ane [ye, 

Whase heart ne'er wrang'd 
But to his utmost would befriend 

Ought that belang'd ve 



lit 



BURNS* POEMS 



TO GAVIN HAMILTON, E§a. 



MAUCHLTNR. 
(rICOMM ENDING A BOT^ 

Matgaviile^ Mojfy 3, 1786. 

( HOLD it. Sir, my boimden duty 

To warn you how that Master Tootie, 

Alias, Laird M'Gaun,* 
Was here to hire yon lad away 
'Bout whom ye spak the tither day. 

An wad hae don't affhan* : 
But lest he Icaxn the callan tricks. 

As (kith I miickle doubt him, 
Like scrapin out auld crummie^s nicks. 
An* tellin lies about them ; 
As lieve then Pd have then, 

Tour clerkship he sliould sair, 
If sae be, ye may be 
Not fitted otherwhere. 



Altho^ I say't, he^s g\eg enough, 

An* bout a house tluit^s rude an* rough. 

The boy might learn to noear ; 
But then wi* youy hell bo sae taught. 
An* get sic fair example straught, 

I hae na ony fear. 
Te*ll catechize him every quirk. 

An* shore him well wi* heil; 
An' gar him follow to the kir k 

— Ay when ye gang yotartel. 
If ye then, maun be then 

Frae hame this comin Friday, 
Then please. Sir, to ]ea*e, Sir, 
The orders wi' your lady. 



My word of honour I hae ^on, 

In Paisley John's, that night at e*en. 

To meet the ff^rWs toorm ; 
To try to get the twa to gree. 
An* name the airles an* the fee. 

In legal mode an* form : 
I ken he weel a Snick can draw. 

When simple bodies let him ; 
An' if a DevU be at a*. 

In faith he's sure to get him. 
Tophrase you an* praise you. 
Ye ken your Laureat scorns : 
The prayer still, you share still. 
Of grateftil Minstrel Boms. 



* MtUr ToctU then lived In Mauchlins ; a dealer 
in Cows. It was bii common practice to cot the nicks 
or marklngi ttam the borne of cattle, to disgolse their 
age.— He was an artfUl trick-cootriving character ; 
hence he if called a a*iek-draw9r. In the Poet's **jf J- 
iItm* t0 tki !>«»{,** he styles that angntt personsfe an 
amldt 9miek-4rtnti»g dog ! RaUfUMi P« ^^* 



TO MR. M*ADAM 

OF CRAIGEN-GILLAN, 

In aniwtr to an obliging Letter he tent in 
commencement of my Poetic Career 

Sim, o'er a gill I gat your card, 

I trow it made me proud ; 
See wha taks notice o* the l»rd I 

I lap and c]7*d fu' loud. 



Now deil-ma-care about their jaw, 
The senseless, gawky million ; 

m cock my nose aboon them a*, 
I*m roos d by Craigen-Gillan I 

Twas nnb-e. Sir ; 'twas like yoursel, 
To grant your high protection : 

A great man's smile ye ken fu* weO, 
u ay a blest infection. 

Tbo*, by his banes wha in a tub 
Match*d Macedonian bandy'. 

On my ain Icu^ thro* dirt an* anb, 
I independent stand ay. — 

And when thoee legs to guid, warm kiil, 
Wi* welcome canna b^u: me ; 

A lee dyke-side, a sybow-tail, 
And hacley-scone shall cheer m& 



Heaven spare you lang to kias the breath 

O* mony flow*ry simmers I 
And bless your bonnie lasses baith, 

I'm tald the'se loosome kimmersl 

And God bless young Dimaskin's laird, 

The blossom of our gentry '. 
And may he wear an auld man*8 beard 

A credij^to his country. 



TO CAPTAIN RIDDEL. 
GLENRIDDEL. 
{Extempore Lines on returning a AWo^p«pfl 

TouK news and review. Sir, I've read throa 
and through. Sir, 

With tittle adminng or blaming ; 
The papers are barren of home-news or fbroj 

No murders or rapes worth the naming* 

Our friends the reviewers, those chippeis • 
hewers. 
Are judges of mortar and atone, Sir ; 



BURNS' POEMS. 



*OTee/; or tmmee^, in tL/abriek eomplde^ 
x>ldly pronoonoe they are none, Sir. 

30fle-qmll too mde ii, to tell all jour 
ffoodn( 



13S 



ow d on your serrant, the Poet ; 

I to God I had one like a beam of the 

ran, 
then all the world. Sir, ahould know it ! 



TO 



TERRAUGHTY,* 



ON HIS BIRTU-DAY. 

B to the Maxwells' vet'ran Chief .' 
, ay unsour'd by care or grief: 
i, 1 tumM F ate*8 sibyl leaf, 

This natal mom, 
ly hfe is stuff o' prief. 

Scarce quite half worn.— 

ly thou metes threescore eleyen, 
:an tell that bounteous Heayen 
)oond sight, ye ken, is giyen 

To ilka Poet) 
B a tack o* seyen times seyon 

Will yet bestow it. 

>us buckles yiew wi' sorrow, 
ngthen'd days on this blest morrow, 
isolation's lang -teetli'd harrow, 

^flne miles an hour, 
bem, like Sodom and Gomorrah, 

In brunstano stourc — 

thy friends, and they are mony, 
oneet men and lassos bonnie, 
uthie fortune, kind and canuie. 

In social glee, 
rnings blithe and openings funny 

BIctss them and thee ! 

el, auld birkie ! Lord be near ye, 
m the Deil lie daur na steer ye : 
lends ay love, your faes ay fear ye. 

For nic, shame fa' me. 
my heart 1 dinna wear ye, 

While Bums they ca' mc. 



TO A LADY, 

Preteni of a Pair of Drvnktng^Glauet, 

jnpress of the Poet's soul. 
Queen of Poetesses ; 



'. Maxwell, orTcrraughty, near Duiiifriw. 



Clarinda, take this little boon. 
This humble pair of gluns. 

And fill them high with genaroiu juice. 
As ffenerous as your mind ; 

And pledge me in the genarona tmat 
""TUwhoU of human kind r* 

*^ To thote who /ope ttf /"-—second fill ; 

But not to those whom we loye ; 
Lest we love those who love not us ! 

A thud—" to thee and me^ lover* 



THE VOWELS. 



A TALE. 

TwAS where the birch and sounding thong ar« 

plied 
The noisy domicile of pedant pride ; 
Where ignorance her darkening vapour throws^ 
And cruehy directs the thickening blows ; 
Upon a time. Sir Abeoo the great, 
In all his peda|[ogic powers elate 
His awful chair of state resolves to mount. 
And call the trembling vowels to accouiiL 

First enter'd A, a grave, broad, solemn wight, 
But, ah ! deform'd, dishonest to tlic si/rht! 
His twisted head look'd backward on his way. 
And flagrant from the scourge, he grunted, at/ 

Reluctant, £ stalk'd in ; with piteous grace 
The justling tears ran down his nonest face ! 
That name, that wcU-wom name, and all his 

own. 
Pale he surrenders at the tyrant's throne ! 
The pedant stifles keen the Roman sound 
Not all his mongrel diphthongs can compound ; 
And next the title following dose boiiuid. 
He to the nameless, ghantly wrolch assigned. 

The cobweb*d gothic dome resounded, T ! 
In sullen vengeance, I, disdaufd, reply : 
The pedant nwung his felon cudgel round. 
And knock'd liie groaning vowel to the 
ground I 

In niarul apprehension enter'd O, 
The waihng minstrel of despairing wo ; 
Th' Inquisitor of Spain the most expert. 
Might there have learnt new mysteries of lus 

art: 
So grim, deform'd, with horrors entering U, 
His dearest friend and brother scarcely knew S 

As trembling U stood staring all aghast. 
The pedant in ms lefl hand elutch'd him fast. 
In helpless infknt's tears he dipped bis right, 
BaptizM him en, and kick'd him from his sight. 



B0RN8* P0SM8. 



SKETCH.* 



apri^t, pert, tart, trippiiur wigfat, 
is precious self his dear delight ; 
• his own smart shadow in the streetc, 
tn e^er tlie fairest she he meets, 
' fashion too, he made his tour, 
rioe la bagateUf.^ et vive Vamowr ; 
ird monkeys their grimace improye« 
leir grin, nay, siffh for ladies^ love. 
>ecious lore, hut little understood ; 
lig oil outshines the solid wood : 
d sense — ^by inches you must tell, 
ite his cunning by the old Scots ell ; 
)ddling vanity, a ousy fiend, 
taking work his selfisn crafl must mend. 



SCOTS PROLOGUE, 

Mr, SutfierkttfuTt Bet^fil J^ight^ Dumfries, 



RAT needs this din about the town o* London, 
dw this new play an* that new sang is 

comin? 
/hy is outlandish stuff sae meikle courted ? 
toes nonsense mend like whisky, when im- 
ported? 
■ there nae poet, burning keen for fame, 
^111 try to gie us sangs and plays at hame? 
^or comedy abroad he need na toil, 
\, fool and knave are plants of every soil ; 
^or need he hunt as far as Room and Greece 
Po gather matter for a serious piece ; 
rhere^s themes enough in Caledonian story, 
iVould show the tragic muse in a^ her glory. — 

Is there no daring bard will rise, and tell 
flow glorious WiQlace stood, bow, hapleas, 

fell ? 
iVhere are the muses Bed that could produce 
K drama worthy o* the name o' Bruce ; 
ilow here, even here, he first unsheathM the 

sword 
Gainst mighty England and her guilty lord ; 



*Thii iketcb aeeins to be one of a Series, Intended for 
i projected work, under the title of " 7%§ Potft Prt' 
rrett.** Thii cberftcter was tent as a ■peclmen, ac- 
ompanled by a letter to Professor JJugald Stewart^ In 
vhicli h !• thua noticed. " The fragment beginning A 
iUle^ Mprifhtj p«Tty tart, &c. I have not shown to 
in J man living, till I now tend it to yon. It forms the 
metulata, the axioms, the definition of a character, 
vhich, if it appear at all, shall be placed in a variety of 
Ights. This particular part I send you merely as a 
lample of my band at poruait sketchlog .** 



And after mony a bloody, d»ttbl«i doing, 
WrencfaM his dear cotrntfj from tha j&wi of 

ruin f 
O for a Shakspeare or an Otwaj scene. 
To draw the lovely, hapless Soottiah- Queen! 
Vain all th* omnipotence of female cliarma 
'Gainst headlong, ruthleas, mad Rebellion'! 

arms. 
She fell, but fell with spirit tmly Roman, 
To glut the vengeance of a rival woman : 
A woman, tho^ the phrase may seem imdvil. 
As able and as cruel as the Devil ! 
One Douglas lives in Homers immortal page, 
But Douglases were heroes every age : 
And tho' your fathers, prodigal of lue, 
A Douglas followed to the martial strife. 
Perhaps if bowls row right, and Right succeeds, 
Te yet may follow where a Doii|^ leads ! 



As ye hae eenerous done, if a' the land 
Would take ue muses* servants by the hand; 
Not only hear, but patronise, befriend them. 
And where ye justly can commend, commend 

them 
And aiblins when they winna stand the test, 
Wink hard and say, the folks hae done thmr 

best! 
Would a' the land do this, then IH be eantion 
Ye'll soon hae poets o* the Scottish nation. 
Will gar fame blaw imtil her trumpet crack, 
And warsle time an* lay him on his back I 



For us and for our etaj^ should ony spier, 
^ Whose aught thae chiels maks a' this busUs 

here."" 
My best leg foremost, Fll set up my brow. 
We have tne honour to belong to you ! 
We*re your own bairns, e*en guide us as ye 
But like good mithers, shore before ye striki 
And gratefu' still I hope veil ever mid us. 
For a* the patronage ana meikle kindness 
We've got firae a' professions, sots and ranks =■ 
God help us ! weVe but poor — yo'se get bis- 

thanks. 




EXTEMPORANEOUS EFFUSION 



ON BKUfG 



APPOL\TED TO THE EXCISE. 



Searchino auld wives' barreb 

Och,ho!theday! 
That clarty barm should stain my laurelj 

But—what '11 ^e say ! 
These muvin* thmgs ca'd wives and wesni 
Wad muve tlie very hearts o* stanes * 



BURNS' POEMS. 



136 



uemg the beauHfiil SeaiofLord G. 

lost thou in that mmntion &ir \ 
G r i, and find 
arrow, dirty, dungeon cave, 
licture of thy mind ! 



Onthe Same 



irart art thou O- 



Stewarta all were braye ; 
, the Stewart! wrre but/bo2t, 
»ne of them a knave. 



On ike Same. 



• ran thy line, O G- 



many a far-fam'd lire ! 
the far-fam*d Roman way, 
ided in a mire. 



Same, on the Author being threatened 
with his Resentment. 

>Aai me thy vengeance, G— — , 
In quiet let me Uve : 
nk no kindness at thy hand. 
For thou hast none to give. 



HE DEAN OF FACULTY. 



▲ NEW BALLAD. 



•• The Dragon of Wantley." 



na the hate at old Harlaw, 

t Soot to Scot did carry ; 

ire the discord Lan^idfe saw, 

beauteous, haplewlviary : 

»t with Scot ne>r met so hot, 

rere more iu fury seen, Sir, 

twijit Hal and Boh for the famous job— 

) should be FaeuUys Dtati, Sir. — 



This Hal for genius, wit, and lore. 

Among the first waa numbered ; 
But pious Bob^ ^id leaming*s store, 

Conunandmont tenth remembered. — 
Yet simple Bob the victory got. 

And won his hearths desire ; 
Which shows that heaven can boil the pot. 

Though the devil p — s in the fire. — 



Squire Hal, besides, had in this case, 

Pretensions rather brassy. 
For talents to deserve a ptace 

Are qualifications saucy; 
So their worships of the Faculty, 

Quite sick of merit^s rudeness. 
Chose one who should owe it all, d*ye 

To their gratis grace and goodness. 



As once on Piagan pur^M was the sight 

Of a son of Circumcision, 
So may be, on this Pisgah height, 

Rolrs purblind, mental vision * 
Nay, Bobby's mouth may be open'dyet, 

TUl for eloquence you hail him. 
And swear he has the Ansel met 

That met the Ass of Balaam.— 



EXTEMPORE IN THE COURT OF 
SESSION. 

Tune—** GiUicrankie.'* 



LOKD A- 



-TE. 



He clenched his pamphlets in his fist, 

He quoted and he hinted. 
Till in a declamation-mist. 

His arffiiment he tint it : 
He gaped for H, he graped for \ 

He fand it was awa, man ; 
But what his common sense came short. 

He eked out wi' law, man. 



I 



ME. BE — ^NE. 

Collected Harry stood awee, 

Then opened out his arm, man ; 
His lordship sat wi' ruefu' e*e. 

And ey*a the gathering storm, man ; 
Like wind-drivVi hail it did avail. 

Or torrents owre a lin, man ; 
The Bench sae wise lift up their e3res 

Half-waukenM wi* the din, man. 



136 



BURNS' POEMS. 



VERSES TO J. RANKEN. 



[The Penan to whom hit Poem on thiootvng Vu 
Partridge it addretted, toAi/e Ranken oed^pied 
the Farm ofAdamhiU^ in AyrthireJ] 

Ab day, u Death, that gniesome cari, 
Was driving to the tither warl 
A miztie-maztie motley squad. 
And mony a guilt-bespotted lad ; 
Black ^owns of each denomination. 
And thieves of every rank and station, 
FVom him that wears the star and garter, 
To him tliat wintles* in a halter : 
AshamM himself to see the wretches, 
He mutters, fiflow*rin at the bitches, 
*^ By G-d riTnot bo seen behint them. 
Nor 'mang the spVitual core present them. 
Without, at least ae honest man, 

To grace this d d infernal clan." 

By Adamhill a glance he threw, 
« tr-d G-d r quoth he, ** I have it now 
There^s just the man I want, in faith,** 
And quickly stoppit Ranken''t breath. 



On ftearing that there teat Falsehood in the Rev. 
Dr, B '* very Looks. 

That there is falsehood in his looks 

I must and will deny : 
They say their master is a knave — 

Aiid sure they do Yiot lie. 



On a Sehoohnatter in Cleith Parish^ Fifethire. 

Here lie Willie M — hie's banes, 

O Satan, when ^e tak him, 
Gie him the schulm of your weans ; 

For clever Deils hell mak em ! 



ADDRESS TO GENERAL DUIVIOURIER. 

(a parody on robin ADAIR.) 

You^RE welcome to Despots, Dumourier ; 
You^re welcome to Despots, Dumourier. — 
How does Dampiere do f 
Ay, and Boumonville too ? [ourier? 

Why did they not come along with you, Dum- 

* The word fVintle, denotes sudden and Involuntary 
motion. In the ludicrous sense in which it to here ap- 
plied, it may be admirably truislated by the vulgar 
London expressloo ot Damdng %pon wHUng. 



I will fight Franca with yoo, Dumourier^ — 

I will fight France with you, Domoorier :— 

I will fight France with you, 

I will t&ke my chance with you ; 

By my soul rll dance a dance with you, Dum 



ouner. 



Then let us fight about, Dumourier; 

Then let us fight about, Dumourier ; 

Then let us fight about. 

Till freedom^s spark is out. 

Then we'U be d-mned no doubt — ^Dumourier. 



ELEGT ON THE TEAR 1788. 



A SKETCH. 

For Lords or Kings I dinna mourn. 
E'en let them dio— tor that they^ bom : 
But oh ! prodi^ous to reflec* ! 
A Tbt^mon/, Sirs, is gane to wreck ! 
O Eighty-eighty in thy sma' epace 
What dire events hae taken place ! 
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us ! 
In what a pickle thou hast left ua ! 



The Spanish empire 's tint a head. 
An' my auld teethless Bawtie's dead ; 
The tiuzie 's teugh tween Pitt an' Fox, 
And tween our Maggie's twa woe cocks; 
The tane is game, a bluidie devils 
But to the hen-birds unco dvil ; 
The tither's something dour o' tieadin, 
But better stuff ne'er claw'd a midd< 



Te ministers, come mount the ^apet« 
An' cry till ye be haerse an* rouint, 
For Eightyiigfit, he wish'd you wed, 
An' gi^ you a' baith gear an' meal ; 
E'en mony a plack, and mony a'peck, 
Te ken yoursels, for little feck ! 

Te bonnie lasses, di^ht your een. 
For some o' you hae tmt a frien' ; 
In Eightu-eight^je ken, was ta'en 
What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again. 

Observe the very nowt an' sheep, 
How dowf and dowie now they creep; 
Nay, even the jrirth itsel does cry. 
For E'nbrugh wells are grutten dry. 



O Eighty-nine^ thou's but a bairn. 
An' no o er auld, I hope, to learn ! 
Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care. 
Thou now has got thy Daddy's chair. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



137 



id-eoff 'd, mizkl'd, hap-«haoklM Riga/U^ 

B himseL, a full free agent. 

ye follow out the plan 

or than he did, honest man ; 

Ue better as joa can. 

Jamtary 1, 1789. 



VERSES 

under the Portrait of Ferputon^ the 
in a amv of that authors worEs presented 
fOWig hady in Edinburgh^ March 19, 



K on ungrateful man, that can be pleas'd, 

t can starve the author of the pleasure ! 

my elder brother in misfortune, 

ny elder brother in the muses, 

ars I pitv thy unhappy fate ! 

the bard impitied by the world, 

so keen a relish of its pleasures ? 



SONGS. 



IN THE MORNING EARLY.* 

< the morning's no for me, 

tr» the morning early ; 

%d* the hills are covered wV snmo^ 

isureii*s winter f(Urly, 

aws the wind frae east to west, 
Irifl is driving sairly ; 
d and shrill's i hear the blast, 
ire it's winter &irly. 

ds sit chittering in the thorn, 
y they fare but sparely ; 
Lg's the night frae e'en to mom, 
are it's winter fairly. 

Ujpinthe mornings ice. 



SONG. 

AMD I LAY WHERE FLOWERS 
WERE SPRINGING.t 

I'o I lay where flowers were springing, 
r m the sunny beam ; 

* The cborus is old. 

e two stansss I composed wbea T wss seven- 
lira asKniff tbs oldost of my prinled pieces. 
Burns' Reliquea, p. 34'2. 

K2 



Listhunf to the wild birds singing, 

B^ a falling, crystal stream ; 
Straight the Skj grew black and daring ; 

Tlm>' the woods the whirlwinds rave ; 
Trees with aged arms were warring 

O'er the swelling, drumlie wave. 

Such was my life's deceitful morning, 

Such the pleasures I enjoy'd ^ 
But lang or noon, loud tempests storming 

A' my flowery bliss destroy'd, 
Tho' fickle fortune has deceived me. 

She promised fair, and perform'd but ill ; 
Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me, 

I bear a heart shall suppoi^t me stilL 



SONG.* 



BEWARE O' BONNIE ANN. 

Ye gallants bright I red you right, 

Mware o' bonnie Ann ; 
Her comely face sae fu' o' grace, 

Your heart she will trepan. 
Her een sae bright, like stars by night, 

Her skin is like the swan ; 
Sae iimply lac'd her ^nty waist. 

That sweetly ye might span. 

Youth, ^ace, and love, attendant move. 

And pleasure leads the von : 
In a' their charms, and conquering arms. 

They wait on bonnie Ann. 
The captive bands may chain the hands. 

But love enslaves the man ; 
Ye gallants braw, I red ye a', 

&ware o' bonnie Ann. 



SONG. 



MY BONNIE MARY.t 

Go fetch to me a pint o' wine. 

An' fill it in a sUver tassie ; 
That I may drink before I go, 

A service to my bonnie lassie ; 
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith ; 

Fu' loud the wind blaws fVae the ferry; 
The ship rides by the Berwick-law, 

And I maun lea'e my bonnie Mary. 

*IcoinpoMd this song out of compliment to MlMAnn 
Masteiton, the daughter of my friend Allan Maaterton, 
the author of the air of Strathallan'a Lament, and two 
or three otlien In this work. Bunu* Rdiques, p. 988. 

t This air ts Oswald's ; the Aral half-stanza of tlit 
Bonff is old. 



140 



BURNS' POEMS 



To beauty what man but inaun yield him a 

prize. 
In hor amour of glances, and blushes, and 

And when wit and refinement hae polished 

hor darts. 
They dazzle our een, as they flie to our hearts. 

But kindness, sweet kindness, in the fond 

sparkling e*e. 
Has lustre outshimng the diamond to me ; 
And the heart-beatij^ love, as Fm clasp*d in 

her arms, 
O, these are my lassie's all-conquering charms ! 



SONG. 

WHA IS THAT AT MY BOWER 
DOOR? 

Wha b that at my bower door ? 

O wha is it but Findlay ; 
Then gae your gate ye'so nae be here ! 

Indeed maun I, c|uo* Findlay. 
What mak ye sae hke a thief? 

O come and see, quo* Findlay ; 
Before the mom yeMl work mischief; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 

Gif I rise and let you in ? 

Let mo in, quo* Findlaj ; 
Ye'll keep me waukin wi* vour din ; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 
In my bower if yo should stay ? 

Let me stay, quo* Findlay ; 
I fear yell bide till break o* day ; 

Indeed will I, quo* Findlay. 

Here this night if ye remain, 

ril remain, quo* Findlay ; 
I dread ye*ll leani the gate again ; 

Indeed will I, quo* Findlay ; 
What may piiss within tliis bower, 

Let it pass, quo' Findlay ; 
Ye maun conceal till your last hour ; 

Indeed will I, quo* Findlay ! 



SONG.* 

TuKi—" The Weaver and his Shuttle, O." 

Mr Father was a Farmer upon the Carrick 

border, O 
And carefully he bred me in decency and 

order, O 

*Thls song is wild rliapaody, miserably deficient in 
verrifleatlon, bat ss the sentiments are the gttnuiiio feel- 
tnpof my heart, for that reason I have a particular 
pleasure in conning it over. Ainu* Rtliqmt*, p- 339. 



He bade me act a manly mut, though I had 

ne*er a farthing, O 
For without an honest manly heart, no 

was worth regarding, O. 



Then out into the world my course I did detfl^ 

mine, O 
Tho* to be rich was not my wish, yet to be 

great was charming, O 
My talents they were not the worst ; nor jst 

my education ; O 
ResolvM was I, at least to tiy , to mend my ato- 

ation, O. 



In many a wav, and vain essay, I courted fiff* 
tune s favour ; O 

Some cause unseen, still stept between, to im- 
trate each endeavour ; O 

Sometimes by foes I was o*erpower*d ; some- 
times by friends forsaken ; 

And when my hope was at the top, I still wu 
wosrt mistaken, O. 



Then sore harass*d, and tir*d at last, with (^ 

tune*s vain delusion ; O 
I dropt my schemes, like idle dreams, and 

came to tliis conclusion ; O 
The past was bad, and the future hid; '^ 

good or ill untried ; O 
But the present hour was in my pow^, sod m 

I would enjoy it, O. 



No help, nor hope, nor view had I ; nor penon 
to befiriend me ; O 

So I must toil, and sweat and broil, and Ubour j 
to sustain me O, 

To plough and sow, to reap and mow, mj fa- 
ther bred me early ; O 

For one, he said, to labour bred, was a na^^ 
for fortimo fairly, O. 



Thus all obscure, tmknown, and poor, thro 
life Fm doom*d to wander, O 

Till down my weary bones I lay in evcriastiDf 
slumber: O 

No view nor care, but shun whatever might 
breed me pain or sorrow ; O 

I live to-day, as well's I may, regardless of to- 
morrow, O. 



But cheerful »tiil, I am as well, as a nKmarcb 

in a palace, O . . 

Tho* fortune*8 frown still hunU me down, wito 

all her wonted malice ; O 
I make indeed, my daily bread, but ne*ar csn 

make it farther ; O . 

But as daily bread is all I need, I do not moc^ 

regard her, O. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



141 



Wb«i powiitiinf by my labour I Mm a fittla 

moiMy, O 
Bonie unforeseen miifortane eooiee gwienlly 

upon me ; O 
Mi^lfTtft^ miftake, or by neglect, or my good- 

natur'd folly ;0 
But OQino what will, IVe fwom it still. 111 

ne^er be melancboly, O. 

AA yon who follow wealth and power with 

unremitting ardour, O 
Th« more in thia you look for bliae, you leave 

your view the farther; O 
Hid you the wealth Potod boaata, or nations 

to adore you, O 
A dieeifal honest-hearted do^wn I will prefer 

before you, O. 



SONG. 

^*Ho' cniel &te should bid us part, 

Ai ht^ the pole and line ; 
^mt dear idea round my heart 

Shoiild tenderiy entwine. 

^*lio* mountains fro¥m and deserts howl, 
.^ And oceans roar between ; 
^«t, dearer than my deathless soul, 
I still would love my Jean. 



SONG. 



Ai fbnd kiss and then we sever; 
Ae fareweel, alas, for ^er i 
X)eep in heart-wrung tears 111 pledge thee, 
VTaning sighs and ffroans 111 wage thee. 
\¥ho shsU say that fortune grieves him 
"IVhile the star of hope she leaves him ? 
lie, nae cheerf^i^ twinkle liffhts me; 
I>ark despair around benights me. 

m ne^er blame my |Mu1ial fancy, 
If aethhig could resist my Nancy : 
But to see her, was to love her ; 
Love but her, and love for ever. 
Had we never lovM sae kindly, 
Had we never lovM sae blindly, 
Never met — or never parted. 
We had ne*er been broken-hearted. 

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest ! 
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest ! 
Thine be ilka joy and treasure. 
Peace, enjoyment, love and pleasitre ! 



Ae food kiss, and then we sever ; 

Ae fiureweel, alas, for ever ! 

Deep in heairt-wrung tears I pledge thati 

x*r — : — Bghs and groans Hi wage thMi 



SONG. 

NOW BANK AN' BRAE ARE 
CLAITHD IN GREEN. 



Now bank an^ brae are daith'd in green 
An' scatter'd cowslips sweetly spring. 

By Girvan's fairy haunted stream 
The birdies flit on wanton wing. 

To Cassallis' banks when evening fa's, 
There wi' my Mazy let me flee. 

There catch her ilka glance of love, 
blink o^ Mary's e*e I 



The bonnie 



The child wha boasts o' warld's wealto. 

Is aften laird o' meikle care ; 
But Mary she is a' my ain. 

Ah, fortune canna gie me mair ! 
Then let me range by Cassillis' banks, 

Wi' her the lassie dear to me. 
And catch her ilka glance o' love. 

The bonnie blink o' Maxy's e'e ! 



SONG. 



THE BONNIE LAD THAT'S FAR 

AWA. 



O HOW can I be blithe and glad. 
Or how can I gnne brisk and braw. 

When the bonnie lad that I lo'e best 
Is o W the hills and far awa ? 



It*8 no the fVosty winter wind. 
It's no the driving drifl and snaw ; 

But ay the tear comes in mv e'e. 
To think on him that 's far awa. 

My father pat me frae his door, 
Mv friends thev hae disownM me a^ 

But I liae ane will tak my part, 
Tho bonnie lad that 's fax awa. 

A pair o' gloves he gave to me. 
And silken snoods he gave me twa ; 

And I will wear them for his sake, 
The bonnie lad that ^ far awa. 



14f 



BURNS' POBMS. 



The wearj winter toon will paai, 
And ■pring will deed the birken-ehaw ; 

And mr aweet babie will be born. 
And oell come hame th&f ■ far awa. 



SONG. 

Out over the Forth I look to the north, 
But what is the north and its Highlands to 
me? 

The touth nor the east gie ease to mj breast. 
The far foreign land, or the wild rolling sea. 

But I look to the west, when I £ae to rest. 
That happy my dreams and my slumbers 
may be ; 

For far in tl:e west lives he I lo^e best. 
The lad that is dear to my babie and me. 



SONG. 



PLL AY CA' IN BY TON TOWN. 

I'LL ay ca* in by yon town. 
And by jon garden green, again; 

ni ay ca^ m by yon town, 
And see my bonnie Jean again. 

There^s nane sail kon,-there*8 nane sail guesi. 
What brings me back the gate again. 

But she, my fairest faithfu' lass. 
And stowlins we sail meet again. 

Shell wander by the aiken tree. 
When trystin-time''' draws near again ; 

And when ner lovely form I see, 
O haith, ehe^s doubly dear again ! 



SONG. 

WfflSTLE O'ER THE LAVE OT. 

FiasT when Ma^gy was my care, 
Heav^, I thought, was in her air; 
Now weVe married— ^ier nae mair — 

Whistle o'er the lave o't.— 
Meg was meek, and Moe was mild, 
Bonnie Meg was nature s child — 
—Wiser men than me's beguil'd : 

Whistle o'er the lave o't. 

* TVytCts-tiiiM— The tbns of appoHitrasnL 



How we lire, my Meg and me. 

How we love and how we 'greet 
I care na by how few may see ; 

Whistle o'er the lave o*t. — 
What I wish were ma^fgofs meat, 
Dish'd up in her windu^ sheet, 
I could write-— but Meg maun 

Whistle o'er the lave o't.— 



SONG. 



YOUNG JOCKEY. 

Toimo Jockey was the blithest lad 

In a' our town or here awa ; 
Fu' blithe he whistled at the gaud, 

Fu' lichtly dancM he in the ha' ! 
Ho rooe d my e'en sae bonnie blue. 

He roos'd my waist sae gently sma; 
An' ay my heart came to ray mou. 

When ne'er a body heard or saw. 

My JockejT toils upon the plain. 

Thro' wind and weet, thro' frost and 
And o'er the lee I leuk fu* fain 

When Jockey's owsen hameward ca', 
An' ay the nignt comes round again, 

When in his arms he taks me a' : 
And ay he vows hell be my ain 

As lang's he has a breath to draw. 



SONG. 



MCPHERSON'S FAREWELL. 
TuNi— "MPhereon's Lament." 

Farewell ye dungeons dark and straqgi 

The wretches destinie ! 
MPherson's time vnll not be long. 

On yonder gaUows tree. 

Sae raniingly^ ku wantonly^ 

Sae dauntingly gaed he ; 
Hejplay'd a ipring and daiw*d it rounds 

Below the. gaUSwt tree. 

Oh, what is death but parting breath?— 

On men? a bloody plain 
Fve dar'd his face, ana in this place 

I scorn him yet a^ain ! 
Sae rantinglyy ie. 

Untie these bands from off my hands, 
And bring to me my sword ; 



BURNS' POEM& 



14a 



^*f no a man in all Seotknd, 
1 brayjD him at a word. 
rarUingli/i' kr. 

a life of sturt and strife ; 
Y treachehe : 
ny heart I must depart 
3t avenged be. 
rantinghfj Sec. 

rweO light, thou sunshine bright, 
1 beneath the sk^ ! 
"ard shame distam his name, 
retch that dares not die ! 
rantingly^ kc. 



SONG, 

k bottle and an honest friend! 
wad ye wish for mair, man i 
IS, before his life may end, 
bis shaxe may be of care, man? 
ch the moments as they fly, 
10 them as ye ouf ht, man >^ 
le, happiness is £y, 
unes not ay when sought, man. 



SONG. 



Braes o' Balquhidder.** 



Hit thee yei^vet^ 
n* ru Inst the o*er again^ 
rUkist thee yet, yet^ 
(y bonrUe Peggy AliMon ! 

and fear, when thou art near, 
mair defy them, O ; 
ings upon their hansel throne 
\ sae blest as I am, O ! 
bitf(Aee, ice. 



my arras, wi^ a thy charms, 
my countless treasure, O ; 
e mair o^ Heaven to share, 
sic a moment^s pleasure, O : 
l:i«t thee, See. 

ny een, sae bonnie blue, 
r I'm thine for ever, O ; — 
hy lips I seal my vow, 
reak it shall I never, O ! 
kiutkee^kt. 



SONG. 



Tune— "^ If he be a Butcher neat and txim.*' 



On Cessnock banks there lives a laai, 
Could I describe her shape and mien; 

The graces of her weelfar*d face. 
And the glandn of her sparklin 



She^s fresher than the morning dawn 
When rising Phosbus first is seen. 

When dew-drops twinkle o*er the lawn ; 
An^ she^s twaglancin sparklin een. 

She^s stately like yon youthful ash. 
That grows the cowslip braes between, 

And sheets its head above each bush ; 
An' she's twa glancin sparklin een. 



She^s spotless as the flow Ving thorn 
With flowers so white and leaves so 

When purest in the dewy mom ; 
An^ she's twa glancin sparklin een. 

Her looks are like the sportive lamb, 
When flowVy May adorns the sceiM, 

That wantons round its bleatin|^ dam ; 
An' she*s twa glancin sparklm een. 



Her hair is like the curling mist 
That shades the mountain-side at e'en« 

When flow'r-reviving rains are past; 
An' she's twa glancin sparklin een. 

Her forehead 'a like the show'ry bow. 
When shining sunbeams intervene 

And ffild the distant mountain's brow; 
An" she's twa glancin sparklin een. 

Her voice is like the ev'ning thmdi 
That sings in Cessnock banks nnseen, 

While his mate sits nestling in the bosh \ 
An' she's twa glancin sparklin een. 

Her lips are like the cherries ripe. 
That sunny viralls from Boreas screen. 

They tempt the taste and charm the sight; 
An' she's twa glancin sparklin een. 

Her teeth are like a flock of sheep. 
With fleeces newly washen dean. 

That slowly mount the rising steep ; 
An' she's twa glancin spandin een. 

Her breath is like the fragrant breese 
That gently stirs the blossom'd bean. 

When Phabus sinks behind the seas ; 
An' she's twa ^anda spaiUm een* 



144 



BURNS' POEMaii 



Bat iff not htr air, h«r form, har face, 
Tbo* matching iMauty^a fiiUed qnaan, 

But the mind that abinaa in 9f*ry grace. 
An* chiefly in her aparklin een. 



WAB IS MY HEART. 



Wab ia my heart, and the tear^a in my e'e ; 
Lang, lang joy^a been a stranger to me : 
Foraaken and friendlen my burden I bear, 
Knd the sweet voice o* pity ne'er aoonda in my 
ear. 



Love, thou haat pleasure; and deep hae I 

loved; 
Love, thou hast sorrows ; and sair hae I proved : 
But this bruised heart that now bleeda in my 

breast, 
I can ftel by ita throbbings will aoon be at rest 

O if I were, where happy I hae been ; 

Down by yon stream and yon bonnie caatle 

green: 
For there ne ia w&ndVing and mudng oo me, 
Wha wad aoon dry the tear firaa PhilSa'a e^e. 



SONG, 



Tmc»-> Banka of Banna." 



YBStaBBH I had a pint o' wine. 

A place where bod? aaw na*; 
Teatreen lay on thia breast o* mine 

The gowdaa locks of Anna. 
The hungry Jew in wildemeaa 

Rejoicm^ oW his manna. 
Was naethmg to my hiney blisa 

Upon the Gpa of Anna. 

Ye monarcha, tak the east and weat, 

Frae Indus to Savanna ! 
Gie me within my straining grasp 

The melting form of Anna. 
There I^ deapiae imperial charms. 

An Empress or Sultana, 
While dying rapturea in her anna 

I give and take with Anna ! 

Awa thou flaunting god o' day ! 

Awa thou pale Diana 1 
Bk atar gae hide thy twrnkhng ray 

When Vm to meet my Anna. 



CoaM, in thy raven phmiage, nigbl 
Sun, moon, and atan withdraws 

And bring an angel pen to write 
My transports wi my Anna ! 



SONG.* 

Th« Deil cam fiddling thro' tlio town. 
And danc*d awa wr the exciseman ; 

And ilka wifecir'd, "^ Auld ^laiioun. 
We wish you luck o* the prize man. 

" ff V// mak our mat//, aiid brew our dr 
TVe'U dance atid sing and rejoice ma 

Jind many thank* to the murkU: black 1 
Thai danced atra iri' the Exeisemar 

^ There's threesome reels^ and fuurspmc 
There's hornpipes and strathspeys, ra 

But the ae best dunce e'er cam to our h 
Was — the DeU*s awa wi' the Exciseo 
We*U mak our maut^ &c." 



SONG. 

Powers celestial, whose protectioi 

Ever guards tlic virtuous fair, 
While in distant climes I wander, 

Let my Mary be your care : 
Let her form sae fair and faultless. 

Fair and faultless as your own ; 
Let my Mary's kindred sj)irit. 

Draw your choicest inliucnce do 

Make the foles you waft around b 

Sof I and peaceful as her breast ; 
Breathing in the breeze that fans ]| 

Sooth her bosom into rest : 
Guardian an^ls, O protect her. 

When in distant lands I roam ; 
To realms unknown while fate ezil 

Make her bosom still my bome.t 



HUNTING SONG. 

I aSD lOV BEWAKB AT THE BUIITI 

The heather was blooming, the meadov 

mawn. 
Our lada gaed a-hunting, ae day at the 

* At a meeting nf his broUier Excisemen In D 
Boms, being called upon for a Song banded the 
extempore to the President written on the b 
letter. 

t Probably written on Hlghltfad Blary, on tli 
the Poet's departure to the West Indies. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



145 



1 and o*er mones and mooy a glen, 
they difcoyered a bonnie moor-hen. 



u beware at the huntings young men ; 
u htvart at the huntings young men ; 
\e on Oie wing^andsomeat they tpring^ 
auly steal on the bonnie moor-hau 



ishing the dew from the brown hea- 
ther bells, 

FB betrayed her on yon moory fella ; 
ige outhutred the pride o' the apring. 
J she wantoned gay on the wing. 

Jredt&c. 



Bbus hinuel, as he peepM o'er the 

liU; 

. her plumage he tried his skill ; 

1 his rays where she bask'd on the 

jrae— 

irere outshone, and but marked where 

ihelay. 

/ red, ice. 



ted the valley, they hunted the hill ; 
)f our lads wi^ the best o' their skill ; 
s the fairest she sat in their si^ht, 
JT ! she was over, a mile at a mght — 

JredySce, 



YOUNG PEGGY. 



tggy blooms our bonniest laas, 
ish IS like the morning, 
lawn, the sprin^ng grass, 
uiy gems adommg : 
outshine the radiant beams 
Jd the passing shower, 
3r o^er the crystal streams, 
eer each freshening flower. 



nore than the cherries bright, 
r die has gracM them, 
rm th^ admiring gazer's sighti 
'eetly tempt to taste them : 

is as the ev'ning mild, 
t)atherM pairs are courting, 

lambkins wanton wild, 
ful bands disporting. 



lune lovely Peggy's foe, 
ireetness would relent her, 
ing Sprinf unbends the brow 
f, savage Winter. 



Detraction's eyea no aim can gam 
Her winning powera to lemen : 

And fretful enyy»grina fai Tauif 
The poiaon'a tooth to ftaten. 

Yepow'TB of Honoor, Lore, and Tmtht 

From ev'iy ill defend her ; 
Iniroire the highly favoured youth 

The destimes mtend her ; 
Still fan the sweet connubial flame 

Renpeoilve in each bosom ; 
A^d blBBS the dear parental name 

With many a filial bloisom.* 



SONG. 



TuN^--^ The King of Franoe,he rade a Raoe " 

Am Aifo the trees where hnmmmgbeee 

At buds and flowers were hanging, O 
Auld Caledon drew out her drone. 

And to her pipe was sinking ; O 
'Twas pibroch, sang, strathspey, or rede, 

She dirPd them aff, fu' dearly, O 
When there cam a yell o' foreign aqueelii 

Tlmt dang her tapaalteerie, O— 

Their capon cn^wa and queer ha ha's, 

They made our lugs grow eerie, O 
The hungry bike did scrape an pike 

Till we were wae and weary ; (X— 
But a royal ghaist wha ance was caa'd 

A prisoner aughteen year awa. 
He fir'd a fiddler in the North 

That dang them tapaalteerie, O 



. SONG. 

Tuns-— ^^ John Anderaon my Jo.** 

On B night as I did wander. 

When com begins to shoot, 
I sat me down to ponder. 

Upon an auld tree root : 
Aula Aire ran by before me. 

And bicker'd to the sees ; 
A cushat crowded o'er me 

That echoed thro' the braea. 



* Tbif wBs one of the Poet*t eailtost coniposftkies. 
It is copied from a MS. book, wUeh ha kad btToiaMs 
first publication. 



i 



B1IBK9 








too^*° X^S^ ^^^' 



SOS 



o. 



^ ^W mghtt^ ,„ „,y •«»• 
\ «oud»ndh\fb. 



I Then ^V't'-'^^tS fiittt«oin««. "J^W 

soNO- 

-'.withettnf^*** 



.dlW-***^- 






^BB*I««» 



«*WO»ATrt»«- 



SONG- 



BURNS' POEMS. 



147 



It^ gmd to be raerry and win, 
It*8 gold to be honest and true, 
It's ffoid to support Caledonians eaoMi 
Anabide by the buff and the blue. 

Heroes a health to them that^s awa. 

Here 8 a health to them that^ awa ; 

Here s a health to Charlie,* the chief o^ the dan, 

Altho' that his hand be but sma\ 

Jt/itLj hberty meet wi' success ! 

>Iay prudence protect her frae evil ! 

J^lay tyrants and tyranny tine in the mist. 

And wander their way to the devil ! 

Here^s a health to them that^s awa. 

Hero's a health to them that's awa. 

Here's a health to Tammie,t the Noriand lad- 

Ttiat lives at the lu^ o' the law ! [die, 

Here's freedom to him that wad read, 

Here's freedom to him that wad write ! 

There^s nane ever fear'd that the truth should 

be heard. 
Bat they wham the truth wad indict. 

Here*B a health to them that's awa. 
Here's a health to them that^s awa. 
Here's Chieflain M'Leod, a Chiellain worth 

gowd, 
•Iqo' bred amang mountains o' snaw ! 



SONG. 
THE PLOUGHMAN. 

Aa I was a-wandVinff ae morning in spnng, 
^ heard a young Ploughman sae sweetly to 

sing, 
•And as he was sinffin* thir words he did say, 
"there's nae life like the Ploughman in the 

month o' sweet May — 

^lie lav'rock in the morning shell rise frae her 
nest, [breast. 

And mount to the air wi* the dew on her 

And wi' the merry Ploughman shell whistle 
and sing. 

And at night £ell return to her nest back 
again. 



SONG. 



Hke flowing locks, the raven^s wing, 
Adown her neck and bosom hing ; 

How sweet unto that breast to dixig, 
And round that neck entwine her ! 



Her lips are roses wat wi* dew, 
O, what a feast, her bonnie a 

Her cheeks a mair celestial hoe, 
A crimson still diviner. 



•CPOs. 



tLcMdEnkiBS. 



BALLAD. 



To thee, lov'd Nith,thy gladsome plaioa, 
Where late wi' careless thought 1 rang'd« 

Though prest wi' care and sunk in wo, 
To thee I bring a heart unchanged. 

I love thee, Nith, thy banks and braee, 
Tho^ mem'ry there my bosom tear ; 

For there he rov'd that brake my heart, 
Yet to that heart, ah, still how dear! 



SONG. 



The winter it is past, and the limmeri 
last,- 

And the small birds sing en every tree ; 
Now every thing is glad, while I am very sed, 

Sindb my true love is parted &om me. 

The rose upon the brier by the waters running 
clear, 
May have charms for the linnet or the bee ; 
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts 
at rest. 
But my true love ie parted fiom me. 



GUmWlPE OF WAUCHOPE-HOUSE 



TO 



ROBERT BURNS. 

February^ ITBPl, 

Mt canty, witty, rhyming ploughman, 
1 hafflins doubt, it is na true man. 
That ve between the stilts were bred, 
Wi' ploughmen schooFd, wi' ploughmen fed. 
I doubt it sair, ye Ve drawn your knowledgo 
Either frae grammar-school, or college. 
Guid troth, your saul and body baith 
War' better fed, Pd gie my aitn. 
Than theirs, who sup sour-milk and parritch. 
An' bummil thro' the single caiitch, 
Wha ever heard the ploughman speak. 
Could tell gif Homer wis a Greek ? 



148 



BURNS' POSMS. 



He*d Am as soob upon a cudgel, 

AmmI a single line of VirgiL 

An then sae alee ye crack your jokea 

O' WiUie P— t and Charlie F— x. 

Our great men a* sae weel deecrive. 

An* now to gar the nation thrive, 

Ane maist wad swear ye dwalt amangthenii 

An* as ye saw them, sae ye sang them. 

But be ye ploughman, be ye peer, 

Ye arc a funny blade, I swear ; 

An* though the cauld I ill can bide. 

Yet twenty miles, an* mair, Td ride, 

O*or moss, an* muir, an' never grumble, 

Tho* my auld yad 8hou*d ^ie a stumble. 

To crack a winter-night wi* thee. 

And hear thy sangs and sonnets slee. 

A ffuid saut herring, an* a cake, 

AVr sic a chiel, a least wad make, 

Fd rather scour your reaming yill. 

Or eat o* cheese and bread my fill, 

Than wi* dull lairds on turtle dine, 

An* fcrlie at their wit and wine. 

O, gif I konn'd but wharo ye baide, 

rd send to you a marled plaid ; 

Twad haud your shoulders warm and braw, 

An* douse at kirk, or market shaw. 

For south, as weel as north, my lad, 

A* honest Scotchmen lo*e the maud, 

Right wae that weVc sae far frae ither : 

Yet proud I am to ca* ye brither. 



Your moit obedt.' 



£.8. 



THE ANSWER. 



GUIDWIFK, 



I MIND it weel, in early date. 

When I was beardless young, and blate. 

An* first could thrcsn thooam ; 
Or haud a yokin at the pleugh. 
An* tho* forfoughton sair oneugh. 

Yet unco proud to learn ; 
When first amang the yellow com 

A man I reckoned was, 
And wi* the lave ilk merry mom 
Could rank my rig and lass. 
Still shearing, and clearing 
Tho tithor stookcd raw, 
Wi* claivcrs, a;n* haivers. 
Wearing the day awa,<«> 



E*n then a wish, (I mind its power) 
A wish, that to my latest hour 
Shall strongly heave my breast ; 



That I for poor anld Sootkndli lake. 
Some usefu* plan, or book coold make. 

Or sing a sanf at least. 
Tho rough bur-uiistle, spreading wide 

Among the bearded bear, 
I tara*d my weeding-heuk aside, 
An' spar*d the symbol dear; 
No nation, no station. 

My envy e*er could raiae, 
A Scot stUl, but blot stilly 
I knew nae higher praise. 



But still the elements o* Bang 

In formless jumble, right an^rrang. 

Wild floated in my l>rain : 
Till on that har*st I said before. 
My partner in the merry core, 

She rous*d tho forming strain 
I see her yet, the sonsie quean. 

That lighted up her jingle. 
Her witching smilc, her pauky e'en 
That gart my heart-strings tingle • 
I fired, inspired, 

At cv*ry kindling^ keek. 
But bashing, and dashing, 
I feared ay to speak. 



Hale to the set, each ^d chiel aayi, 
Wi' merry dance in wmtet--days, 
An* wo to share in conunon : 
The gust o' ioyr, the balm of wo, 
Tho saul o' life, the heav*n below. 

Is rapture-giving woman. 
Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name. 

Be mindfu o* your mitfaer : 
She, honest woman, may think ahaJM 
That ye'ro connected with her. 
Ye*re wae men, ye*re nae men* 
That slight the lovdy dears « 
To shame ye, disclaim ye. 
Ilk honest birkie swears. 



For you, na bred to bam and byre. 
Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyie 

Thanks to you for your line. 
The marled plaid ye kindly spare, 
By me should gratefully bo ware : 

'Twad please mo to the Nine. 
I*d be mair vauntio o* my hap. 

Douse hingin o*er my curple^ 
Than ony ermine ever lap, 
Or proud imperial purple. 
Fareweel then, lang halo ther. 

An' plenty be your fa : 
May losses and crosses 
Ne'er at Jour haUan ca*. 



RouET Burns. 



JtTorcA, 1787. 



BURNS' PO£MS. 



149 



SONG. 



•** The tither mora, u I forlorn.^ 



and^ring rill, that marks Uw hill, 
glances o*er the brae, Sir : 
by a bower whore mony a flower, 
les fragranco on the day, Sir. 

Damon lav, with Sylvia gay : 
Dve they thought nae crime, Sir ; 
ild-birds sang, the echoes rang, 
le Damon's heart beat time, Sir. 



S O NG. 



cam in by oar gate-end, 

I day was waxen weary ; 

ba cam tripping down the street, 

it bonnie Peg, my dearie. 



air sac sweet, and shape complete, 
'i' nae proportion wanting; 
queen of love, did never move, 
^i' motion mair enchanting. 

linked hands, we took the sands, 
down yon windin* river, 
, Oh ! that hour, an' broomy bower 
in I forget it ever? 



POLLY STEWART. 



: — *^ Yo'ro welcome Charlie Stewart." 



>VELT Polly Stewart, 

charming Polly Stewart, 

"e's ne'er a flower that blooms in May, 

iat*s half so fair as thou art. 

flower it blaws, it fades, it fa's, 
id art can ne'er renew it ; 
worth and truth eternal youth 
ill gie to Polly Stewart. 

he, whase arms shall fauld thy charms, 
)sscs9 a leal and true heart ; 
lim be given to ken the heaven 
e grasps in Polly Stewart .' 
O Uveljf^ ice 



THERE WAS A BONNIE LASa 



There was a bonnie lass, and a bonnie, boiinia 
lass, 
And she lo'ed her bonnie laddie dear ; 
Till war*s loud alarms tore her laddie firaa hw 
arms, 
Wi* mony a sigh and a tear. 
Over sea, over shore, where the cannons loudlj 
roar, 
He still was a stranger to fear ; 
And nocht could him quell, or his bosom 
But the bonnie lass he lo'ed sae dear. 



TIBBIE DUNBAR. 



TuKi—*' Johnny M^Gin." 

O WILT thou go wi' me, siRreet Tibbie Doa- 
bar; 

wilt thou go wi* me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar; 
Wilt thou ride on a horse, or be drawn in a 

car, 
Or walk by my side, O sweet Tibbie Dunbar? 

1 carena thy daddie, his lands and his monejy 
I carena thy kin, sae high and sae lordly : 
But say thou wilt hae me for better for waur, 
And come in thy coatie, sweot Tibbie Duu- 

bar. 



ROBIN SHURE IN HAIRST. 

Robin shure in hairst 

I shure wi' him, 
Fient a heuk had I, 

Tet I stack by him. 

I gaed up to Dunse, 
To warp a wab o' plaiden, 

At his daadie's yctt, 
Wha met me but Robin. 

Was na Robin bauld, 

Tho' I was a cotter, 
Pligr'd me sic a trick 

And me the eller's dochter? 
Robin shurCy tee, 

Robin promis'd mo 

A' my winter vittle ; 
Fient haet he had but three 

Gooee feathers and a whittle. 
Robin tkure% iee. 



150 



BURNS* POEMS. 



MT LADrS GOWN THERE'S 0AIR8 

UPONT. 



Mt lady^i gown thereof gain apon% 
And ffowden flowers sae rare upon\ ; 
But Jenny's jioips and jirkinet, 
My lord thinks muckle mair upon*L 

My lord a-honting he is gane. 
But hounds or hawks wi' him are nanei 
B^ Colin 8 cottage lies his game« 
If Colin's Jenny oe at hame. 
Mjf lady" 9 gown^ Sec 



My lady^s white, my ladjr^s red. 
And kith and kin o Cassillis' blude. 
But her ten-pund lands o^ tocher gmd 
Were a* the charms his lordship lo'cd. 
Mjf ladj/*t gowriy ice. 



Oct o^er yon moor, out o*er yon moss, 
Whare gor-cocks thro' the heather pass, 
There wons auld Colin's bonnie lass, 
A lily in a wilderness. 
J^f ladji*t gown^ &e, 

Sae sweetly move her genty limbs, 
Like music notes o' lover's hymns : 
The diamond dew in her een sae blue. 
Where laughing love sae wanton swims. 
My lady J goirn, See, 



Vtj lady's dink, my lady's drest. 
The flower and fancy o' the west; 
But the lassie that a man lo'es best, 
O that's the lass to make himbleiL 
^ ladift gowiu kc 



WEE WILLIE GRAY 



Wu Willie Gray, and his leather waUeti 
Peel a willow-wand to be him boots and 

jacket : 
The rose upon the brier will be him trouse and 

doublet. 
The rose upon the brier will be him trouse and 

doublet. 



Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet ; 
Twice a lily flower wiU be in him sark and 

cravat: 
Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet, 
^ MUhers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet. 



THE NORTHERN LASS. 



Tho' cruel fate should bid us paxt, 

Far as the pole and line ; 
Her dear idea round my heart 

Should tenderly entwine. 
Tho* mountains ri^e, and deserts hoiH, 

And oceans roar between ; 
Yet dearer than my death lobS soul, 

I still would love my Jean. 



COULD AUGHT OP SONG 



Could aught of song declare my pams, 

Could artful numCiera move thee. 
The muse should tell, in laboured strains^ 

O Mary, how I love thee. 
They who but fei£^ a wounded heart, 

^lay teach the Tjrre to languish ; 
But what avails the pride of art, 

When wastee the soul with angoiah? 

Then let the sadden bursting sigh 

The heart-felt pang discover ; 
And in the keen, yet tender eye, 

O read th' impforing lover. 
For well I know thy gentle mind 

Disdains art's gay disguising ; 
Beyond what fancy e'«r refin'a 

The voice of nature prizing. 



O GUID ALE COMES 



GiTTD ale comes, and guid ale goes, 
Guid ale gars me sell my hose. 

Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon, 
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon. 

1 had sax owsen in a pleugh. 
They drew a' weel enough, 

I sell'd them a' just one by ane ; 
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon. 

Guid ale hands me bare and busy. 
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie, 
Stand i' the stool when I hae done, 
Guid ale keeps my heart aboon. 
O guid ale comes, and gude ale goes, 
Guid ale gars me sell my hose. 
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon; 
Guid ale keeps my heart mboon. 



BURNS* POEMS. 



161 



lVe novels. 



s Maachline belles, 
ur spinning-wheel ; 
ks^ are baited hookji 
, like Rob Mossgiel. 
les and Grandisons, 
• youthful fancies ree , 
tins, and firo your veins, 
prey for Rob Mossgiel. 



Iiat's smoothly hung : 
•inly seems to feel; 
but acts a part, 

Rob Mossgiel. 

the soft caress, 
poisoned darts of iteeL 

and politesse, 

Rob Mossgiel. 



IFE SHE DANG ME. 



she dang mc, 
fe she bang'd me ; 
man a' her will, 
3*11 soon o'ergang ye. 

my mind was bent, 
marry 'd ; 
nan's intent 
carry 'd. 

rt still at last, 
ys are done, man, 
n earth is past, 
aboon, man. 



4NG OTR MY DADDIE. 



it wi* an unco shout, 

r o'er my dad die, O I 

, quo^ the feirie auld wife, 

lidlin body, O I 

d he paidles in, 

ate and earlie, O ; 

ears I hae lien by his aide, 

fusionless earlie, O. 



le, my feirie auld wife, 
igue now, Naiisie, O : 
, and sae hae ye, 
I tae donsie, O : 



Vve seen the day ye buttered my broea, 
And cuddl'd me late and earue, O ; 

But downa do'e come o er me now, 
And, Oh, I find it tairly, O I 



DELIA. 

ANODB. 

Fair the face of orient day, 
Fair the tints of opening rose ; 
But fairer still my Delia dawni, 
More lovely far her beauty blowa. 

Sweet the lark^s wild-waiblod lay, 
Sweet the tinkling rill to hear; 
But, Delia, more delightful still. 
Steal thine accents on mine car. 

The fio^er-enamourM busy bee 
The rosy banquet lores to sip ; 
Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse 
To the sun-brown'd Arab a Up ; 

But, Delia, on thy balmy lips 

Let me, no vagrant insect, rove ! 

O let me steal one liquid kiss. 

For Oh ! my soul is parch'd with lore ! 



ON A BANK OF FLOWERS. 

On a bank of flowers one snromer^s day. 

For summer lightly dress'd. 
The youthful, bloommg Nelly lay, 

With love and sleep oppressed ; 
When Willy, wandering thro' the wood, 

Who for her favour ofl had su'd. 
Ho gaz'd, he wish'd, he fear'd, he blaah*d« 

And trembled where he stood. 

Her closed eyes, like weapons sheathed, 

"Were seal d in soft repose, 
Her lips still as they fragrant breathed. 

It richer dyM the rose. 
The springing lilies sweetly pressed. 

Wild wanton kiss'd her rival breast ; 
He ^az'd, he wish'd, he feard, he blushed 

His bosom ill at rest. 

Her robes, light wavuig in the breeM, 

Her tender limbs embrace, 
Her lovely form, her native ease, 

All harmony and grace. 
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll, 

A flattering ardent kiss he stole : 
He gaz'd, he wished, he feared, he bliuh*d. 

And aigh'd his very souL 



l5t 



BURNS' POEMS. 



Af fliM the psitiidge fVom the brake. 

On letr inipired winffi ; 
So Nelly ttartling, halTawake, 

Away affiifffateid ■pringa. 
But Willy foUowM as he should. 

He overtook her in the wood. 
He Tow'd, he prayed, he found the maid 

Foigiring all and good. 



EVAN BANKS. 

Slow apreada the gloom my aoul deairea, 
The Bun from India's shore retires ; 
To Evan banks with temperate ray 
Home of my youth, it leads the day. 
Oh ! banks to me for ever dear ! 
Oh ! stream whose murmurs still I hear ! 
AU, all my hopoa of bliss reside. 

Where Evan mingle* with the Clyde. 

• 

And she, in simple beauty drest. 
Whose image lives within my breast ; 
Who trembung heard my parting sifh, 
And long pursued me with her eye : 
Does she with heart unchan^^M as mine, 
Oft in thy vocal bowers reclme ? 
Or where yon grot overhangs the tide. 
Muse while the Evan aeeks the Clyde. 

Ye lofty banks that Evan bound ! 
Ye lavish woods that wave around, 
And o'er the stream your shadows throw. 
Which sweetlv winds so far below ; 
What secret cnarm to mem*ry brings, 
All that on Evan^s border springs P 
Sweet banks ! ye bloom bv Mary*s side : 
Blest stream ! she views thee haate to Clyde. 

Can iH the wealth of India^ coast 

Atone for years in absence loet ; 

Return, ve momenta of delight. 

With ricner treasure bless my sight ! 

Swift from this desert let me part, 

And fly to meet a kindred heart ! 

Nor more may alight my steps divide 

fVooi that dear stream which flows to Clyde. 



THE FIVE CARLINS. 



AN KLBCnON BALLAD. 

Tun*— •Chevy Chace."* 

Thbki were flve Carlins in the south. 

They fell upoo a scheme. 
To send a lad to Lon'on town 

To bring us tidings hame. 



Not onlv bring us tidmcs hame, 

But GO Qur errands there. 
And aiblins gowd and honour baith 

Might be Uiat laddie's share. 

There was Mag^e by the banks o* Nith.* 

A dame wi' pride enough ; 
And Marjorie o' the mome Loch,t 

A Carlm auld an* teugh. 



And blinkin Bess o' Annandale4 
That dwells near Solway side. 

And whisky Jean that took her gill{ 
In Galloway so wide. 

And auld black Joan frae Creighton peel, 

O* flfipsv kith an* kin, 
FHve weigntier Carlins were na found 

The south kintra within. 

To send a lad to Lon*<5n town 

They met upon a day, 
And monie a Knight and monie a Laird 

That errand fain would gae. 

O ! monie a Knigfat and monie a Lairfl, 

This errand fam would gae ; 
But nae ane could their fancy please, 

O ! ne*er a ane but twae. 

The first ane was a belted Knight, 

Bred o* a border band, 
An* he wad gae to Lon'on town. 

Might nae man him withstand. 

And he wad do their errands weely 

And nftikle he wad say. 
And ilka ane at Lon*on court 

Wad bid to him guid day. 

Then niest came in a sodger youths 

And spak wi* modest grace. 
An* he wad gae to Lon'on town. 

If sae their pleasure was. 

He wad na hecht them courtly gift. 

Nor meikle speech pretend ; 
But he wad hecht an honest heart 

Wad ne*er desert his friend. 

Now whom to choose and whom reflise; 

To strife thae Carlins fell ; 
For some had gentle folk to please. 

And some wad please themsel. 

Then out spak mim-mou*d Meg o* Nith, 

An' she spak out wi* pride. 
An* she wad send the sodger youth 

Whatever might betide. 



* Deinfrlei. t Lochmaben. 

^Kirkcudbright. 



lAnaaa 
Baoqubar. 



BURNS* PO£MS. 



153 



Ifoidman o' LonVa eoart 

»tcareapiiif 

•end the 0od|per youth 

lis eldest son. 

inff Ben o* Annandab : 
utn she^s ta'en, 
d vote the border Knigfaty 
hould vote her lane. 

wis hae feathen fair, 
* change are fain : 
Bd the border Knight, 
I jet again. 

kck Joan frae Creigfaton peel, 
tout and grim, 
dman or young guidman: 
ij sink or iwim ! 



r prate o' right and wrang, 
res laugh them to scorn ; 
ler's friends hae blawn the bwt 
U bear the hom. 

Jean spak o*er her drink, 
n kimmers a% 
dman o* London court, 
been at the wa*. 



friend that kiss*d his canp, 
immit wight ; 
■ae wi' whiskj Jean, 
the border Knight 

ise Majorie o' the Lochs, 
ed was her brow ; 
reed was russet gray, 
cots heart was true. 

great folks set light by roe, 

It by them ; 

d to London town 

l>est at hame. 

f eighty plea will end, 
wight can tell ; 
) King and ilka man 
reel to himsel. 



3 THAT MADE THE BED 
TO ME. 

7 winds were blawmg canld, 
orth I bent my way, 
B night did me enfanld, 
whare to lodge till day; 



By my ^[iiidhiidE a lass I met, 
Just m the middle of my ean, 

And kindlv she did rae invite^ 
To wals into a chamber 0iir, 



1 bow^d fb' low wito this maid. 

And thanked her for her oourteaie ; 
I bow*d lU' low unto this maid. 

And bade her make a bed for me; 
She made the bed both large and wide, 

'WV twa whits hands she spread it down ; 
She pnt the cup to her rosy Dps, 

And drank, ''Young man, now sleep ft 
sound." 



She snatehM the candle in her hand, 

And fime my chamber went wi* s p ee d : 
But I call*d her quickly back again. 

To lav some mair below mjliead : 
A ood she laid below my head. 

And served me with due reipeet; 
And to salute her with a kiss, 

1 put my arms about her neck. 



**Hand aff yoor bands, young man,*^ says she, 

^ And dinna sae undvil be ; 
Oif ye hae ony love for me, 

O wrang na my Tirsinity !" 
Her hair was like the links o' gowd. 

Her teeth were like the rvorjr. 
Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wme. 

The lass that made the bed for me. 



Her bosom was the «u.*«u ••••w, 

Twa drifted heans sae fair to si. . 
Her limbs the poliin'd maiUe stane. 

The lass that made the bed to me. 
I kissM her owre and owre again. 

And ay she wistna what to sav ; 
I laid her tween me and the wa^; 

TTm IsMie thought na lang till day. 



Upon the morrow, when we raise, 

I fhankM her for her oourtesie ; 
But ay she blush'd, and ay she sigfa'd. 

And said, ''Alas ! yeVe ruin*d me." 
I daspM her waist, and kissM her syne. 

While the tear stood twinkling in her e^ 
I said, "my lassie, dinna cry, 

For ye ay shall mak the Bed tome.* 



She took her mither^ Holland sheets, 

And made them a' in sarks to me ; 
Blythe and merry may she be. 

The lass that made the bed to me. 
The bonnie lass made the bed to me. 

The braw lass made the bed to me; 
m ne'er forget, till the day that I die, 

The lass uat made the bed to me. 



1S4 



BURNS' POEMS. 



THE KIRK'S ALARM * 



AlATIKX. 



Oethodox, Orthodox, wha believe in John | 
Knox^ 
Lot me Bound an alarm to your conscience ; 
There'H a heretic blast, has been blawn in the 
wast. 
That what is no lense must be nonsense. 

Dr. Mac,t Dr. Mac, you should stretch on a 
rack, 

To strike evil doers wi' terror ; 
To join (aith and sense upon ony pretence, 

Is heretic, damnable error. 

Town of Ayr, town of Ayr, it was mad I de- 
clare. 

To meddle wi* mischief a-brewing ; 
Provost John is still deaf to the chiu^^s relief, 

And orator Bob f is it's ruin. 

DVymple mild,} D^rymplo mild, tho* your 
heart's like a child, 
And your life like the new driven snaw, 
Yet that winna save ye, auld Satan must have 
ye. 
For preaching that threo^s ane and twa. 

Rumble John, |] Rumble John, mount the steps 
wi' a groan, 
Cry the book is wi' heresy cramm'd ; 
Then lug out your ladle, deal brimstone like 
addle^ 
And roar every note of the damn'd. 

Simper Jame8,ir Simper James, leave the fair 
Killic danxes. 
There's a holier chase in your view ; 
ni lay on your head, that the pack yell soon 
lead. 
For puppies like you there's but few. 

Smget Sawney,'*'* Singet Sawney, are ye herd- 
ing Ine penny. 

Unconscious wnat evils await ? 
Wi' a jump, yell, and howl, alarm every soul, 

For the foul thief is just at your gate. 

Daddy Auld,tt Daddy Auld, there*d a tod m 
the fauld, 
A tod meikle waur than the Clerk ; 
Tho* ye can do little skaith, ye'U be in at the 
death. 
And gif ye canna bite, ye may bark. 

• Thii Poem wsi written a ihort tlmfl sAer the pob» 
lieation of Dr. H*GHI*i E«My. 

t Dr. M'Glll. X R 1 A— k— n. } Mr. D— m— le. 

q Mr. R-s^-ll. V Mr. M'K— 7. •* Mr. M y. 

HMr. A -d. 



Davie Bluster,*^ Davie Bloiter, if for a nint yo 
do muster. 
The corps is no nice of recmits : 
Yet to worth let's be just, royal blood ye miglil 
boast. 
If the ass was the kmg of the brutes. 



Jamie Groose^t Jamie Goose, ye hae made but 
toom roose. 
In hunting Uie wicked Lieutenant ; 
But the Doctor's your mark, for the L — d^ 
haly ark. 
He has cooper'd and caw'd a wrang pin inH. 

Poet Willie,! Poet Willie, gie the Doctor a 
voUey, 

Wr your hberty^s chain and your wit ; 
O'er Pegasus*s side ye neer laid a stride, 

Ye but smelt, man, the place where he 



Andro Gouk,{ Andro Gouk, ye may slander 
the book. 
And the book nane the waur let me tell ye ! 
Ye are rich, and look big, but lay by hat and 



Andyeni 



wig, 
hae a 



calf *s head o* sma' value. 



Ban* SteenicH Barr Steenie, what mean ye' 
what mean ye ? 

If yo'll meddle nae mair wi* the matter, 
Ye may hae some pretence to bavins and seue, 

Wi' the people wha ken ye nae better. 

Irvine Side,T Irvine Side, wi* your turkey-oodL 

pride. 

Of manhood but sma^ is yotur share ; 

YeVe the figure, 'tis true, even your files win 

allow, [mair. 

And your friends they dare grant you nae 

Muirland 'Jock,** Muirland JodL, when the 
L — d makes a rock 

To crush common sense for her sins, [fit 
If ill manners were wit, there's no mortal <0« 

To confound the poor Doctor at anoe. 



Holy WiU,tt Holy WiH, there was wit i* 
skull. 

When ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor ; 
The timmer is scant, when ye're ta'en for a 

Wha should swing in a rape for an hour. 



Calvin's sons, Calvin's sons, seize your sp*ritti»i 
guns, 

Ammunition you never can need ; [enouffa. 
Your hearts are the stuff, will be powlEer 

And your skulls are storehouses o' lead 

• Mr. G 1 of O— 1— •• t Mr. Y— f of O—B— k- 

t Mr. P— b— ■ of A— r. j Dr. A. M— IL 

II Mr. 8 n Y g of B r IT Mr. 8 ^ 

of G o. •• Mr. 8 d ft An Elder In M — • 



BURNS* POEMS. 



155 



Mt Barns, wi' your priast-akelp 

urns, 

ye your atild nalJTe shire > 

I giptiie, 9'on tho' she were tipsie, 

i* us nae waur Uuui we are. 



E TWA HERDS. 



us godly flocks, 
i8ture8 orthodox, 
keep you frao the fox. 

Or worryui^ tykes, 
!nt the waifs and crocks, 

About the dykes ? 



t herds in a* the wast, 
l^ospcl horn a blast, 
. twenty summers past, 

O 1 dool to tell, 
er black out-cast, 

Atween UiomseL 



man, and wordy R 11, 

u raise so vile a bustle, 
new-Ught herds will whistle. 

And think it fme ! 
use ne*cr ^at sic a twistle, 

Sin^ I hae min\ 



ae'cr wad hae expeckit, 
wad sae nei^leckit, 
ne'er by lairds respcckit, 

T\) wear tlie plaid, 
ites themselves eleckit. 

To be tlicir guide. 

wi' M ^y*8 flock could itnk, 

liearty every shank, 
foor Arminian stank, 

He let them taste, 
well, ay clear they drank, 

O sic a feast ! 



lart, wil'-cat, brock and tod, 
lis voice thro' a' the wood, 
nr ilka hole and road, 

Baith out and in, 
ik'd to shed their bluid, 

And sell their skin. 



likeR lltoirdhistale? 

I heard thro' muir and dale, 
3 Lord's sheep ilka tail, 
O'er a' the height, 
they wore sick or hale, 
Atthe first siirht 



He fine a mangy sheep could scrub. 
Or nobly fling the gospel dub, 
And new-light heras could nicely drub. 

Or pay their skin. 
Could shake them o'er the burning dub ; 

Or heave them in. 



Sic twa — O ! do I live to see V- 
Sic famous twa sJiould disagreet. 
An* naiues, like villain, hypocrite. 

Ilk ither gi en, 
While new-light herds wi' laughin spite, 

Say ncither's lieu' I 



A^ ye wha tent the gospel fauld. 

There's D ^n, deep, and P s, shaul. 

But chiefly thou, apostle A — d. 

We trust in thee. 
That thou wilt work them, hot and cauld. 

Till tliey agree. 



Consider, 8m, how we^re beset. 
There's scarce a new herd Uiat we get, 
But comes frae ^ang that cursed set, 

I winna namt, 
I hope frae heav^ to see tliem yet 

In fiery fiame. 



D e has been lang our fae, 

M' 11 has wrought us meikle wae. 



And that curs'd rascal ca'd M^ 

And baith the 

That aft ha^ made ns black and blae, 

Wi* vengefu' paws. 



Auld W. w lang has hatch'd mischief^ 
We thought ay death wad bring relief. 
But he has gotten, to our grief, 

Ane to succeed him, 
A chiel whall soundly bufl* our beef ; 

1 meikle dread him. 



And mony a ane that I could tell, 
Wha fain would openly rebel, 
Forby turn-coats amang ourscl. 

There S h for ane, 

I doubt he*s but a gray nick quill. 

And that ye*il fin*. 



O ! a* ye flocks, o'er a' the hills. 
By mosses, meadows, moors and fells, 
Come join your counsel and your skills. 

To cowe the lairds. 
And get the brutes the power tliemselves, 

To choose their herds. 



Then Orthodoxy yet may prance, 
And Learning in a woody daikce. 



*6o 



BURNS' POEMS. 



And that ftU oar oa*d Common Senas, 

That bites sae Hur, 
' Ue baniah'd o W the sea to France : 

Let him bark there. 

Then Shaw's and DVymple^s eloquence, 
M ^ ll^B close nenrous excellence, 
M* Q 's pathetic manly sense, 

And gruid M* h 

Wt* 8 t h, wha thro* the heart can glance. 

May a' pack aff. 



EPISTLE PROM A TAYLOR 



TO 



ROBERT BURNS. 



What waefU' news is this I hear, 
Frae greeting I can scarce forbear, 
FoUcs tell me, yeVejPawn aff this year. 

Out o*er the sea. 
And lasses wham ye lo> sae dear 

Will greet for thee. 

Weel wadi like war ye to stay 
But, Robin, since ye will away, 
I hae a word yet mair to say, 

And maybe twa ; 
May he protect us night an^ day, 

That made us a*. 

Whaur thou art ^un, keep mind firae ma, 
Seek him to bear thee companie. 
And, Robin, whan ye come to die, 

Ye^ won aboon. 
An' live at peace an' unity 

Ayont the moon. 

Some tell me, Rab, ye dinna fear 
To get a wean, an' curse an' swear, 
I'm unco wae, my lad, to hear 

O' sic a trade, 
Cou'd I persuade ye to forbear, 

I wad be glad. 

Fu' weel je ken yell jrang to hellt 
Gin ye persist in doing m-— 
Waes me : ye're hurlin down the hill 

Withouten dread. 
An' yell get leare to swear your fill 

After yoTO dead. 

There waltn o* women yell get near, 
But gettin weans ye will forbear. 



Tell nerer say, my boonie dear 

Come, ^'s a kii 

Nae kissing there — yell gnn an' sneer. 

An' iUier hiss. 



O Rab ! lay by thy foolish tricks. 
An' steer nae mair tne female sex, 
Or some day ye^ll come Uirough the pricks^ 

An' that yell see ; 
Tell find hard Uving wi' Auld Nicks ; 

rm wae for thee. 

But what^s this comes wi' sic a knell, 
Amaist as loud as ony bell? 
While it does mak my conscience toll 

Me what is true, 
I'm but a ragget cowt mysel, 

Owre sib to yon ! 

We're owre like thoee wha think it fit. 
To stuff their noddles fu' o' wit. 
An' yet content in darkness sit, 

Wha shun the light. 
To let them see down to the pit. 

That lang, dark night 



But farewell, Rab, I maun awa*. 
May he that made us keep us &', 
For that would be a dreadfu' fa' 

And hurt us sair. 
Lad, ye wad never mend ava, 

Sae, Rab, tak care. 






THE ANSWER. 



What ails ye now, ye lousy b— h. 
To thresh my back at sic a pitch ? 
Losh man ! nae mercy wi' your natch. 

Tour bodkin 8 bauld. 
I did na suffer ha'f sae much 

Fra Daddie Auld. 

What tho' at times when I grow Grouse, 
I gie their wames a random pouse. 
Is that enough for you to souse 

Tour servant sae? 
Oae mind your seam, ye prick the louse, 

An' jag tho flae. 



" King David o' poetic brief^ 
Wroa£[ht 'mang the lasses sic mischief 
As fill d his ailer life wi' grief 

An' bloody rants. 
An' yet he*s rank'd amang the chief 

O' lang syne saunts. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



And maybe. Tarn, for a* mj 08iita» 
My wicked rbymes, an* drucken ranti, 
ril gie auld eioren Cloatj's haonti, 

An unco ilip yet, 
An* anogl J rit amang the saunta 

At Dayie'a hip yet 

But fegs, the Seerion saya I mann 
Gae fa^ upo' anither plan. 
Than garran hisaies cowp the cran 

Clean heels owre body, 
And sairly thole their mither's ban, 

Afore the howdy. 



This leads me on, to tell for sporty 
How I did with the Session sort — 
Auld Clinkom at the Inner port 

CryM three times, "^ Robin ! 
Come hither lad, an answer fort% 

Ye'^blam'dforjoblnn.*' 

Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face on, 
An' snoov'd awa' before the Session— 
I made an open, fair confession, 

I scom'd to lie : 
An* syne Mess John, beyond ezpressioii. 

Fell fi>ul o' me. 



A fornicator lown he call'd me, 
All* sud my fauH frae bliss ezpell'd me ; 
* own'd the tale was true he tell'd me, 

»* But what the matter ?" 



I said, «« Ooid mgfat," and cam Awa', 

And left the Senon 
I saw they were resolred a' 

On my oppi 



167 



; 



Quo' 1, ** I fear unless ye geld me, 

rU ne'er be 1 



better." 



** Geld you," quo' he, ** and what for no ! 
^ that your right hand, le^ or toe, 
^liould ever prove your spTitual foe, 
,^ You shou'd remember 

^0 cut it aff, an' what for no 

Your dearest member ?" 



"Na, na," quo' I, " Pm no for that, 
gelding's nae better than 'tis cat, 
C'd rather suffer for my fau't, 

A hearty flewit. 
As sair owre hip as ye can drawt ! 

Tho> I should me it. 



Or gin ye like to end the bother, 
*ro please us a\ IVe just ae ither, 
^Vhen next wi' yon lass I forgather 

Whatever betide it, 
111 fhmkly gie her't a' thegither. 

An' let her guide it" 



But, Sir, thispleasM thom warst ava, 
^' therefore, Tam, when that I saw. 



LETTER TO JOHN GOUDIE, 

KILMARNOCK, 
ON THE PUBUCATION OF HIS JtSSATS. 

O GouDiE ! terror o' the Whigs, 
Dread o' black coats and rev'reuia wigi, 
Soor Bigotiy, on her last legs, 

Gimin looks back, 
Wishin the ten Egyptian places 

Wad seize yoa qokk* 

Poor gapin, glowrin Superstion, 
Waes me ! she^ in a sad condition ; 
Fy, bring Black Jock, her state physician, 

To see her w— ter^ 
Alas ! there's ground o* great suspicion 

Shell ne'er get bettor. 

Auld Orthodoxy lang did grapple 
But now she's got an unco ripple. 
Haste, gie her name up i' the chapel, 

Ni£[h unto death ; 
See how she fetches at Uie thrapple. 

An' gasps for breath. 

Enthusiasm 's past redemption, 
Gaen in a gallopmg consumption. 
Not a', the quacks wi' a' their gumption. 

Will ever mend her. 
Her feeble pulse gies strong; presumption. 

Death soon win end her. 

Tis you and Taylor* are the chief, 
Wha are to blame for this mischief; 
But gin the L— d*s ain folks gat leave, 

A toom tar barrel 
And twa red peats wad send relief 

An' end tho qouiel* 



LETTER TO J — S T — T GL— NC— R. 

Auld comrade dear and brither sinner, 
How 's a' the folk about Gl — ^no— r ; 
How do you this blae eastlin wind. 
That 's like to blaw a body blind : 
For me my faculties are frozen, 
My dearest member nearly dozen'd : 

* Dr. Taylor of Norwielk 



BURKS' POEMS. 



a. rf 4 troop oTteceoM wm my dad. 

die, 
ikier rm fond of a lodger Uddie. 

Sing^ Lai dekU^&e, 

int of my loren was a swaggering blade, 
.ttle the uundering dnim was his trade ; 
leg was so tight, and his cheek was so 

ruddy, 
isported 1 was with my sodger laddie. 

Stng, ImI de lai^ ke. 



I the goodly old chaplain lefl him in the 

lurch, 
I the sword I forsook for the sake of the 

church, 
e venturM the soul, I risked the body, 
Twas then I prov'd false to my sodger laddie. 

Sing^ JLal dc lal^ See. 



Full soon I grew sick of the sanctified sot. 
The regiment at large for a husband I got ; 
Fnmi uie gilded spontoon to the fife I was 

ready, 
I aaked no more but a sodger laddie. 

Smg^ Laij dc lal, See. 

But the peace it reducM me to beg in den>air, 
Till I met my old boy at a Cunningham fair. 
His rags regmiental they Jflutter^d sae ^audy, 
My heart it rejoic'd at my sodger laddie. 

Stng^JLal deUtltSce. 



And now I have livM-— I know not how long, 

And still I can join in a cup or a song ; 

But whilst with both hands I can hold the 

glass steady, 
Here*s to thee, my hero, my sodger laddie. 

Sing^ Lali de kUy See. 



RICITATITO. 



Poor Meny Andrew, in the neuk, 

Sat guzuing wi* a tinkler hizzie ; 
They mindH na what the chorus took, ^ 

Between themselves thoy were sae bizzy ; 
At length, wi* drink and courting dizzy, 

He stoiterM up and made a face ; 
Then tumM and laid a smack on Grizzy, 

Syne tunM his pipes wi* grave grimace. 



AIR. 

Tun*— •* Auld Sir Symon." 

SiK Wisdom's a fool when he*s fou. 
Sir Knave is a fool in a session ; 

He's there but a 'prentice I trow, 
^•^« T am a fool by profenion. 



My grannie she bouglrt me a iMdCt 
And I held awa to the school ; 

I fear I my talent misteok; 
But what will ye hat of A fixil? 

For drink I would venture my neck ; 

A hizzie*s the half o' my oraft; 
But what could ye other expect 

Of ane that*s avowedh^ daft. 

I anoe was ty'd up like a stiik. 
For civilly swearing and quaffing ^ 

I ance was abus'd i' the kirk, 
For towzling a la« i' my daffin. 



Poor Andrew that tumbles for spoit. 
Let naebody name wi' a jeer; 

There's ovVi I in tauld i' the coortt 
A tumbler ca'd the Premieir. 



Observ'd ye, yon reverend lad 
Maks faces to tickle the mob ; 

He rails at our mountebank sqiiad« 
It ^s rivalship just i' the job. 

And now my conclusion m teD, 
For faith I'm confoundedly drf. 

The chiel that 's a fool for hiinset% 
Gude Ir— d, is far daflerthan L 

RECITATIVO. 

Then niest outspak a raude caiiiii, 
Wha kent fu' weel to deck the 
For monie a pursie she had hooked. 
And had in monie a well been docket; 
Her dovo had been a Highland laddie^ 
But weary fa' the waefu" woodie I 
Wi' si^hs and sabs, she thus began 
To wail her braw John Highlandmaa. 

Alft. 

TnifB— ^Oan' ye were deftd gindmui 

A HIGHLAND lad my love was bom. 
The Lawlan' laws he held in scorn; 
But he still was faithfu' to his dan, 
My gallant, braw John Wigi||findmf"- 

-CHORUS. 

5tng, hey^ my hraw John Highiandman » 
Singi ho, my braw John HighlandmoM: 
Thtre^t not a lad in all the Ian* 
Was maUhfor miy John EKghiamimmL 

With his philibeg and tartan plaid. 
And guid claymore down by his ode, 
The Eulies' hearts he did trepan. 
My gallant, braw John Hignlandmaii. 

Sing.hqh^ 



BURNS* I^EMS. 



161 



We nuifBd a' ftom Twwd to Spcy, 
And ]brd like kMPdt and ladiei gmy ; 
For a. LaUan ftoe he feared naae, 
My gallant, braw John Uii^andhnaa 

Sing^ hcjfj ice. 

• 

They baniahM him bejrond the tea. 
But ere the bad was on the tiee, 
AdQwn my cheeks the pearls raa> 
yjnhrar.ing my John Uighlandman* 

Bat oh ! ihej catchM him at the laaftt 
And boand him in a dungeon fast ; 
My curse upon them every one. 
They Ve hangM my braw John Higfalaadmao. 

Sing, he^ ice. 

And now a widow, I nnist mooni . 
The pleasores that will ne*or return ; 
No comfort but a hearty can. 
When I think on John Highlandman. 

Smg.hiy^ie* 



aBCITATITO. 



A pigmy Scraper wi* his fiddle, 
Wna os'd at trysts and fairs to. 
Her fltrappin limb andjraucy 

(He read 
Had bolt his heartie like a riddle, 

And blawnt on fira 



lie, 
tojnddle, 



higherO 



y^i^ band on hanneh, and upward e'e, 
Se crooned his ^;amut ane, twa, thresi 
^lian, in an Amuo key. 

The 



Sae merriiy*s the banes wall pyke. 
And sun oursels about the dyke, 
And at our leisure when we likoi 
Well whistle o'er the lave ot. 

Iam%iu. 

But blen roe wi* your heayVi o* channiy 
And while J kittle hair on thairms, 
Hunger, cauld, and a' sk harms. 
May whistle o*er the lave oX. 

lam^ium 



RICITATIVO. 



Her charms had struck a sturdy Caltd 

As weel as poor Gut-ecraper ; 
He taks the fiddler by the beard. 

And draws a roosty rapier — 
He swoor, by a* was swearing worth, 

To spit him like a pliver, 
Unless he wad firom that time forth 

Relinquish her for ever. 

Wi' ghastly e^e, poor tweedle-dee 

Upon his hunkers bended. 
And pray'd for grace, wi* ruefh* ftee» 

And sae the quarrel ended. 
But tho* Ills little heart did grieve 

When round the tinkler prest her, 
He feignM to snirtle in his sleeve, 

When thus the Caird addzeas'd her; 



^% 



ApoUo 
Qet afi; wi' jiUegreUoflte, 



Aim. 

TuiiB—^ Whistle o'er the Uve oX 

^ Lit me r^ke up to dight that tear, 
And go wi' me and be my dear. 
And then your every care and fear 
liay whistle o'er the lave ot 

OHoavi, 

/ mm aJUdler Is ew trade, 
Jind a' the limes thai e'er IpU^ 
The tveeieti tHU to wife ormaSi^ 
Wat vfhuOe e'er the Jaoe o% 

A| Idms and wed<Ungs weW be thave, 
Attd Oh ! sae nioely's we will fare ; 
Well boose aboat, till Daddie Care 
Sing! whistle o'er the lave ot» 

J aM% ice. 

M 



an 



Turn— ^Ckmt the Cauldron.* 



Mr bonny lass, I work in brass, 

A tinkler is my station ; 
Pve travelled round all Christian ground 

In this my occupation ; 
Fte taen the gold, I've been enroU'd 

In many a noble sauadron ; 
But vain they searched, when off I maidi'd 

To go and dout the cauldron, f 



Deenpise that shrimp, that witberM imp, 

wi' a' his noise and caprin. 
And tak a share wi' those that bear 

The budget and the apron ; 
And by that stowp, my faith and hoop. 

Ana by that dear Klbadgie,* 
If e'er ye want, or meet wi' scant, 

May I ne'er wat my craine. 

And bjf thai etump^ te 



* A pseellar sort of Wbtakj, so 
vonrlts with Poorio Wsesls's ehibs. 



eaUsd; agrsttfe* 



\ 



I6f 



BURNS* POEMS. 



KKCITATIVO. 



The Caird proTaird — th* unblushing fair 

In hi9 ombrares sunk, 
Partly wi* love oVrcome sae fair, 

Aad partly she was drunk. 
Sir Vioiino, with an air 

That showM a man o* spunk, 
WishM unison between the pair, 

And made the bottle clunk 

To tlieir health th«t ni^rfat 

But hnrchtn Cupid shot a shaf\, • 

That playM a dame a shavie. 
The fidfller rakM her fore and all, 

Behint the chirkon cavie. 
Her lord, a wig-ht o' Hoincr*s craft, 

Tho' UmpinfT wi' the spavio, 
He hirprd up, and lap like dafl. 

And shor*d thoni Dainty ]>avie 

O boot that night 

He was a care-dcfyuig Made 

As ever Bacchus listed, 
Tho* Fortune sair upon him laid. 

His heart she ever miss'd iU 
He had nae wish, but — to be glad, 

Nor want — but when he th£sted ; 
He hated nought but — to be sad. 

And thus the Muse suggested 

His sang that night. 



* AIR. 

TuNi— *• For a' thai, and a' that" 

I AM a bard of no regard, 
Wi* gentlefolks, and a* that : 

But Homer-like, the glowran byke, 
Frae town to town I draw that. 

CHORUS. 

Fhr a* (hat^ and a* that^ 

And ttcire at meiklt't a' that ; 

Pve lost but ane^ Pre ttca l)ehin\ 
Pre wife eixfmgh^for a" th4xt 

I never dnnk the Muses* stank, 

Castaffa^s bum, and a* that ; 
But there it streams, and richly roams. 

My Hehcon 1 ca* tliat. 

For a" thal^ See. 

Great love I bear to a* tlie fair. 
Their humble slave, and a* that ; 

But lordly will, I hold it stiU 
A mortal sin to thraw that 

For a' thai. See. 

In raptures sweet this hour we meet, 
Wi* mutual love, and a' that ; 

But for how lang tho flie may stang. 
Let inclination law that 

Fora'tfuU^ice. 



.^ 



Their tricks and craft bae mil me daft, 
They Ve ta'on me in, and a* that ; 

But clear yqur decks, aind ^ Hera*s the 
1 like the jads for a* that 

f\>r a" that, and a' ikai,' 

And hnet as meikWs a* ihal, 

My dearest Idwd, to do them fptdd, 
They're weleom tilPt.for a thOL 



RCCITATIVO. 

So simg the bard — and Nansie's wa^ 
Shook with a thunder of applause, 

Re-echoM from each mouth ; 
They toom*d their pocks, and paivnM the 

duds. 
They scarcely left to co^er their fuda, 

To quench their lowan drouth. 

Then owre again, tho jovial thrang, 

The poet aid request 
To lowse his pack, and wale a sang, 
A ballad o' the best ; 
He, rising, rejoicing. 

Between his twa Deborahs, 
Looks round him, and found them 
Impatient for the chorus. 

AIR. 

TuMB— '^ JoUy Mortals, fill your fnliTi" 

See the smoking bowl before ua, 

Mark our jovial ragged ring ; 
Round and round take up the dioniB, 

And in raptures let us sing : 

CHORUS. 

Afy^for those by law protected t 

Lioerty*s a glorious feast I 
Courts for cotcards were erected, 

Churches built to please the pritd. 

What is title ? What is treasure ? 

What is reputation's care? 
If we lead a life of pleasure, 

*Tis no matter, how or where ! 

^yfe, See, 

With the ready trick and fable, 
Round we wander all the day; 

And at night, in bam or stable, 
Hug our doxies on the hay. 

A Jig, See. 

Does the train-attonded carriage 
Thro* the country lighter rove? 

Does the sober bod of marriage 
Witness brighter scenes of loffef 

'^ Jig, See. 



BURNS' POEMS. 



163 



I aU a. Tanonmif 
We rogmrd not how it gom ; 
Let them cant about deconim 
Who have characteie to loie. 



Here^a to bodfeta, ba^ and walleta I 
Heie^B to all the wandering train I 

Hereof oor raged brata and oulets ! 
One and aUcry out, Amen ! 



EXTEMPORE. 
Aprils lie^ 



WHY the dence ■hoold I repino, 
And be an ill foreboder? 

Fkn twenty three, and fire feet nbiA— 
111 go and be a aodger. 

1 gat lonie gear wi' meikle care, 

1 held it weel thegither ; 
Bat now it*i fane and Knnethi^g iMVf 
111 go and be a aodger. 



TIIC END 



^, 



' -f 



GLOSSARY. 



Thk eh and gk have always the srattural sound. The sound of the English diphthong 
oo, is commonly spelled ou. The French u, a sound which often occurs in the 
Scottish language, is marked oo^ or uu The a in genuine Scottish words, except 
when forminfir a diphthong, or followed hy an « mute afler a single consonant, sounds 
generally like the Broad English a in walL The Scottish diphthong cb, always, 
and ea, very often, sound like the French e masculine. The Scottish diphthong 
sy, sounds like the Latin st. 



A. 



A\ All. 

Aback^ away, aloof. 
Aheigh^ at a shy distance. 
Aboon, above, up. 
Ahready abroad, in sight. 
Abreedy in breadth. 
Addle, putrid water, Sui, 
•^e, one. 

Af^ off; Aff loofy unpremeditated^ 
^ywre^ before 
My oft. 
'fylenj often. 

Aght/f off the right line ; wrong. 
Aibiins, perhaps. 
Airiy own. 

AirU'fennyy Airlety earnest-money, 
•^/m, iron. 
•4 2/4, an oath. 
•4t£f, oats. 
^ifoery an old horse. 
•^izUy a hot cinder. 
^lake, alas. 
^lane, alone. 
^kwarty awkward. 
^maisty almost. 
4.mangy among. 
«4n', and ; if. 
mAncey once. 
«^fi«, one ; and. 
^nenty over against. 
Jiniihery another. 
Jisey ashes. 

Atklenty asquint ; aslant. 
Atteevy abroad ; stirring. 
Aiharly athwart. 
Aughiy possession ; as, tn a* my aughly 

in all my possession. 
Auld long iyney oljen time, days of 

other years. 



Atddy old. 

Auldfdrrany or auldJarrarUf sagacious^ 

cunning, prudent. 
Avoy at ill. 
Awa\ away. 
Awfu\ awful. 

Awfiy the beard of barley, oats, 9lc* 
AumUy bearded. 
Ayont^ beyond. 



B. 



BA\ Ball. 

BackeUy ash boards. 

Backliniy coming; coming back, return- 
ing. 

Ba(£y returning. 

Body did bid. 

Baidey endured, did stay. 

BaggUy the belly. 

Bainiey bavins large bones, stout. 

Bcdrriy a child. 

BairrUime, a family of children, a brood 

Baiihy both. 

Both to swear. 

Baney bone 

Bangy to beat ; to strive. 

BardUy diminutive of bard. 

Barejity barefooted. 

BarmUy of, or like barm. 

Batchy a crew, a gang. 

BatUy hots. 

Baudronsy a cat. 

Bauidy bold. 

Bawky bank. 

BawirUy having a white stripe down 
the face. 

Bey to let be ; to give over ; to cease. 

Beavy barley. 

Beattiey diminutive of beast. 

Beety to add fuel to fire. 

Beldy bald. 



IM 



GLOSSARY. 



Befy9$^ by and by. « 

Bef^ into the epenoe or parlour; a 

tpence. 
Benhmondf a noted mountain in Dom- 

bartonihire. 
BethamkU^ grace after meat. 
Beuky a book. 
Bicker t a kind of wooden dish ; a short 

race. 
Bie, or BUldf shelter. 
Bien, wealthy, plentifuL 
Bigf to build. 

Biggin^ building ; a house. 
Biggil^ built. 
BiU, a bull. 

BUiUy a brother; a young fellow. 
Bingy a heap of grain, potatoes, 4^ 
JBtr£, birch. 
Birken-^haw^ Bircken'Wood'ihaWf a 

small wood. 
BirkUy a clever fellow. 
Birringj the noise of partridges, &c 

when they spring. 
Biif crisis, nick of time- 
Bixgf a bustle, to buzz. 
BkutUy a shiiyelled dwarf; a term of 

contempt. 
BkuUi, blasted. 
BlaUy bashful, sheepish. 
Blather y bladder. 

Blaudf a flat piece of any thing; to slap. 
Blawy to blow, to boast. 
Bleeriiy bleared, sore with rheum. 
Bleert and biin\ bleared and blind. 
BUexingf blazing. 
BleUumy an idle talking fellow. 
Blether^ to talk idly ; nonsense. 
Bleih'riny talking idly. 
Blinky a little \^e ; a smiling look ; 

to look kindly ; to shine by fits. 
Blinker y a term of contempt. 
BUnkiny smirking. 
Blue-gown^ one of those beg^rs who 

get annually, on the kin^*s birth-day, 

a blue cloak or gown, with a badge. 
Bltnd^ blood. 

BlurUief a sniveller, a stupid person. 
Blype^ a shred, a large piece. 
Boae, to vomit, to gush mtermittently. 
Bockedy gushed, vomited. 
BodUy a small ffold coin. 
Bogleiy spirits, nobgoblins. 
Bonnie, or bonny, handsome, beautiful. 
Bonnoek, a kind of thick cake of bread, 

a small jannock* or loaf made of oat- 
meal. 
Boord, a board. 
Boortree, the shrub elder ; planted 

much of old in hedges of barn-yards, 

dLC. 

Booit. behoved, must needs. 



• Bore, a hole in the waU. 
Ba(4,Wn angry tmnour. 
Bouiing, drinking. 
BoW'luiil, cabbage. 
Bowt, bended, crooked. 
Brackenty fern. 
Brae, a declivity ; a precipice ; t 

slope of a hill. 
Braid, broad. 
Braindg't, reeled forward 
Braik, a kind of harrow. 
Braindge, to run rashly forward. 
Brak, broke, made insolvent. 
Branks, a kind of wooden curb 

horses. 
Broih, a sudden illness. 
BraU, coarse clothes, rags, Slc* 
Brattle, a short race ; hurry ; fury. 
Braw, fine, handsome. 
Brawly, or brawlie, very well ; fine) 

heartily. 
Braxie, a morbid sheep. 
Breastie, diminutive of breast. 
BretuHt, did spring up or forward. 
Breckan, fern. 
Breef, an invulnerable or irreaistil 

spell. 
Breeks, breeches. 
Brent, smooth. 
Breufin, brewing. 
Brie, juice, liqmd. 
Brig, a bridge. 
BrunHane, brimstone. 
Brieket, the breast, the oosom. 
Brither, a brother. 
Brock, a badger. 
Brogue, a hum ; a trick. 
Broo, broth ; liquid ; water. 
Broose, broth ; a race at country w< 

dings, who shall first reach the brit 

groom's house on returning fr( 

church. 
Browtter-vnvee, ale-house wives. 
Brugh, a burgh. 
Brmlxie, a broil, a combustion. 
Brunt, did bum, burnt. 
Bnut, to burst ; burst. 
Buchan-bullers, the boiling of the f 

among the rocks on ue coast 

Buchan. 
Buckildn, an inhabitant of Virginia. 
Bught, a pen. 
Bughtin-Hme, the time of collecting t 

sheep in the pens to be milked. 
Btnrdly, stout-made ; broad-made. 
Bum-clock,ti. humming beetle that fli 

in the summer evenings. 
Bumming, humming as bees. 
Bummh, to blunder. 
Bummler, a blunderer. 
Bunker, a window-seat* 



GLOSSARY. 



197 



Burdiei^ dimiimtive of Inrdi. 

Bure^ did bear. 

Bwrriy water ; a rmlet. 

Bumewkh^ i. e. bum tlu tvM, a black- 

sniith. 
Bumiey diminutiye of bam. 
BtukiA, bushy. 
BuMij dressed. 
Butksy dresses. 
BtusUj a bustle ; to bustle. 
Buss, shelter. 
But, bot, with ; without. 
Btd an' beriy the country kitchea and 

parlour. 
By kitnsel, lun^c, distracted. 
Byke, a bee-hiye. 
Byrey a cow-stable ; a sheep-pen 



C. 



CA\ To can, to name ; to drive. 

Ca^i, or ca*df called, driven ; calved. 

Ciuiger, a carrier. 

CatUe, or caddie^ a person ; a young 
fellow. 

Caff, chaff. 

Caird, a tinker. 

Cairn, a loose heap of stones. 

CalfAsard, a small enclosure for calves. 

Callan, a boy. 

Caller, fresh ; sound ; refreshing. 

Canie, or ccmnU, gentle, mild; dexterous. 

Cannilie, dexterously ; gently. 

Canlie, or canty, cheerful, merry. 

Cantraip, a charm, a spell. 

Cap-stone, cope-stone ; key-stone 

Careerin, cheerfully. 

Carly^Xi old man. 

Carlin, a stout old woman. 

Cartes, cards. 

Caudron, a caldron. 

Catdk and keel, chalk and red clay. 

Cauld, cold. 

Caup, a wooden drinking-vessel. 

Cesses, taxes. 

Chanter, a part of a bag-pipo. 

Chap, a person, a fellow ; a blow. 

Chaup, a stroke, a blow. 

Cheeleit, cheeked. 

Cheep, a chirp ; to chirp. 

Chiei, or cheel, a youn? fellow. 

Chinda, or chimhe, a fire-grate, a fire- 
place. 

ChvnUa-lug, the fireside. 

Chittering, shivering, trembling. 

Chockin, chocking. 

Chow, to chew ; meek for ehow, side by 
side. 

Chuffle, fat-faced. 

Clathan, a small village about • chnrcb ; 
a hamlet. 



Claise, or elaes^ clothes. 

ClaUh, cloth. 

Claithing, clothing. 

CkUvers, nonsense; not speaking sense. 

Clap, clapper of a milL 

Clarkit, wrote. 

Clash, an idle tale, the story of the day 

Clatter, to tell idle stories ; an idle story. 

Claught, snatched at, laid hold of. 

Cla/ut, to clean ; to scrape. 

Clouted, scraped. 

Clovers, idle stories. 

Claw, to scratch. 

Cleed, to clothe. 

Cleeds, clothes. 

Cleekit, having caught. 

C/mArtn, jerking ; clinking 

Clinkumoell, he who rings the church- 
bell. 

Clips, shears. 

Clishmaclaver, idle conversation. 

Clock, to hatch ; a beetle. 

Clocking hatching. 

Cloot, the hoof of a cow, sheep, die. 

Clootie, an old name for the Devil. 

Clour, a bump or swelling after a blow 

Cluds, clouds. 

Coaxin, wheedling. 

Coble, a fishing-boat. 

Cockemony, a lock of hair tied upon a 
girl's head; a cap. 

C^, bought. 

Cog, a wooden dish. 

Coggie, diminutive of cog. 

Coila, from Kyle, a district of Ayrshire ; 
so called, saith tradition, from Coil, 
or Coilus, a Pictish monarch. 

Collie, a general, and sometimes a par- 
ticular name for country curs. 

Collieshtmgie, quarrelling, an uproar. 

Commaun, command. 

Cood, the cud. 

Coof, a blockhead ; a ninny. 

Cookit, appeared, and disappeared by 
fits. 

Coost, did cast. . * 

Coot, the ancle or foot. 

Cootie, a wooden kitchen dish i-^so, 
those fowls whose legs are clad with 
feathers, are said to be cootie. 

Corbies, a species of the crow. 

Core, corps ; party ; clan. 

Cornet, fed with oats. 

Cotter, the inhabitant of a cot-house, or 
cottage. 

Couthie, kmd, loving. 

Cove, a cave. 

Cowe, to terrify ; to keep under, to lop ; 
a fright ; a branch of fiirze, broom, dtc. 

Cottp, to barter; to tumble over; a 
gang. 



168 



QL088ARY. 



GoMptt, tumbled. 

Coimri, cowering. 

Coiof , a colt. 

Co«M, mag. 

CoxUy^ snugly. 

Crabbity crabbed, fretful. 

Crock, conversation ; to conTent. 

Crocking conversing* 

Craft, or crojl, a field near a house (mi 

M kutbandryy 
Craikt, cries or calls incessantly ; a bird. 
Cramb<M:link, or crambtyjmgUy rhymes, 

doggrel verses. 
CrofMr, the noise of an ungreased wheel. 
Crtmhnu, fretful, captious. 
Cranreuch, the hoar frost. 
Crap, a crop ; to crop. 
Craw, a crow of a cock ; a rook. 
Creel, a basket ; to have <me*9 %nU in a 

creel, to be crazed ; to be fascinated. 
Creepie-etool, the same as cutty-stool. 
CreeefUe, greasy. 

Crood, or croud, to coo as a dove. 
Croon, a hollow and continued moan ; 

to make a noise like the continued 

roar of a bull ; to hum a tune. 
Crooning, humming. 
Crouchie, crook-backed. 
Crouie, cheerful ; courageous. 
Croiteely, cheerfully ; courageously. 
Crowdie, a composition of oat-meal and 

boiled water, sometimes from the 

broth of beef, mutton, &.e. 
Crotodie-time, breakfast time. 
Crmolin, crawling. 

Crummock, a cow with crooked horns. 
Crump, hard and brittle ; tpokenqfbread. 
Crvnt, a blow on the head with a cudgel. 
Cwf, a blockhead, a ninny. 
Cunmock, a short staff with a crooked 

head. 
Curchie, a courtesy. 
Cwrler, a player at a game on the ice, 

practised in Scotland, cidled curling. 
Curlie, curled, whose hair falls natu- 
' r^ly in ringlets. 

Curling, a well known game on the ice. 
Curmurring, murmuring ; a slight rum- 
bling noise. 
Curpin, the crupper. 
Cuekat, the dove, or wood-pigeon. 
CuUtf, short ; a spoon broken in the 

middle. 
CuUy-elool, the stool of repentance. 

D. 

Z>^i!>2>/£, a father. 

Dqffin, merriment ; foolishness 
Dafi, merry, giddy ; foolish. 



Daimen, rare, now aad then ; dc 

icker, an ear of com now and t] 
Dainty, pleasant, good humc 

agreeable. 
Daiee, daez, to stupify. 
Dalet, plains, valleys. 
Darkline, darkling. 
Damd, to thrash, to abuse. 
Daur, to dare. 
Dauri, dared. 

Daurg, or daurk^ a day's labour. 
Daieoc, David. 
Dawd, a large piece. 
DauftU, or £twtet, fondled, careei 
Deariee, diminutive of dears. 
Dearth^*, dear. 
Deaioe, to deafen. 
Deil-ma-^are ! no matter! for all 
Deleerit, delirious. 
Deecrive, to describe. 
Dight, to wipe ; to clean com 

chaff. 
Dighi, cleaned from chaff. 
Dtfi^, to worst, to push. 
Dink, neat, tidy, trnn. 
Dinna, do not. 

Dirl, a slight tremulous stroke oi 
Dizen, or dizx'n, a dozen. 
DoUed, Btupifiedi, hebetated. 
Dolt, Btupified, crazed. 
Dontie, unlucky. 
Dool, sorrow ; to eing dool, to la 

to mourn. 
Dooa, doves. 
Dorty, saucy, nice. 
Douce, or doute, sober, wise, prut 
Doucely, soberly, prudently. 
Dought, was or were able. 
Doup, backside. 
Doup-ekelper, one that strikes th 

Sour and din, sullen and sallow. 
oure, stout, durable; suUen,8tu1 
Do%D, am or are able, can. 
Dowff, pithless, wanting force. 
Doune, worn with grief, fatigui 

half asleep. 
Douma, am or are not able, cann 
Doylt, stupid. 

DoxerCt, stupified, impotent. 
Drop, a drop ; to drop. 
Draigle, to soil by trailing, to di 

among wet, &.c. 
Dropping, dropping. 
Draunting, drawling; of a slow 

elation. 
Dreep^ to ooze, to drop. 
Drtigh, tedious, lon^ about it. 
Dribble, drizzling; uaver. 
Drift, a drove. 
Droddum, the breecli. 



GLOSSARY 



169 



l>roM, part of a Imgpipe. 

Droop^rvsmpVi^ that drops at tlie crup- 
per. 

Dnmkii^ wet. 

DrmmUngy drawling. 

Drouth^ thirst, droughti 

DrucAren, drunken. 

Drumiy, muddy. 

Dntmmock, meal and water mixed in a 
raw state. ^ 

DrwUj pet, soar humoar. 

i>ii6, a small pond. 

Dudsy rags, clothes. 

Buddie, ragged. 

Dung, worsted ; pushed, driven. 

DufUed, beaten, boxed. 

Dtith, to push as a ram, &.c. 

Duthij piuhed by a ram, ox, &c. 



E. 



FE, the eye. 

Een, the eyes. 

E'enin, eveniuj^. 

Eerie, fnghted, dreading spirits. 

Eild, old age. 

EJbuck, the elbow. 

Eldritch, ghastly, frightful. 

Elier, an elder, or church officer 

En*, end. 

Enbrugk, Edinburgh. 

Eneu^, enough. 

Especial, especially. 

Ettle, to try, to attempt. 

Eydenif diligent. 



P. 



FA\ fan ; lot ; to fall. 

JrVt't, does fall ; water-falls. 

Faddam't, fathomed. 

Foe, a foe. 

Faem, foam. 

Faikei, unknown* 

Ftdrin, a fairing ; a present. 

Fallow, fellow. 

Ftmd, did find. 

Farl, a cake of oaten bread, &c. 

Fa»h, trouble, care ; to trouble to care 

for. 
Faaht, troubled. 
Fagteren e'en, Fasten's Even. 
Fauld, a fold ; to fold 
Faulding, folding. 
Faui, fault. 
Fauie, want, lack. 
Faweoni, decent, seemly. 
Feal, a field ; smooth. " 
Fearfu*, frightful. 
Fear't, frighted. 
Feat, neat, spruce. 

M f 



Fecht, to fiffht. 

FechHn, fighting. 

Feok, many, plenty. 

Feckei, an under waistcoat with sleeyes. 

Feckfu*, large, brawny, stout. 

Feckless, puny, weak, silly. 

Feckly, weakly. 

Feg, a fig. 

Feide, feud, enmity. 

Feirrie, stout, vigorous, healthy. 

Fell, keen, biting; the flesh immediately 
under the skm ; a field pretty level, 
on the side or top of a hul. 

Fen, successful struggle ; fight. 

Fend, to live comfortably. 

Ferlie, or fer ley, to wonder; awondisr; 
a term of contempt. 

Fetch, to pull by fits. 

FetchH, pulled intermittently. 

Fidge, to fidget. 

Fiel^ sofl, smooth. 

Fient, fiend, a petty oath. 

JFt€r, sound, healthy ; a brother; a friend. 

Fistle, to make a rustling noise; to 
fidget ; a bustle. 

Fit, a foot. 

Fiitie-lan', the nearer horse of the hind- 
most pair in the plough. 

Fizx, to make a hissing noise like fer- 
mentation. 

Flainen, flannel. 

Fleech, to supplicate in a flattering 
manner. 

Fleech'd, supplicated. 

Fleechin, supplicating. 

Fleesh, a fleece. 

Fleg, a kick, a random. 

Flether, to decoy by fair words. 

Fletherin, flattering. 

Fley, to scare, to frighten. 

Flicliier, to flutter, as young nestlings 
when their dam approaches. 

Flinders, shreds, broken pieces, splin- 
ters. 

Flinging'tree, a piece of timber hung 
by way of partition between two 
horses in a stable ; a flail. 

Fli^, to fret at the yoke. Fliskit, 
fretted. 

Flitier, to vibrate like the wings of 
small birds. 

Flittering, fluttering, vibrating. 

Flunkie, a servant in livery. 

Fodgel, squat and plump. 

Foord, a ford. 

Forbears, forefathers. 

Forbye, besides. 

Forfaim, distressed ; worn out, jaded 

Forfoughten, fatigued. 

Forgather, to meet, to encounter with 

Forgie, to Cox^Mft. 



GLOSSARY. 



f, jaded with fatigue, 
fodder. 
1 ; drunk. 

m, troubled, harassed, 
plenty, enough, or more than 
iffh. 

I bushel, &c. ; also a pitch-fork, 
from; off. 

mity strange, estranged from, at 
nity with. 
th, froth. 
%\ friend, 
full. 

, the scut, or tail of the hare, cony, 
.c. 

7", to blow intermittently. 
grt, did blow. 
nnUy full of merriment 
<r, a furrow. 
jrm, a form, bench. 
l/ke^ trifling cares ; to piddle, to be in 
a fuss about trifles. 
yUi to soil, to dirty 
.^n, soiled, dirtied. 

G. 

OABy the mouth ; to speak boldly, or 

pertly. 
Oaber-iunzie, an old man. 
Oadsmaiiy a ploughboy, the boy that 

drives the horses in the plough. 
Qaey to go ; gaed, went ; geieiiy or gane^ 

gone ; gaun, going. 
Gciety or galCy way, manner ; road. 
Qairiy triangular pieces of cloth sewed 

on the bottom of a gown, &c 
Oan^y to go, to walk. 
Gar, to make, to force to. 
Gar'ty forced to. 
Garten^ a garter. 
GoMhy wise, sagacious ; talkative ; to 

converse. 
Gafhiriy conversing. 
Gaun/y jolly, large. 
Gaudy a plough. 
Geary riches; goods of any kind 
Geek, to toss the head in wantonness or 

scorn. 
Gedy a pike. 

GerUleSy great folks, gentry. 
Genty^ elegantly formed, neat. 
Geordiey a guinea. 
Oety a child, a young one. 
Ghcdtiy a ghost. 

CHey to give ; gied, gave ; gien^ given. 
Gt/H«, mminutive of gid. 
QtgletSy playful girls. 
OiUiey diminutive of gill. 
OUpey, a half grown, half informed boy 
or girU a romping lad, a hoiden. 



OtMmer, t ewe ftom one to two ymn 

old. 
Gioy if; againat. 
GtpMy, a young girL 
Chm, to grin, to twiii the featares in 

rage, agony. Sue. 
Oimingy grinning. 
OiMXy a periwig. 
Glaikiiy mattentive, foolish. 
GUuve, a sword. 

Gawkyy half-witted, foolish^ romj^ng. 
Glaiziey glittering ; smooth like g laM 
Glaumy to snatch greedily. 
GlavnCdy aimed, snatched. 
Gleckf sharp, ready. 
Glegy sharp, ready. 
Gleib, glebe. 

Giefiy a dale, a deep valley. 
Gleyy a squint ; to squint ; a-^lejft off 

at a side, wrong. 
Glih'gahhety smooth and ready in apoeeh. 
Glinty to peep. 
Glintedy peeped. 
G/tnlin, peeping. 
Gloaminy the twilight. 
GtowTy to stare, to Took ; a atare, a look. 
Glowredy looked, stared. 
Glufuhy a frown, a sour look. 
GocNKxn, looking round with a fltrangea 

inquiring gaze ; staring stupid^. 
Cr<yx<iny the flower of the wild oaiay* 

hawk-weed, &c. 
Chwanyy daisied, abounding with dai- . 

sies. 
Gotcdy gold. 
Gwoffy the game of Golf; to strike a^ 

the bat does the ball at golf. 
Gowffdy struck. 

GowKy a cuckoo ; a term of contenp^^ 
Goir/, to howl. 

GranCy or grainy a groan ; to groan. 
Grain'd and grunted^ groaned azmc/ 

granted. 
Grainingy groaning. 
Graipy a pronged instrument fbrdetn- 

ing stables. 
Grmthy accoutrements, fumitare»dre«i 

gear. 
Granniey grandmother. 
Grapey to grope. 
Grapiiy groped. 
Graiy wept, shed tears. 
Greaiy intimate, familiar. 
Greey to agree ; to bear tke grm^ to be 

decidedly victor. 
Gree'ty agreed. 
Greety to shed tears, to weep. 
GreeHny crying, weeping. 
Grippety catched, seize£ 
Groaty to get tke whistle q^one*i great 

to play a losing game. 



— » 



GLOSSARY. 



171 



Qrmuom^ loathflomely, grim 

Qrwutf a gooseberry. 

Ommp hj a grunt ; to gmiit. 

Orumphiey a sow. 

Qrun*, ground. 

Orvnkane^ a grindstone. 

Gnmlle, the pniz ; a grunting noise. 

Grunxie^ mouth. 

Ortuhie, thick ; of thriving growth. 

Chidey the Supreme Being ; good. 

Quid, good. 

Qidd-mofTiing, good morrow. 

Onf^ e^en, good evenings 

Gmdnum and guidwife, the master and 
mistress of the house ; young gtn4' 
moMf a man newly married. 

Chdd-^nUiey Mheral; cordial. 

(hndfather^ guidmother, father-in-law, 
and mother-in-law. 

Oully^ or gtdlie, a large knife. 

OumUe^ muddy. 

Quity^ tastefuL 



H. 



BA\ hall. 

Ba*-BibU^ the great bible that lies in 

the halL 
Hoe, to have. 
Baenj had, the participle 
B[aei^fietU haety a petty oath of nega- 
tion; nothing. 
^t^ety the temple, the side of the head. 
ilc^inMy nearly half, partly. 
titigy a scar, or gulf in mosses, and moors. 
^aggie^ a kind of pudding boiled in the 

stomach of a cow or sheep. 
Hainy to spare, to save. 
Mam*df spared. 
Smrtty harvest. 
Haiihy a petty oath. 
Hai9tr»y nonsense, speaking without 

thought. 
ntU*y or haJdy an abiding place. 
Uale^ whole, tight, healthy. 
Ha/y, holy. 
Homey home. 

Hallany a particular partition-wall in a 
cottage, or more properly a seat of 
turf at the outside. 
Hailcynnasy Hallow-eve, the 31st of 

October. 
Homely y homely, affable. 
Hon\ or haun\ hand. 
Htuty an outer garment, mantle, plaid, 

&c. to wrap, to cover; to hop. 
Happevy a hopper. 
Hoppingy hopping. 
Hap Hep an* loupy hop skip and leap. 
HfirkUy hearkened. 
Hiam, very coarse linen. 



Hoihy a fellow that neither knows how 
to dress nor act with propriety. 

HastUy hastened. 

Haudy to hold. 

Haughty low lying, rich lands ; valleys. 

Hourly to drajg^ ; to peel. 

Haurliny peelmg. 

Haverely a half-witted person; half- 
witted. 

Havinsy good manners, decorum, good 
sense. 

Hawkiey a cow, properly one with a 
white face 

Heapity heaped 

HeaUomey healthful, wholesome. 

Heartey hoarse. 

Hear'ty hear it. 

Heathery heath. 

Hech! oh! strange. 

Hechty promised ; to foreteU something 
that )B to be got or given'; foretold; 
the thing foretold ; offered. 

HeckUy a hoard, in which* are fixed a 
number of sharp pins, used in dress- 
ing hemp, flax, dtc. 

HeezCy to elevate, to raise. 

Helniy the rudder or helm. 

Herdy to tend flocks ; one who tends 
flocks. 

Herriny a herring. 

Hern/y to plunder ; most properly to 
plunder birds' nests. 

Herrymenty phmdering, devastation 

Hertely herself; also a herd of cattle, 
of any sort. 

Hety hot. 

Heughy a craff, a coalpit. 

Hilchy a hobble ; to halt. 

HilMny halting. 

Himtely himselT. 

Hineyy honey. 

Hingy to han^. 

Ifirpley to w5k crazily, to creep. 

Hisgely so many cattle as one person 
can attend. 

Hittiey dry ; chapped ; barren. 

Hilchy a loop, a knot. 

HiiziOy a hussy, a young girl. 

Hoddiny the motion of a sage country- 
man riding on a cart-horse ; humble. 

Hog'tcorey a kind of distance line, in 
curling, drawn across the rink. 

Hog'thmdhery a kind of horse play, by 
justling with the shoulder ; to justle. 

Hooly outer skin or case, a nut-shell ; 
a peas-cod. 

Hooliey slowly, leisurely. 

Hoolie ! take leisure, stop. 

Hoordy a hoard ; to hoard. 

HoordUy horded. 

Horriy a spoon made of horn* 



lit 



OLOSSARV. 



HomU^ <me of the miny names of the 
devil. 

HoHf or hooiiy to cough ; a couglk 

HoHin^ coughing. 

HoiU, coughs^ 

Hoick' dy turned topsyturvy; blended, 
mixed. 

Houghmagandie^ fornication 

Haulety an owl. 

Houtie^ diminutive of housa 

Hove, to heave, to swell. 

Hov*d, heaved, swelled. 

Howdie^ a midwife. 

Howe, hollow ; a hollow or dell. 

HofiBtbadeily sunk in the back, spoken 
of a horse, &.c. 

Howff, a tippling house ; a house of re- 
sort. 

Hofwky to dig. 

Hotokity digged. 

Ha/wkin, digging. 

Hotoleiy an owl. 

Hoy, to iii|re. 

Hoy% urged. 

Hoyte, to pull upwards. 

HoyUy to amble crazily. 

HughoCy diminutive of Hugh. 

Hurcheon, a hedgehog. 

Hurdiei, the loins ; the crupper. 

Huthion^ a cushion. 



I. 



Icker, an ear of com. 
ler-oe, a great-grandchild. 
Ilk, or Ilka, each, every. 
Ill'Vaillie, ill-natured, malicious, nig- 
gardly. 
Ingine, genius, ingenuity 
IrigU, fire ; fire-place. 
I»e, I shall or wUl. 
ItheTy other ; one another. 



JAD, jade ; also a familiar term among 
country folks for a giddy young girl. 

Jauk, to dally, to trifle. 

Jaukin, trifling, dallying. 

Jaup, a jerk of water ; to jerk as agi- 
tated water. 

Jaio, coarse raillery ; to pour out ; to 
shut, to jerk as <eater. 

Terkinet, a jerkin, or short gown. 

fillet, a jilt, a giddy girl. 

Jimp, to jump ; slender in the waist ; 
handsome. 

Jimpt, easy stays. 

Jink, to ood^e, to turn a comer ; a 
midden tuming ; a comer. 



Jtnker, that tomt quickly ; a 

sprightly girl ; a wag. 
JinJcin, dodging. 
Jirk, a jerk. 
JocteUg, a kind of knife. 
Joukf to stoop, to bow the head. 
Jow, tojow, a verb which include! 
'^ the swinging motion and p€ 

sound of a large belL 
Jundie^ to justle. 

E. 

KAE^ a daw. ^ 

Kail, colewort ; a kind of brotlu 
Kail-runt, the stem of colewort. 
Kain, fowls, &.C. paid as rent by i 

mer. • 
Kebbuck, a cheese. 
Keckle, to giggle ; to titter. 
Keek, a peep, to peep. 
Kelpies, a sort of mischievous 8] 

said to haunt fords and ferries at i 

especially m storms. 
Ken, to know ; kend or kenn*d ki 
Kennin, a small matter. 
Kentpeckle well known, easily ki 
Ket, matted, hairy; a fleece of w 
Kilt, to truss up the clothes. 
Kimmer, a young girl, a gossip. 
Kin, kindred ; Arm', kind, adj. 
King^t'hood, a certain part of tl 

trails of an ox, &.c. 
KMra, country. 
Kinira Cooter, country stallion. 
JTtm, the harvest supper ; a cho] 
Kireen, to christen, or baptize. 
Kist, a chest ; a shop counter. 
Kitchen, any thing that eats with b 

to serve for soup, gravy, &c. 
Kith, kindred. 

Kittle, to tickle ; ticklish ; lively 
Kiitlin, a young cat. 
Kiuttle, to cuddle. 
Kiuttlin, cuddling. 
Knaggie, like ktMgt, or points of i 
Knap, to strike smartly, a smart 
Knappin-hammer, a hammer for b 

ing stones. 
Knovoe, a small rotmd hillock. 
Knurl, a dwarf. 
Kye, cows. 

Kyle, a district in Ayrshire. 
Kyte, the belly. 
Kythe, to discover ; to show one'l 



L. 



LADDIE, dimmutive of lad. 
iMggen, the angle between the Bid 
bottom of a wooden dish. 



GLOSSARY. 



173 



Laigh^ low. 

£««n^. wading, and nnUng m anow, 

mad, &c. 
Laithy loath. 

LaiH^u\ bashful, sheepish. 
Laliansj the Scottish dialect of the 
li English language. * 

Lambig^ diminutive of lamb. 
LampUy a kind of shell-fish, a limpit. 
Lan\ land ; estate. 

Lane, lone ; my lane^ thy lane^ 4r£f my- 
self alone, &c. 
Lonely, lonely. 
Lang, long ; to think tang, to long, to 

weary. 
Lap, did leap. 

Looe, the rest, the remainder, the others. 
Laverock, the lark. 
Lttwin, shot, reckoning, bill. 
LawkMy lowland. 
Lea^e^ to leave. 

Leal, loyal, true, faithful. • 

Lta^rig, grassy ridge. 
Lear, (pronounce lare,) learning. 
Lee-'laiig, live-long. 
Lee9ome, pleasant. 
leera-me, a phrase of congratulatory 

endearment ; I am happy in thee, or 

proud of thee. 
Leiiter, a three pronged dart for stzik- 

ingfish. 
Leugh, did laugh 
Leuk, a look ; to look 
L&bei, gelded. 
U/t, the sky. 

lightly, sneeringly ; to sneer at 
LUi, a ballad ; a tune ; to sing. 
lAmmer, a kept mistress, a s^ompet. 
Lknp*t, limped, hobbled 
Link, to trip along 
Lmkin, trippinjr. 
Linn, a water-tall ; a precipice. 
Lini, flax ; lint t' Vie bell, flax in flower. 
Lintufhite, a linnet. 
Loan, or lo<min, the place of milking. 
Loof, the palm of the han(^ 
Loot, did let. 
Loaves, plural of loof. 
Loun, a fellow, a ragamuffin ; a woman 

of easy virtue. 
Loup, jump, leao 

Lowe, a flame. ' 

Lowin, flaming. ' 

Lowrie, abbreviaHon of Lawrence 
Lowee, to loose. 
Lowt'd, loosed. 
Lug, the ear ; a handle. 
Lugget, having a handle. 
Luggie, a small wooden dish with a 

handle. 
Lrnn^ the chimney. 



Lunth, a large piece of cheese, Hath, dtc 
Lunl, a column of smoke ; to smoke. 
Luntm, smoking. 
Lyart^ of a mixed colour, gray. 

M. 

fMAE, more. 

Jfair, more. 

Mxiet, most, almost. 

JSaittly, mostly. 

Xak, to make. 

^akin, making. 

JilaiUn, a farm. 

JiiUlie, Molly. 

Mang, among. 

Jianee, the parsonage house, where the 

minister lives. 
Manteele, a mantle. 
J^ark, marks, (Thie and eeveral other 

nouns which in English require an s, 

to form the plural, are in Scotch, Hke 

the words sheep, deer, the same in 

both numbers,) 
Jlarled, variegated ; spotted. 
Mar's year, the year 1715. 
J^ashlum, meslin, mixed com. 
Mask, to mash, as malt, dtc. 
Jfcukin-pat, a tea-pot. 
Maud, maad, a plaid worn by ihep- 

herds, &c. 
J&aukin, a hare. 
Maun,, must. 
Mavis, the thrush 
Maw, to mow. 
Mawin, mowing. 
Metre, a mare. 
Meikle, meickle, much. 
Melancholious, moumflil 
Meldery com, or grain of any kind, sent 

to the mill to be ground. 
Mell, to meddle. Also a mallet for 

pounding barley in a stone trough. 
Melvie, to soil with meal. 
Men', to mend. 

Mense, good manners, decorum. 
Menseless, ill-bred, rude, impudent 
Messin, a small dog. 
Midden, a dunghill. 
Midden-hole, a gutter at the bottom of 

a dunghill. 
Mim, pnm, afiectedly meek. 
Min\ mind ; resemblance. 
MuuTt, mind it ; resolved, intendii^. 
Minnie, mother, dam. 
Mirk, mirkest, dark, darkest. 
Misca*, to abuse, to call names 
Misca'd, abused. 

Mislear'd, mischievous, unidannerlji 
JMSiCeiifc, mistook. 
Mithhr, a mother. 



174 



GLOSSARY. 



conflisedly ndzcd. 
Jfoitti/yj to moiBtcn. 
Jtfony, or monies many. 
Jfooh^ dtist, earth, the earth of the 

ffrave. To rake t* the mooU ; to lay 

in the dust. 
J^oopy to nibble as a sheep. 
Jfoorlam\ of or belonging to moors. 
Jtfbm, tho next day, to-morrow. 
Jtfou, the mouth. 
Jlfoudiwort^ a mole. 
'Motuiey diminutive of mouse. 
J^uckUy or mUJcle^ gre&t, big, much. 
MutUy diminutive of muse. 
MutUn-kaUt broth, composed amply of 

water, shelled-barley, and greens. 
Mvichkin^ an English pint 
Myeelf myself. 

N. 

JMf no, not, nor. 

JVhe, no, not any. 

j^adhmfCf or naiihmg^ nothing* 

Mtigj a horse. 

JVofie, none. 

Jfappyy ale ; to be tipsy. 

JW^iedbif, neglected. 

Jfinikj a nook. 

JfieHy next. 

JVIeos, the fist. 

JfUvtfu\ handful. • 

^ffer^ an exchange ; to exchange, to 

barter. 
J^ftgeTf a negro. 

Jfine-iaird-^y a hangnum's whip. 
^fti^ a nut. 

Jforlandy of or belonging to the north, 
JVbfic*^, noticed. 
JVbwto, black cattle. 

O. 

CjOf. 

Ocheliy name of mountams. 

O ^iat<^ O faith! an oath. 

Of^, or ome, anv. 

Or, is often osed for er^, before 

Oroy or orm, snpemumerary, that can 

be spared. 
0% of it. 

Ourts, shivering ; drooping. 
OuTMly or our»ei$i ourselves. 
Oiil20rf, cattle not housed. 
Ower, over ; too. 
Ower-kipy a way of fetching a blow 

with the luunmer over the arm. 



P. 



PACKy intimate, fiuniliar ; , twelve 
itoito of wool. 



Painchy paunch. 

Paitrick, a partridge. 

Pangy to cram. 

ParUy speech. 

ParrUchy oatmeal pudding, a wel 

known Scotch dish. 
Paty did put ; a pot. 
PaUUy or pHtUy a plough-staff. 
Paughtyy proud, haughty. 
PmSty^ Of pawkUy cunning, sly. 
P^i^ paid; beat. 
Pedi, to fetch the breath short, u i 

an asthma. 
Pechany the crop the stomach. 
Peeltfi, peelinjf, the rind of firoit. 
Peiy a dfomesticated sheep, du^ 
Pett/e, to cherish ; a plough-staff. ' 
PhiUbtgty short petticoats worn by th 

Hi^mandmen. 
P/krowe, fair speeches, flattery; toflai 

ter. 
Phraiiiny flattery. 
Pibroch^ Highland war music adapU 

to the bagpipe. 
PkkUy a small quantity. 
PtiM, pain, uneasiness. 
Pt<, to put. 

Placadf a public proclamation. 
Placky an old Scotch' coin, the thii 

part of a Scotch penny, twelve < 

which make an Ehiglish penny. 
PlackUity pennyless, vnthout money 
PlaOe, diminutive of plate. 
Plewy or pleuehy a plough. 
PUekie, a trick. 
Pomdy to seize cattle or goods Ibr real 

as the laws of Scotland allow. 
PocifiUhy poverty. 
Poti, to pull. 
Pofilr, to pluck. 
Pouitiey a hare, or cat. 
Pouty a poult, a chick. 
P(m% did pull. 
PowUieryyijke powder. 
Pmcy the head, the skuU, 
Powmey a little horse. 
PowtheTy or pwdhcTy powder. 
Preeny a pin. 
Preniy to print ; print. 
PrUy to taste. 
Prt^dy tasted. 
Prie/i proof. 

Prigy to cheapen ; to dispute. 
Prigginy cheapening. 
Primtiey demure, precise. 
Proponey to lay down, to propose. 
ProvoteMy provosts. 
Puddock'itooly a mushroom, fungus. 
Pvndy pound ; pounds. 
Pyley-<L pyU 0* cc^, a ring le gnm o 

chaff. 



* _ 



GLOSSARY. 



175 



OUAT^ to quit. 
OmoI:, to quake. 
Qcicy, a cow from one to two years old. 



R. 



RAOWEED, the herb ragwort. 

HdbUy to rattle nonsenee. 

i2a»r, to roar. 

Aiure, to madden, to inflame. 

Ram^eexrdy fatiffued ; overspread. 

/Zonwlam, thoughtless, forward. 

Maplochy [properly) a coarse cloth ; but 

U9€d a» an adnounfor coarse. 
Jlartlyy excellently, very well. 
Maahy a rush ; rtukiuUf a bush of rushes. 
MaUonj a rat. 

MaucUj rash ; stout ; fearless. 
.' Jlaugkiy ret ched. 
Rawy a row. 
J|cbr, to stretch. 

Meamy cream ; to cream. _^ 

lUamingy briznful, frothing. V^ 
J2eooe, rove. 
Reeky to heed. 
Reiey counsel ; to counseL 
Bed'ioat'ehody walking in blood over 

the shoe-tops. 
Red-^tudy stark mad. 
Aee, half-drunk, fuddled. 
Reeky smoke. 
Reekuiy smoking. 
IZedbtl, smoked ; smoky. 
Remeady remedy. 
ReqmUy reunited. 
Retiy to stand restive. 
Rettit^ stood restive ; stunted ; withered. 
Reitriekedy restricted. 
Rewy to repent to compassionate. 
Hief, ree/y plenty. 
Riefrandieiy sturdy beggars. 
Rigy a ridge. 
Rigtoiddiey_rigv>oodiey the rope or chain 

that crosses the saddle of a horse to 
' support the spokes of a cart ; spare, 

withered, sapless. 
JRtf^ to run, to melt; rtimtn, running. 
Rmky the course of the stones ; a term 

in curlinff on ice. 
Ripy a handful of unthreshed com. 
Ruieiiy made a noise like the tearing of 

roots. 
Rockiny spinning on the rock or dit^ff. 
Roody stands likewise for the plural 

rood*. 
Roorty a shred, a border or selvage. 
JRoofs, to praise, to commend. 
Roody f rusty 



Roun*y round, in the circle of neigh- 
bourhood. 

Roupeiy hoarse, as with a cold. 

Routhiey plentiful. 

Rowy to roll, to wrap. 

Row% rolled, wrapped. 

RowUy to low, to bellow* 

Rowthy or routh^ plenty. ^ 

Routiny lowing. 

Roxeiy rosin. 

Rungy a cudgel. 

Runkledy wrmkled. 

Runty the stem of cole wort or cabbage. 

Ruthy a woman's name ; the book so 
called; sorrow. 

Rykey to reach. 



S. 



SAEyBO. 
Softy BO^ 

Sotr, to serve ; a sore. 

Scdrlyy or eairUey sorely. 

Sair^iy served. 

Sarky a shirt ; a shift. 

SarkUy provided in shirts. 

Saughy the willow. 

SatUy soul. 

SaumorUy salmon. 

Sauni, a saint. 

Sauty salt, adj. salt. 

SaWy to sow. 

Saiuiny sowii^. 

Saxy six 

ScaUhy to dama^ to injure ; injury 

Scary a cliff. 

Scaudy to scald. 

Scauldy to scold. 

Scaury apt to be scared. 

Scawly a scold ; a termigant 

Scony a cake of bread. 

Scanner y a loathing ; to loathe. 

Scraichy to scream as a hen, partridge, 

&c. 
Screedy to tear ; a rent. 
Scrievey to gUde swiftly along. 
Scriemny gleesomely ; swiftly. 
Scrimpy to scant. 
Scrimpeiy did scant ; scanty. 
See*dy did see. 
Seixiny seizing. 

Sely self; a Mly*» te/, one's self akoe. 
Selfiy did sell. 
Sen\ to send. 

Sen'ty I, &c. sent, or did send it ; send it 
Servan*y servant. 
SeUliny settling; to gel a eeUUn^ to be 

frighted into quietness. 
Seliy sets off, goes away. 
SAocAM, distorted; suipeless. 
Shairdy a shred, a shard. 



176 



GLOSSARY. 



Shangan^ a stick cleft at one end for 
putting the tail of a dog, &c. into, 
D^ way of mischief, or to frighten 
him away. 
Shaver^ a humorous wag ; a barber. 
Shawj to show ; a small wood in a hol- 
low. 
Sheen, l^ght, shining. 
Sheep-thank ; to think one't nXf nae 

thcep'thank, to be conceited. 
Sherra-moor, sheriflT-moor, the famous 
battle fought in the rebellion, A. D. 
1715. 
Sheughy a ditch, a trench, a sluice. 
Shiel, a shed. 
ShUl, shrill. 

Shog, a shock ; a push off at one side 
Shool, a shovel. 
Shoon, shoes. 

Sfiore, to offer, to threaten. 
Shar'd, oflfered. 
Shouther, the shoulder. 
Shure, did shear, shore. 
SiCy such. 

Sicker, sure, steady. 
Sideline, sidelong, slanting 
Siller, silver ; money. 
Simmer, summe**. 
Sin, a son. 
Sin\ since. 
Skaith, see ecaith 
Skellwn, a worthless fellow. 
Skelp, to strike, to slap ; to walk with 
a smart tripping step ; a smart stroke. 
Skelpie-limmer, a reproachful term in 

female scolding. * 
Skelpin, stepping, walking. 
Skiegh, or ekeigh^ proud, nice, high- 
mettled. 
Skinklin, a small portion. 
Skirl, to shriek, to cry shrilly. 
Skirling, shrieking, crying. 
Skirrt, shrieked. 
Sklent, slant ; to run aslant, to deviate 

from truth. 
Sklented, ran, or hit, in an oblique di- 
rection. 
Skouth, freedom to converse without 

restraint ; range, scope. 
Skriegh, a scream ; to scream. 
Skyrin, shiniflg ; making a great show 
Skyte, force, very forcilue motion. 
Sloe, a sloe. 
Slade, did slide. 

Slap, a gate ; a breach in a fence. 
Slaner, saliva ; to emit saliva. 
Slow, slow. 
She, sly ; tleeH, sliest. 
Sledeii, sleek; sly. 
SHddery^ slippery. 



Slype, to fall over, as a wet furrow 

from the plough. 
Slypet, fell. 
Sma\ small. 

Smeddum, dust, powder ; mettle, sense. 
Smiddy, a smithy. 
Smoor, to smother. 
Smoor'd, smothered. 
Smoutie, smutty, obscene, uffly. 
Smytrie, a numerous collection of small 

individuals. • 

Snapper, to stumble, a stumble. 
Snaeh, abuse, Billingsgate. 
Snaw, snow ; to snow. 
Snaw-hroo, melted snow. 
Snatoie, snowy. 

Sneck, snick, the latch of a door. 
Sned, to lop, to cut off. 
Sneeshin, snuff. 
Sneeshin-mill, a snuff-box. 
Snell, bitter, biting. 
Snick-drawing, trick-contriving, craf^ 
Snirtle, to laugh restrainedly. 
Snood, a ribbon for binding the haix. 
Snoolf one whose spirit is oroken with 
oppressive slaveiy ; to submit tamely, 
to sneak. 
Snoove, to go smoothly and constantly, 

to sneak. , 

Snowk, to scent or snuff, as a dog, itc. 
Snowkii, scented, snuffed. 
Sonsie, having sweet engaging looks ; 

lucky, jolly. 
Soom, to swim. 
Sooth, truth, a petty oath. 
Sough, a heavy sigh, a sound dying on 

the ear. 
Souple, flexible ; swift, i^ 
Souter, a shoemaker. 
Sowensy a dish made of oatmeal; the 
seeds of oatmeal soared, dte. flum- 
mery. 
Soujp, a spoonful, a small qoantity of 

any thing liquid. 
Soufth, to try over a tune with a low 

whistle. 
Sowther, solder ; to solder, to cement. 
Spae, to prophesy, to divine. 
Spatd, a limb. 

Spcdrgty to dash, to sofl, as with mire. 
Spamety having the spavin. 
Spedn, epane, to wean. 
Speai, or epaie^ a sweeping torrent, titer 

rain or thaw. 
Speel, to dimb. 
SpencBy the country jwrloor. 
filter, to ask, to inquire* 
Spier% inquired. 
flatter^ a splatter, to splutter. 
nu^^imt a tobaoco-pouoii. 



GLOSSARY. 



I7t 



Mbiit,afroBe; andie, riot. 

&pradcU^ tprachU^ to daniber. 

SprattU, to scr&mble. 

SpreckUd^ spotted, speckled. 

Springs a quick air in mane ; a Scot- 
tish reel. 

Spriiy a tough-rooted plant, lomething 
like rushes. 

SpriUie^ full of sprit. 

Spunky fire, mettle ; wit. 

iS^mnArte, mettlesome, fiery; im/l-o'-tvitp, 
or igmtfatuut. 

Spurtle^ a stick used in making oatmeal 
pudding or porridge* 

Squady a crew, a party. 

Squaiter, to flutter in watar, as a wild 
ducks dLc. 

SquaUUj to sprawl. 

Sgueely a scream, a screech ; to scream. 

SiacheTy to stagger. 

Siacky a rick or com, hay, dte. 

£la;^^,*the diminutive of stag. 

SicUwart^ strong stout. 

Sietntf to stand ; «tafi7, did stand. 

5lafie,4L stone. * 

SUmgy an acute pain ; a twinge ; to 
ating. 

Skmk^ did atink ; a pool of standing 
water. 

Stapy stop. 

Starky stout. 

Siartiey to run as cattle ttung by the 
gad-fly. 

Siawnrtly a blockhead ; half-witted. 

Siawy did steal ; to surfeit 

SUchy to cram the belly. 

Siechin cramming. 

Siedty to shut ; a sfitch. 

Sieer^ to molest ; to stir. 

Sleeve, firm, compacted. 

&eU, a still. 

Sieny to rear as a horse. 

Sien% reared. 

SienUf tribute ; dues of any kind. 

SIsy, steep ; tteyesty steepest. 

StibbUy stubble ; etibble'rig, the reaper 
in harvest who takes the lead. 

Stick an* HoWy totally, altogether. 

SHUt a crutch ; to halt, to limp. 

Stimpart, the eighth part of a Winches- 
ter bushel. 

SHrkj a cow or bullock a year old. 

Siockj a plant or root of colewort, cab- 
bage, &c. 

SioMny a Bto<;king ; throwing the ttockiny 
i/hen the bride and bridegroom are 
put into bed, and the candle out, the 
former throws a stocking at random 
among the company, ana the person 
whom it strikes is the next that will 
be married. 

N 



Sfotter, to stagger, to stammer. 
Stooked, made up in shocks as com. 
StooTy sounding hollow, strong, and 

hoarse. 
Sioty an oz. 
Stoupy or Howvy a kind of jug or dish 

with a handle. 
Siourey dust, more particularly dust in 

motion. 
Stowlkigy by stealth. 
Stotmy stolen. 
StoyiCy to stumble. 
Strack^ did strike. 
Stracy straw ', to die a fair Hrae deaih^ 

to die in bed. 
Straiky did strike* 
StrtUkit, stroked. 
Strappan, tall and handsome. 
Stratf^fUy straight, to straighten. 
Streeky stretched, tight ; to stretch. 
StriddUy to straddle. 
Stroimy to spout, to piss. 
SttiddiCt an anvil. 
Stumpie^ diminutive of stump. 
Struniy spirituous liquor of any kind ; 

to walk sturdily ; hufiT, sullenness. 
Stuffy com or pulse of any kind. 
Sturty trouble ; to molest* 
Sturtiny frighted. 
Suckery sugar. 
Sudy should. 
Sughy the continued rushing noise of 

wind or water. 
Stdhrony southeni ; an old name for the 

English nation. 
Stoairdy sward. 
StoalVdy swelled. 
Swanky stately, jolly. 
Swankicy or noankery a tight strapping 

young fellow or girl. 
Swapy an exchange ; to barter. 
Swarf y to swoon ; a swoon. 
Swaty did sweat. 
Swatchy a sample. 
SwatSy drink ; ^ood ale. 
Swealeny sweatmg. 
Sweer^ lazy, averse; dead'Sweer^ ex* 

tremely averse. 
Swoory swore, did swear. 
Swingey to beat ; to whip. 
Swirly a curve; an eddying blast, or 

pool ; a knot in wood. 
Swirlicy knaggie, full of knots. 
Swithy get away. 
SwUhery to hesitate in choice ; an ir- 

resolute wavering in choice. 
SynCy since, ago ; tnen. 

T. 

TACKETSy a kind of nails for driving 
into the heels of shoes. 



178 



GLOSSARY. 



Dae^ a toe; ihrtB-tae^d^ hmng three 
pron^* 

TVttr^e, a target. ^ 

Taky to take ; taking taking. 

Tamtalianj the name of a mountain. 

TangUj a fiea-weed. 

Tap, the top. 

TapetlesSf heedless, foolish. 

Tbrroir, to murmur at one's a iowance. 

Tarrow% murmured. 

Tarry-breeksy a sailor. 

Tauld, or taldy told. 

Taupie, a foolish, thoughtless young 
person. 

TauUdy or toti/ie, matted together ; spo- 
ken of hair or wool. 

• 

Tonoie, that allows itself peaceably to be 
handled ; spoken of a horse, cow, dtc. 

Teaif a small quantity. 

Tesfi, to povoke ; provocation. 

Teddingt spreading afler the mower. 

Ten-hourt bite, a slight feed for the 
horses while in the yoke, in the fore- 
noon. 

Tent, a field-pulpit ; heed, caution ; to 
take heed ; to tend or herd cattle. 

TerUie, heedful, caution 

Tentlesi, heedl 

TVug-A, tough. 

TTiticky thatch; (hack an* rope, clothing, 
necessaries. 

Tliae, these. 

77^1 rm#, small guts ; fiddle-strings. 

Thankit, thanked. 

Theekii, thatched. 

TliegUherj together. 

TViemsel, themselves. 

Thick, intimate, familiar. 

Thievelen, cold, dry, spited ; spoken of 
a person's demeanour. 

Thir, these. 

Thirl, to thrill. 

Thirled, thrilled, vibrated. 

TViole, to suffer, to endure. 

UunBe, a thaw; to thaw. 

TViowlegi, slack, lazy. 

TTirang, throng ; a crowd. 

Thrapple, throat, windpipe. 

Throne, twenty-four sheaves or two 
shocks of com ; a considerable num- 
ber. 

T^ravj, to sprain, to tWist ; to contradict. 

TVtratoin, twisting, Sic, 

Thrown, sprained, twisted, contradict- 
ed. 

Threap, to maintain by dint of assertion. 

TTireshin, thrashing. 

ThreUen, thirteen. 

Thrutle, thistle. 

Through, to go on with ; to make out. 

Thrmiher, pell-mell, oonAisedly. 



Thiid, to make a loud intenrntttnt noli 
Thumpit, thumped^ 
ThyeA, thyself. 

Tan, to it. 

Trmmer, timber. 

Tine, to lose ; Hni, lost. 

Tinkler, a tinker. 

Ti$U the gate, lost the way* 

Tip, a ram. 

Tippence, twopence. 

TxA, to make a slight noise ; to uneon 

Tirlin, uncovering. 

TWier, the other. 

Tittle, to whisper. 

Tittlin, whispering. 

Tocher, marriage portion. 

Tod, a fox. 

Toddle, to totter, like tho walk of a chil 

Toddlin, tottering. 

Toom, empty, to empty. 

Toop, a ram. 

Toun, a hamlet ; a farm-hooae. 

TotU, the blast of a horn or trumpet , 

blow a horn, &.c. 
Tow, a rope. » 

Towmond^ a twelvemonth. 
Towzie, rough, shaggy. 
Toy, a very old fasmon of female hea 

dress. 
Toyte, to totter like old age. 
Transmugrify'd, transmigrated, met 

morphosed. 
TrastUrie, trash. 
Trews, trowsers. 
Trickle, full of tricks. 
Trig, spruce, neat. 
Trimly, excellently. 
Trow, to believe.. 
Trowth, truth, a petty oath. 
Trytte, an appointment ; a fair. 
Trytted, appointed ; to tryeUy to maJ 

an appointment. 
Try% tried. 
Tug, raw hide, of which in old timi 

plough-traces were frequently mad 
Tulzie, a quarrel ; to quarrel, to figh 
Twa, two. 
Twa-three, a few. 
'Twad, it would. 
Twal, twelve ; twal-pennie worthy 

small quantity, a penny-worth. 
N. B. OnepennyEngUthie'iZdScotc 
Twin, to part. 
Tyke, a dog. 



U. 



UJ^rcO, strange, uncouth ; very, vci 

great, prodigious. 
Uncoe, news. 
Unkenn*d unknown. 



GLOSSARY. 



179 



OMdfcfr, miiare, omtaidy. 
riufaM'd, imdaioagvd, imhiirt 
UmoeeUngj imwittuiglyy onkiiowiiigly. 
Qpo^, upon. 
Urekm^ a hedge-bog. 

V. 

VAP^RIN'^ ▼aponiiiig. 
Vmra^ very. 

Vhri^ a ring round a eolomn, dtc 
nuiej corn of all kindi, food. 

W. 

IFA\ wan ; wa\ walk. 

IFa&ffier, a weaver. 

Wadf would ; to bet ; a bet, a pledge. 

fTadnOj would not. 

fPoe, wo ; sorrowful. 

Wa^'y woful, sorrowful, wailing. 

Waeiuekgi or iea«t-m</ aluIO the 

IFoft, the cron thread that ffoes from 
the shuttle through the weo ; woo£ 

Wair^ to lay out, to expend. 

JFole, choice ; to choose. 

WaTdy chose, chosen. 

WalUj ample, large, jolly ; alio an in- 
terjection of dis&ess. 

Wam€f the belly. 

Watnefu\ a bellT-fblL 

Wanehaneiey unlucky. 

Wanregffv^y restless. 

^arfc, work. 

FForfc-limM, a tool to work with. 

Warly or worlds world. 

Warloeky a wizard. 

Warfy, worldly, eager on *mM«fig 
weuth. 

Wdrrany a warrant ; to warrant. 

WdrH, worst. 

WdrtWdf or wanrdf wrestled. 

Watiriej prodigally. 

Waij wet ; / wai^ I wot, I know. 

IFa<ar-5rofe, brose made of meal and 
water simply, without the addition of 
milk, butter, dtc 

WattUf a twig, a wand. 

WaubUf to swiuff, to reel. 

Wanghiy a drau^t. 

WaMi^ thickened as fullers do cloth. 

Waukfyty not apt to sleep. 

WauTi worse ; to worst. 

fFaur'tj worsted. 

Wean^ or weame^ a child. 

WeariBj or weary; many a weary body ^ 
many a different person. 

fFecuon, weasand. 

Weaning Vie elodemg. See, Sioehmg^ 
p. 177. 



Wee, Uttle; wee CMigrff, little ones; wee 
bit, a small matter. 

Weel, well ; weelfare, welfare. 

Weet, rain, wetness. 

Weird, fate. 

We'ee, we shall. 

Wha, who. 

Whcdxle, to wheeze 

WhalpU, whelped. 

Whang, a leathern string ; a piece of 
cheese, bread, &c. to give the strap- 
pado. 

"Wfiare, where ; where'er, wherever. 

Wheep, to fly nimbly, to jerk ; petmy' 
wheep, small beer. 

Whate, whose. 

Whaireck, nevertheless. 

Whid, the motion of a hare, running but 
not frighted ; a lie. 

Whidden, running as a hare or cony. 

Whigmeleeriee, whims, fancies, crotch 
ets. 

Whuigin, crying, complaining, fretting. 

Whirligigume, useless ornaments, tn- 
fling appendages. 

Whistle, a whisSe ; to wnistle. 

Whisht, silence ; io hold one*8 whiehl^ to 
be silent. 

Whisk, to sweep, to lash. 

Whiskii, lashed. 

Whitter, a hearty draught of liquor. 

Whun'Stane, a whin-stone. 

Whyles, whiles, sometimes. 

Wi\ with. 

TFfcA/, to^/U, powerful, strong ; inven- 
tive ; of a superior genius. 

Wick, to strike a stone in an oblique 
direction ; a term in curling. 

Wicker, willow (the smaller sort.) 

Wiel, a small whirlpool. 

Wtfie, a diminutive or endearing term 
lor wife. 

Wilyart, bashful and reserved ; avoid- 
ing society or appearinff awkward in 
it ; wild, strange, timid. 

Wimple, to meander. 

WimpVt, meandered. 

Wimplin, waving, meandering. 

Win, to win, to winnow. 

Win't, winded as a bottom of vam. 

Win*, wind; win's, winds. 

Winna, will not. 

Winnock, a ]pdndow. ^ 

Winsome, hearty, vaunted, gay. 

WintU, a stajg^gering motion ; to stag 
ger, to reel. 

Winze, an oath. 

Wiss, to wish. 

WUhoutten, without. 

Wixen'd, hide-bound, dried, shrunk. 



180 



GLOSSARY. 



ITonfMr, a wonder; a eontemptuoiu 
appellation. 

W(mM, dwclb. 

Woo\ wool. 

IFoOf to court, to make love to. 

Woodity a rope, more properly one 
made of withes or willowa. 

Wooer-hab^ the garter Imotted below 
the knee with a couple of loope. 

Wordy^ worthy. 

Wortet^ worsted. 

Wovoy an -exclamation of pleamre or 
wonder. 

Wrack^ to teaze, to vex. 

Wraith^ a spirit, or ghost ; an appari- 
tion exactly like a living person, whose 
appearance is said to forebode the 
person's approaching death. 

Trrang^ wronff ; to wrong. 

JFrcethy a drilled heap orinow. 

irud'tnad^ distracted. 

Wumhle, a wimble. 

JFyie^ to beguile. 

lyylieeoai^ a flannel vest. 

Jfyte^ blame ; to blame. 



Y. 



YADy an eld mare ; a worn out horse 
Yti thii pronoun ii/requmUy uted fo 

thou. 
TeamMy longs much. 
Yearlingi^ born in the same year, cc 

cvals. 
Tear is used boih/or singuiar and pl% 

ralf years. 
Team^ som, an eag:le, an ospray. 
Fe//, barren, that gives no milk. 
Yerkj to laeh, to jerk. 
Yerkit^ jerked, lashed. 
Yestreen, yesternight. 
Yeit, a gate, such as is usually at tfa 

entrance into a farm-yard or field. 
YUi, ale. 
Yirdy earth. 
Yokin, yoking ; a bout. 
KofU, beyond. 
Foutm/, yourself. 
Fotoe, a ewe. 

Yoiois* diminutive of yowe 
YWs, ChristmM. 



THE 



MIP2S <&9 immML'T mifws^ 



WITH 



BIS GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE; 



ALSO 

CRITICISM O^r HIS JFRITUmS, 

AMD 

OBSiOtVATIONS ON THE SCOTTISH PEASANTRY 
BY DR. CURRIE. 



cumrnxsPB DBDZoATzosr. 



TO 



<CAS^M1T (^mAHiifit at(Q)(Q)mSa 



OP THE ROYAL NAVY 



Wbkn yon were stationed on our coast 
•boat twelve years affo, you first recom- 
mended to my particular notice the poems 
of the Ayrshire ploughman, whose works, 
pablishe«l for the benefit of his widow and 
children, I now present to you. In a 
distant region of the world, whither the 
•errice of your country has carried you, 
yon will, I know, receive with kindness 
this proof of my regard; not perhaps 
without some surprise on finding that I 
have been engaged in editing these vo- 
lumes, nor without some curiosity to know 
how I was qualified for such an undertak- 
ing. These points I will briefly explain. 

Having occasion to make an excursion 
to the county of Dumfries, in the sum- 
mer of 1792, I had there an opportunity 
of seeing and conversing with Burns. It 
has been my fortune to know some men 
of hif h reputation in literature, as well as 
in public life ; but never to meet any one 
who, in the course of a siugle interview, 
eommunicated to me so strong an impres- 
■ion of the force and versatility of his ta- 
lents. After this I read the poems then 
published with greater interest and atten- 
tion, and with a full conviction that, ex- 
traordinary as they are, they afford but 
tn inadequate proof of the powers of their 
unfortunate author. 

Four years afterwards, Bums termi- 
nated his career. Among those whom 
the charms of his genius had attached to 
him, was one with whom I have been 
bound in the ties of friendship from early 
life— Mr. John Syme of Ryedale. This 
gentleman, afler the death of Bums, pro- 
moted with the utmost zeal a subscription 
fbr the support of the widow and children, 
to which their relief from immediate dis- 
tress is to be ascribed ; and in conjunc- 
tion with other friends of this virtuous 
and destitute fiunily he projected the pub- 
lication of these volumes for their benefit, 
by which the return of want might be pre- 
vented or prolonged. 



To this last undertaking an editor and 
biographer was wanting, and Mr. Sjrmo's 
modesty opposed a barrier to his assum- 
ing an office, for which he was in other 
respects peculiarly qualified. On this 
subject he consulted me ! and with the 
hope of surmounting his objections, I of* 
fered him my assistance, but in vain. 
Endeavours were used to procure an edi- 
tor in other quarters without effect. The 
task was beset with considerable difficul- 
ties, and men of established reputation 
naturally declined an undertaking to the 
performance of which, it was scarcely to 
be hoped that general approbation could 
be obtained by any exertion of judgment 
or temper. 

To such an office, my place of residence, 
my accustomed studies, and my occupa- 
tions, were certainly little suited ; but 
the partiality of Mr. Syme thought me in 
other respects not unqualified ; and his 
solicitations, joined to those of our excel- 
lent friend and relation, Mrs. DunIop,and 
of other friends of the family of the poet, 
I have not been able to resist. To re- 
move difficulties which would otherwise 
have been insurmountable, Mr. Syme and 
Mr. Gilbert Burns made a journev to 
Liverpool, where they explained ana ar- 
ranged the manuscripts, and selected such 
as seemed worthy of the press. From 
this visit I derived a degree of pleasure 
which has compensated much of my la- 
bour. I had the satisfaction of renewing 
my personal intercourse with a much 
valued friend, and of forming an acquaint- 
ance with a man, closely allied to Burns 
in talents as well as in blood, in whose 
future fortunes the friends of virtue will 
not, I trust, be uninterested. 

The publication of these volumes has 
been delayed by obstacles which these 
gentlemen could neither remove nor fore- 
see, and which it would be tedious to 
enumerate. At length the taak Va fiaDAshi- 
ed. If the pan w^vicYi \ \ii.v% \.iSa«ii AjaSk. 



IV 



DEDICATION. 



Mrve the inUreit of the fimily, and re- 
ceive the approbttion of ffood men, I shall 
have my recompense. The errors into 
which I have fallen are not, I hope, very 
important, and they will be easily ac- 
counted for by those who know the cir- 
cumstances under which this undertakinff 
hiM been performed. Generous min£ 
will receive the posthumous works of 
Burns with candour, and even partiality, 
as the remains of an unfortunate man of 

gmius, published for the benefit of his 
mily— as the stay of the widow and the 
hope of the fatherie 



To secure the sufiVages of such minds, 
•U topics are omitted in the writings, and 
avoided in the life of Burns, that nave a 
tendency to awaken the animosity of party. 
In perusinff the following volumes no of- 
filnce will be received, except by those to 
whom even the natural erect aspect of 
fenius is offensive ; characters that wUl 
aearcely be found among those who.are 
educated to the profession of arms. Such 
!Mn do not court situations of danger, or 
tread in the paths of glory. They will 
not be found in your service, which, in 
our own days, emulates on another ele- 
ment the laperior fame of the Macedoniaii 



phalanx, or of the Roman legion, and 
which has, lately made the shores of Eu- 
rope and of Africa resound with the shouts 
of victory, from the Texel to the Tagus, 
and from the Tagus to the Nile ! 

The works of Bums will be received 
favourably bv one who stands in the fore- 
most rank of this noble service, and who 
deserves his station. On the land or on 
the sea, I know no man more capable of 
judging of the character or of the writ- 
ings ofthis original genius. Homer, and 
Shakspcare, and Ossian, cannot always 
occupy your leisure. These volumes 
may sometimes engage your attention, 
while the steady breezes of the tropic 
swell your sails, and in another quarter 
of the earth charm you with the strains 
of nature, or awake in your memory the 
scenes of your early days. Suffer me to 
hope that they may sometimes recall to 
your mind the friend who addresses voOf 
and who bids you— -moat affectionately^ 
adieu! 

J. CUB&IE. 

LiMrpool, Iti JKoy, 1800 



(COITVXSTVS 



TO THE 



GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. &c. 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



CBAEAOnft AlfD CONDITION OF THS 
•COTTI8H PSA8ANTET. 



of tha \eepX establishinent of parochial 
■ebools, 1. — Cn the church establishment, 3. 
—Of the abeence of poor laws, ib. — Of the 
Beottish music and national songs, 4.— Of 
tiw laws respecting marriage and inconti- 
aenoe, 6. — Obsenrationson ue domestic and 
iMitional attachments of the Scots, Page 6 

LIFE OF BURNS. 

Namthre of his infancy and youth, bj him- 
self^ 10. — ^Narrative on the same subject, by 
his brother, and by Mr. Murdoch of Lon- 
don, his teacher, 16. — OUier particulars of 
Burns while resident in Ayrshire, 27. — His- 
tonr of Bums while resident in Edinburgh, 
mdadfaig Letters to the Editor from Mr. 
Stewart and Dr. Adair, 35.— History of 
Boms while on the farm of Ellisland, in 
Dmnfiries-flhire 51. — Histoiy of Bums while 
resident at Dumfries 54. — His last Illness, 
Death and Character, with general Reflec- 
tioiis, .... 58 

JMemoir respecting Bums, by a Lady, 67 

Criticiflni on the Writings en Bums, includ- 
ing obeervations on p^try in the Scottish 
dialect, and some lemariu on Scottish lit- 
erature, . . _. 70 

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. 

LBTTBEf. 

M> Page, 

L To Mb. John Muedoob, Bnms^s form- 
er teacher; jifiving an account of his 
present studies, and temper of mind, 91 
extracts from MSS. Obsenrations on 
▼arioua subieets, 99 

N8 



No Paoi. 

3. To Mr. Aiken. Written under distress 

ofmind, . . .95 

4. To Mrs. Dunlop. Thanks for her no* 

tice. Praise of her ancestor. Sir 
WilUam Wallace, 

5. To Mrs. Stewart of Stair. Enclosing 

a poem on Miss A , . . ib. 

6. Proclamation in the Name of the 
Muses, 



7. Dr. Blacklockto the Rev. G.Lowrie. 

Encouraging ^e bard to visit Edin- 
burgh and print a new edition of his 
poems there, . . . 

8. From the Rev. Mr. Lowrie. • Advice 

to the Bard how to conduct himself 
. in Edinburgh, 

9. To Mr. CheOmers. Praise of Miss 

Burnet of Monboddo, 

0. To the Earl of Eglinton. Thanks for 

his patronage, 

1. To Mrs. Dunlop. Account of his sit- 

uation in Edinburgh, 

2. ToDr. tMoore. Grateful ai^owled^- 

ments of Dr. M.'s notice of him m 
his letters to Mrs. Dunlop, 

3. From Dr. Moore. In answer to the 

foregoing, and enclosing a sonnet on 
the Bard by Miss Williams, (, 

4. To the Rev. G. Lowrie. Thanks for 

advice~-reflections on his situation- 
compliments paid to Miss L— — « by 
Mr. Mackenzie, . 

5. To Dr. Moore, 

6. From Dr. Moore. Sends the Bard a 
present of his ^ View of Society and 



7. 



Manners,^ &c. 



97 



ib. 



96 
ib. 
99 
ib. 



100 



ib. 



101 
lOS 



ib. 



103 
ib. 



To the Earl of Glencaim. GratefU 
acknowledgments of kindness, 

8. To the Earl of Buchan. In reply to a 

letter of advice, . 

9. Extract concerning the monument 

erected for Fergusson bv our Poet, 104 

20. To— —. Accompanying tne foregoing, 104 

21. Extract from . G^>d advice, 105 

23: To Mrs. Dunlop. Respecting his pro»- 

pects on leavmg Edmbori^ • 106 



VI 



CONTBNTa 



No. Paob. 

S3. To the fame. On the nme gabjeet, 106 
5M. To Dr. Moore. On the same labjeet, 107 
U5, Extract to Mn. Dunlop. Reply to 

Criticisms, . . ib. 

96. To the Rev. Dr. Blair. Written on 

leaving Edinburgh. Thanks for his 
kindness, . . ib. 

97. From Dr. Blair. In reply to the pre- 

ceding, . . . .• 106 

9B. From Dr. Moore. Criticism and good 

advice, .... 109 
99. To Mr. Walker, at Blair of Athole. 

Enclosing the Humble Petition of 

Bruar water to the Duke of Athole, 110 

30. To Mr. O. Bums. Account of his 

Tour through the Highlands, . ib. 

31. From Mr. Ramsay of Ochtertyre. 

Enclosing Latin Inscriptions with 
Translations, and the Tale of Ome- 
ron Cameron, .111 

39. Mi. Ramsay to the Rev. W. Toimg. 

Introducing our Poet, . . 113 

33L Mi, Ramsay to Dr. Blacklock. Anec- 
dotes of Scottish Songs for our 
Poet, . . . ib. 

34. From Mr. John Murdoch in London. 

In answer to No. I. . 114 

85. From Mr. , Gordon Castle. 

Acknowledging a song sent to Lady 
Charlotte Gordon, . . ib. 

36. From the Rev. J. Skinnor. Some Ac- 

count of Scottish Poems, . .115 

37. From Mrs. Rose. Enclosing Gaelic 

Songs, with the music, . . 116 

38. To the Earl of Glencaim. Requests 

his assistance in getting into the Ex- 
cise, .... 117 

39. To , Dabymple, Esq. Congratula- 

tion on his l>ecoming a poeL Praise 

of Lord Glencaim, . . ib. 

40. To Sir John Whitefoord. Thanks for 

friendship. Reflections on the po- 
etical character, . .118 

41. To Mrs. Dunlop. Written on recov- 

ery from sickness, . . ib. 

49. Extract to the Same. Defence of him- 
self, . .119 

43. To the Same — who had heard that he 

had ridiculed her, . . ib. 

44. To Mr. Clcghom. Mentioning his 

having composed the first stanza of 
the Chevalier's Lament, . . ib. 

45. From Mr. Cleghora. In reply to the 

above. The Chevalier^s Lament in 
full, in a note, . . . ib. 

46. To Mrs. Dunlop. Giving an account 

of his prospects, . . . 130 

47. From the Biev. J. Skinner. Enclos- 

ing two songs, one by himself, the 
omer by a Buchan ploughman : the 
songs printed at large, . . ib. 

48. To Professor D. Stuart. Thanks for 

his friendship, . . . 122 

49. Extract to Mrs. Dunlop. Remarks 

on Dryden's Virgil, and Pope^s 
Odyssey, b. 



194 
195 



197 



198 



No. 

SaTothtitBM. Ctemfil Ritetioiii, 

5L To the Sam*, at* Bfr. DimlopV, Had- 
dington. Anooonl of hit mmiTmgt, 193 

59. ToMr. P. HilL With a pnMot of 

Cuoeaaa • • • « Q^ 

53. To Mn. Dnnlop. WithliiiMooalMiw 

mitafe, ... 

54. To tha Sama. Fartharaoeoimtofhia 

iiiarriaga« • • • 

55. To tha Bama. Raflaetiooa oo bmnan 

USby . • • • 

56. ToR. Graham, Eaq. of Fintry. Apa- 

tition in Tana iw a tttoatum in tha 
ETciaai • • • . 

57. To Idr. r . HiU. Critidam on a poem, 

antitlad, *An addran to Loca-Lo- 
mondf' ... * 

5a To Mn. Dmilop, at Moiaham Blaina, 199 

59. To ****. Dafonca of tha Family of 

the Stuarts. Biianem of <t»«^i«g 
ftllan graatnea^ • • ibb 

60. To Mn. Dunlop. With tha loldiar^ 

song — ^Go wtch to ma a pint of 
wine," .131 

61. To Misi Daviaa, a young Lady, who 

had haard he had bean making a bal> 
lad on her, enclosing that baUad, 
63. From Mr. G. Bums, lleflectiona BQ|p> 
gettad by New Yearns Day, 

63. To Mrs. Dunlop. Reflections suggaat- 

ed by New Ya^^s Day, . 

64. To Dr. Moore. Account of hia dto- 

ation and prospects, 

65. To Professor D. Stewart, Endoaing 

poems for his criticism, • 

66. To Bishop Gaddes. Aooount of hia si* 

tuation and prospects, . 

67. From tha Rev. P. Carfiraa. Raqnatt- 



139 

fb. 

133 

134 

ib. 



ing advice as to tha publishing Mr. 



135 
136 



A'Jylne'a poems, . . ^ 

68. To Mn. Dunlop. Raflaetions aftar a 

visit to Edinburgh, 

69. To the Rar. P. Carfiraa. Ihanawirto 

No. 67. . . . . ib. 

70. ToDr. Moora. Endosing a poam, 137 

71. To Mr. HiU. ApostiopEa to Fro- 

gality, . 138 

73. To Mn. Dunlop. With a sketch of 
an apistla in versa to tha Right Hon. 
C.J. Fox, .139 

73. To Mr. Cunnmgham. With tha fint 

draught of tha poam on a wounded 
Hare, • tD. 

74. From Dr. Gr^goiy. Critidam of tha 

poem on a wounded Hara, 140 

75. To Mr. M" Aoley of Dnmbarton. Ac- 

count of his situation, . ib. 

76. To Mrs. Dunlop. Raflacttom on Re- 

ligion, .... 141 

77. From Dr. Moora. Good advioa, ib. 

78. From Miss J. Little. A poetasi in 

humUe life, with a poam in praiaa 

of our Bard, . 143 

79. From Blr. ♦♦*♦♦*. Soma aooonnt of 

Fergomon, 143 

80. To Mr. ««**««. Inaaawar, . 144 



CONTENTS. 



Vll 



lb. 

ib. 

147 

148 



____ Pao«. 

8L n»lfi«WiDiams. Endonif aoiti- 
elBnaQapoemof hen, . 144 
3L Txom MiM W. Inreply to the fore- 

BL T^ Mn. Donlop. Praise of Zeluco, ib. 
BL Fram Dr. Blacklock. An epiitle in 

Terse, . . . • 146 

85. To Dr. Blacklock. Poetical reply to 

the above, 
8& To R. Graham, Esq. Enclosing 

some electioneering ballads, • 

87. ToMrs.Dunlop. Serious and inter- 

esting reflections, 

88. To Sir John Sinclair. Account of a 

book society among the fanners in 
Nithsdale, 

88. To Charles Sharps, Esq. of Hoddam. 
Under a fictitious signature, enclos- 
ingaballad, ... 149 

90l ToMr. 6. Burns. With a prologue, 

spoken on the Dumfries Theatre, 150 

91. To Mn. Dunlop. Some account of 
Falconer, author of the Ship- 
wreck, . ib. 

98. From Mr. Cunningham. Inquiries 

after our Bard, ' 152 

93. To Bflr. Cunningham. In reply to the 

above, . ib. 

94. To Mr. Hill. Orders for books, 153 

95. To Mrs. Dunlop. Remarks on the 

Ijounger, and on the writings of 

MrTMackenzie, 154 

96^ Txom Mr. Cunningham. Account of 

the death of Miss Bbmet of Mon- 

boddo, .... 155 
97. To Dr. Moore. Thanks for a present 

ofZeluco, 
98l To Mrs. EKmlop. Written under 

woanded pride, 
99» To Blr. Cunningham. Aspirations 

after independence, 

100. From Dr. Blacklock. Poetical let- 

ter of fiiendfihip, 

lOL Extract from Mr. Cunninsham. 
Suggesting subjects forourroet^s 
muse, .... 

109. To Mrs. Dunlop. Congratulations 
on the birth or her grandson, 

108i ^ Vb» CunninghiuiL With an 
elegy I on Miss Burnet, of Mon- 
boddo, . .159 

101. To Mr. Hill. Indignant apostro- 

1^ to Poverty, ib. 

105^ From A. F. Tytler, Esq. Criticism 

on Tam o'Shanter, • 160 

106u Te A. F. Tytler, Esq. In reply 

to the above, . ib. 

107. To Mrs. Donlop. Enclosing his 

degy on Miss Hurnet, 161 

188. To Lady W. M. Constable. Ac- 
knowledging a present of a snuff 
box, • . • • !b« 

109. To Mrs. Graham of Fintiy. Enclos- 

ing ^ Queen MaiVs Lament,' 162 

110. From the Rev. G. Baird. Request- 

ing aasistaDoe in publishing the 
poams of lilichael Bruce, ib. 



156 
ib. 

157 
ib. 

158 
ib. 



No. Paoi. 

111. To the Rev. G. Baird. In reply to 
the above, . 163 

112. To Dr. Moore. Enclosing Tam o' 
Shanter, &C. . • . ib. 

113. From Dr. Moore. With Remarks 
on Tam o^ Shanter, &c . 164 

114. To the Rev. A. Alison. Acknow- 
ledging his present of the * Essays 
on the Principles of Taste,' with 
remarks on the book, • 165 

115. To Mr. Cunningliam. With a Ja- 
cobite song, &c., . . 166 

116. To. Mrs. Dunlop. Comparison be- 
tween female attractions in high 
and humble life, . . ib. 

117. To Mr. . Reflections on his own 

indolence, . . • 167 

118. To Mr. Cunningham. Rcouesting 
his interest for an oppressed frieno, ib. 

119. From the Earl of Bucban. Inviting 
over our bard to the Coronation <n 
the Bust of Thomson on Ednam 
HUl, .... 168 

120. To the Earl of Buchan. In reply, 

121. From the Earl of Buchan. Propos- 
ing a subject for our poet's muse, 

15S. To Lady E. Cunningliam. Enclos- 
ing * The Lament for James, Earl 
orGlencaim,' 

123. To Mr. Ainslie. State of his mind 
after inebriation, 

124. From Sir John Whitefoord. Thanks 
for *• The Lament for James, Earl 
of Glencaim,' 

125. From A. F. Tytler, Esq. Criticism 
on the Whistle and the Lament, 

126. To Miss Davies. Apology for ne- 

glecting her commands— moral re- 
ections, . . . 

127. To Mrs. Dunlop. Enclosing * The 
Song of Death,' . .172 

128. To Afis. Dunlop. Acknowledging 
the present of a cup, . 173 

129. To Mr. William Sraellie. Introduc- 



ib. 
169 

ib 
ib 

170 
ib. 

171 



uig Mrs. Riddel, 

130. To Mr. W. Nicol. Ironical thanks 

for advice, 

131. To Mr. Cunningham. Commissions 

his arms to be cut on a seal — moral 
reflections, 

132. To: Mrs. Dunlop. Account of his 

meeting with Miss L B— — 

and enclosing a song on her, 

133. To Mr. Cunnmgham. Wild apos- 

trophe to a Spirit! 

134. To Mrs. Dunlop. Account of. his 
family, 



ib. 
174 

ib. 

175 
176 
178 
179 



135. To Mrs. Dunlop. Letter of "oudo- 

lence imder affliction, 

136. To Mrs. Dunlop. With a poem, 

entitled * The Rights of Woman,' ib. 



137. To Miss B 

fViendsliip, . . . 180 

13a To Miss C . Character and tem- 
perament of a podt, • ib. 

139. To John M'Mui-do, Esq. Repay- 
ing monev, . . 1^1 



••t 

TUl 



CONTENTS 



No. Paoi. 

140. To Mn. R . Adviging her what 

play to bespeak at the Dumfriee 
Theatre, . . .181 

141. To a Lady, in favour of a Player^i 

Benefit, . . .182 

143. Extract to Mr. . On his prot- 

pects in the Excise. . . ib. 

143. To Mrs. R , . . ib. 

144. To the Same. Describing his melan- 

choly feelings, . . . 183 

145. To the Same. Lending Werter, ib. 

146. To the same. On a return of inter- 

rupted friendship, . . ib. 

147. To the Same. On a temporary 
itrangoment, . . . ib. 



148. To John Syme, Esq. Reflections on 
the happmess of Mr. O— — , 



184 



149. To Miss . Requesting the re- 

turn of MSS. lent to a deceased 
friend, . . . ib. 

150. To Mr. Cunningham. Melancholy 

reflections — cheering prospects of 
a happier world, . . 185 

151. To Mrs. R . Supposed to be 

written from ^ The dead to the liv- 
ing,' .... 186 

152. To Mrs. Dunlop. Reflections on 

the situation of his family if he> 
should die — -praise of the poem en- 
tiUed ' The Task,' . . 187 

153. To the Same, in London, . ib. 

154. To Mrs. R Thanks for the 

Travels of Anacharsis, . . 188 

155. To Mrs. Dunlop. Account of the 

Death of hid Daughter, and of his 
own ill health, . . .189 

156. To Mrs. R -. Apology for not 

going to the birth-night assembly, ib. 

157. To Mr. Cuimingham. Account of 

his illness and of his poverty — an- 
ticipation of his death, . . ib. 

158. To Mrs. Bums. Sea-bathing af- 

fords littld relief; . 190 

159. To Mrs. Dunlop. Last farewell, ib. 



OOftEXfFONDSNCE BETWEEN Mft. THOMSON 
AND ME. BtTENB. 

1. Me. Thomson, to Me. Buens. De- 
siring the bard to fiimish verses 
for some of the Scottish airs, and to 
revise former songs, . . 191 

9. Mr. B. to. Mr. T. PromisiDg as- 
sistance, .... 192 

3. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Sending some 

tunes, . .193 

4. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'The Lea 

Rig,' and 'WiU ye go to the Indies 
my Mary,' . . . ib. 

& Mf.RToMr.T. With 'Mywife'sa 
winsome wee thing,' and * O saw 
v« boonie Leslie,' . 195 



19S 

ib 

1S6 

197 

ib. 



ib. 



No. Faom. 

a Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'Higfakod 
Mary,' .... 

7. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Thanks and critictl 

observations, 

8. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With an addi- 

tional stanza to * The Lea Rig,' 

9. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' Auld Rob 

Morris,' and * Duncan Gray, 

10. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' O Poortith 

Cauld,' &c and ''Galla Water,' 

11. Mr. T. toMr. B. Desiring anecdotes 

on the origin of particular songs. 
Tytler of Woodhouselee— Pleyle— 
sends P. Pindar's ^Lord Gregory.' 
— Postscript from the Honourable 
A. Erskine, 

12. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Has Mr. Tytler's 

anecdotes, and means to give his 
own— Sends his own ^LordGregoiy, 198 

13. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'Haiy 

Morrison,' 

14. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' Wandering 

WilUe' . . 

15. Mr. B. to Mr. T. ' With 'Open the 

door to me, oh !' 

16. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' Jessy,' 

17. Mr. T. to Mr. B. With a list ot'^songs, 

and ' Wandering Willie' altered, 
la Mr. B. to Mr. T. ' When wild war's 
deadly blast was blawn,' and ' Meg 
o' the Mill,' . . . 

19. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Voice of Coilar-Cri- 

ticism — Origin of *The Lass o* 
Patie'sMilV^ . 

20. Mr. T. to Mr. B. . 

21. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Simplicity requisite 

in a song — One poet should not 
mangle the works of another, 

22. Mr. B. to Mr. T. 'Farewell then 

stream that winding flows.' — Wishes 
that the national music- may preserve 
its native features, 

23. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Thanks and obser- 

vations, .... 

24. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' BUthe hae I 

been on yon hill,' 

25. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'O Logan 

sweetly didst thou fflide,' ^O gin 
my love were yon red rose,' iui. 

26. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Enclosing a note- 

Thanks, . . 

27. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'There wasa 

lass and she was fair,' . 

28. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Hurt at the idea of 

pecuniary recompense— Ronarks 
on songs, 

29. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Musical ezpresnon 

30. Mr. B. to Mr. T. For Mr. Clwke, 

31. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'PhiUis the 

Fair ' 

32. Mr. T* to Mr. B. Mr. AOan— draw- 

ing from ' John Anderson my Job' 

33. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'Had I a 

cave,' &c. — Some airs commoii to 
Scotland and Irdand, 



199 
ib. 

900 

ib. 

ib. 



ib. 



201 
908 



90S 
904 

ib. 



2(P 



CONTENTS. 



>. Paox. 

. 3fr. B. To. Mr. T. With *Bj Allan 

gtreara I chanced to rove,* 
. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' WhifUe and 

111 come to yoa my lad,* and ^ Awa 

wi*your belies and your beauties,* 
• Mr. EL to Mr. T. With ' Come let 

roe take thee to my breast,' 
. Mr. B. to Mr. T. * Dainty Davie,' 
. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Delij^hted with the 

productions of Bums s muse, 
. Mj. B. to Mr. T. With* Bruce to his 

troops at Bonnockbum,' 
. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' Behold the 

hour, the boat arriye,* 
. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Obsenrations on 

^ Bruce to his troops/ 
. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Remarks on songs 

in Mr. T*s. list — His own method of 

forming a song — ^ Thou hast lefl me 



209 



ib. 

ib. 
210 

ib. 

ib. 

211 

ib. 



ever, Jamie* — * Where are the joys I 
hae met in the morning,' ^ Aula lang 



Eyne 



212 



. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With a yariation of 
^ Bannockbum,' . . . 214 

. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Thanks and obser- 
vations, . . . . ib. 

. Mr. B. to Mr. T. On ' Bannockbum' 
—eends * Fair Jenny,' . 215 

. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With » Deluded 
swain, the pleasure' — RemtLrks, 216 

. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With » Thine am I, 
my faithful fair,' — ^ O condescend 
dear charming maid' — * The Night- 
ingale' — *- Laura' — (the three last by 
O.Tumbull) . . . ib. 

L Mr. T. to Mr. B. Apprehensions— 
Thanks, . . . .218 

K Mr. B. to Mr. T. With » Husband, 
husband, cease your strife I' and 
' Wilt thou he my dearie .^' . ib. 

0. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Melancholy com- 

parison between Bums and Carlini 
—Mr. Allan has begun a sketch 
from the Cotter's Saturday Night, ib. 

1. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Praise of Mr. Al- 

lan — ^ Banks of Cree,' . . ib. 

* Mr. B. to Mr. T. Plcyel in France 
;-* Here, where the Scottish muse 
inmiortal lives,' prraented to Miss 
Graham of Fintiy, with a copy of 
Mr. Thomson's Collection, . 219 

•• Wr. T. to Mr. B. Does not expect 
to hear from Pleycl soon, but desires 
to be prepared with the poetry . ib. 

■' Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' On the 



«nd ftir away,' 
Mr. T. to Mr. B. Criticism, 
^Ir. B. to Mr. T. With 



M^: 



' Ca' the 

r^owes to the knowes,' 
r. B. to Mr. T. With ' She says she 
lo'es me best of a',' — ^ O let me in,' 

^ ilc. — Stanaa to Dr. Maxwell, 

^r. T. to Mr. B. Advising him to write 

^. U Musical Drama, 

^r. T. to Mr. B. Has been ex- 
^mining Scottish collections — Rit- 
aon — Difficult to obtain ancient me- 
lodiaf in their original state 



ib. 
220 

ib. 



ib. 
221 



No. Paoi. 

60. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Eedpe fbr pro- 

ducing a love-^ong-*' Saw ve my 
Phely-— Remarks and anecoote^— 
^ How long and dreary is the nu^t' 
— * Let not woman e'er complain 
— ^ The Lover's morning Salute to 
his Mistress'— ' The Auld man'— 
*■ Keen blows the wind o'er Donocht- 
head,' in a note, . . .lb. 

61. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Wishes he knew 

the inspiring fair one — Ritson's His- 
torical Essay not interesting — Allan 
—Maggie Lawder, SM 

62. Mr. B. to. Mr. T. Has be^fun his 

Anecdotes, &c. ^My Chlons mark 
how green the groves' — Love—* It 
was the charming month of May'^ 
^ Lassie wi' the lint-white locks'— 
History of the air * Ye Banks and 
braes o' bonnie Doon' — James Mil- 
ler—Clarke — The black keys — In- 
stances of the difficulty of tracing 
the origin of ancient airs, . 235 

63. Mr. T. to Mr. B. With three eopief 

of the Scottish airs, . . SS7 

64. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' O Phifly 

happy be that day' — Starting note 
— * Contented wi httle and cantio 
wi' mair'— * Canst thou leave me 
thus, my Katy ?'— (The Reply; * SUy 
my WiUie, yet believe me,' in a not^ 
—iStock and horn, . . fliw 

65. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Praise— Desiree 

more songs of the humorous cast-^ 
Means to have a picture from * The 
Soldier's retum,' . S99 

66. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With » My Nan- 

nie's awa,' . . . 230 

67. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With » For a» 

that an' a' that' and 'Sweet fa'e 
the eve on Craigie-bum,' . flii. 

68. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Thanks, . ibu 

69. Mr. B. to Mr. T. ' O lassie, art then 

sleeping yet ?' and the Answer, 331 

70. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Dispraise of 

Ecclefechan, . . • ib. 

71. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Thanks, . ib. 

72. Mr. B. to Mr. T. 'Address to the 

Woodlark'— ' On Chloris' being ill' 
— ^ Their groves o' sweet myrtle,' 
&c.— ' 'TWAS na her bonnie blue e'e,' 

73. Mr. T. to Mr. B. With Allan's de- 

sign fit)m 'The Cotter's Saturday 
Night,' .... 333 

74. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With ' How cruel 

^re the parents,' and ' Mark yonder 
pomp or costly fashion,' . . ib. 

75. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Thanks for Al- 

lan's designs, . . . ih. 

76. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Compliment, . 333 

77. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With an improve- 

ment in ' Whistle and 111 come to 
you my lad,' — *" O this is no my ain 
lassie,' — ^ Now spring has clad the 
grove in green' — *' O bonnie wm 
yon rosy oner' — *' Tis Friendship^ 
pledge my young, fiur Friend,' . fk 



CONTENTS. 



No. Page. 

7a Mr. T. to Mr. B. Introdaoiiig Dr. 

Brianton, . . 834 

79. Mr. B. to Mr. T. *Foriom mj 

lore, no comfort near,' . • ib. 

8a Mr. B. to Mr. T. ' Last May a braw 
wooer cam down the lang glen*— 
' Why, why toll thy lover,' a fng- 
ment, . . . • ib. 

81. Mr. T. to Mr. B., . . .235 

62. Mr. T. to Mr. B. After an awfhl 

pause, . . . . ib. 

83. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Thanks for P. Pin- 

dar, &c. — ' Hey for a law wi' a to- 
cher,* . . . ib. 

84. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Alhm has designed 

some plates for an octavo edition, ib. 

85. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Afflicted by sick- 

ness, but pleased with Mr. Allan's 
etchings, .... 236 

86. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Sympathy, en- 

couragement, . . . ib. 

87. Mr. B. to Mr. T. With 'Here's a 

health to ane I lo'e dear,' . ib. 

88. Mr. B. to Mr. T. Introducing Mr. 

Lewars — Has taken a fancy to re- 
fiew hif songs — Hopes to recover, 237 



No. Pa€ 

89. Mr.B. to Mr. T. Dreading the hor- 

rors of a jail, solicits the advance of 
five pounds, and encloses 'Fairest 
Maia on Devon banks,' • 

90. Mr. T. to Mr. B. Sympathy— Ad 

vises a volume of poetry to be pub 
lished by subscription — ^Pope pub- 
lished the Iliad so, . .1 

Letter containing some particulars of the 
History orthe foregoing Poems, bv 
Gilbert Boms, . . 2 

Letter to Captain Grose, . 2 



APPENDIX. 



No. I. • . • • • . 2< 

No. n. Including an extract of a Poem 
addressed to Bums by Mr. Telford, •& 

No. III. Letter from Mr. Gilbert Bums to 
the Editor, approving of his Life of his 
Brother; with observations on the e& 
fects of refinement of taste on the la- 
bouring classes of men, . • 8 



I 



L 



TBWKStA^T^WT WWff-^ W ^^ 



TO THE LIFE 



OF 



ROBERT BURNS. 



Tmovgh the dialect in which many of < 
the happieit effhaioiiB of Robert Burns 
are composed he peculiar to Scotland, yet 
his repatation has extended itself heyond 
the limits of that country, and his poetry 
has heen admired as the ofbpring or origi- 
nal genius, hy persons of taste in every 
part of the sister islands. The interest 
excited hy his early death, and the dis- 
tress of his infant funily, have been felt in 
a remarkable manner wherever his writ- 
ings have been known : and these posthu- 
mous volumes, which give to the world his 
works complete, and which, it is hoped, 
may raise his widow and children from 
penary, are printed and published in Eng- 
land. It seems proper, tnerefore, to write 
the memoirs of his life, not with the view 
of their being rcMid bv Scotchmen only, 
bat also by natives of England, and of 
other countries where the English lan- 
gnage is spoken or understood. 



Robert Bums was, in reality, what he 
has been represented to be, a Scottish pea- 
sant. To render the incidents of his hum- 
ble story generally intcflligible, it seems, 
therefore, advisable to prefix some obser- 
vations on the character and situation of 
the order to wMch he belonged — a dass 
of men distinguished by many peculiari- 
ties : by this means we shall ronn a more 
correct notion of the advantages with 
which he started, and of the obstacles 
which he surmounted. A few observa^ 
tions on the Scotti^ peasantry will not, 
perhaps, be found unworthy of attention 
in other respects ; and the subjeet is, in a 
great measure, new. Scotland has pro- 
duced persons of hiffh distinction in every 
branch of philosophy and literature ; and 
her history, while s separate and inde- 
pendent nadon, has been socessiftilly ex- 



plored. But the present character of the 
people was not then formed ; the nation 
then presented features similar to those 
which the feudal system and the catholic 
religion had diffused over Europe, modi- 
fied, indeed, by the peculiar nature of her 
territory and climate. The Reformation, 
by which such important changes were 
produced on the national character, was 
speedily followed by the accession of the 
Scottish monarchs to the English throne ; 
and the period which elapsed from that 
accession to the Union, has been render- 
ed jnemorable, chiefly, by those bloody 
convulsions m which both divisions of the 
island were involved, and which, in a con- 
siderable degree, concealed from the eye 
of the historian the domestic history of 
the people, and the gradual variations in 
their condition and manners. Since the 
Union, Scotland, though the seat of two 
unsuccessfiil attempts to restore the 
House of Stuart to the throne, has en- 
joyed a comparative tranquillity ; and it 
IS since this period that the present cha- 
racter of her peasantry has been in a 
great measure formed, though the politi- 
cal causes afiecting it are to be traced to 
the previous acts of her separate legisla- 
ture. 

A slight acquaintance with the pea- 
santry of Scotland will serve to convince 
an unprejudiced observer, that they pos- 
sess a degree of intelligence not general- 
ly found among the same class ot men in 
tne other countries of Europe. In the 
very humblest condition of the Scottish 
peasants, every one can read, and most 
penons are more or less skilled in writ- 
ing and arithmetic ; and, under the dis- 
guise of their uncouth appearance, and of 
their peculiax mann^ta v[i<^ ^\^«kX^ ^ 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



stranger will discover that they possess a 
curiosity, and have obtained a degree of 
information, corresponding to these ac- 
quirements. 

Thcfre advantages they owe to the le- 

§al provision made by the parliament of 
cotland in 1G46, for the establishment of 
a school in every parish throughout the 
kingdom, for the express purpose of edu- 
cating the poor : a law which may chal- 
lenge comparison with any act of legisla- 
tion to be found in the records of history, 
whether we consider the wisdom of the 
ends in view, the simplicity of the means 
employed, or the provisions made to ren- 
der these means effectual to their pur- 
pose. This excellent statute was repeal- 
ed on the accession of Charles II. in 
1660, together with all the other laws 

gassed during the commonwealth, as not 
eing sanctioned by the royal assent. It 
slept during the reigns of Charles and 
James, but was re-enacted, precisely in 
the same terms, by the Scottish parlia- 
ment after the revolution, in 1696; and 
this is the last provision on the subject. 
Its effects on the national character may 
be considered to have commenced about 
the period of the Union ; and doubtless it 
co-operated with the peace and security 
arising from that happy event, in produ- 
cing the extraordinary change in favour 
of industry and good morals, which the 
character of the common people of Scot- 
land has since undergone.* 

The church-establishment of Scotland 
happily coincides with the institution just 
mentioned, which may be called its school 
establishment. The clerg}nnan being ev- 
ery where resident in his particular par- 
ish, becomes the natural patron and super- 
intendent of the parish school, and is en- 
abled in various ways to promote the com- 
fort of ths teacher, and the proficiency of 
the scholars. The teacher himself is 
often a candidate for holy orders, w^ho, 
during the long course of study and pro- 
bation required in the Scottish church, 
renders the time which can be spared from 
his professional studies, useful to others 
as well as to himself, by assuming the re- 
spectable character of a schoolmaster. It 
is common for the established schools, 
even in the country parishes of Scotlaftd, 
to enjoy the means of classical instruc- 
tion ; and many of the farmers, and some 
. even of the cottagers, submit to much 

* See Appendix, Xa I- NotA A. 



privation, that they may obtain, for one 
of their sons at least, the precarions ad- 
vantage of a learned education. The dif- 
ficulty to be surmounted arises, indeed, 
not from the expense of instructing their 
children, but from the charge of support- 
ing them. In the country parish schools, 
the English language, writing, and ac- 
counts, are generally taught at the rate 
of six shillii\gs, and Latin at the rate of 
ten or twelve shillings per annum. In 
the towns the prices are somewhat higher. 

It would be improper in this place to 
inquire minutely into the degree of in- 
struction received at these seminaries, or 
to attempt any precise estimate of its ef- 
fects, either on the individuals who are 
the subjects of this instruction, or on the 
community to which they belong. That 
it is on the whole favourable to industry 
and morals, though doubtless with some 
individual exceptions, seems to be proved 
by the most striking and decisive appear- 
ance ; and it is equally clear,* that it is 
the cause of that spirit of emigration and 
of adventure so prevalent among the 
Scotch. Knowledge has, by Lord Veru- 
1am, been denominated power ; by others 
it has with less propriety been denomina- 
ted virtue or happiness: we may with 
confidence consider it as motion. A hn- ^ 
man being, in proportion as he is inform- 
ed, has his wishes enlarged, as well as 
the means of g^ratifying those wishes. 
He may be considered as taking within 
the sphere of his vision a lar?e portion of 
the globe on which we tread, and disco- 
vering advantage at a greater distance 
on its surface. His desires or ambition, 
once excited, are stimulated by his ima- 
gination ; and distant and uncertain ob- 
jects, giving freer scope to the operation 
of this faculty, often acquire, in the mind 
of the youthful adventurer, an attraction 
from their very distance and uncertainty. 
If, therefore, a greater degree of instruc- 
tion be given to the peasantry of a conn- 
try comparatively poor, in the neighbour- 
hood of^ other countries rich in natural 
and acquired advantages ; and if the bar- 
riers be removed that kept them separate, 
emigration from the former to the latter 
will take place to a certain extent, by 
laws nearly as uniform as those by which 
heat diffuses itself among surroundinj^ 
bodies, or water finds its level when leit 
to its natural course. By the articles of 
the Union, the barrier was broken down 
which divided the two British nations, 
and knowledge and poverty poured the 



PREFATORY REMARKa 



■drentaroas natives of the north over the 
fertile phuns of England ;%nd more eape- 
dally, over the c(3onie8 which she had 
fettled in the east and west. The stream 
of population continues to flow from the 
noith to the south ; for the causes that 
orimnally impelled it continue to operate ; 
and the richer country is constantly in- 
vigorated by the accession of an informed 
and hardy race of men, educated in po- 
ferty, and prepared for hardship and dan- 
T ; patient of labour, and prodigal of 



n 



c.^ 



The preachers of the Reformation in 
Scotland were disciples of Calvin, and 
brought with them the temper as well as 
the tenets of that celebrated hcresiarch. 
The presbyterian form of worship and of 
church government was endeared to the 
people, from its being established by 
themselves. It was endeared to them, 
also, by the struggle it had to maintain 
with the Catholic and the Protestant epis- 
copal churches ; over both of which, aflcr 
a hundred years of fierce and sometimes 
bloody contention, it finally triumphed, 
receiving the countenance of government, 
and the sanction of law. During tliis 
long period of contention and of suffering, 
the temper of the people became more 
and mote obstinate and bigoted : and the 
nation received that deep tinge of fanati- 
cism which coloured their public transac- 
tions, as well as their private virtues, 
tod of which evident traces mav bo found 
ia our own times. When the public 
schools were established, the instruction 
communicated in them partook of the re- 
ligious character of the people. The 
Catechism of the Westminster Dinnes 
wu the universal school-book, and was 
pat into the hands of the yonng peasant 
u soon as he had acqnired a knowledge 
of his alphabet ; and his first exercise in 
the art of reading introduced him to the 
inost mysterious doctrines of the Chris- 
tian faith. This practice is continued in 
our own times. After the Assembly's 
Catechism, the Proverbs of Solomon, and 
he New and Old Testament, follow in 
*egular succession ; and the scholar de- 
parts, gifted with the knowledge of the 
laered writings, and receiving their doc- 
trmes according to the interpretation of 
the Westminster Confession of Faith. 
Thus, with the instruction of infancy in 
the schools of Scotland are blended the 
dogmas of the national church ; and hence 

* See Appendli, fCo I. Salt B. 



the first and most constant exercise of 
ingenuity smong the peasantry of Scot- 
land is displayed in religious disputation. 
With a strong attachment to the na- 
tional creed, is conjoined a bigoted pre- 
ference of certain forms of worship ; the 
source of which could be often altogether 
obscure, if we did not recollect that the 
ceremonies of the Scottish Church were 
framed in direct opposition, in every 
point, to those of the church of Rome. 

The eccentricities of conduct, and sin- 
gularities of opinion and manners, which 
characterized the English sectaries in the 
last century, afforded a subject for the 
comic muse of Butler, whose pictures lose 
their interest, since their archetypes are 
lost. Some of the peculiarities common 
among the more ri^id disciples of Cal- 
vinism in Scotland, m the present times, 
have given scope to the ridicule of Bums, 
wlioso humour is equal to Butler's, and 
whose drawings from living manners are 
singularly expressive and exact. Unfor- 
tunately the correctness of his taste did 
not always correspond with the strength 
of his genius ; and hence some of the 
most exquisite of his comic productions 
are rendered unfit for the light.* 

The information and the religious edu- 
cation of the peasantry of Scotland, pro- 
mote sedateness of conduct, and habits 
of thought and reflection. — These good 
qualities are not counteracted, by the es- 
tablishment of poor laws, which while 
they reflect credit on the benevolence, 
detract from the wisdom of the English 
legislature. To make a legal provision 
for the inevitable distresses of the poor, 
who by age or disease are rendered mca- 
pable of labour, may indeed seem an in- 
dispensable duty of society ; and if, in 
the execution of a plan for this purpose, 
a distinction could be introduced, so as 
to exclude from its benefits those whose 
sufferings are^roduced by idleness or 
profligacy, such an institution would per- 
haps be as rational as humane. But to 
lay a general tax on property for the sup- 
port of poverty, from whatever cause pro- 
ceeding, is a measure full of danger. It 
must operate in a considerable degree ta* ^ 
an incitement to idleness, and a tliscour 
agement to industry. It takes away from 
vice and indolence the prospect of their 

* Holy Wiliie'8 Prayer ; Rob Uie Rliymer*e Wrl- 
cooM to hie Baetard Child ; Epistle to J. Gowdio ; ihe 
i Holy Tulzie, *>c. 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



mofit dreaded consequences, and from 
Tirtue and industry their peculiar sanc- 
tions. In many cases it must render the 
rise in the price of labour, not a blessing, 
but a curse to the labourer ; who, if there 
be an excess in what he earns beyond his 
immediate necessities, may be expected 
to devote this excess to his present grati- 
fication ; trusting to the provision made 
by law fur his own and his family's sup- 
port, should disease suspend, or death 
terminate his labours. Happily, in Scot- 
laud, the same legislature which estab- 
lished a system of instruction for the 
]ioor, resisted the introduction of a legal 
provision for the support of poverty ; the 
establishment of the first, and the rejec- 
tion of the last, were equally favourable 
to industry and good morals ; and hence 
it will not appear surprising, if the Scot- 
tish peasantry have a more than usual 
share of prudence and reflection, if they 
approach nearer than persons of their 
order usually do, to the definition of a 
man, ihkt of '^ a being that looks before 
and after." These observations must in- 
deed be taken with many exceptions : 
the favourable operation of the causes 
just mentioned is counteracted by others 
of an opposite tendency; and the subject, 
if fully examined, would lead to discus- 
sions of great extent. 

When the Reformation was establish- 
ed in Scotland, instrumental music was 
banished from the churches, as savouring 
too much of " profane minstrelsy." In- 
stead of being regulated by an instru- 
ment, the voices of the congregation are 
led and directed by a person under the 
name of a precentor ; and the people are 
all expected to join in the tune which he 
chooses for the psalm which is to be sung. 
Church-muBic is therefore a part of the 
education of tlie peahantry of Scotland, 
in which they are usually instructed in 
the long winter nights by the parish 
schoolmaster, who is gcnWally the pre- 
centor, or by itinerant teachers more 
celebrated for their powers of voice. 
This branch of education had, in the last 
reifirn fallen into some neglect, but was 
revived about thirty or forty years ago, 
when the music itself was reformed and 
improved. The Scottish system of psal- 
mody iii, however, radically bad. Desti- 
tute of taste or harmony, it forms a strik- 
ing contrast with the delicacy and pathos 
of the profane airs. Our poet, it will be 
fbimd, was taught church-music, in which, 
however, he made little proficiency. 



That dancing ahould alio be very gene- 
rally a part of tito education of the Scot- 
tish peasantry, will surprise those who 
have only seen this description of men : 
and still more those who reflect on the 
rigid spirit of Calvinism with which the 
nation is so deeply afiected, and to which 
this recreation is so strongly abhorrent. 
The winter is also the season when they 
acquire dancing, and indeed almost all 
their other instruction. They are taught 
to dance by persons generally of their 
own number, many of whom work at dai- 
ly labour during the summer months. 
The school is usually a bam, and the 
arena for the performers is generally a 
clay floor. The dome is lighted by can- 
dles stuck in one end of a cloven stick, 
the other end of which is thrust into the 
wall. Reels, strathspeys, country-dan- 
ces, and horn-pipes, are here practised. 
The jig so much in favour among the 
Enghsh peasantry, has no place among 
them. The attachment of the people 
of Scotland of every rank, and particu- 
larly of the peasantry, to this amusement, 
is very great. After the labours of the 
day are over, young men and women 
walk many miles, in the cold and dreary 
nights of winter, to these country dan- 
cing-schools ; and the instant that the 
violin sounds a Scottish air, fatigne seems 
to vanish, the toU-bent rustic becomes 
erect, his features brighten with sympa- 
thy ; every nerve seems to thrill with 
sensation, and every artery to vibrate 
with life. These rustic performers are 
indeed less to be admired for grace, than 
for agility and animation, and their accu- 
rate observance of time. Their modes 
of dancing, as well as their tunes, are 
common to every rank in Scotland, and 
are now generally known. In our own 
day they nave penetrated into England, 
and have established themselves even in 
the circle of royalty. In another gene- 
ration they will be naturalized in every 
part of the island. 

The prevalence of this taste, or rather 

Sassion for dancing, among a people so 
eeply tinctured with the spirit and doc- 
trines of Calvin, is one of those contra- 
dictions which the philosophic observer 
so often finds in national character and 
manners. It is probably to be ascribed 
to the Scottish music, which throughout 
all its varieties, is so full of sensibihty ; 
and which, in its livelier strains, awakes 
those vivid emotions that find in dancing 
their natural solace and relief. 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



This triumph of the magic of Scotland 
ower the spirit of the establiBhed reU^on, 
ham not, however, been obtained without 
long continued and obstinate gtrugfflefl. 
Themimeroui sectaries who dissent from 
the establishment on account of the re- 
laxation which they perceive, or think 
thej perceive, in the church, from her 
oriffiBal doctrines and discipline, univer- 
sal condemn the practice of dancing, 
and the schools where it is taught ; and 
the more elderly and serious part of the 
people, of every persuasion, tolerate 
rather than approve these meetings of 
the young of both sexes, 'where dancing 
is practised to their spirit-stirring music, 
where care is dispelled, toil is forgotten, 
and prudence itself is sometimes liHled to 
sleep. 

The Reformation, which proved fatal 
to the rise of the other fine arts in Scot- 
land, probably impeded, but could not ob- 
struct the progress of its music : a cir- 
cumstance that win convince the impar- 
tial inquirer, that this music not only 
existed previously to that lera, but had 
taken a firm hold of the nation ; thus af- 
fording a proof of its antiquity, stronger 
than any produced by the researches of 
ovir antiquaries. 

The impression which the Scottish 
mnsic has made on the people, is deepen- 
ed by its union with the national songs, 
of which various collections of unequal 
merit are before the public. These songs, 
tike those of other nations, are many of 
them hiunorous ; but they chiefly treat of 
love, war, and drinking. Love is the 
subject of the greater proportion. With- 
out displaying the higher powers of the 
imagination, they exhibit a perfect know- 
ledge of the human heart, and breathe a 
spirit of affection, and sometimes of deli- 
cate and romantic tenderness, not to be 
surpassed in modem poetry, and which 
the more polished strains of antiquity 
have seldom possessed. 

The origin of this amatory character 
in the rustic muse of Scotland, or of the 
grreater number of these love-songs them- 
selves, it would be difficult to trace; 
they have accumulated in the silent lapse 
of time, and it is now perhaps impossible 
to give an arrangement of them in the 
order of their date, valuable as such a 
record of taste and manners would be. 
Their present influence on the character 
of the nation is, however, great and strik- 



ing. To them we must attribute, in a 
great measure, the romantic passion 
which so oflen characterises the attach- 
ments of the humblest of the people of 
Scotland, to a degree, that if we mistake 
not, is seldom found in the same rank of 
society in other countries. The pictures 
of love and happiness exhibited in their 
rural songs, are early impressed on the 
mind of the peasant, and are rendered 
more attractive from the music with 
which they are united. They associate 
themselves with his own youthful emo- 
tions ; they elevate the object as well as 
the nature of his attachment ; and give 
to the impressions of sense the beautifbl 
colours of imagination. Hence in the 
course of his passion, a Scottish peasant 
often exerts a spirit of adventure, of 
which a Spanish cavalier need not be 
ashamed. After the labours of the day 
arc over, he sets out for the habitation of 
his mistress, perhaps at many miles dis- 
tance, regardless of the len^fth or the 
dreariness of the way. He approaches 
her in secresy, under the disguise of night. 
A signal at the door or window, perhaps 
agreed on, and understood by none but 
her, gives information of his arrival ; and 
sometimes it is repeated again and again, 
before the capricious fair one wiU obey 
the summons. But if she favours his ad- 
dresses, she escapes unobserved, and re- 
ceives the vows of her lover under the 
gloom of twilight, or the deeper shade of 
night. Interviews of this kind are the sub- 
jects of many of the Scottish songs, some 
of the most beautiful of which Bums has 
imitated or improved. In the art which 
they celebrate he was perfectly skilled ; 
he knew and had practised all rts myste- 
ries. Intercourse of this sort is indeed 
universal even in the humblest condition 
of man in every region of the earth. But 
it is not unnatural to suppose that it may 
exist in a greater degree, and in a more 
romantic rorm, among the peasantry of a 
country who are supposed to be more 
than commonly instructed ; who find in 
their rural songs expressions for their 
youthful emotions : and in whom the em- 
bers of passion are continually fanned by 
the breathings of a music full of tender- 
ness and sensibility. The direct influ- 
ence of physical causes on the attachment 
between the sexes is comparatively small, 
but it is modified by moral causes beyond' 
any other aflection of the mind. Of these, 
music and poetry are the chief. Among 
the snows of Lapland, and under the 
buming sun of Angola, the savage is setn 



hastening to hi8 mistress, and every where 
he beguues the weariness of his journey 
with poetry and song.* 

In appreciating the happiness and vir- 
tue of a community, there is perhaps no 
single criterion on which so much dejpen- 
dt^nce may be placed, as the state or the 
intercourse between the sexes* Where 
this displays ardour of attachment, ac- 
companied by purity of conduct, the cha- 
racter and the influence of women rise 
in society, our imperfect nature mounts 
in the scale of moral excellence ; and, 
from the source of this single affec- 
tion, a stream of felicity descends, which 
branches into a thousand rivulets that 
enrich and adorn the field of life Where 
th'? attachment between the sexes sinks 
into an appetite, the heritage of'uur spc 
cies is comparatively poor« and man ap- 
proaches the condition of the brutes that 
perish. " If we could with safely indti.go 
the pleasing supposition that Fingal lived 
and that Ossian sung,"f Scotland, judg- 
ing from this criterion, might be consi- 
dered as ranking high in happ'mcss and 
virtue in very remote ages. To appre- 
ciate her situation by the same criterion 
in our own times, would be a delicate 
and a difficult undertaking. Afler con- 
sidering the probable inmicnce of her 
popular songH and her national music, and 
examining how far tlie ellV^rts to be ex- 
pected from these are snpported by facts, 
the inquirer would also have to examine 
the influence of other causes, and parti- 
cularly of her civil and ecclesiastical insti- 
t'ctio ^,by which the character, and even 
the manners of a people, though silently 
and slowly, arc oflen powerfully controll- 
ed. In the point of view in which we 
are considering the subject, the ecclesi- 
astical cstabliKhments of Scotland may 
be supposed peculiarly favourable to pu- 
rity of conduct. The dissoluteness of 
manners among the catholic clergy, which 
preceded. onJ in some measure produced 
the Reformation, led to an extraordinarv 
strictness on the part of the reformers, 
and especially in thnt particular in which 
the licentiousness of the clergy had been 
earned to its greatest height — the inter- 
course between the soxes. On this point, 
as on all others connected with austerity 

* The Nortti American Indlnnn, among whom the 
attadiment betw^n the vexcN U naiil to be vreak, and 
love, In t)i« purer fcnimofthc word, unknown, eeimi 
nearly unetniiaimr*! with the chamie of poetry and 

■11146. <M Iff Us ; oirr. 

t Gibbon. 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



of manners, the disciples of Calvin 
sumed a greater severity than those of 
the Protestant episcopal church. The 
punishment of illicit connexion between 
the sexes, was throughout all Europe, a 
province which the clergy assumed to 
themselves ; and the church of Scotland, 
which at the Reformation renounced so 
many powers and privileges, at that pe- 
riod took this crime under her more es- 
pecial iurisdiction.* Where pregnancy 
takes place without marriage, the condi- 
tion of the female causes the discovery, 
and it is on her, therefore, in the first in- 
stance, that the clergy and elders of the 
church exercise their zeal. After exami- 
natioT' ocfore the kirk-session, touching 
the circumstances of her gmilt, she must 
endure a public penance, and sustain a 
public rebuke from the pulpit, for three 
Sabbaths successively, in the face of the 
congregation to which she belongs, and 
thus have her weakness exposed, and her 
shame blazoned. The sentence is the 
same witfi respect to the male ; but how 
much lighter the punishment ! It is well 
known that this areadful law, worthy of 
the iron minds of Calvin and of Knox, has 
oflcn led to consequences, at the very 
mention of which human nature recoik 

While the punishment of incontinence 
prescribed by the institutions of Scotland 
IS severe, the culprits have an obvious 
method of avoiding it afforded them by 
the law respecting marriage, the validitj 
of which requires neither the ceremonies 
of the church, nor any other ceremonies, 
but simply the deliberate acknowledg- 
ment of each other as husband and wi&, 
made by the parties before witnesses, or 
in any other way that gives legal evidence 
of such an acknowledgment having taken 
place. And as the parties themselves 
fix the date of their marriage, an oppor- 
tunity is thus ^ven tp avoid the punish- 
ment, and repair the consequences of il- 
licit gratification. Such a degree of laxi- 
ty respecting so serious a contract might 
produce much confusion in the descent of 
property, without a still farther indul- 
gence ; but the law of Scotland legiti- 
matmg all children bom before wedlock, 
on the subsequent marriage of their pa- 
rents, renders the actual date of the mar- 
riage itself of little consequence.f Mar- 
riages contracted in Scotland without the 
cei-emoniea of the church, are considered 

* See Appendix, No. I. NouC. 
t iht Appendix. No. I. Note D 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



as irregulary and tlic parties usually sub- 
mit to a rebuke for their conduct, in the 
face of their respective congrregations, 
which is not however necessary to render 
tiie marriage valid. Bums, whose mar- 
riage, it wul appear, was irregular, docs 
not seem to have undergone this part of 
the discipline of the church. 

Thus, though the institutions of Scot- 
land are in many particulars favourable 
to a conduct among the peasantry found- 
ed on foresight and reflection, on the sub- 
ject of marriage the reverse of this is 
true. Irregular marriages, it may be 
naturally supposed, are otlen improvident 
ones, in whatever rank of society they 
occur. The children of such marriages, 
poorly endowed by their parents, find a 
certam degree of instruction of easy ac- 
quisition ; but the comforts of life, and 
the gratifications of ambition, they find 
of more difficult attainment in their na- 
tive soil ; -and thus the marriage laws of 
Scotland conspire with other circumstan- 
ces, to produce that habit of emigration, 
and spirit of adventure, for which the 
people are so remarkable. 

The manners and appearance of the 
Scottish peasantry do not bespeak to a 
stranger the degree of their cultivation. 
In their own country, their industry is 
inferior to that of the same description of 
men in the southern division of the island. 
. Industry and the useful arts reached Scot- 
land later than England ; and though 
their advance has been rapid there, 
the effects produced are as yet far inferior 
both in reality and in appearance. The 
Scottish farmers have in general neither 
the opulence nor the comiorts of those of 
England, neither vest the same capital 
in tne soil, nor receive from it the same 
return. Their clothing, their food, and 
their habitations, are almost every where 
inferior.* Their appearance in these 
respects corresponds with the appearance 
of their country ; and imder the operation 
of patient industry, both are improving. 
Industry and the useful arts came later 
into Scotland than into England, because 
the security of property came later. With 
causes of internal agitation and warfare, 
similar to those lY^ich occured to the 
more soothem nation, the people of Scot- 

* Tbew remariuare confined to the elaaof (knnen ; 
the MOM correfpomdlug inferiority will not be foand In 
the eoodltloo of tlm eottaftn and laboosen, nt leaat 
in the trtlele of food, m thoee who eztmhie this fub- 
iiet Impartially will aoon dlecorer. 



land were exposed to more imminent ha- 
zards, and more extensive and destruc- 
tive spoliation, from external war. Oc- 
cupied in the maintenance of their inde- 
pendence against their more powerful 
neighbours, to this were necessarily sa- 
crincod the arts of peace, and at certain 
periods, the flower of their population. 
And wiicn the union of the crowns pro- 
duced a security from national wars with 
England, for the century succeeding, the 
civil wars common to both divisions of the 
island, and the dependence, perhaps the 
necessary dcpendcnc3 of the Scotti^h 
councils on thosy of the more powerful 
kingdom, counteracted this disadvantage. 
Even the union cf the British nations was 
not, from obvious causes, immediately 
followed by all llie benefits which it was 
ultimately destined to produce. At length, 
however, these benefits are distinctly felt, 
and generally acknowledged. Property 
is secure; manufactures and commerce 
increasing; and agriculture is rapidly 
improving in Scotland. As yet, inaeed, 
the farmers are not, in general, enabled 
to make improvements out of their own 
capitj^s, as in England ; but the landhold- 
ers, who have seen and felt the advan- 
tages resulting from them, contribute 
towards them with a liberal hand. Hence 
property, as well as population, is nccu- 
mulatina rapidly on the Scottish soil ; and 
the nation, enjoying a great part of the 
blessings of Englishmen, and retaining 
several of their own happy institutions, 
might be considered, if confidence could 
be placed in human foresight, to be as 
yet only in an early stage of their pro- 
gress. Yet there are obstructions in their 
way. To the cultivation of the soil are 
opposed the extent and the strictness of 
the entails ; to the improvement of the 
people, the rapidly increasing use of spi- 
rituous liquors,* a detestable practice, 
which includes in its consequences al- 
most every evil, physical and moral. The 
peculiarly social disposition of the Scot- 
tish peasantry exposes them to this prac- 
tice. This disposition, which is fostered 
by their national songs and music, is per- 
haps characteristic of the nation at large. 
Though the source of many pleasures, it 
counteracts by its consequences the ef- 

* The amoant of the dnty on ipiriti distilled in Scot- 
land if now upwanl<i of iESO,flO(K. annually. In 1777, It 
did not reaeb 8,0001. The rate of the dnty has indeed 
been railed, but making every allowanee, the Ihcreaei* 
of coaffumptloM oiu»t be enomoaa. This la Indepen* 
dent of the duty on mah. Ice. malt Uqnor, hnported 
•plrlta, and wlue 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



feeti of their pttience, induitry, and fru- 
gality, both at home and abroad, of which 
thoae especially who have witnetned the 
progren of Scotchmen in other coun- 
tries, must have known many striking in- 
stances. 

Since the Union, the manners and lan- 
guage of the people of Scotland have no 
u>nger a stanwd among themselves, but 
are tried by the standard of the nation to 
which they are united. Though their 
habits are far from being flexibu^, yet it 
is evident that their manners and dialect 
•re undergoing a rapid change. Even 
the farmers of the present day appear to 
have less of the peculiarities of their coun- 
try in their speech, than the men of let- 
ters of the last generation. Bums, who 
never left the island, nor penetrated far- 
ther into England than Carlisle on the 
one hand, or Newcastle on the other, had 
less of the Scottish dialect than Hume, 
who lived for many years in the best so- 
ciety of England and France : or perhaps 
than Robertson, who wrote the English 
language in a style of such purity ; and if 
he nad been in other respects fitt^ to 
take a lead in the British House of Com- 
mons, his pronunciation would neither 
have fettered his eloquence, nor deprived 
it of its due effect. 

A striking particular in the charac- 
ter of the Scottish peasantry, is one 
which it is hoped will not be lost — the 
strength of their domestic attachments. 
The privation to which many parents 
•ttbmit for the good of their children, and 
particularly to obtain for them instruc- 
tioo, which they consider as the chief 
good, has already been noticed. If their 
children live and prosper, they have their 
certain reward, not merely as witnessing, 
but as sharing of their prosperity. Even 
dk the humblest ranks of the peasantry, 
the earnings of the children may gene- 
rally be considered as at the disposal of 
their parents ; perhaps in no countrv is so 
large a portion of tne wages of labour 
applied to the support and comfort of 
those whose davs of labour are past. A 
similar strength of attachment extends 
through all the domestic relations. 

Our poet partook largely of this amia- 
ble characteristic of his humble compeers ; 
he was also strongly tinctured with ano- 
ther striking feature which belongs to 
them, a partiality for his native country, 
of which many proofs may be found in his 



writings. TMs, it must be coofeesed, is a 
very strong and general sentiment among 
the natives of Scotland, differing, how- 
ever, in its character, according to the 
character of the different minds in which 
it is found ; in some appearing a selfish 
prejudice, in others, a generous affection. 

An attachment to the land of their birth 
is, indeed, common to aU men. It is found 
among the inhabitants of every region of 
^the earth, from the arctic to the antarctic 
circle, in all the vast variety of climate, 
of surface, and of civilization. To analyze 
this general sentiment, to trace it through 
the mazes of association up to the prima 
ry affection in which it has its source, 
would neither be a difficult nor an un- 
plcasing labour. On the first considera- 
tion of the subject, we should perhaps 
expect to find this attachment strong in 
proportion to the physical advantages of 
the soil ; but inquiry, fkr from confirming 
this supposition, seems rather to lead to 
an opposite conclusion. — ^In those fertile 
regions where beneficent nature yields 
almost spontaneously whatever is neces- 
sary to human wants, patriotism, as well 
as every other generous sentiment, seems 
weak and languid. In countries less rich- 
ly endowed, where the comforts, and even 
necessaries of life must be purchased by 
patient toil, the affections of the mind, as 
well as the faculties of the understanding, 
improve under exertion, and patriotism 
flourishes amidst its kindrea virtues. 
Where it is necessary to combine for mu- 
tual defence, as well as for the supply of 
common wants, mutual good-will springs 
from mutual difficulties and labours, the 
social affections unfold themselves, and 
extend from the men with whom we live, 
to the soil on which we tread. It will per- 
haps be found indeed, that our affections 
cannot be originally called forth, but by 
objects capable, or supposed capable, of 
feeling our sentiments, and of returning 
them; but when once excited they are 
strengthened by exercise, they are ex- 
paiided by the powers of imagination, and 
seize more especially on those inanimate 
parts of creation, wliich form the theatre 
on which we have first felt the alternations 
of joy, and sorrow, and first tasted the 
sweets of sympathv and regard. If this 
reasoning be just, the love of our country, 
although modified, and even extinguished 
in individuals by the chances and changes 
of life, may be presumed, in our general 
reasonings, to be strong among a people 
in proportion to their social, and more 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 



to their domestic afiectioxu. In 
free f^venmients it is found more active 
than in despotic ones, because as the in- 
dividual becomes of more consequence in 
the community, the community becomes 
of more consequence to him. In small 
states it is generally more active than in 
large ones, for the same reason, and also 
he^use the independence of a small com- 
munity being maintained with difficulty, 
and frequently endangered, sentiments of 
patriotism are more frequently excited. 
In mountainous countries it is generally 
found more active than in plains, because 
there the necessities of life often require 
a closer union of the inhabitants ; and 
more especially, because in such coun- 
tries, though less populous than plains, 
the inhabitants, instead of being scattered 
eoually over the whole are usually divid- 
ed into small communities on the sides of 
their separate valleys, and on the banks 
of their respective streams; situations 
well calculated to call forth and to con- 
centrate the social affections, amidst sce- 
nery that acts most powerfully on the 
light, and makes a lasting impression on 
the memory. It may also be remarked, 
that mountainous countries are often pe- 
culiarly calculated to nourish sentiments 
of national pride and independence, from 
the influence of history on the affections 
of the mind. In such countries from their 
natural strength, inferior nations have 
maintained their independence against 
their more powerful neighbours, and va- 
lour, in all ages, has made its most success- 
ful efforts against oppression. Such coun- 
tries present the fields of battle, where 
the tide of invasion was rolled back, and 
where the ashes of those rest, who have 
died in defence of their nation. 

The operatipn of the various causes we 
iiive mentioned is doubtless more general 
ind more permanent, where the scenery I 



of a country, the peculiar manners of its 
inhabitants, and the martial achieve- 
ments of their ancestors are embodied in 
national songs, and united to national 
music. By this combination, the ties 
that attach men to the land of their birth 
are multiplied and strengthened : and the 
images of infancy, strongly associating 
with the generous affections, resist the 
influence of time, and of new impressions; 
they often survive in countries far distant, 
and amidst far different scenes, to the 
latest periods of life, to sooth the heart 
with the pleasures of memory, when 
those of hope die away. 

If this reasoning be just, it will explain 
to us why, amon^ the natives of Scot- 
land, even of cultivated minds, we so 
generally find a partial attachment to the 
land of their birth, and why this is so 
strongly discoverable in the writiags of 
Bums, who joined to the higher powers of 
the understanding the most ardent affec- 
tions. Let not men of reflection think 
it a superfluous labour to trace the rise 
and progress of a character like his. 
Bom in the condition of a peasant, he 
rose by the force of his mind into distinc- 
tion and influence, and in his works has 
exhibited what are so rarely found, the 
charms of original genius. With a deep 
insight into the human heart, his poe^y 
exhibits high powers of imagination — it 
displays, and as it were embalms, the pe- 
cuhar manners of his country ; and it may 
be considered as a monument, not to his 
own name only, but to the expiring geni- 
us of an ancient and once independent 
nation. In relating the incidents of his 
life, candour will prevent us from dwell- 
ing invidiously on those failings which 
justice forbids us to conceal; we wiO 
tread lightly over his yet warm ashes, 
and respect the laurels that shelter hii 
untimely grave* 



THE I^IFE 



or 



m<oxxmT siFmiTs^ 



BT DB. OIF&&XB. 



Robert Bn&ira was, as is well known, 
the son of a fanner in Ayrshire, and af- 
terwards himself a fanner tliere; but, 
naving been onsuccessful, he was about 
to emigrate to Jamaica. He had previ- 
ously, however, attracted some notice by 
his poetical talents in the vicinity where 
he hved ; and having published a small 
volume of his poems at Kilmarnock, this 
drew upon him more general attention. 
In consequence of the encouragement he 
received, he repaired to Edinburgh, and 
there published by subscription, an im- 
proved and enlarged edition of his poems, 
which met with extraordinary success. 
Bv the profits arising from the sale of this 
edition, he was enabled to enter on a 
farm in Dumfries-shire ; and having mar- 
ried a person to whom he had been long 
attached, he retired to devote the remain- 
der of his life to agriculture. He was 
again, however, unsuccessful; and, aban- 
doning his farm, he removed into the 
town of Dumfries, where he filled an in- 
ferior office in the excise, and where he 
terminated his life, in July 1796, in his 
thirty-eighth year. 

The strength and originality of his ge- 
nius procured him the notice of many 
{persons distinguished in the republic of 
etters, and, among others, that of Dr. 
Moore, well known for liis Views of Soci- 
ety cuid Manners on the Continent of Eu- 
rope, Zelttcoy and various other works. 
To this gentleman our poet addressed a 
letter, alter his first visit to Edinburgh, 
giving a history of his life, up to the pe- 
riod of his writing. In a composition 
never intended to see the light, elegance, 
or perfect correctness of composition will 
not be expected. These, however, will 
be compensated by the opportimity of 
seeing our poet, as he gives the incidents 



of his life, unfold the peculiarities of his 
character with all the careless vigour and 
open sincerity of his mind. 

Mauckliney 2d Augwi^ 1787. 

"Sib, 

" For some months past I have been 
rambling over the country ; but I am now 
confined with some lingering complaints, 
originating, as I take it, in the stomach 
To divert my spirits a little in this miae 
rable fog of ennui, I have taken a whim 
to give you a history of myself. My 
name has made some little noise in this 
country ; you have done me the honour 
to interest yourself very warmly in my 
behalf; and I think a faithful account oi 
what character of a man I am, and how 
I came by that character, may perhaps 
amuse you in an idle moment. I will 
give }rou an honest narrative ; though I 
know it will be often at my own expense ; 
for I assure you, Sir, I have, like Solo- 
mon, whose character, excepting in the 
trifling affair of towdom, I sometimes think 
I resemble — ^I have, I say, like him, fum- 
ed my eyes to behold madness and foUy^ 
and, like him, too frequentlv shaJcen hanos 
with their intoxicating iriendship.* * ♦ 
After you have perused these pages, 
should you think them trifling and imper^ 
tinent, I only beg leave to tell 3rou, that 
the poor author wrote them under some 
twitching qualms of conscience, arising 
from suspicion that he was doing what 
he ought not to do : a predicament' he has 
more than once been in before. 

" I have not the most distant pretensions 
to assume that character which the pye- 
coated guardians of escutcheons call a 
Gentleman. When at Edinburarh last 
winter, I got acquainted in the Herald*a 
Office ; and, looking through that granary 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



11 



of honoan, I there found almost every 
name in the kingdom ; but for me, 

" My ancient but ignoble blooi) 
Has crept thro* acoundrelf ever rinre the flood.** 

Gules, Purpure, Argent, &c. quite dis- 
owned me. 

" My father was of the north of Scot- 
land, the son of a fanner, and was thrown 
by early misfortunes on the world at large; 
where, after many years' wanderings and 
eojournings, he picked up a pretty large 
quantity of observation and expf»rience, 
to which I am indebted for most of my 
little pretensions to wisdom. I have mot 
with few who understood meriy their man- 
nerij and their iray#, equal to him ; but 
stubborn, ungainly integrity, and head- 
long, ungovernable irascibility, arc dis- 
quiuifying circumstances ; consequently 1 
was bom a very poor man's son. For the 
first six or seven years of my life, my fa- 
ther was gardener to a worthy gentleman 
of small estate in the neighbourhood of 
Ayr. Had he continued in that station, 
I most have marched off to be one of the 
little underlings about a farm-house ; but 
it was his dearest wish and prayer to have 
it iQ his power to keep his children under 
bii own eye till they could discern be- 
tween good and evil ; so with the assist- 
Mce of his generous master, my father 
▼entored on a small farm on his estate. 
At those years I was by no means a fa- 
▼ottrite with any body. I was a good 
deal Doted for a retentive memory, a stub- 
^m, sturdy something in my disposition, 
ttd an enthusiastic iaeot* piety. I say 
iihoC piety, because I was then but a 
child. Though it cost the schoolmaster 
■ome thrashings, I made an excellent 
^lish scholar ; and by the time I was 
|en or eleven years of age, I was a critic 
is substantives, verbs, and particles. In 
Diy in&nt and boyish days, too, I owed 
o^uch to an old woman who resided in the 
family, remarkable for her ignorance, cre- 
dulity and superstition. She had, I sup- 
pose, the largest collection in the country 
of tales and songs, concerning devils, 
Ifbosts, fairies, brownies, witches, war- 
locks, spunkics, kelpies, elf-candles, dead- 
lights, wraiths, apparitions, cantraips, gi- 
ants, enchanted towers, dragons, and 
other trumpery. This cultivated the la- 
tent seeds of poetry ; but liad so strong an 
effect on my imagination, that to this hour, 
in my nocturnal rambles, I sometimes keep 
a sharp look-oat in suspicious places: and 

•Idiot/M>ld«oile 



though nobody can be more sceptical than 
I am in such matters, yet it often takes an 
effort of philosophy to shake off these idle 
terrors. The earliest composition that I 
recollect taking pleasure in, was The Vi- 
fion of J\Iirza, and a hymn of Addison's, 
beginning, IIow are thy servanli bletty O 
Lord I I particularly remember one half- 
stanza, which was music to my boyish 
ear — 

" For tlinugh on dreadful whlrta we hung 
Ili^h on the broken wato — " 

I met with these pieces in Mason's Eng- 
fuh CoUertion^ one of my school-books. 
The two first books I ever read in private, 
and which gave me more pleasure than 
any two books I ever read since, were 
The Life of iJnnnihal^ and The History of 
Sir William Wallare. Hannibal gave 
my young ideas such a turn, that I used 
to strut in raptures up and down afler the 
recruiting drum and bag-pipe, and wish 
myself tall enough to be a soldier ; while 
the story of Wallace poured a Scottish 
prejudice into my veins, which will boil 
along there till the flood-gates of life shut 
in eternal rest. 

" Polemical divinity about this time was 
putting the country half-mad ; and I, am- 
bitious of shining in conversation parties 
on Sundays, between sermons, at fune- 
rals, &c. used, a few years afterwards, to 
puzzle Calvinism with sp much heat and 
indiscretion, that I raised a hue and cry 
of heresy against me, which has not ceas* 
ed to this hour. 

" My vicinity to Ayr was of some ad- 
vantage to me. ]\Ty social disposition, 
when not checked by some modifications 
of spirited pride, was, like our catechism- 
definition of infinitude, withotit hounds or 
limits. I formed several connexions with 
other younkers who possessed superior 
advantages, the youn^linff actors, who 
were busy in the rehearsal of parts in 
which thoy were shortly to appear on the 
stage of life, where, alas ! I was destined 
to drudge behind the scenes. It is not 
commonly at this green age that our 
young gentry have a just sense of the im- 
mense distance between them and tlieir 
ragged play-follows. It takes a few 
dashes into the world, to give the young 
great man that propor, decent, unnoticing 
disregard for the poor, insignificant, stu- 
pid devils, the mechanics and peasantry 
around him, who were picrhaps born in 
the same village. My young supcriora 
ne\cr insulted the rlonlrrly appearance of 



IS 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



my ploughboy carcass, the two extremes 
or which were often exposed to all the in- 
clemencies of all the seasons. They would 
grive me stray volumes of books ; among 
them, even then, I could pick up some ob- 
servations ; and one, whose heart I am 
sure not even the Munny Be scum scenes 
have tainted, helped me to a little French. 
Parting with these my young friends and 
benefactors as they occasionally went off 
for the East or West Indies, was often 
to me a sore affliction ; but I was soon 
called to more serious evils. My father's 
generous master died ; the farm proved a 
ruinous bargain ; and, to clench the mis- 
fortune, we fell into the hands of a factor, 
who sat for the picture I have drawn of 
one in my Tale of Tvoa Dof^t, My father 
was advanced in life when he married ; I 
was the eldest of seven children ; and he 
worn out by early hardships, was unfit 
for labour. My father's spirit was soon 
irritated, but not easily broken. There 
was a freedom in his lease in two years 
more ; and, to weather these two years, 
we retrenched our expenses. We lived 
very poorly : I was a dexterous plough- 
man, for my age ; and the next eldest to 
me was a brother (Gilbert) who could 
drive the plough very well, and help me 
to thrash the com. A novel writer might 
perhaps have viewed these scenes with 
some satisfaction ; but so did not I ; my 
indignation yet boils at the recollection 
of the 6 ^1 factor's insolent threat- 
ening letters, which used to set us all in 
tears. 

" This kind of life — ^the cheerless gloom 
of a hermit) with the unceasing moil of a 
galley-slave, brought me to my sixteenth 
year ; a little before which period I first 
committed the sin of Rhyme. You know 
our country custom of coupling a man 
and woman together as partners in the 
labours of harvest. In my fifteenth au- 
tumn my partner was a bewitching crea- 
ture, a year younger than myself. My 
scarcity of English denies me the power 
of doing her justice in that language ; but 
you know the Scottish idiom — she was a 
bonnie^ tweel^ tonne kus. In short, she 
altogether, unwittingly to herself, initia- 
ted me in that delicious passion, which in 
spite of acid disappointment, gin-horse 
pnidence, and book-worm philosophy, I 
hold to be the first of human joys, our 
dearest bleising here below ! How she 
caught the contagion I cannot tell : you 
memcal people talk much of infection from 
breathing the same air, the touch, dtc. ; 



but I never expressly said I lored her. 
Indeed I did not know myself why I liked 
so much to loiter behind with her, when 
returning in the evening from our labours ; 
why the tones of her voice made my heart- 
strings thrill like an iEolian harp ; and 
particularly why my pulse beat such a 
furious ratan when I looked and fingered 
over her little hand to pick out the cruel 
nettle stings and thistles. Among her 
other love-inspiring qualities, she sung 
sweetly ; and it was her favourite reel, 
to which I attempted giving an embodied 
vehicle in rhyme. I was not so presump- 
tuous as to imagine that I could make 
verses like printed ones, composed by men 
who had Greek and Latin ; but my girl 
sung a song, which was said to be com- 
posed by a small coimtry laird*s son, on 
one of his father's maids, with whom he 
was in love ! and I saw no reason why I 
might not rhyme as well as he ; fi)r, ex- 
cepting that he could smear sheep, and 
cast peats, his father living in the moor- 
lands, he had no more scholar-craft than 
myself.* 

" Thus with me began love and poetry : 
which at times have been my only, and 
till within the last twelve months, have 
been my highest enj03rment. My fathei 
struggled on till he reached the freedom 
in his lease, w^hen he entered on a larger 
farm, about ten miles farther in the coun- 
try. The nature of the bargain he made 
was such as to throw a litUe ready mo- 
ney into his hands at the commencement 
of his lease, otherwise the afi%iir would 
have been impracticable. For four yeaw 
we lived comfortably here ; but a difier- 
ence commencing between him and his 
landlord as to terms, after three years 
tossing and whirling in the vortex of liti- 

fation, my father was just saved from the 
errors of a jaU by a consumption, which, 
after two years* promises, kindly stepped 
in, and carried him away, to where the 
wicked ceattfrom troublinff^ and the weary 
are at rett. 

'*< It is during the time that we lived od 
this farm, that my little storj is most 
eventful. I was, at the beginning of this 
period, perhaps the most ungain^, awk- 
ward boy in the parish — ^no eoHtaire was 
less acquainted with the wap of the 
world. What I knew of ancient story 
was gathered from Saiman*9 and Gi#- 
thrie'9 geographical grammars ; and the 

* See AppendiXi No. It Noct A. 



THE LIFE OF BURNS 



13 



i4et0 1 had formed of modern manners, of 
titeratare, and criticism, I got from the 
SfiOaior* These with Pope't Work*, 
some plays of Shakspeare, Tull and Dick- 
mm on Agriculture, The Pantheoriy Locke's 
Euay an the Human Understanding, Stack- 
haute* 9 History of the Bible, Justice's Brit- 
ish Oardener's Directory, Boyle's Lee- 
tmres^ Allan Ramsay's Works, Taylor's 
Seripiure Doctrine (^Original Sin, A Se- 
lect ColUc^on of English Sons:s, and Her- 
sey's Meditations, had formed the whole 
of my reading. The collection of Songs 
was my vade mecum, I pored over them 
driving my cart, or walking to labour, 
•oDff by song, verse by verse : carefully 
notmg the true tender, or sublime, frvim 
affectation and fustian. I aui ronrinced 
I owe to this practice much of my critic 
craft, 0uch as it is. 

" In my seventeenth year, to give my 
nanners a brush, I went to a country 
dancing school. My father had an unac- 
cooDtable antipathy against these meet- 
ings; and my goin^ was, what to this 
OHHnent I repent, m opposition to liis 
wi^es. My father, as I said before, was 
rabject to strong passions ; from that in- 
•tance of disobedience in me he took a 
sort of dislike to me, which I believe was 
one canse of the dissipation which mark- 
ed my succeeding years. I say dissipa- 
tion, comparatively with the strictness 
and sobriety, and regularity of presbyte- 
rian coontry life ; for though the Will o* 
Wisp meteors of thoughtless whim were 
almost the sole lights of my path, yet ear- 
If ingrained piety and virtue kept me for 
•eversl years afterwards within the line 
of innocence. The great misfortune of 
my life was to want an aim. I had felt 
esrly some stirrings of ambition, but they 
were the blind gropings of Homer's Cy- 
clop roand the walls of his cave. I saw 
my father's situation entailed on me per- 
petnal labour. The only two openings by 
which I could enter the temple of For- 
tune, was the gate of niggardly economy, 
or the path of little clucaning bargain- 
making. The first is so contract^ an 
aperture, I never could squeeze myself 
into it ;---the last I always hated-— there 
was contamination in the very entrance ! 
Thos abandoned of aim or view in life, 
with a strong appetite for sociabDity, as 
well from native hilarity as from a pride 
ci observation and remark ; a constitu- 
tioaal melancholy or hypochondriasm that 
mde me fly from solitude ; add to these 
incentives to social life, my reputation for 



bookish knowledge, a certain wild logi- 
cal talent, and a stren^h of thought, 
something like the rudmients of good 
sense; and it will not seem surprising 
that I was generally a welcome guest 
where I visited, or any great wonder 
that, always where two or three met to- 
gether, there was I among them. But far 
beyond all other impulses of my heart, 
was un penchant a I'adorable moitie du 
genre humain. My heart was completely 
tinder, and was eternally lighted up by 
some pfoddess or other ; and as in every 
other warfare in this world, my fortune 
was various, sometimes I was received 
with favour, and sometimes I was morti- 
fied with a repulse. At the plough, scythe, 
or reaping hook, I feared no competitor, 
and thus I set absolut** want at defiance ; 
and as I never cared farther for my liv- 
bours than while I was in actual exercise, 
I spent the evenings in the way after my 
own heart. A country lad seldom carries 
on a love-adventure without an assisting 
confidant. I possessed a curiosity, zea^ 
and intrepid dexterity, that recommended 
me as a proper second on these occasions ; 
and I dare say, I felt as much pleasure in 
being in the secret of half the loves of the 
parish of Tarbolton, as ever did statesman 
in knowing the intrigues of half the courts 
of Europe. The very goose feather in my 
hand seems to know instinctively the well 
worn path of my imagination, the favour- 
ite theme of my song : and is with diffi- 
culty restrained from giving you a couple 
of paragraphs on the love-adventures of 
my compeers, the humble inmates of the 
farm-house, and cottage ; but the grave 
sons of science, ambition, or avarice, bap- 
tize these things by the name of Follies. 
To the sons and daughters of labour and 
poverty, they are matters of the most se- 
rious nature ; to them, the ardent hope, 
the stolen interview, the tender farewell, 
are the greatest and most delicious parts 
of their enjoyments. 

" Another circumstance in my life which 
made some alterations in my mind and 
manners, was that I spent my nineteenth 
summer on a smuggling coast, a good 
distance from home at a noted school, to 
learn mensuration, surveying, dialling, 
dtc. in which I made a pretty good pro- 
gress. But I made a greater progress in 
the knowledge of mankind. The con- 
traband trade was at that time very suc- 
cessful, and it sometimes happened to me 
to fall in with those who carried it on. 
Scenes of swaggering, riot and roaring 



14 



THE LIFE OP BURNa 



diflsipation were till this time new to me; 
but I was no enemy to social life. Here, 
though I learnt to fill my glass, and to 
mix without fear in a drunken squabble, 
yet I went on with a high hand with my 
geometry, till the sun entered Virgo, a 
month w^hich is always a carnival in my 
bosom, when acharniing./Uette who lived 
next door to the school, overset hiy tri- 
gonometry, and set me off at a tangent 
from the sphere of my studies. I, how- 
ever, struggled on with my »rine$ and eo- 
tines for a few days more ; but stepping 
into the garden one charming noon to 
take the sun*s altitude, tnere I met my 
angel, 

*< LOw Proierplne gathering flowers, 
Benelf a fairer flower *' 



a dozen or more pieces on hand ; I took 
up one or other, as it suited the moment- 
ary tone of the mind, and dismissed the 
work as it bordered on fatigue. My pas- 
sions, when once lighted up, raged Uke so 
many devils, till they got vent in rhyme ; 
and then the conning over my verses, like 
a spell, soothed all mto quiet ! None of 
the rhymes of those days are in print, ex- 
cept JFintery a Dirge^ the eldest of my 
printed pieces ; The Death of Poor Mai' 
lie, John Barleycorn^ and songs first, se- 
cond, and third. Song second was the 
ebullition of that passion which ended the 
forementioned scnool-business. 



" It was in vain to think of doing any 
more good at school. The remaining 
week I staid, I did nothing but craze the 
faculties of my soul about her, or steal 
out to meet her ; and the two last nights 
of my stay in the country, had sleep been 
a mortal sin, the image of this modest and 
innocent girl had kept me guiltless. 

" I returned home very considerably 
improved. My reading was enlarged with 
the very important addition of Thomson's 
and Shenstone's Works ; I had seen hu- 
man nature in a new phasis ; and I en- 
gaged several of my school-fellows to 
keep up a literary correspondence with 
me.' This improved me in composition. 
I had met with a collection of letters by 
the wits of Queen Anne's reign, and I 
pored over them most devoutly ; I kept 
copies of any of my own letters that pleas- 
ed me ; and a comparison between them 
and the composition of most of my corres- 
pondents, flattered my vanity. I carried 
this whim so far, that though I had not 
three farthings' worth of business in the 
world, yet almost every post brought me 
as many letters as if I had been -a broad 
plodding son of day-book and ledger. 

*^ My life flowed on much in the same 
course till my twenty-third year. Vwe 
V amoury et vwe la hagaJtelley were my 
Folo principles of action. The addition 
of two more authors to my library gave 
me great pleasure ; Sterne and JPKenzie 
— TrUtram Shandy and Tfie Man of Feel- 
inff — were my bosom favourites. Poesy 
was still a darling walk for my mind ; but 
it was only indulged in accoriing to the 
humour of the hour. I had D<iually half 



" My twenty-third year was to me an 
important era. Partly through whim, and 
partly that I wished to set about doing 
something in life, I joined a flax-dresser 
in a neighbouring town (Irvine) to learn 
his trade. This was an unlucky affair. My 
* * ♦ ; and to finish the whole, as w^e were 
giving a welcome carousal to the new 
year, the shop took fire, and burnt to ash- 
es ; and I was lefl like a true poet, not 
worth a sixpence. 

" I was obliged to give up this scheme; 
the clouds of misfortune were gathering 
thick round my father's head ; and what 
was worst of all he was visibly far gone 
in a consumption ; ana to crown my 
distresses, a be'tle fille whom I adored, 
and who had pledged her soul to meet 
me in the field of matrimony, jilted me, 
with peculiar circumstances of mortifica- 
tion. The finishing evil that brought up 
the rear of this infernal file, was my con- 
stitutional melancholy, being increased to 
such a degree, that for three months T 
was in a state of mind scarcely to be en- 
vied by the hopeless wretches who have 
got their mittimus — Depart from me, ye 
accursed ! 

" Prom this adventure I learned some- 
thing of a town life ; but the principal 
thing which gave my mind a turn, wo* a 
friendship I formed with a young fellow, 
a very noble character, but a hapless son 
of misfortune. lie was the son of a sim- 
ple mechanic; but a great man in the 
neighbourhood taking him under his pa- 
tronage, gave him a genteel education, 
with a view of bettering his situation in 
life. The patron dying just as he was 
ready to launch out into the world, the 
poor fellow in despair went to sea ; where 
after a variety of good and ill fortune, a 
little before I was acquainted with him, 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



16 



he had been set on shore by an American 
prirateery on the wild coast of Connaught, 
stripped of every thin^. I cannot quit this 
poor fellow's story without adding, that 
he is at this time master of a lar^ West- 
Indiaman belonging to the Thames. 

" His mind was fraught with indepen- 
dence, magnanimity, and every manly 
virtae. I loved and admired him to a de- 
gree of enthusiasm, and of course strove 
to imitate him. In some measure I suc- 
ceeded; I had pride before, but he taught 
it to flow in proper channels. His know- 
ledge of the world was vastly superior to 
mine, and I was all attention to learn. He 
was the only man I ever saw who was a 
greater fool than myself, where woman 
was the presiding star; but he spoke of 
illicit love with the levity of a sailor, 
winch hitherto I had regarded with hor- 
ror. Here his friendship did me a mis- 
chief; and the consequence was that soon 
after I resumed the plough, I wrote the 
Pii€i'9 Welcome.* My reading only in- 
creased, while in this town, by two stray 
Tolomes of Pamela^ and one of Ferdinand 
Catmi Faihomy which gave me some idea 
of novels. Rhyme, except some religious 
fneces that are in print, I had given up ; 
bat meeting with Ferguton't Scottish Po- 
nw, I strung anew my wildly sounding 
hfre with emulating vigour. When my 
father died, his all went among the hell- 
hounds that prowl in the kennel of justice ; 
but we made a shifl to collect a little mo- 
ney in the family amongst us, with which, 
to keep us together, my brother and I 
took a neighbouring farm. My brother 
nranted my hair-brained imagination, as 
wen as my social and amorous madness ; 
but, in good sense, and every sober quali- 
fication, he was far my superior. 

" I entered on this farm with a full re- 
solution. Come, go to, 1 will be wise ! I 
read farming books ; I calculated crops : 
I attended markets ; and, in short, in spite 
citke denil, and the world, and theJUsh, I 
believe I should have been a wise man ; 
but the first year, from unfortunately buy- 
ing bad seed, the second, from a late har- 
v^t, we lost half our crops. Tins over- 
set all my wisdom, and I returned, like 
ike dog to his vomii, and the sow that was 
washed^ to her wallowing in the mire.f 

I now began to be known in the neigh- 

* Rob Um Hhf mcr*t Wekosw jo his Butard Child 
1 See Appendii, No. 11. Note B 



bourhood oS a maker of rhymes. The 
first of my poetic oiTspring that saw the 
light, was a burlesque lamentation on a 
quarrel between two reverend Calvinists, 
both of them dramatis persona in my 
Holy fair. I had a notion mjrself, that 
the piece had some merit ; but to prevent 
the worst, I gave a copy of it to a friend 
who was very fond of^ such things, and 
told him that I could not guess who was 
the author of it, but that I thought it 
pretty clever. With a certain descrip- 
tion of the clergy, as well as laity, it met 
with a roar of applause. Holy IFillie^s 
Prayer next made its appearance, and 
alarmed the kirk-session so much, that 
they held several meetings to look over 
their spiritual artillery, if haply any of it 
might be pointed against profane rhvmers. 
Unluckily for me, my wanderings led me 
on another side, within point-blank, shot 
of their heaviest metal. This is the un- 
fortunate story that gave rise to my print-^ 
cd poem, 77ie LamerU, This was a most 
melancholy affair, which I cannot yet bear 
to reflect on, and had very nearly given me 
one or two of the principal qualifications 
for a place among those who have lost 
the chart, and mistaken the reckoning of 
Rationality.* I gave up my part of the 
farm to my brother ; in truth it was only 
nominally mine; and made what little 
preparation was in my power for Jamaica. 
But before leaving my native country for 
ever, I resolved to publish my poems. I 
weighed my productions as impartially as 
was in* my power ; I thought they had 
merit ; and it was a delicious idea that I 
should be called a clever fellow, even 
though it should never reach my ears — 
a poor negro driver ; — or perhaps a vic- 
tim to that inhospitable clime, and gone 
to the world of spirits ! I can truly say, 
that paiwre inconnu as I then was, I had 
pretty nearly as high an idea of myself 
and of my works as I have at this mo- 
ment, when the public has decided in 
their favour. It ever was my opinion, 
that the mistakes and blunders, both in 
a rational and religious point of view, of 
which we see thousands daily guilty, are 
owing to their ignorance of themselves. 
To luiow myself had been all along my 
constant study. I weighed myself uone ; 
I balanced myself with others ; I watch- 
ed every means of information, to see how 
much ground I occupied as a man and as 
a poet ; I studied assiduously Nature's 
design in my formation — where the lights 

" An e>rlanAtion of tlilf will b« found heceaftci 



16 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



and shades in my character were intend- 
ed. I was pretty confident my poems 
would meet with some applause ; hut, at 
the worst the roar of the Atlantic would 
deafen the voice of censure, and the no- 
velty of West Indian scenes make me 
forgot nefflect. I threw off six hundred 
copies, or which I had crot suhscriptions 
for about three hundred and fifty. — My 
vanity was highly gratified by the recep- 
ticm I met with from the public ; and be- 
sides I pocketed, all expenses deducted, 
nearly twenty pounds. This sum came 
very seasonably, as I was thinking of in- 
denting myself, for want of money to pro- 
cure my passage. As soon as I was mas- 
ter of nine gumcas,*the price of wafling 
me to the torrid zone, I took a steerage- 
passage in the first ship that was to sail 
from the Clyde ; for, 

" Ilungry niio had me in the whid.** 

** I had been for some days skulking 
from covert to covert, under all the ter- 
rors of a jail ; as some ill-advised people 
had uncoupled the merciless pack of the 
law at my heels. I had taken the fare- 
well of my few friends ; my chest was on 
the road to Greenock ; I had composed 
the Tast' song I should ever measure in 
Caledonia, The gloomy night is gathering 
fatty when a letter from Dr. Blacklock, 
to a friend of mine, overthrew all my 
schemes, by opening new prospects to my 
poetic ambition. The Doctor belonged 
to a set of critics, for whose applause I 
had not dared to hope. His opinion that 
I would meet with encouragement in 
Edinburgh for a second edition, fired me 
80 much, that away I posted for that city, 
without a single acquaintance, or a sin- 
gle letter of introduction. The baneful 
star which had so long shed its blasting 
influence in my zenith, for once made a 
revolution to the nadir ; and a kind Pro- 
vidence placed me under the patronage 
of one of the noblest of men, the Earl of 
Glencairn. Oublie moi. Grand Dieu, 9i 
jamaii je Vmiblie ! 

" I need relate no farther. At Edin- 
burgh I was in a new world ; I mingled 
among many classes of men, but all of 
them new to me, and I was all attention 
to catch the characters and the manners 
living as they rise. Whether I have pro- 
fited, time will show. 

4k Ifr « * >;« 1: »( * 

"My most respectfbl compliments to 



Miss W. Her very elegant and friendly 
letter I cannot answer at present, at my 
presence is requisite in Edinburgh, and I 
set out to-morrow."* 



At the period of our poet's death, his 
brother, Gilbert Bums, was ignorant that 
he had himself written the foregoing nar- 
rative of his life while in Ayrshire ; and 
having been applied to by Mrs. Diulop 
for some memoirs of his brother, he com- 
plied with her request in a letter, from 
which the following narrative is chiefly 
extracted. When Gilbert Bams after- 
wards saw the letter of our poet to Dr. 
Moore, he made some annotations upon 
it, which shall be noticed as we proceed. 

Robert Bums was bom on the 35th day 
of January, 1759, in a small house aboitt 
two miles from the town of Ajrr, and with- 
in a few hundred yards of AUoway church, 
which his poem of Tbm o* Shanier has 
rendered immortal.f The name which 
the poet and his brother modernized into 
Bums, was originally Bumes, or Bumea. 
Their father, William Bumes, was the 
son of a farmer in Kincardineshire, and 
had received the education common in 
Scotland to persons in his condition of life ; 
he could read and write, and had aome 
knowledge of arithmetic. His family 
having fallen into reduced circumstances, 
he was compelled to leave his home in his 
nineteenth year, and turned his steps to- 
wards the south in quest of a livelihood. 
The same necessity attended his elder 
brother Robert. *' I have often heard 
my father," says Gilbert Bums, in his 
letter to Mrs. Dunlop, ** describe the an- 
guish of mind he felt when they parted 
on the top of a hill on the confines of their 
native place, each going off his i^veral 
way in search of new adventures, and 
scarcely knowing whither he went. My 
father undertook to act as a gardener, 

* There Brn various copies of this letter in Ibe tn- 
tlK)r*s baud- writing; and one of theee, evidently cor- 
rected, ia in the book in which he had eo|iied wreral 
of Ills lotten. Tlii« has been used for the press, with 
some omissions, and one slight alteratiou sncfesied by 
Gilbert Bams. 

t Tills tioQse is oo the right-hand aide of the mad 
from Ayr to Maybole, which forms a part of the road 
from Glasgow to Port-Patrick. When the poet*t fa- 
ther afterwards removed to Tarbolton pariah, be soM 
his leasehold right in this house, and a few acres ot 
land adjoining, to the corporatioo of ibocaiBktn In Ayr 
It is now a country alt-liouse. 



THE LIFE OP BURNS 



17 



and shaped his course to Edinburgh, 
where he wrought hard when he could get 
vorky passing through a variety of difli- 
cnlties. Still, however, he endeavoured 
to spare something for the support of his 
aged parents : and I recollect hearing 
bun mention his having sent a bank-note 
for this purpose, when money of that kind 
wat 80 scarce in Kincardineshire, that 
they scarcely knew how to employ it 
when it arrived." From Edinburgh, 
William Burnes passed westward into 
the county of Ayr, where he engaged 
himself as a gardener to the laird of Fairly, 
wiUi whom he lived two years; then 
changing his service for that of Crawford 
of Doonsidc. At length, being desirous 
of settling in life, he took a perpetual 
lease of seven acres of land from Dr. 
Campbell, physician in Ayr, with the 
view of commencing nurseryman and 
public gardener ; and having built a house 
upon it with his own handS, married, in 
December 1757, Agnes Brown, the mo- 
ther of our poet, who still survives. The 
first fruit of this marriage was Robert, 
the subject of tli^se memoirs, bom on the 
15th of January, 1759, as has already 
been mentioned. Before William Burnes 
had made much proffress in preparing his 
nnrserjTf he was withdrawn from that un- 
dertakmg by Mr. Ferguson, who pur- 
chased uie estate of Doonholm, in the 
immediate neighbourhood, and engaged 
him as his gaSdener and overseer ; and 
this was his situation when oiu: poet 
was bom. Though in the service of Mr. 
Ferguson, he lived in his own house, his 
wtfe managing her family and her little 
dairy, which consisted sometimes of two, 
sometimes of three milch cows ; and this 
state of unambitious content continued 
till the year 1766. His son Robert was 
sent by him in his sixth year, to a school 
at Alloway Miln, about a mile distant, 
taught by a person of the name of Camp- 
bell ; but this teacher bein? in a few 
months appointed master of the work- 
house at Ayr, William Burnes, in con- 
junction with some other heads of fami- 
lies, engaged John Murdoch in his stead. 
The education of our poet, and of his 
brother Gilbert, was in common ; and of 
their proficiency under Mr. Murdoch, we 
have the followiuff account : '* With him 
we learnt to read English tolerably well,'*' 
and to write a little. He taught us, too, 
the English grammar. I was too young 
to profit much from his lessons in gram- 

* Lttier fkom Gilbert Bonis to Mn. Dunlop. 



mar ; but Robert made some proficiency 
in it — a circumstance of considerable 
weight in the unfolding of his genius and 
character ; as he soon became remarkable 
for the fluency and correctness of his ex- 
pression, and read the few books that 
came in his way with much pleasure and 
improvement; for even then he was a 
reader when he could get a book. Mur- 
doch, whose library at that time had no 
great variety in it, lent him The Life of 
Hannibaly which was the first book he 
read (the schoolbook excepted,) and al- 
most the only one he had an opportunity 
of reading while he was at school : for 
The Life of Wallace^ which he classes 
with it in one of his letters to you, he did 
not sec for some years afterwards, when 
he borrowed it from the blacksmith who 
shod our horses." 

It appears that William Burnes ap- 
proved himself greatly in the service of 
Mr. Ferguson, by his intelligence, indus- 
try, and integrity. In conseouence of 
this with a view of promoting nis inter- 
est, Mr. Ferguson leased him a farm, of 
which we have the following account : 

" The farm was upwards of seventy 
acres* (between eighty and ninety English 
statute measure,) the rent of which was to 
be forty pounds annually for the first six 
years, and afterwards forty-five pounds. 
My father endeavoured to sell his lease- 
hold property, for the purpose of stocking 
this farm, but at that time was unable, 
and Mr. Ferguson lent him a hundred 
pounds for that purpose. He removed to 
his new situation at Whitsuntide, 1766. 
It was, I think, not above two years after 
this, that Murdoch, our tutor and friend, 
lefl this part of the country ; and there 
being no school near us, and our little 
services being useful on the farm, my 
father imdertook to teach us arithmetic 
in the winter evenings by candle-light ; 
and in this way my two eldest sisters got 
all the education they received. I remem- 
ber a circumstance that happened at this 
time, which, though trifling in itself, is 
fresh in my memory, and may serve to 
illustrate the early character of my bro- 
ther. Murdoch came to spend a night 
with us, and to take his leave when he 
was about to go into Carrick. He 
brought us, as a present and memorial of 
him, a small compendium of English 

* Letter cf GPl^rt Biinw to Mn. Duiilop. Th« 
name of Uiis farm i Mouut Oiiptaant, in Ayr pvistk 



18 



THE LIFE OF BURNS 



Grammar, and the tragedy of TUut An- 
drtmU-us, and by way of pasfiiiig the 
evening, he began to read the play aloud. 
We were all attention for some time, till 
presently the whole party was dissolved 
in teaffl. A female m the play (I have 
but a confused remembrance of it) had 
her hands chopt olf, and her tongue cut 
out, find then was insultingly desired to call 
fur water to wash her hands. At this, in 
an agony of distress, we with one voice de- 
sired he would read no more. My father 
observed, that if we would not hear it out, 
it would be needless to leave the play with 
us. Robert replied, that if it was lefl he 
would bum it. My father was going to 
chide him for this ungrateful return to 
his tutor's kindness ; but Murdoch inter- 
fered, declaring that he liked to see so 
much fion.sibility ; and he lefl The School 
for I^nve^ a comedy (translated I think 
from the French,) in its place."* 

" Nothing," contmues Gilbert Bums, 
" could be more retired than our general 
manner of living at Mount Oliphant ; we 
rarely saw any body but the members of 
our own family. There were no boys of 
our own age, or near it, in the neigh- 
bourhood. Indeed the greatest part of 
the land in the vicinity was at that time 
possessed by shopkeepers, and people of 
that stamp, who had retired from busi- 
ness, or who kept their farm in the coun- 
try, at the same time that they followed 
busincFs in town. My father was for 
some time almost the only companion we 
had. He conversed familiarly on all sub- 
jects with us, as if we had been men; and 
was at great pains, while we accompanied 
him in the labours of the farm, to lead 

* It it to be n^nieoibered that the poet was only nine 
yean of age and the relator of this incident under eight, 
at the time it happened. T\\v. cflV'Ct waa very natural 
in children of lenaibility at their age. At a more ma- 
ture period of the Judgment, such abeurd repretenta- 
tiona are calculated rather to produce di^^uat or laugh- 
ter, than tears. The icene to which Gilbert Buma al- 
indea, opens thus : 

Titus ^ndraiuenMt Act II. Scene 5. 

EnUr Uerootrltts and Clilrou, with T.avinia rantMked, 
her hands cut off^ and her tongue cut euL 

Why is this silly play stiU piinted as Bhaketpeare's, 
against ih« opinion of all tlM best critics ? The baiti of 
An>n wa« guilty of man. extravagances, but Jm; al- 
ways perfurmcd what he iuieudrd to perform. That 
he ever excited in • British mind (for the French cri 
iloi nu-t he set a»idi>) disgiut or ridicule, where be 
D*aaiu t(j have awakened piiy or horror, Is what will 
not he imputed to that ma^tei oi Uie ps««iuQS 



the conversation to such subjects at migfat 
tend to increase our knowledge, or con- 
firm us in virtuous habits. He borrowed 
Salmon^s Geographical Grammar for us, 
and endeavoured to make us acquainted 
with the situation and history of the dif- 
ferent comitries in the world ; while from 
a book-society in Ayr, he procured for us 
the reading of Derham's Phynco and 
AttrO'ThcoioiTi/, and Hay^s JFisdom (tfGod 
in the Creation^ to give us some idea of 
astronomy and natural histor}'. Robert 
read all these books with an avidity and 
industry, scarcely to be equalled. My 
father had been a Fubscriber to Stack' 
house^s History of the Bible then lately 
published by James Meuross in Kilmar- 
nock : from this Robert collected a com- 
petent knowledge of history ; for no book 
was so voluminous as to slacken hia in- 
dustry, or so antiquated as to damp hii 
researchep. A brother of my mother, 
who had lived with us some time, and 
had learnt some arithmetic by winter 
evening's candle, went into a bookseller** 
shop in Ayr, to purchase 7%e Ready Rtc 
koner or Tradesman: i mre Gmde^ and a 
book to teach him to write letters. Luck- 
ily, in place of The Complete LeUer-JFri- 
ter^ he got by mistake a small coUection 
of letters by the most eminent writers, 
with a few sensible directions for attain- 
ing an easy epistolary style. This book 
was to Robert of the greatest oonse- 

Suence. It inspired him with a strong 
esire to excel in letter- writing, whileU 
furnished him with models by some of 
the first writers in our language. 

"My brother was about thirteen or 
fourteen, when my father, regretting that 
w^e wrote so ill, sent us, week about, 
during a summer quarter, to the parish 
school of Dalrymple, which, though be- 
tween two and' three miles distant, was 
the nearest to us, that we might have an 
opportunity of remedying this defect. 
About this time a bookish acquaintance 
of my father's procured us a reading of 
two volumes of Richardson's Paimda^ 
which was the first novel we read, and 
the only part of Richardson's works my 
brother was acqiiainted with till towards 
the period of his commencing author. 
Till that time too he remained unac- 
quainted with Fielding, with SmoUet, 
(two volumes of Ferdkiand Count fhiham, 
and two volumes of Pere/iyine Pickle ex- 
cepted,) with Hume, with Robertson, and 
almost all our authors of eminence of 
the latci times. I recollect indeed my 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



19 



flither borrowed a volume of English his- 
tofj from Mr. Hamilton of Bourtreehill's 
nraener. It treated of the reign of 
James the First, and his unfortunate son, 
Charles, but I do not know who was the 
author ; all that I remember of it is some- 
thinff of Charles's conversation with his 
ehildren. About this time Murdoch, our 
former teacher, after having been in differ- 
ent places in the country,ana having taught 
a Fchool some time in Dumfries, came to be 
the ett9.blished teacher of the English lan- 
guage in Ayr, a circumstance of considera- 
ble consequence to us. The remembrance 
iii my fatner*s former friendship, and his 
attacmaent to my brother, made him do 
every tbinff in his power for our improve- 
ment. He sent us Pope's works, and 
some other poetry, the first that we had 
an opportunity of reading, excepting 
what is contained in Jlie English Collec- 
liofi, and in the volume of The Edinburgh 
Jiagaxine for 1T72 ; excepting also ihote 
eretlleni new songs that are hawked about 
the country in baskets, or exposed on 
stalls in the streets. 

** The sommer after we had been at 
Dalryraple school, m^ father sent Robert 
to Ayr, to revise his English mmmar, 
with nis former teacher. He had been 
there only one week, when he was obli^d 
to return to assist at the harvest. When 
the harvest was over, he went back to 
school, where he remained two weeks ; 
ind this completes the account of his 
school education, excepting one summer 
quarter, some time afterwards, that he 
ittended the imrish school of Kirk-Os- 
wald, (where he lived with a brother of 
my mother's,) to learn surveying. 

** During the two last weeks that he 
wu with Murdoch, he himself was en- 
gtged in learning French, and he com- 
manicated the instructions he received to 
my brother, who, when he returned, 
brought home with him a French diction- 
try and grammar, and the Adtfeniures of 
Telemaehus in the original. In a little 
while, by the assistance of these books, 
be had acquired such a knowledge of the 
language, as to read and understand any 
French author in prose. This was con- 
sidered aji a 0ort of prodigy, and through 
the medium of Murdoch, procured hmi 
the acquaintance of several lads in Ayr, 
who were at that time gabbling French, 
and the notice of some families, particu- 
laily tlwt of Dr. Malcolm, where a know- 
Mm of French wet a recommendation. 
^ F 



" Observing the fkcility with which he 
had acquired the French language, Mr. 
Robinson the established writing-master 
in Ayr, and Mr. Murdoch's particular 
friend, having himself acquired a consi- 
derable knowledge of the Latin language 
by his own industry, without ever having 
learnt it at school, advised Robert to 
make the same attempt, promising him 
every assistance in his power. Agreea- 
bly to this advice, he purchased The Ru' 
dimerUs o/* the Lcdin Tongue^ but finding 
this study dry and uninteresting, it was 
quickly laid aside. He frequently re- 
turned to his Rudiments on any little cha- 
p^in or disappointment, particularly in 
his love affairs ; but the Latin seldom 
predominated more than a day or two 
at a time, or a week at most. Observ- 
ing himself the ridicule that would at- 
tach to this sort of conduct if it were 
known, he made two or three humorous 
stanzas on the subject, which I cannot 
now recollect, but they all ended, 

" So r II to my Latin tgmia.*' 

<< Thus you see Mr. Murdoch was a 
principal means of my brother's improve- 
ment. Worthy man ; though forei^ to 
mj present purpose, I cannot take leave 
of'^him without tracing his future history. 
He continued for some years a respected 
and useful teacher at Ayr, till one even- 
ing that he had been overtaken in li<juor, 
he happened to speak somewhat disre- 
spectfully of Dr. Dalrymple, the parish 
minister, who had not paid him that at- 
tention to which he thought himself en- 
titled. In Ayr he might as well have 
spoken blasphemy. He found it proper 
to give up his appointment. He went to 
London, where he^still lives, a private 
teacher of French. He has been a con- 
siderable time married, and keeps a shop 
of stationary wares. 

"The father of Dr. Patterson, now 
physician at Ayr, was, I believe a native 
of Aberdeenshire, and was one of the es- 
tablished teachers in Ayr, when my fa- 
ther settled in the neighbourhood. He ear- 
ly recognized my father as a fellow native of 
the north of Scotland, and a certain de- 
gree of intimacy subsisted between them 
during Mr. Patterson's life. After his 
death, his widow, who is a very genteel 
woman, and of great worth, delighted in 
doing what she thought her husband 
woum have wished to have done, and aa- 
siduously kept up her attentions to all hia 



90 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



acquaintance. She kept alive the inti- 
macy with our family, by frequently in- 
viting my father and mother to her house 
on Sundays, when she met them at church. 

" When she came to know my bro- 
ther's passion for books, she kindly offer- 
ed us the use of her husband's library, 
and from her we cot the Spectator^ Pope's 
TratulaUon of Horner^ and several other 
books that were of use to us. Mount 
Oliphant, the farm my father possessed 
in the parish of Ayr, is almost the very 
poorest soil I know of in a state of culti- 
vation. A stronger proof of this I can- 
not give, than that, notwithstanding the 
extraordinary rise in the value of lauds in 
Scotland, it was afler a considerable sum 
laid out in improving it by the proprietor, 
let a few years aeo five pounds per an- 
num lower than the rent paid for it by 
my father thirty years ago. My father, 
in consequence of this, soon came into 
difficulties, which were increased by the 
loss of several of his cattle by accidents 
and disease. — To the buffetings of mis- 
fortune, we could only oppose hard la- 
bour, and the most rigid economy. We 
lived very sparing. For several years 
butcher's meat was a stranger in the 
house, while all the members of the fami- 
ly exerted themselves to the utmost of 
their strength, and rather beyond it, in 
the labours of the farm. My brother, at 
the age of thirteen, assisted in thrashing 
the crop of corn, and at fifteen was the 
principal labourer on the farm, for \vc had 
no hired servant, male or female The an- 
guish of mind we felt at our tender years, 
under these straits and diHicnlties, was 
very great. To think of our father grow- 
ing old (for he was now above fifty*) bro- 
ken down with the long continued ratigues 
of his life, with a wife and five other chil- 
dren, and in a declining state of circum- 
stances, these reflections produced in my 
brother's mind and mine sensations of the 
deepest distress. I doubt not but the hard 
labour and sorrow of this period of his 
life, was in a great measure the cause of 
that depression of spirits with which Ro- 
bert was so oflen afflicted through his 
whole life afterwards. At this time he 
was almost constantly afflicted in the even- 
ings with a dull head-ache, which at a fu- 
ture period of his life, was exchanged for 
a palpitation of the heart, and a threat- 
ening of fainting and suffocation in his 
bed m the night-time. 

" By a stipulation in my father's lease. 



he had a right to throw it up, if he thought 
proper, at the end of every sixth year. 
He attempted to fix himself in a better 
farm at the end of the first six years, but 
failing in that attempt, he continued 
where he was for six years more. He 
then took the farm of Lochlca, of 130 
acres, at the rent of tw^enty shillings an 
acre, in the parish of Tarbolton, of Mr. 
, then a merchant in Ayr, and now 
(1797,) a merchant in Liverpool. He re 
moved to this farm on Whitsunday, 1777, 
and possessed it only seven years. No 
writing had ever been made out of the 
conditions of the lease ; a misunderstand- 
ing took place respecting them ; the sub 
jccts in dispute were submitted to arbi- 
tration, and the decision involved my fa- 
ther's aflairs in ruin. He lived to Imow 
of this decision, but not to see any exe- 
cution in consequence of it. He died on 
the 13th of February, 1784. 



cc 



The seven years we lived in Tarbol- 
ton parish (extending from the seven 
teenth to the twenty-fourth of my bro- 
ther's age,) were not marked by much 
literary improvement ; but, during this 
time, the foundation was laid of certain 
habits in my brother's character, which 
afterwards became but too prominent, 
and which malice and envy have taken 
delight to enlarge on. Though when 
young he was bashful and awkward in hia 
intercourse with women, yet when he 
approached manhood, his attachment to 
their society became very strong, and he 
was constantly the victim of some fair 
enslaver. The symptoms of his passion 
were oflen such as nearly to equflJ thoee 
of the celebrated Sappho. I never indeed 
knew that he fainted, sunk^ and died away; 
but the agitations of his mind and body 
exceeded any thing of the kind I ever 
knew in real life. He had always a par- 
ticular jealousy of people who were richer 
than himself, or who had more conse- 
quence in life. His love, therefore, rare- 
ly settled on persons of this description. 
When he selected any one out of the 
sovereignty of his good pleasure, to whom 
he should pay his particular attention, she 
was instantly invested with a sufficient 
stock of charms, out of a plentiful store 
ot his own imagination ; and there was 
often a great dissimilitude between his 
fair captivator, as she appeared to others, 
and as she seemed when invested with 
the attributes he gave her. One g^ne- 
nilly reigned paramount in his affections 
but as Yorick's affections flowed out to- 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



tl 



ward Mftdam de L — at the remise door, 
while the eternal vows of Eliza were 
upon him, so Robert was frequently en- 
countering other attractions, which form- 
ed BO many underplots in the drama of 
his love. As these connexions were go- 
verned by the strictest rules of virtue and 
modesty (from which he never deviated 
till he reached his 23d year,) he became 
anjdous to be in a situation to marry. 
This was not likely to be soon the case 
while he remained a fanner, as the stock- 
ing of a farm required a sum of money 
he had no probability of being master of 
for a great while. He began, therefore, 
to think of trying some other line of life. 
He and I had for several years taken land 
of my father for the purpose of raising 
flax on our own account. In the course 
of Belling it, Robert began to think of 
turning flax-dresser, both as being suita- 
ble to his grand view of settling in life, 
and as subservient to the flax raismg. He 
accordingly wrought at the business of a 
flax-dresser in Irvine for six months, but 
abandoned it at that period, as neither 
agreeing with his health nor inclination. 
In Irvine he had contracted some acquaint- 
ance of a freer manner of thinking and 
living than he had been used to, whose 
society prepared him for overleaping the 
bounds of ri^id virtue which had hitherto 
restrained him. Towards the end of the 
period under review (in his 24th year,) 
and soon afler his father's death, he was 
furnished with the subject of his epistle 
to John Ranklin. During this period 
also he became a freemason, which was 
his first introduction to the life of a boon 
companion. Yet, notwithstanding these 
circumstances, and the praise he has be- 
stowed on Scotch drink (which seems to 
have misled his historians,) I do not re- 
collect, during these seven years, nor till 
towards the end of his commencing au- 
thor Twhen his growing celebrity occa- 
sioneo his being oi^en in company,) to 
have ever seen him intoxicated ; nor was 
he at all given to drinking. A stronger 
proof of the general sobriety of his con- 
duct need not be required than what I am 
about to give. During the whole of the 
time we lived in the farm of Lochlea with 
my father, he allowed my brother and 
me such wages for our labour as he gave 
to other labourers, as a part of wmch, 
every article of our clothing manufactured 
in the family was regularly accounted for. 
When my father's afiairs drew near a 
eriaia, Robert and I took the farm of 
Moifgiel, consisting of 118 acres, at the 



rent of 90/. per annum (the farm on which 
I live at present,) from Mr. Gavin Ham- 
ilton, as an asylum for the family in case 
of the worst. It was stocked by the pro- 
pertv and individual savings of the wnole 
family, and was a joint concern among 
us. Every member of the family was 
allowed ordinary wages for the labour he 
performed on the farm. My brother's 
allowance and mine was seven pounds 
per annum each. And during the whole 
time this family concern lasted, which 
was for four years, as well as during the 
preceding period at Lochlea, his expenses 
never in any one year exceeded his slen- 
der income. As I was entrusted with the 
keeping of the family accounts, it is not 
possible that there can be any fallacy in 
this statement in^my brother's favour. 
His temperance and frugality were every 
thing that could be wished. 

** The farm of Mossgiel lies very high, 
and mostly on a cold wet bottom. The 
first four years that we were on the farm 
were very frosty, and the spring was very 
late. Our crops in consequence were 
very unprofitable; and, notwithstanding 
our utmost diligence and economy, we 
found ourselves obliged to give up our 
bargain, with the loss of a considerable 
part of our original stock. It was during 
these four years that Robert formed his 
connexion with Jean Armour, afterwards 
Mrs. Bums. This connexion could no longer 
be concealed^ about the time we can^e 
to a final determination to (juit the farm. 
Robert durst not engage with his family 
in his poor unsettled state, but was anx- 
ious to shield his partner, by every means 
in his power, from the consequence of 
their imprudence. It was agreed there- 
fore between them, that they should make 
a legal acknowledgment of an irregular 
and private marriage ; that he should go 
to Jamaica to pttsh hU fortune ! and that 
she should remain with her father till it 
might please Providence to put the means 
of supporting a family in his power. 

" Mrs. Bums was a great favourite of 
her father's. The intimation of a mar- 
riage was the first suggestion he received 
of ner real situation. He was in the 
greatest distress, and fainted away. The 
marriage did not appear to him to make 
the matter better. A husband in Jamai- 
ca appeared to him and his wife little bet- 
ter than none, and an effectual bar to aiw 
other prospects of a settlement in life 
that their oaughter might have. TTiey 



t2 



THE UFE OF BURNS. 



therefore exprewed a wish to her, that 
the written papers which respected the 
marriage should be cancelled, and thus 
the marriage rendered void. In her me- 
lancholy state phe felt the deepest re- 
morse at havincr brought such heavy af- 
fliction on parents that loved her so ten- 
derly, and submitted to their entreaties. 
Their wish was mentioned to Robert. 
He felt the deepest anguish of mind. He 
offered to stay at home and provide for 
his wife and ftimily in the best manner 
that his daily labours could provide for 
them ; that bcin^ the only means in his 
power. Even this otier thoy did not ap- 
prove of; for humble as Miss Armour's 
station was, and great though her impru- 
dence had been, she still, in the eyes of 
her partial parents, might look to a better 
connexion than that with m^ friendless 
and unhappy brother, at that time without 
house or biding place. Robert at length 
consented to their wishes; but his feelings 
on this occasion were of the most dis- 
tracting nature : and the impression of 
sorrow was not effaced, till by a regular 
marriage they were indissolubly united. 
In the state of mind which this separa- 
tion produced, he wished to leave the 
country as soon as possible, and agreed 
with Dr. Douglas to go out to Jamaica 
as an assistant overseer ; or, as I believe 
it is called, a book-keeper, on his estate. 
As he had not sufficient money to pay his 
passage, and the vessel in which Dr. 
Douglas was to procure a passage for him 
was not expected to sail for some time, 
Mr. Hamilton advised him to publish his 
poems in the mean time by subscription, 
as a likely way of getting a little money, 
to provide him more liberally in necessa- 
ries for Jamaica. Agreeably to this ad- 
vice, subscription biUs were printed im- 
mediately, and the printing was com- 
menced at KilmamocK, his preparations 
going on at the same time ror his voy- 
age. The reception, however, which ms 
poems met with in the world, and the 
friends they procured him, made him 
change his resolution of going to Jamai- 
ca, and he was advised to go to Edin- 
burgh to publish a second edition. On 
his return, in happier circumstances, he 
renewed his connexion with Mrs. Bums, 
and rendered it permanent by a onion for 
life. 

*^ Thus, Madam, have I endearoured 
to give you a simple narrative of the lead- 
ing circumstances in my brother's early 
lilS. The remaining part he spent in 



Edinburgh, or in DomfTiesshire, and its 
incidents are as well known to you at to 
me. His genius having procured him 
your patronage and friendship, this gave 
rise to the correspondence between you, 
in which, I believe, his sentiments were 
delivered with the most respectfiil, but 
most unreser\'cd confidence, and which 
only tehninated with the last days of his 
life." 



This narrative of Gilbert Bums may 
serve as a commentary on the precedixif 
sketch of our poet's life by himself. U 
will be seen that the distraction of mind 
which he mentions {p, 16.) arose from the 
distress and sorrow in which he had in- 
volved his future wife. — The whole cir- 
cumstances attending this connexion are 
certainly of a very singular nature.* 

The reader will perceive, from the 
foregoing narrative, how much the chil 
dren of William Bumes were indebted to 
their father, who was certainly a man of 
uncommon talents; though it does not 
appear that he possessed any portion of 
that vivid imagination for which the sub- 
ject of these memoirs was distinguished 
In page 13, it is observed by our poet, 
that his father had an unaccountable an- 
tipathy to dancing-schools, and that his 
attending one of these brought on him his 
displeasure, and even dislike. On this 
Qbservation GUbert has made the follow- 
ing remark, which seems entitled to im- 
plicit credit: — "I wonder how Robert 
could attribute to our father that lasting 
resentment of his going to a dancing- 
school against his will, of which he was 
LDcapable. I believe the truth was, that 
he, about this time began to see the dan- 
gerous impetuosity of^my brother's pas- 
sions, as well as lus not being amenable 
to counsel) which often irritated my fa- 
ther ; and wliich he would naturally think 
a dancing-school was not likely to correct. 
But he was proud of Robert's genius, 
which he bestowed more expense in cul- 
tivating than on the rest of the family, in 
the instances of sending him to Ayr and 
Eirk-Oswald schools; and he was greatly 
delighted with his warmth of heart, and 

* In page 10, the poal roentioiui hi»— *' ■kulklag fhtn 
eovert to covert, ander the terror of a Jill*** The 
**psek ofthe taw** wee " ancoapTed at Me lieele,** lo 
oMfe him to tiaA eeenrlqr for tlw anlateMoee of hie 
twin chUdrra, whom be wae aol pe ririt ie d to taglH 
mete bj a nuurleeB witb tlieir mother. 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



bia converMtioBt.1 powers. He had in> 
deed that dislike of duiclug-«choo]s whicli 
Kobert meDtiona ; but so ai orere&me it 
during Robert's first month of Bttendanco. 
that he allowed all the rest of the faniiiy 
that were fit for it to accompany him dn' 
nag the second month. Robert excellcJ 
in dancinff, and was for some time di.i- 
tractedlj fond of it." 

In the originftl lettecto Dr. Moore, our 

C't dcecribed his ancestors ss " rentinjr 
dsof the noble Keiths ofMarischal, aiid 
aa having had the honour of sharing their 
&te." " I do not," coutinuea he, " use- 
the word honour with any reference to 
political principles ; loyal and ditloijal, | 
take to be merely relative terms, in that 
aneuint and formidable coort, known in 
thti country by the name of Club-law. 
where the right ia always with the stmnir- 
nt. Bat those who dare welcome ruin. 
and shake hands with infamv, for wbut 
they aincerely believe to be the cause <>r 
their God, or their hing, are. as Mark 
Antony says in Shakeiipeare of Brutns aiiH 
Caaaina, honovrablemr*. Imention this 
arcomatance because it threw my fathiT 
on the world at large." 

This paragraph has been omitted in 

K'mting the fetter, at the desire ofGil- 
rt Burns; audit would have been un- 
neeenary to have noticed it on the pri>' 
•ent occapion,had not several manuflcripi. 
eopiea of that letter been in circulation. 
*' 1 do not know," observes Gilbert Bum-<, 



hia ancestors. — -1 believe the earl Mnris- 
ehal forfeited his title and ef^tatc in 1715, 
before my father was bom ; and amoiicr 
a collection of parish certiticatea in hi^ 
potsenion, I have read one, ntatii^ that 
the hearer hsd no concern in the Uit.- 
tBiekfd rAtllion." On the in formation of 
one, who knew William Bumes soon af- 
ter he arrived in the county of Ayr, it 
may be mentioned, that a report did pio- 
vul, that he had taken the field with thr? 
young Chevalier ; a report which the ctr* 
tificate mentioned by his wn was, perhap?, 
intended to counteract. Strangers from 
the north, settling in the low country ol' 
Scotland.were inthosedays liable to sn.i- 
picioni of having been, m the familiar 
phrase of tha country, " Out in the forty- 
five, " (1745) especially when they hnd 
any itatelineas or reserve abont them, si 
waa the caw with William Bumea. It 
nuef «Mly be conceived, that oar poet 



would cheriah the bcUef of hia fathsr'a 
having been engaged in the daring enter* 
prise of Prince Charlea Edward. Tha 
generous attachment, the herote valour, 
and the Jinal misfortunes of the adberenta 
of the house of Stewart, touched with 
sympathy hia youthful and ardent mind, 
and influenced his original political opi- 



Tbe father of our poet is described by 
one who knew him toward* the latter end 
of his life, aa above the common stature, 
thin, and bent with labour. Hia counte- 
nance wae scrioua am] expressive, and 
the scanty locks on his head were gray. 
He was of a religious turn of mind, and, 
as is usual among the Scottish peasantry, 
a good deal conversant in speculative 
theology. ThecG is in Gilbert's bands a 
little manual of religious belief, in the 
form of a dialogue between a father and 
his son, composed by him for the use of 
his'children, in which the benevolence of 
bis heart seems to have led him to sotten 
the rigid Calvinism of the Scottuh 
Church, into something approaching to 
Armininnixm. He was a devout man, and 
in the practice of calling his family toge- 
ther to join in prayer. It is known that 
the exquisite picture, drawn in stanias 

• There lianotharohRmtlonoTCinwrt Rumi ni 
hlibi«liei'iiHrnU>c, In whlclmine jienniiinmb* 
IntercMcd. ll ntkn u> wb«e Uu pnM ipniii ottilt 
roalbTuI rrlitndL " ttj bmlkcr," u>i an\>tn Kaiat, 






■1 iDdi 



then nr,K mo *ou of Dr. Mikoln, vhom t biva 
mcnllDnnl In nr iMUr lo Mn. Duulop. Thg tMrM, 
tnrj woithr )>oun( n»n, wenl lotbe Eui India, 
when he hid ■ cannitHtan In Ibe tmf : he t> ID* ' 
penon wIhim hean bit brmtiet uyi lite Mmg Bttnn 

or Lxlr Walloce, fM u hi^hiht In ■ nftswM niMj 
if iheDukeorilaiullinn, durfm ihe Amerteaawu. 
I bglkni neliher of ihem in now (17VT) alive. Wi 

much younfter Ihu us- I hMd ilinoil turptt [o nentlda 

broUiei, ud wlUi wbom we bid ■ loniKT ud etoent 
IntliiuiCT ■'>■■' *^lk "T "f 'll* ^■■■■'■i vbleh dM no. 



u 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



zii. ziii. zit. zv. zn. and zviii. of the C^f- 
tor*« Saturday ^/tgfU^ represents William 
Barnes and his family at their evening 
devotions. 

Of a family so interesting as that which 
inhabited the cottage of William Bumes, 
and particularly of the father of the fami- 
ly, the reader will perhaps be willing to 
listen to some farther account. What 
follows is given by one already mentioned 
with so much honour in the narrative of 
Gilbert Burns, Mr. Murdoch, the precep- 
tor of our poet, who, in a letter to Joseph 
Cooper Walker, ]Ssq. of Dublin, author 
of the Hutorical Memoirs of the Irish 
Bards, and the Historical Memoirs of ths 
Italian Tragedy, thus expresses himself: 

*'Siii,-r-I was lately favoured with a 
letter from our worthy friend, the Rev. 
Wm. Adair, in which he requested me to 
communicate to you whatever particulars 
I could recollect concerning Robert Bums, 
the Ayrshire poet. My business being at 
present multifarious and harassing, my 
attention is consequently so much divided, 
and I am so little in the habit of express- 
ing my thoughts on paper, that at this 
distance of time I can give but a very im- 
perfect sketch of the early part of the life 
of that extraordinary ffenius, with which 
alone I am acquainted. 

" William Burnes, the father of the po- 
et, was born in the shire of Kincardine, 
and bred a gardener. He had been set- 
tled in Ayrshire ten or twelve years be- 
fore I knew him, and had been in the ser- 
vice of Mr. Crawford, of Doonside. He 
was afterwards employed as a gardener 
and overseer by Provost Ferguson of 
Doonholm,in the parish of Alio way, which 
is now united witli that of Ayr. In this 
parish, on the road side, a Scotch mile 
and a half from the town of Ayr, and half 
a mile from the bridge of Doon, William 
Bumes took a piece of land, consisting of 
about seven acres ; part of which he laid 
out in garden ground, and part of which 
he kept to graze a cow, &.c. still continu- 
ing in the employ of Provost Ferguson. 
Upon this little farm was erected an hum- 
ble dwelling, of which William Bumes 
was the architect. It was, with the ex- 
' ception of a little straw, literally a taber- 
nacle of clay. In this mean cottage, of 
which I myself was at times an inhabitant, 
I realhr believe there dwelt a larger por- 
tion of content than in any palace in Eu- 
rope. The CoUer'9 Saturday JTtght will 



give some idea of the temper and nwii- 
ners that prevailed there. 

** In 1765, about the middle of March, 
Mr. W. Bumes came to Ayr, and sent to 
the school where I was improving in wri- 
ting, under my good friend Mr. Robinson, 
desiring that I would come and speak to 
him at a certain inn, and bring my writ- 
ing-book with me. This was immediately 
complied with. Having examined my 
writing, he was pleased with it— (you will 
readily allow he was not difficult,) and 
told me that he had received very satis- 
factory information of Mr. Tennant, the 
master of the English school, concerning 
my improvement in English, and his me- 
thod of teaching. In the month of May 
following, I was engaged by Mr. Bumes, 
and four of his neighbours, to teach, and 
accordingly began to teach the little 
school at AUoway, which was situated a 
few yards from the argillaceous fabric 
above-mentioned. My five employers un- 
dertook to board me by turns, and to make 
up a certain salary, at the end of the year, 
provided my quarterly payments from the 
different pupils did not amount to that 
sum. 

" My pupU, Robert Bums, was then 
between six and seven years of age ; his 
preceptor about eighteen. Robert, and 
his younger brother, Gilbert, had been 
grounded a little in English before thev 
wore put under my care. They both 
made a rapid progress in reading, and a 
tolerable progress in writing. In read- 
ing, dividing words into syllables by rule, 
spelling without book, parsing sentences 
&.C. Robert and Gilbert were generally at 
the upper end of the class, even when 
ranged with boys by far their seniors 
The books most commonly used in the 
school were the Spelling Book, the JWio 
Testament, the Bihle, Mason's Collection 
of prose and verse, and Fisher's English 
Orammar. They committed to memory 
the hymns, and other poems of that c«»l- 
lection, with uncommon facility. This 
facility was partly owing to the method 
pursued by their father and me in instmct- 
ing them, which was, to make them tho 
roughly acquainted with the meaning of 
every word in each sentence that was to 
be committed to memory. By the by, 
this may be easier done, and at an earlier 
period than is generally thought. As soon 
as they were capable of it, I taught them 
to turn verse into its natural prose order ; 
sometimes to substitute synonymous e^ 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



f5 



yre— lonn fbr poetical words, iuid to sup- 
ply all the ellipses. These, you know, 
are the means of knowing that the pupil 
uadcTstands his author. These are ex- 
cellent helps to the arrangement of words 
in sentences, as well as to a variety of 
expression. 

" Gilbert always appeared to me to 
possess a more lively ima^nation, and to 
be more of the wit than Robert. I at- 
tempted to teach them a little church- 
mosic : Iffere they were left far behind by 
all the rest of the school. Robert's car, 
in particular, was remarkably dull, and 
his voice untimablc. It was long before 
1 could get them to distinguish one tune 
fnm another. Robert's countenance was 
geaerally grave, and expressive of a se- 
lioas, contemplative, and thoughtful mind. 
Gilbert's face said, Mirth^ wUh thee I mean 
tolwe; and certainly, if any person who 
knew the two boys, had been asked which 
of them was most likely to court the 
Dues, he would surely never have guess- 
ed that Robert had a propensity of that 
kind. 

" In the year 1769, Mr. Burnes quitted 
019 mud edifice, and took possession of a 
fami (Mount Oliphant] of his own im- 
proving, while in the ser\nce of Provost 
Ferguson. This farm being at a consider- 
able distance from the school,* the boys 
could not attend regularly ; and some 
changes taking place among the other 
•npporters of tie school, I left it, having 
continued to conduct it for nearly two 
Jears and a half. 

"In the year 1772, I was appointed 

(being one of five candidates who were 

^:uLmined) to teach the English school at 

Ayr; and in 1773, Robert Burns came to 

^oard and lodge with me, for the purpose 

^f revising the English grammar, &c. that 

Ae might be better qimlified to instruct 

His brothers and sisters at home. He 

^as now w^ith me day and night in school, 

%.t all meals, and in all my walks. At the 

^nd of one week, I told him, that as he 

"Vras now pretty much master of the parts 

^f speech, d&c. I should like to teach him 

Something of French pronunciation ; that 

Vhen he should meet with the name of a 

French town, ship, officer, or the like, in 

the newspapers, he might be able to pro- 

tionnce it something like a French word. 

Robert was glad to hear this proposal, 

and immediately we attacked the French 

with great courage. 



*< Now there* was little else to be heard 
but the declension of nouns, the conjuga- 
tion of verbs, Sic. When walking toge* 
ther, and even at meals, I was constantly 
telling him the names of different objects, 
as they presented themselves, in French; 
so that he was hourly laying in a stock of 
words, and sometimes little phrases. In 
short, he took such pleasure in learning, 
and I in teaching, that it was difficult to 
say which of the two was most zealous 
in the business ; and about the end of the 
second week of our study of the French, 
we began to read a little of the Adven- 
tures ^ Telemachut, in Fenelon*B own 
words. 

" But now the plains of Mount Oliphant 
began to whiten, and Robert was sum- 
moned to relinquish the pleasing scenes 
that surrounded the grotto of Calypso ; 
and, armed with a sickle, to seek glory 
by signalizing himself in the fields of Ce- 
res — and so he did ; for although but 
about fifteen, I was told that he perform- 
ed the work of a man. 

" Thus was I deprived of my vei^ apt 
pupil, and consequently agreeable com- 
panion, at the end of three weeks, one of 
which was spent entirely in the study of 
English, and the other two chiefly in that 
of French. I did not, however, lose sight 
of him ; but was a frequent visitant at his 
father's house, when I had my half-holi- 
day ; and very often went, accompanied 
with one or two persons more intelligent 
than myself, that good William Bumes 
might enjoy a mental feast. Then the 
labouring oar was shifted to some other 
hand. The father and the son sat down 
with us, when we enjoyed a conversation, 
wherein solid reasoning, sensible remark, 
and a moderate seasoning of jocularity, 
were so nicely blended as to render it pa- 
latable to all parties. Robert had a hun- 
dred questions to ask me about the French, 
&c. ; and the father, who had always ra- 
tional information in view, had still some 
?[uestion to propose to my more learned 
i'iends, upon moral or natural philosophy, 
or some such interesting subject. Mrs. 
Bumes too was of the party as much as 
possible ; 

' But still the houfe afTairB would draw her thence, 
Which ever as she could with baste deepatch, 
She*d come ncain, and with a greedy ear, 
Devour up their discourse.* — 

and particularly that of her husband. At 
all times, and in all companies, she listen- 



THE LIFE OF Bn&N& 



ti to Urn with ft more tiurked Bttcatian 
thul to uif body elae. When andet lh« 
necessity of being abieut while he wb~- 
■peaking, she seemed to regret, a* » rrnj 
low, ihst she had miaied what the ^i)il 
man had raid. Thia worthy woinu), A j- 
nes Brown, had the moat thorough estei. n > 
for her husband of any woman I e\ ' r 
knew- I can by no meana wonder thai 
■he hirhly esteemed hhn; for 1 mys^'ll 
have aiwaya conaidered William Burn>'s 
u by far the beat of the human race thnl 
ever I hadthe pleaaure of being acquaiiit- 
ed with— and many a worthy character 1 
have known. I can cheerfully join WKh 
Robert, in the laat line of his epitaph (b<jr- 
10 wed ttom Goldamith,] 



" Aad •*«■ Ua ttl 



p Iwa'd U ttitH'i Ml." 



" He wai an excellent husband, if I 
may judge from his aasiduoua attention 
to the ease and comfort of his wortLv- 
partner, and from her afiectionate bo- 
na viour to him, as well as her 
attention to the duties of a mother. 



" He waa a tender and aSectionfttc 
father; he took pleasure in leading ]il> 
children in the path of virtue ; not in 
drivinfr them as some parents do, to tlic? 
performance of duties to which tliey thetn- 
•elves are averse. He took care to find 
fault but very seldom; and thercfori\ 
when he did rebuke, he waa listened lo 
with a kind of reverential awe. A loiik 
ofilisapprohation was felt; a reproof wn<; 
aeverely ao ; and a alripe with the taiei. 
even on the akirt of the coat, gave heart- 
felt pain, produced a loud lamentation, 
and brought forth a flood of tears. 

"He had the art of gaining the eateem 
and good-will of those that were labour- 
ers under him. I think 1 never aaw him 
angry but twice ; the one lime it wn» 
with the foreman of the band, for not 
reaping the field as he was desired ; atui 
the other time, it waa with an old man, 
fur uaing smutty inuendoea and doul,le 
tnlendret. Were every foul mouthed old 
man to receive a seasonable check in 
this way, it would be to the advantafic: 
of the rising generation. As he was ut 
no time overbearing to inferiors, he wns 
equally incapable of that passive, pitifii], 
naltry spirit, that induces some people lo 
ieifp boo'ng and booing in the presence of] 
a great man. He always treated supe- 
rior! with a becoming respect i but he 
■Mver g&TS the niiaUeat enatfimgement 



to ariatocTAical ■TTofuiefl. Bntlmntk 
not pretend to giTe you a deacription of 
all the manly qualitiea, the rational and 
Christian virtnes, of the venerable WU> 
liam Burnea. Time would fail me. I 
shall only add, that he carefiillr practiaed 
every known duty, and avoided every 
thing that waa criminal; or, in the apos- 
tle's words, Hertin did he txerrUt him- 
ulf in Imng a life toid of offence loteard* 
God and toicardi men. O for a world at 
men of such dispoaitiooa ! We should 
then have no wars. I have ofleA wished, 
for the good of mankind, that it were aa 
customary to honour and perpetuate the 
memory of those who excel in moral rec- 
titude, as it is to extol what are called 
heroic actions: then would the mauaoleum 
of the friend of my youth overtop and sor- 
pasa most of the monumenta I ae* in 
Westminiter Abbey. 

" Although I cannot do joatice to tlia 
character of this worthy man, yet yon 
will gerceive from these few particnlan, 
what kind of person had the principal 
hand in the education of our poet. He 
spoke the Eneliah language with more 
propriety (both with respect to diction 
and pronunciation,] than any man I ever 
knew with no greater advantage*. Thia 
had a very good effect on the boys, who 
began to talk, and reason like men, much 
BOoner than their neighbours. I do not 
recollect any of their contemporaries, at 
my htile seminary, who aflerwarda made 
any great figure, as literary cbaractera, 
except Dr. Tennant, who was chaplain 
to Colonel Fiillartoa's regiment, and who 
is ROW in the East indies. He is a man 
of genius and learning ; yet affable, and 
free from pedantry. 

" Mr. Buniee, in a short time, found 
that e had over-rated Mount Olij^ant 
and that he could not rear hia ntime 
family upon it. After being there a 
years, he removed to Lochlea, in the 
parish of Tarbolton, where, I believe, Ro- 
bert wrote moat of hia poems. 

" But here, Sir, you will permit me to 
pause. I can tell you but little more rela- 
tive to our poet. I shall, however, in my 
neict, send you acopy of one of his letters 
to me, about the year 1783. I received 
one since, but it la mialaid. Pleaae re- 
member me, in the best manner, to my 
worthy friend Hr. Adair, when yon ■«« 
him, or write to him. 

" Hart-ttrett, Bk/omtbtaySqitar*, 
Londoii, fVi. n, 1TS9 - 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



t7 



As the narratiTe of Gilbert Bnrns was 
Rmtten at a time when he was ignorant 
if the existence of the preceding narra- 
tive of his brother, so this letter of Mr. 
Murdoch was written without his having 
any knowledge that either of his pupi£ 
had been employed on the same subject. 
The three relations serve, therefore, not 
merely to illustrate, but to authenticate 
each other. Though the information 
thev convey might have been presented 
within a shorter compass, by reducing the 
whole into one unbroken narrative, it is 
■cftTcely to be doubted, that the intelli- 
gent reader will be far more gratified by 
ft sight of these original documents them- 
■elTes. 

Under the humble roof of his parents, 
it appears indeed that our poet had great 
advantages ; but his opportunities of in- 
formation at school were more limited as 
to time than they usually are among his 
countrymen in his condition of life ; and 
the acquisitions which he made, and the 
poetical talent which he exerted, under 
the pressure of early and incessant toil, 
and of inferior, and perhaps scanty nutri- 
ment, testify at once the extraordinary 
force and activity of his mind. In his 
frame of body he rose nearly to five feet 
ten inches, and assumed the proportions 
that indicate agility as well as strength. 
In the various labours of the farm he ex- 
celled all his competitors. Gilbert Bums 
declares that in mowing, the exercise that 
tries all the muscles most severely, Ro- 
bert wn the only man, that at the end of 
a summer's day he was ever obliged to 
acknowledge as his master. But though 
our poet gave the powers of his body to 
the abours of the farm, he refused to be- 
stow on them his thoughts or his cares. 
While the ploughshare under his guidance 
passed through the sward* or the grass 
fell under the sweep of his scythe, he was 
humming the songA of his country, musing 
on the deeds of ancient valour, or wrapt 
in t e allusions of Fancy, as her enchant- 
ments rose on his view. Happily the 
Sunday is yet a sabbath, on which man 
and beast rest from their labours. On 
this day, therefore, Bums could indulge 
in a free intercourse with t e charms of 
nature. It was his deli|^t to wander 
alone on the banks of the Ayr, whose 
stream is now immortal, and to listen to 
the song of the blackbird at the close of 
the sunmier's day. But still greater was 
his pleasure, as he himself informs us, in 
walking on the sheltered side of a wood, 

P 2 



in a cloudy wmter day, and hearing the 
storm rave among the trees ; and more 
elevated still his delight, to ascend some 
eminence during the agitations of nature ; 
to stride along its summit, while the 
lightning flashed around him ; and amidst 
the howTings of the tempest, to apostro- 
phize the spirit of the storm. Such situ- 
ations he declares most favourable to de- 
votion. — *^ Rapt in enthusiasm, I 6e3m 
to ascend towards Him who vDalk$ on the 
toinfft of ike trintlt!'' If other proofs were 
wanting of the character of his genius, 
this might determine it. The heart of 
the poet is peculiarly awake to every im- 
pression of beauty and sublimity ; but, 
with the higher order of poct% the beau- 
tiful is less attractive than the sublime. 

Thegayety of many of Bums's writings, 
and the lively, and even cheerful colour- 
ing with which he has portrayed his own 
character, may lead some persons to sup- 
pose, that the melancholy which hung 
over him towards the end of his days was 
not an original part of his constitution. 
It is not to be doubted, indeed, that this 
melancholy acquired a darker hue in the 
progress of his life ; but, independent of 
nis own and of his brother's testimony, 
evidence is to be found among his papers, 
that he was subject very early to those 
depressions of mind, which are perhaps 
not wholly separate from the sensibility 
of genius, but which in him rose to an 
uncommon degree. The following letter, 
addressed to his father, will serve as a 
proof of this obe^ervation. It was written 
at the time when he was learning the 
business of a flax-dresser, and is dated. 

Irvine^ December 27, 1781. 
" HoNoi^RED Sir — I have purposely 
delayed writing, in the hope that I should 
have the pleasure of seeing you on New- 
year's-day ; but work comes so hard upon 
lis, that I do not choose to be absent on 
that accoimt, as well as for some other 
little reasons, which I shall tell you at 
meeting. My health is nearly the same 
as when you were here, only my sleep is 
a little sounder ; and, on the whole, I am 
rather better than otherwise, though I 
mend by very slow degrees. The weak- 
ness of my nerves has so debilitated my 
mind, that I dare neither review past 
wants, nor look forward into futurity ; 
for the least anxiety or perturbation in 
my breast, produces most unhappy effects 
on my whole frame. Sometmies, in- 
deed, when for an hour or two my spirits 



30 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



lon^ remember it with pleasure, and de- 
light." To this preamble are subjoined 
the rules and regulations.* 

The philosophical mind will dwell with 
interest and pleasure, on an institution 
that combined so skilfully the means of 
' instruction and of happiness, and if ^an- 
dcur look down with a smilo on these 
simple annals, let us trust that it will be a 
smile of benevolence and approbation. It 
is with regret that the sequel of the his- 
tory of the Bachelor's Club of Tarbolton 
must be told. It survived several years 
after our poet removed from Ayrshire, 
but no longer sustained by his talents, or 
cemented by his social affections, its meet- 
ings lost much of their attraction ; and at 
length, in an evil hour, disscntion arising 
amongst its members, the institution was 
ffiven up, and the records committed to 
tne flames. Happily the preamble and 
the regulations were spared ; and as mat- 
ter of instruction and of example, they 
are transmitted to posterity. 

After the family of our bard removed 
from Tarbolton to the neighbourhood of 
Mauchline, he and his brother were re- 
quested to assist in forming a similar in- 
stitution there. The regulations of the 
club at Mauchline were nearly the same 
as those of the club at Tarbolton : but one 
laudable alteration was made. The fines 
for non-attendance had at Tarbolton been 
spent in enlarging their scanty potations ; 
at Mauchline it was fixed, that the money 
80 arisinor, should be set apart for the pur- 
chase or books, and the first work pro- 
cured m this manner was the Jfirror, the 
separate numbers of which were at that 
time recently collected and published in 
volumes. After it, followed a number of 
other works, chiefly of the same nature 
and among these the lAntnffer. The so- 
ciety of Mauchline still subsists, and ap- 
peared in the list of subscribers to the 
first edition of the works of its celebrated 
associate. 

The members of these two societies 
were originally all young men from the 
country, and chiefly sons of farmers ; a 
description of persons, in the opinion of 
our poet, more agreeable in their man- 
ners, more virtuous in their conduct, and 
more susceptible of improvement, than 
the self-sufficient mechanics of country- 
towns. With deference to the conver- 

•ForwhlebsM ^ppndiz, X0, II. JV«« C 



sation society of Mauchline, it may be 
doubted, whether the books which thej 
purchased were of a kind best adapted to 
promote the interest and happiness of 
persons in this situation of life. The 
Mirror and the Lounger^ though works 
of great merit, may be said, on a general 
view of their contents, to be less calcu- 
lated to increase the knowledge, than to 
refine the taste of those who read them ; 
and to this last object, their morality it- 
self, which is however always perfectly 
pure, may be considered as subordinate* 
As works of taste, they deserve great 
praise. They are, indeed, refined to a 
high degree of delicacy ; and to this cir- 
cumstance it is perhaps owing, that they 
exhibit little or nothing of tne peculiar 
manners of the age or country in which 
they were produced. But delicacy of 
taste, though the source of many plea- 
sures, is not without some disadvantages ; 
and to render it desirable, the posseaeor 
should perhaps in all cases be raised above 
the necessity of bodily labour, unless in- 
deed we should include under this term 
the exercise of the imitative arts, over 
which taste immediately presides. Deli- 
cacy of taste may be a blessing to him 
who has the disposal of his o^^-n time, and 
who can choose what book he shall read^ 
of what diversion he shall partake, and 
what company he shall keep. To men 
so situated, the cultivation of taste aflbrds 
a grateful occupation in itself, and opens 
a path to many other gratifications. To 
men of genius, in the possession of opu- 
lence and leisure, the cultivation of the 
taste may be said to be essential ; since 
it afibrds employment to those faculties, 
which without employment would destroy 
the happiness of the possessor, and cor- 
rects that morbid sensibility, or, to use 
the expressions of Mr. Hume, that deli- 
cacy or passion, which is the bane of the 
temperament of genius. Happy had it 
been for our bard, after he emerged from 
the condition of a peasant, had the deli- 
cacy of his taste equalled the sensibility 
of his passions, regulating all the eflTusions 
of his muse, and presiding over all his so- 
cial enjoyments. But to the thousands 
who share the original condition of Burns, 
and who are doomed to pass their lives in 
the station in which they were bom, de- 
licacy of taste, were it even of easy attain- 
ment, would, if not a positive evil, be at 
least a doubtful blessing. Delicacy of 
taste may make many necessary labours 
irksome or disgusting ; and should it ren- 
der the cultivator of the soil unhappy in 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



31 



lBintaation,it preflentinomeani by which 
that situation may bo improTed. Taste 
and literature, which diffuse so many 
charms throughout society, which some- 
times secure to their votaries distinction 
while living, and which still more fre- 
quently obtain for them posthumous fame, 
seldom procure opulence, or even inde- 
pendence, when cultivated with the ut- 
most attention ; and can scarcely be pur- 
sued with advantage by the peasant in the 
short intervals of leisure which his occu- 
pations allow. Those who raise them- 
selves from the condition of daily labour, 
are usually men who excel in the practice 
of some useful art, or who join habits of 
industry and sobriety to an acquaintance 
with some of the more common branches 
of knowledge. The penmanship of But- 
terworth, and the arithmetic of Cocker, 
may be studied by men in the humblest 
walks of life; and they will assist the 
peasant more in the pursuit of indepen- 
dence, than the study of Homer or of 
Shakspeare, though he could comprehend, 
tnd even imitate the beauties of those im- 
mortal bards. 

These observations are not offered with- 
OQt some portion of doubt and hesitation. 
The subject has many relations, and would 
jostify an ample discussion. It may be ob- 
served, on the other hand, that the first 
step to improvement is to awaken the de- 
sire of improvement,' and that this will be 
most effectually done by such reading as 
interests the heart and excites the imagi- 
nation. The greater part of the sacred 
writings themselves, which in Scotland 
are more especially the manual of the 
poor, come under this description. It 
may be farther observed, that every hu- 
man being, is the proper judge of his own 
happiness, and within the path of inno- 
cence, ought to be permitted to pursue it. 
Since it is the taste of the Scottish pea- 
Btntry to give a preference to works of 
taste and of fancy,'*' it may be presumed 
they find a superior gratification in the 
perusal of such works ; and it may be 
added, that it is of more consequence they 
ahonld be made happy in their original 
condition, than furnished with the means, 
or with the desire of rising above it. Such 
considerations are douotless of much 
weighty nevertheless, the previous reflec- 

In WTeral lift! of brtok-toetotta among the poorer 
CiMMs In BcotUnd which the editor hM Men, woriDi of 
lUe deeeriptloa fbno • gTMU pvt Tbcie eoekeclee mre 
by no ■eini geoeral, and Htonoc Mppoeod thu they 
■re taoiMlng at praMttU 



tions may deserve to be examined, and 
here we shall leave the subject. 

Though the records of the society at 
Tarbolton are lost, and those of the soci- 
ety at Mauchline have not been transmit- 
ted, yet we may safely affiin), that our 
poet was a distinguished member of both 
these associations, which were well cal- 
culated to excite and to develop the pow- 
ers of his mind. From seven to twelve 
persons constituted the society of Tarbol- 
ton, and such a number is best suited to 
the purposes of information. Where this 
is the object of these societies, the num- 
ber should be such, that each person may 
have an opportunity of imparting his sen- 
timents, as well as of receiving those of 
others ; and the powers of private con- 
versation are to be employed, not those of 
public debate. A limited society of this 
kind, where the subject of conversation is 
fixed beforehand, so that each member 
may revolve it previously in his mind, is 
perhaps one of the happiest contrivances 
hitherto discovered for shortening the ac- 
quisition of knowledge, and hastening the 
evolution of talents. Such an association 
re<}uires indeed somewhat more of regu- 
lation than the rules of politeness estab- 
lish in common conversation ; or rather, 
perhaps, it requires that the rules of po- 
litenesG, which in animated conversation 
are liable to perpetual violation, should 
be vigorously enforced. The order of 
speech established in the club at Tarbol- 
ton, appears to have been more regular 
than was required in so small a society;* 
where all that is necessary seems to be 
the fixing on a member to whom every 
speaker shall address himself, and who 
shall in return secure the speaker from in- 
terruption. Conversation, which among 
men whom intimacy and friendship have 
relieved from reser^'e and restraint, is li- 
able, when lefl to itself, to so many in- 
equalities, and which, as it becomes ra 
pid, so oflen diverges into separate and 
collateral branches, in which it is dissi 
pated and lost, being kept within its chan- 
nel by a simple limitation of this kind, 
which practice renders easy and familiar, 
flows along in one full stream, and be- 
comes smoother, and clearer, and deeper, 
as it flows. It may also be observed, that 
in this way the acquisition of knowledge 
becomes more pleasant and more easy, 
from the gradual improvement of the fa- 
culty employed to convey it. Though 

* Bee Appendix, No> O. Mole C 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



some attention has been paid to the elo- 
quence of the senate and the bar, which 
in this, as in all other free ffovemments, 
is productive of so much influence to the 
few who excel in it, yet little regard has 
been paid to the humbler exercise of 
speech in private oonversation ; an art 
that is of consequence to every descrip- 
tion of persons under every form of go- 
vernment, and on which eloquence of eve- 
ry kind ought perhaps to be founded. 

The first requisite of every kind of elo- 
cution, a distinct utterance, is the off- 
spring of much time and of long prac- 
tice. Children are always defective 
in clear articulation, and so are young 
people, though in a less degree. What 
IS called slurring in speech, prevails with 
some persons throu|^h life, especially in 
those who are taciturn. Articulation 
does not seem to reach its utmost degree 
of distinctness in men before the age of 
twenty, or upwards ; in women it reaches 
this point somewhat earlier. Female oc- 
cupations require much use of speech be- 
cause they are duties in detail. Besides, 
their occupations being generally seden- 
tary, the respiration is left at liberty. 
Their nerves being more delicate, their 
sensibility as well as fancy is more live- 
ly ; the natural consequence of which is, 
a more frequent utterance of thought, a 
greater fluency of speech, and a distinct 
articulation at an earlier agfe. But in men 
who have not mingled early and familiar- 
ly with the world, though rich perhaps in 
knowledge, and clear in apprehension, it 
is often painful to observe the difficulty 
with which their ideas are communicated 
by speech, through the want of those ha- 
bits that connect thoughts, words, and 
sounds together ; which, when establish- 
ed, seem as if they had arisen spontane- 
ously, but which, in truth, are the result 
of long and painful practice ; and when 
analyzed, exhibit the phenomena of most 
curious and complicated association. 



Societies then, such as we have been 
describing, while they may be said to put 
each member in possession of the luiow- 
ledge of all the rest, improve the powers 
of utterance ; and by the collision of opi- 
nion, excite the faculties of reason and 
reflection. To those who wish to improve 
their minds in such intervals of labour as 
the condition of a peasant allows, this 
method of abbreviating instruction, may, 
under proper regulations, be highly use- 
fuL To Um student, whose opinions, 



springing out of solitary obsenration ax 
meditation, are seldom in the first ii 
stance correct, and which have, notwitl 
standing, while confined to himself, a 
increasing tendency to assume in his ojk 
eye the character of demonstrations, a 
association of this kind, where they ma 
be examined as they arise, is of the a 
most importance; since it may prevei 
those illusions of imagination, by whic 
genius being bewildered, science is ofte 
debased, and error propagated throug 
successive generations. And to men wl 
have cultivated letters, or general scienc 
in the course of their education, but wt 
are engaged in the active occupations i 
life, and no longer able to devote to stud 
or to books the time requisite for improi 
ing or preserving their acquisitions, asst 
ciations of this kind, where the mind ma 
unbend from its usual cares in discussioi 
of literature or science, aflbrd the mot 
pleasing, the most useful, and the moi 
rational of gratifications.* 

Whether in the humble societies < 
which he was a member. Burns acquire 
much direct information, may perhaps b 
questioned. It cannot however be doubt 
ed, that by collision, the faculties of hi 
mind would be excited ; that by practic 
his habitd of enunciation would be es 
tablishcd ; and thus we have some expls 
nation of that early command of word 
and of expression which enabled him t 
pour forth his thoughts in language nc 
unworthy of his genius, and which, of a 
his endowments, seemed, on his appeal 
ance in Edinburgh, the most cxtraordi 
nary.f For associations of a literary na 

* When letten and phihwophj were cultivated i 
ancient Greece, tlie press had not multiplied tlie table 
of learning and science, and necessity produced Ui 
habit of studying as it were in common. Poets wai 
found reciting their own yerses in public aawmbUei 
in public schools only philosophers delivered their pp* 
culations. The taste of the hearerv, the ingcnolty t 
the scholars, were employed In appreciating and ezj 
mining the worlcs of fancy and of speculation subml 
ted to their consideration, and the irr€V0cahU tton 
were not given to the world before the composition, i 
well as the sentiments, were again and again retouchc 
and improved. Death alone put the last seal on tk 
labours of genius. Hence, perhaps, may be In part ei 
plained the extraordinary art and skill with which th 
monuments of Grecian literature that remaina to m 
appear to have been constructed. 

t It appears that our Poet made more ptvparatlo 
than might be supposed, for the discussion of the ao^ 
tj of Tarboiton. There were found aoma detaclie 
memoranda, evidently prepared for these meetiiigi 
and, amongst others, the haadii of a aoeecb on the qu« 



TUB LIFE OF BURNS. 



tan, oor poot acquired a eomiderable re- 
Bib ; and happy ntA it been for him, af- 
ter l|e emerged from the condition of a 
peasant, if fortune had permitted him to 
OiioT them in the degree of which he wu 
capable, io as to have fortified his princi' 
pie* of virtue by the puriiicatiaa of his 
taate; and given to the energies of hia 
mind habits of exertion that might have 
ezdaded other associations, in which il 
mnst be acknowledged they were too of- 
ten waited, aa well as debased. 

The whole course of the Ayr is fine; 
hit the banks of that river, u it bends tc 
the eastward above Mauchline, are sin. 
pdariy beautiful, and they were frequent- 
ed, as may be imagined, by our poet in 
Uiaohtary walks. Here the muse oflen 
nritedhim. Id one of these wanderings, 
ha met among the woods a celebrated 
beauty of the west of Scotland: a lady, 
tf whom it is said, that the charnis of her 
vatoa correspond with the character uf 
Dcr mind. This incident gave rise, as 
■^t be expected, to a poem, of which 
in account will be found in the following 
Mter, in which he inclosed it to the ob- 
JBCt oir his iDBpiratiou : 

7b Mis* 

Mougiel, 18th Jfovemher, 17E6. 

"Had'am, — PocEb are such outr6 be- 
tngs, BO much the children of wayward 
Eucyand capricious whim, that 1 believe 
tka world generally allows them a larger 
Itiitade in the laws of propriety, than the 
sober SODS of judgment and prudence. I 
■entioa this as an apology for the liber- 
tiea that a nameless stranger has taken 
*ith yon in the inclosed poem, which he 
begs leave to present you with. Whe- 
ther it has poetical merit any way wor^y 
ofthe theme, I am not the proper judge; 
bat it isthebest my abilities can produce; 
ud, what to a good heart will perhaps 

toB SMnUoDed In p. S9, In wblcti, u mlibl )wf ipeelEd, 
WukaUMAnpnJcat ildaodlHqunlion. TMfol 
■>■)■( Bar itm u ■ hnhar ipeclnita ol (Ito qun- 
inH datelAl In th« madtlj ix Tartelun !~ mttJitr dt 
H tfB^t (wrl kKffiiuMM from lact tr friniiiUf } 
WinHlitr ttlmiim jiindl, »U km u rrun U dtuM 

ntCkr il tkt wmft lu., ST tAi rrtml efrn elrlliinf 

mr ■« r/Uj {«Hr roil 1/ U/i UcliMi K tt ii^ 



" The sccnciT was nearly taken from 

real life, though I dare say, Madam, you do 
not recollect it, as 1 bohcve you scarcely 
noticed the poetic retmr as be wandered 
by you. I had roved out as chance di> 
rectcd, in the favourite haunts of my 
muse on ihe banks of the Ayr, to view 
nature in all the gayety of the vernal 
year. The evening Eun was flaming over 
the distant western hills; not a breath 
stirred the crimson opening blossom, or 
the verdant spreading leaT— It was ft 

e olden moment for a poetic heart. I 
stened to the feathered warblers, pour> 
ing their harmony un every hand, with a 
congenial kindred regard, and frequently 
turned out of my path, lest I should dis- 
turb their little songs, or frighten them 
to another station. Surely, said I to my- 
self, he must be a wretch indeed, who, 
regardless of your harmonious endea- 
vours to pleaao him, can eye your elusive 
flights to discover your secret reccsEes, 
and to rob you of all the property nature 
gives you, your dearest comforts, your 
helpless nestlings. Even the hoary haw- 
thorn twig tliat shot across the way, 
Mhat heart at such a time but must 
have been interested in its welfare 
and wished it preserved from the rudely 
browsing cattle, or the withering eastern 
blast.' 9uch was the scene — and such 
the hour, when, in a comer of my pros- 
pect, I spied one of the fairest pieces of 
Nature's workmanship that ever crowned 
a poetic landscape, or met a poet's eye: 
those visionary bards excepted who hold 
commerce with aerial beings! Had Ca- 
lumny and Villany taken my walk, they 
had at that moment sworn eternal peace 
ith such an object. 

" What on hour of inspiration for a 
poet ! It would have raised plain, dull, 
historic prose into metaphor and mea- 

Theenclosedsong* was the work ofmy 
im home ; and perhaps it but poorly 
wcrs what might have been expected 
from such a scene. 



" I have the honour to be, Madam, 
Your most obedient, 

and very humble servant, 

" ROBEKT BuRKi." 



36 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



own manners and appoarance ezeeedinif 
every expectation that could have been 
formed of them, he soon became an object 
of general curiosity and admiration. The 
following circumstance contributed to 
this in a considerable degree.^At the 
time when Bums arrived in Edinburgh, 
the periodical paper, entitled 7^ Ixnm- 
ger^ was publishmg, every Saturday pro- 
ducing a successive number. His poems 
had attracted the notice of the gentlemen 
engaged in that undertaking, and the 
ninety -seventh number of those unequal, 
thoiiflfh frequently beautiful essays, is de- 
voted to •^n Accotmi of Robert Bum$y the 
Ayrthirt Ploughmany xcith extract* from 
hit Poemty written by the elegant pen of 
Mr. Mackenzie.* J%e Lounger had an 
• extensive circulation among persons of 
ta5to and literature, not in Gotland only, 
but in various parts of England, to whose 
acquaintance therefore our bard was im- 
mediately introduced. The paper of Mr. 
Mackenzie was calculated to introduce 
him advantageously. The extracts are 
well selected ; the criticisms and reflec- 
tions are judicious as well as generous ; 
and in the style and sentiments there is 
that happy delicacy, by which the writings 
of the author, are so eminently distin- 
guished The extracts from Bums's 
poems in the ninety-seventh number of 
The Lounger were copied into the Lon- 
don as wcU as into many of the provin- 
cial papers, and the fame of our bard 
spread throughout the island. Of the 
manners, character, and conduct of Burns 
at this period, the following account has 
been given by Mr. Stewart, Professor of 
Moral Philosophy in the university of 
Edinburgh, in a letter to the editor, 
which he is particularly happy to have 
obtained permission to insert in these 
memoirs. 

" The first time I saw Robert Bums 
was on the 23d of October, 178«, when 
he dined at my house in Ayrshire, to- 

S!ther with our common friend Mr. John 
ackenzie, surgeon, in Mauchline, to 
whom I am indebted for the pleasure of 
his acquaintance. I am enabled to men- 
tion the date particularly, by some verses 
which Bums wrote after he returned 
lioroe, and in which the day of our meet- 
ing is recorded. — My ezcelfent and much 

• Thto paper kubem atlribatad, bot Improp«l7, to 
Lord Cralff, ooa of Um Scoltiih JndfM, Mttbor oTUm 
vcrytntenMliig aeeouat of Michael Brace In Uie aSlh 
mimbeff tf Tkt Jfkrwr. 



lamented friend, the late Baril, Lord 
Daer, happened to arrive at Catrine the 
same day, and by the kindness and frank- 
ness of his manners, left an impresejipon 
the mind of the poet, which never wu 
effaced. The verses I allude to are 
among the most imperfect of his pieces ; 
but a few stanzas may perhaps be an ob- 
ject of curiosity to you, both on account 
of the character to which they relate, and 
of the light which they throw on the situ- 
ation and feelings of the writer,' befora 
his name was known to the public.* 

" I cannot positively say at this dis- 
tance of time, whether at the period of 
our first acquaintance, the Kilmaniock 
edition of his poems had been just polH 
lished, or was yet in the press. I suspect 
that the latter was the case, as I dsts 
still in my possession copies in his owi 
hand writing, of some of his favooriU 
performances ; particularly of his ler 
ses '* on turning up a Mouse with bis 
plough ;** — " on the Mountain Daisy •" 
and '* the Lament." On my return to 
Edinburgh, I showed the volume, ind 
mentioned what I knew of the author^ 
history to several of my friends : and, 
amonjF others, to Mr. Henry MackenuBt 
who first recommended him to public no- 
^ce in the 97th number of The Lmrngtr^ 

" At this time Bums*s prospects in life 
were so extremely gloomy, tiiat he had 
seriously formed a plan of goin^ cot to 
Jamaica in a very humble situation, sol 
however without lamenting that his went 
of patronage should force him to think of 
a project so repugnant to his feelingt, 
when his ambition aimed at no hi||her an 
object than the station of an ezcisemaB 
or ganger in his own country. 

*' His manners were then, ts they eon- 
tinned ever afterwards, simple, manly, 
and independent ; strongly expreesive of 
conscious genius and worth ; but without 
any thing Uiat indicated forwardness, ar 
rogance, or vanity. He took his share in 
conversation, but not more than belonged 
to him ; and listened with apparent atten* 
tion and deference on subjects where his 
want of education deprived him of the 
means of information. If there had been 
a little more gentleness and accommoda- 
tion in lus temper, he would, I think, 
have been still more interesting; but he 

• 8efiih«pcM>meotKM*'Uiiao«aBlsttrvlsWirllk 
I«ord DiMr**— PoMM, p. 77. 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



37 



had been accuBtomed to gire law in the 
circle of his ordinary acquaintance ; and 
Ids dread of any thing approaching to 
meanness or servility, rendered his man- 
ner somewhat decided and hard. No- 
thing, perhaps, was more remarkable 
imong his various attainments, than the 
fluency, and precision, and originality of 
his language, when he spoke in company; 
more particularly as he aimed at purity 
b his turn of expression, and avoided 
Biore successfully than most Scotchmen, 
the peculiarities of Scottish phraseology. 

** He came to Edinburgh early in the 
irinter following, and remained there for 
•ereral months. By whose advice he 
look this step, I am unable to say. Per- 
laps it was suggested only by his own 
mriosity to see a little more of the world; 
mt, 1 confess, I dreaded the consequen- 
:es from the first, and always wished that 
lis ponuits and habits should continue 
'hb aune as in the former part of life ; 
with the addition of, what 1 considered 
la then completely within his reach, a 
good ikrm on moderate terms, in a part 
of the country agreeable to his taste. 

^ The attentions he received during his 
Hay in town, from all ranks and descrip- 
UcNiB of persons, were such as would have 
tamed any head but his own. T cannot 
tty that I could perceive any unfavoura- 
Ue eflect which they left on his mind. 
He retained the same simplicity of man- 
Ben and appearance which had struck 
■e so forcibly when I first saw him in the 
eoontry ; nor did he seem to feel any ad- 
fitional self-importance from the number 
nd rank of his new acquaintance. His 
IreM was perfectly suited to his station, 
[ilainy and unpretending, with a sufficient 
itt«ition to neatness. If I recollect right 
M always wore boots ; and, when on 
Bore than usual ceremony, buck-skin 
imcoes* 

** The rariety of his engagements, while 
■ Edinburgh, prevented me from seeing 
nm 00 often as I could have wished. In 
he eourse of the spring he called on me 
nee or twice, at my request, early in the 
Boming, and walked with me to Braid- 
db, in the neighbourhood of the town, 
vhen be charmed me still more by his 
itifate conversation, than he had ever 
looe in company. He was passionately 
and of the beauties of nature ; and I re- 
iolleet once he told me when I was ad- 
■irinf a distant prospect in one of our 



morning walks, that the sight of so many 
smoking cottages gave a pleasure to his 
mind, which none could understand who 
had not witnessed, Uke himself, the hap- 
piness and the worth which they con- 
tained. 

** In his political principles he was then 
a Jacobite ; which was perhaps owinff 
partly to this, that his father was originalh 
ly from the estate of Lord Mareschall. 
Indeed he did not appear to have thought 
much on such subjects, nor very consis- 
tently. He had a very strong sense of 
religion, and expressed deep regret at the 
levity with which he had heard it treated 
occasionally in some convivial meetings 
which he frequented. I speak of him as 
he was in the winter of 1786-7 ; for after- 
wards we met but seldom, and our con- 
versations turned chiefly on his literary 
projects, or his private affairs. 

*' I do not recollect whether it appears 
or not from any of your letters to me, 
that you had ever seen Bums.* If you 
have, it is superfluous for me to add, that 
the idea which his conversation conveyed 
of the powers ofhis niind,exceeded,if possi- 
ble,that which is suggested by his writings. 
Among the poets whom I have happened 
to know, I have been struck in more than 
bne instance, with the unaccountable dis- 
parity between their general talents, and 
the occasional inspirations of their more 
fiivourablo moments. But all the faculties 
of Bums's mind were, as far I could iudj^e. 
equally vigorous ; and his predilection 
for poetry was rather the result of his 
own enthusiastic and impassioned temper, 
than of a genius exclusively adapted to 
that species of composition. From his 
conversation I should have pronoimced 
him to be fitted to excel in whatever walk 
of ambition he had chosen to exert his 
abilities. 

** Amonff the*subjeets on which he was 
accustomed to! dwell, the characters of 
the individuals vrith whom he happened 
to meet, was plainly a favourite one. 
The remarks he made on them were al- 
ways shrewd and pointed^ though fre- 
Siently inclining too much to sarcasm, 
is praise of those he loved was some- 
times indiscriminate and extravagant ; 
but this, I suspect, proceeded rather from 
the caprice and humour of the moment, 
than f^om the eflTects of attachment in 



•TlM Editor bai Mm aiiAcflaviiatdwMi 



S8 



THE UFE OF BURNS. 



blinding hia judgment. His wit was 
ready, and always impressed with the 
marks of a Rigorous understanding; bat 
to my taste, not oflen pleaainf or happy. 
His attempts at epigram, in his printed 
works, are the only performances, per- 
haps, that he has produced, totally un- 
worthy of his genius. 

"In summer, 1787, I passed some 
weeks in Ayrshire, and saw Burns occa- 
sionally. I think that'he made a pretty 
long excursion that season to the High- 
liwds, and that he also visited what Beat- 
tie calls the Arcadian ground of Scot- 
land, upon the banks of the Tiviot and 
the Tweed. 

'' I should have mentioned before, that 
notwithstanding various reports I heard 
during the preceding winter, of Burns's 
predilection for convivial, and not very 
select society, I should have concluded 
in favour of his habits of sobriety, from 
all of him that ever fell under my own 
obaCrvok'iion. He told me indeed himself, 
that the weakness of his stomach was such 
as to deprive him entirely of any merit in 
his temperance. I was however somewhat 
alarmed about the efifect of his now compa- 
ratively sedentary and luxurious life, when 
he conlcsscd to me, the first night he spent 
in my house afler his winter's campaign 
in town, that he had been much disturbed 
when in bed, by a palpitation of his heart, 
which, he said, was a complaint to which 
he had of late become subject. 

*^ In the course of the same season I 
was led by curiosity to attend for an hour 
or two a Mason-Lodge in Mauchline, 
where Bums presided. He had occasion 
to make some short unpremeditated com- 
pliments to different individuals from 
whom he had no reason to expect a visit, 
and every thing he said was happUy con- 
ceived, and forcibly as well as fluently 
expressed. If I am not mistaken, he told 
me that in that village, before going to Ed- 
inburghi he had belonged to a small club 
of such of the inhabitants as had a taste 
for books, when they used to converse 
and debate oq any interesting questions 
that occurred to them in the course of 
their reading. His manner of speaking 
in public had evidently the marks of some 
practice in extempore elocution. 

'' I must not omit to mention, what I 
have always considered as characteristical 
in a high degree of true genius, the ex- 



treine facility and good-nature of iug 
taste in judging of the compositions ct 
others, where there was any real ground 
for praise. I repeated to him many pas«. 
sages of English poetry with which be 
was unacquainted, and have more than 
once witnessed the tears of admiration 
and rapture with which he heard them. 
The collection of songs by Dr. Aikin, 
which I first put into his hands, he reaJ 
with unmixed deli^ght, notwithstandiog 
his former eflforts in that very diffim 
species of writing ; and I have little doubt 
that it had some effect in polishing Jus 
subsequent compositions. 

<* In judging of prose, I do not thbk 
his taste was equally ^ound. I once reai 
to him a passage or two in Frankhn'i 
Works, which I thought very happily ex- 
ctnitod, upon ilm model of Addison ; but 
he did not appear to relish, or to perceive | 
the beauty which they derived from their 
exquisite simplicity, and spoke of them 
with indifference, when compared with 
the point, and antithesis, and quaintne0S 
of Junius. The influence of this taste i^ 
very perceptible in his own prose com- 
positions, fdthough their gpreat and vari' 
ous excellences render some of thein 
scarcely less objects of wonder than hi^ 
poetical performances. The late Dr* 
Robertson used to say, that considering 
his education, the former seemed to him 
the more extraordinary of the two. 

*' His memoi^ was uncommonly reten- 
tive, at least for poetry, of which he re- 
cited to me frequently long compositions 
with the most minute accuracy. They 
were chiefly ballads, and other pieces in 
our Scottish dialect ; great part of them 
(he told me) he had learned in his child- 
hood from his mother, who delighted in 
such recitations, and whose poetical taste, 
rude, as it probably was, gave, it is pre- 
sumable, the first direction to her son^i 
genius. 

** Of the more polished verses whidi 
accidentally fell into his hands in his eariy 
years, he mentioned particularly the re- 
commendatory poems, by different au- 
thors, prefixed to Hervey^t JHeditationi ; 
a book which has always had a very wide 
circulation among such of the coimtry 
people of Scotland, as affect to unite 
some degree of taste with their religious 
studies. And these poems (although they 
are certainly below mediocrity) he con- 
tinued to read with a degree of rapture 



THE LIFE OP BURNS 



39 



I 



Inrcmd expression. He took notice of 
^ fkct himself, as a proof how much 
tke taste is liable to be influenced by acci- 
deatal circumstances. 

" His father appeared to me, from the 
iccoont he gave of him, to have been a 
mpectable and worthy character, pos- 
Kned of a mind superior to what might 
itave been expected from his station in 
life. He ascribed much of his own prin- 
6fi» and feelings to the early impros- 
fioBi he had received from his instruction 
•nd example. I recollect that he once 
tppiied to him (and he added, that the 
pimge was a literal statement of fact) 
. the two last lines of the following passage 
iBtlie Jdifutrel: the whole of which he 
Trailed with great enthusiasm : 



ItaB I beleft forfotten in the dost, 

Wtan fkte, relenting, letn the flovrer revive 1 
8hil Batiife*! voice, to uinn elone unjuit, 

BU him, tbough doom'd to peiwh, hope to Hvcl 
bk for tiiie feir virtue oft must ktrive, 

With dlMppointment, pcnurjr, and paini 
Ho ! Beftven's immortal spring shall yet arrive ; 

And man*s majestio-bcauty bluom again, 
Iright thro* the eternal year of Iove*8 triami^ant 
teign. 

nUtnUAsMblimef ki* simple sire had taught : 
h ss9tk, Uwas ^most all the shephtrJ kn^w. 

** With respect to Burns's early educa- 
Hon, I cannot say any thing with certain- 
ty. He always spoke with respect and 
gratitude of the echoolmaptcr who had 
tanffht him to read English: and who, 
ilnunff in his scholar a more than ordina- 
ly wdour for knowledge, had been at 
pains to instnict him in the grammatical 
principles of the language. lie began the 
itndy of Latin, and dropt it before he had 
finiwcd the verbs. I have sometimes 
heard him quote a few Latin word?, such 
IS mnnia vincit amnr^ &c. but thpy seem- 
ed to be such as ho had caught from con- 
versation, and which he repeated by roie, 
I think he had a project, after he came to 
Edinburgh, of prosecuting the study un- 
der his intimate friend, the late Mr. Nicol, 
one of the masters of tlie grammar-school 
here ; but I do not know that he ever pro- 
ceeded so far as to make the attempt. 

** He certainly possessed a smattering 
of French ; and, if ho had an affectation 
in any thing, it was in introducing occa- 
sionally a word or phrase from that lan- 
ffoage. It is possible that his knowledge 
inthia respect might bo more extensive 
than I fluppose it to be ; but this you can 



learn from his more intimate acquaint- 
ance. It would be worth while to inquire, 
whether he was able to read the French 
authors with such facility as to receive 
from them any improvement to his taste. 
For my own part, I doubt it much; nor 
would I believe it, but on very strong and 
pointed evidence. 

" If my memory does not fail me, he 
was well instructed in arithmetic, and 
knew something of practical geometry, 
particularly of surveying — All his other 
attainments were entirely his own. 

" The last time I saw him was during 
the winter, 1788-89,* when he passed an 
evening with me at Drumseugh, in the 
neighbourhood of Edinburgh, where I was 
then living. My friend, Mr. Alison, was 
the only other person in company. I never 
saw him more agreeable or interesting. 
A present which Mr. Alison sent him af- 
terwards of his Essays on Taste^ drew 
from Burns a letter of acknowledgment 
which I remember to have read with some 
degree of surprise at the distinct concep- 
tion he appeared from it to have formed 
of the general principles of the doctrine 
of association. When I saw Mr. Alison 
in Shropshire last autumn, 1 forgot to in- 
quire if the letter be still in existence. If 
it is, you may easily procure it, by means 
of our friend Mr. Houlbrooke."t 



The scene that opened on our bard in 
Edinburgh was altogether new, and in a 
variety of other respects highly interest- 
ing, OFpccially to one of his disposition of 
mind. To use an expression of his own, 
he found himself, " suddenly translated 
from the veriest shades of life," into the 
presence, and, indeed, into the society of 
a number of persons, previously known to 
him by report as of the highest distinc- 
tion in his country, and whose characters 
it was natural for liim to examine with no 
common curiosity. 

From the men of letters, in general, his 
reception was particularly flattering. The 

* Or rather 179^90. I cannot speak with confi- 
dence with respect to the particular year. Some of 
my other dates may possibly require correction, as I 
keep no loomal of such occurrences. 

« This leaer is No. CX19 



40 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



Itte Dr. Robertson, Dr. Bkir, Dr. Gre- 

Eiry, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Mackenxie, and 
r. Frazer Tjtler, may be mentioned in 
tbe list of those who perceived his on- 
common talents, who acknowledged more 
especially his powers in conversation, and 
who interested themselves in the cultiva- 
tion of his ^nius. In Edinburgh, litera- 
ry and fashionable society are a good deal 
mixed. Our bard was an acceptable guest 
in tlie gayest and most elevated circles, 
and frequently received from female beau- 
ty and elegance, those attentions above 
all others most mtcful to him. At 
the table of Lord Monboddo he was a 
frequent guest ; and while he enjoyed the 
society, and partook of the hospitalities of 
the venerable judge, he experienced the 
kindness and condescension of his lovely 
and accomplished daughter. The singu- 
lar beauty of this young lady was illumi- 
nated by that happy expression of coun- 
tenance which results trom the union of 
cultivated taste and superior understand- 
ing, with the finest affections of the mind. 
The influence of such attractions was not 
unfelt by our poet. ** There has not been 
any thing like Miss Burnet, (said he in a 
letter to a friend,) in all the combina- 
tion of beauty, grace, and goodness the 
Creator has formed, since Milton's Eve, 
on the first day of her existence." In his 
Addresi to Edinburghy she is celebrated 
in a strain of still greater elevation : 

" Fahr Rornet vtrika Ui* odorinc ejre, 
Heaven's beantiee on my tkncy Bhine ! 

[ nee tbe Sire of Love on high, 
And own hia work indeed divine !** 

This lovely woman died a few vears af- 
terwards in the flower of youtn. Our 
bard expressed his sensibility on that oc- 
casion, in verses addressed to her memory. 

Among the men of rank and fashion, 
Burns was particularly distinguished by 
James, Earl of Glencaim. On the mo- 
tion of this nobleman, the Caledonian 
IFuntf an association of the principal of 
the nobility and gentry of Scotland, ex- 
tended their patronage to our bard, and 
admitted him to tlieir gay orgies. He re- 
paid their notice by a dedication of the 
enlarged and improved edition of his po- 
ems, in which he has celebrated their pa- 
triotism and independence in very ani- 
mated terras. 

** I congratulate my country that the 
blood of her ancient neroes runs uncon- 
taminated : and that, from voor courage. 



knowledge, and paUie tplrit, she may ei 
nect protection, wealth, and liberty. **^ 
May corruption shrink at your kindling 
indignant fflance ; and may tyranny in thg 
Ruler, and licentiousness in the People, 
equally &id in you an inexorable fi)e i*^ 



It is to be presumed that theas gene- 
rous sentiments, uttered at an era suwu* 
larly propitious to independence of ena- 
ractcr and conduct, were favourably n» 
ceived by the persons to whom they were 
addressed, and that they were echoed 
from every bosom, as well as from that 
of the Earl of Glencaim. This accom* 
plished nobleman, a scholar, a man of taste 
and sensibility, died soon aflerwards. Hid 
he lived, and had his power equalled his 
wishes, Scotland might still have exalted 
in the genius, instead of lamenting thi 
early fate of her favourite bard. 

A taste for letters is not always con- | 
joined with habits of temperance and re- 
gularity ; and Edinburgh, at the period of 
which we speak, contained perhaps an un- 
common proportion of men of consider^ 
able talents, devoted to social excesses, in 
which their talents were wasted and de-* 
based. 

Burns entered into several parties of t]ii# 
description, with the usual vehemence of 
his character. His generous affections, 
his ardent eloquence, his brilliant and. 
daring imagination, fitted him to be the* 
idol of such associations ; and accustom- 
ing himself to conversation of unlimited 
range, and to festive indulgences that 
scorned restraint, he gradualTy lost some 

{>ortion of his relish for the more pure, but 
ess poignant pleasures, to be found in the 
circles of taste, elegance, and literature. 
The sudden alteration in his habits of life 
operated on him phvsically as well as 
morally. The humble fare of an Ayr- 
shire peasant he had exchanged for the 
luxuries of the Scottish metropolis, and 
the effects of this change on his ardent 
constitution could not be inconsiderable. 
But whatever influence might be pro- 
duced on his conduct, his excellent under- 
standing suffered no corresponding de- 
basement. He estimated his friencu and 
associates of every description at their 
proper value, and appreciated his own 
conduct with a precision that mi^t ^ta 



Bet ^>Hlf ithff [fff#*HI to the 



THE UFE OF BURNS. 41 

icope to much curious and melancholy I hit on any thing clever, my own ap- 

wliection. He saw his dangrer, and at plauM will, in some measure, feast my 

times formed resolutions to ffuard against vanity ; and, hedging Patrodus' and ^ 

it ; but he had embarked on me tide of dis- Achates' pardon, I think a lock and key 

■pation, and was borne along its stream, a security, at least equal to the bosom of 

any friend whatever. 
Of the state of his mind at this time, an 
authentic, though imperfect document re- *' My own private story likewise, my 
mains, in a book which he procured in the love adventures, my rambles; the frowns 
springof 1787, for the purpose, as he him- and smiles of fortune on my hardship; 
sslf informs us, of recording in it what- my poems and fragments, that must never 
ever seemed worthy of observation. The see the light, shaU be occasionally insert- 
fUlowing extracts may serve as a speci- ed. — ^In short, never did four shillinffs 
■en : purchase so much friendship, since Confi- 
dence went first to market, or honesty 
Edinburgh^ April 9, 1 787. was set up to sale. 
** As I have seen a good deal of human 
fife ID Edinburgh, a great many charac- *' To these seemingly invidious, but too 
ters which are new to one bred up in the just ideas of human friendship, I would 
riiades of life as I have been, I am deter- cheerfully make one exception — the con- 
fined to take down my remarks on the nexion between two persons of difierent 
ipot. Gray observes, m a letter to Mr. sexes, when their interests are united and 
Palgrave, that * half a word fixed upon, absorbed by the tie of love — 
>r near the spot, is worth a cart load of 
■ecollection'. 1 don't know how it is Wbenthoorht iMetoUiouflit,«wfmmtbeUpiltp«rt, 

irith the world in general, but with me, ^^ •"'> ^•^ ^^ ■P'*^ "'"^■* ^«>°» ^ "^^^ 

Io£| JlJJ^T^ wa5f some^'oSTto There confidence, confidence that exalU 

angh With me, some one to be grave with J^T ^a^ ""^if "".S"® "'''*^' "if^i^^ 

D^some one to please me anS help my that endears them the more to each other's 

lisirimination, with his or her owi re- hearts, unreservedly « reigns and revels. ' 

nark, and at times, no doubt, to admire ,^"^ ^^}? ^^ °^^ °?y ^^.^ ' J^t' k° T 'i %" 

nyacutenessand penetration. The world 1^^*^' if I am wise, (which, by the by, I 

ii4 BO busied with selfish pursuits, ambi- ^^^^/l^'^'ti*' Tti, P^T^'l?*^ 

ion, vanity, interest, or plea«ur;, that sbould be cast with the Psalmist's spar- 

reiy few think it worth their while to row, « to watch alone on the house-tops. ' 

onake any observation on what passes "■"^** ' ^"® P^^^ * 

uound them, except where that olraerva- * * * * « 
tion is a sucker, or branch of the darling 

^ant thev are rearing in their fancy. "There are few of the sore evils under 

Nor am i sure, notwithstanding dl the the sun give me more uneasiness and cha- 

i^itimental flights of novel-wnters, and grin than the comparison how a man of 

the sage philosophy of moralists, whether genius, nay, of avowed worth, is received 

we are capable of so intimate and cor- every where, with the reception which a 

dial a coalition of friendship, as that one mere ordinary character, decorated with 

man may pour out his bosom, his every the trappings and futile distinctions of 

thought and floating fancy, his very in- fortune meets. I imagine a manof abili- 

most souK with unreserved confidence to ties, his breast glowing with honest pride, 

another, without hazard of losing part of conscious that men are bom equal, still 

that respect which man deserves from giving honour to whom honour is due ; he 

man ; or, from the unavoidable imperfec- meets at a great man's table, a Squire 

tions attending human nature, of one day something, or a Sir somebody ; he knows 

repenting his confidence. the noble landlord, at heart, gives the bard, 

or whatever he is, a share of his good 

*' For these reasons I am determined to wishes, beyond, perhaps, any one at table ; 

make these pages my confidant, I will yet how will it mortify him to see a fel- 

sketch every character that any way strikes low, whose abilities would scarcely have 

me, to the best of my power, with un- made an eight-penny tailor, and whose . 

shrinking justice. I will msert anecdotes, heart is not worth three farthings, meet 

and take down remarks in the old law with attention and notice, that are with- 

phrase, utHhoui feud or /awmr.— Where held from the son of genius and poverty i 



THE UFS OF BURNS. 



**TIm DoUe GleBcmirn hti wounded 
me to the soul here, hecuM I dearly es- 
teem, retpect, and lore him. He showed 
■o much attention, enflrroeBiiii^ attention 
one day, to the only hlockhcM at table 
(the whole company consisted of hie lord- 
ship, dunderpatc, and myself,) that I was 
within half a point of throwing down my 
gage of contomptuos defiance ; but he 
shook my hand, and looked so benevolent- 
ly good at parting.* God bless him! 
though I should never see him more, I 
shall love him unUl my dying day ! I am 
pleased to think I am so capable of the 
throes of gratitude, as I am miserably 
deficient in some other virtues. 

** With Dr. Blair I am more at my 
ease. I never respect him with humble 
veneration ; but wnen he kindly interests 
himself in my welfare, or still more, when 
he descends from his pinnacle, and meets 
me on equal ground in conversation, my 
heart overflows with what is called liking. 
When he neglects me for the mere car- 
cass of greatness, or when his eye mea- 
sures the difference of our points of ele- 
vation, I say to myself, with scarcely any 
emotion, what do I care for him or his 
pomp either ?*' 

e « « « « 

The intentions of the poet in procuring 
this book, so fVilly descnbed bv himself, 
were very imperfectly executed. He has 
inserted in it few or no incidents, but 
several observations and reflections, of 
which the greater part that are proper 
for the public eye, will be found inter- 
woven in his letters. The most curious 
particulars in the book are the delinea- 
tions of the characters he met with. 
These are not numerous ; but they are 
chiefly of persons of distinction in the re- 

{mblic of letters, and nothing but the de- 
icacy and respect due to living charac- 
ters prevents us from conmiittingthem to 
the press. Though it appears that in 
his conversation he was sometimes dis- 
posed to sarcastic remarks on the men 
with whom he lived, nothing of this kind 
is discoverable in these more deliberate 
efforts of his understanding, which, while 
they exhibit jrreat clearness of discrimi- 
nation, manitcst also the wish, as well as 
the power, to bestow high and generous 
praise. 

As a specimen of these delineations, 
we give m this edition, the character of 



Dr. Blair, who has mam paid the debt of 
nature, in the full confidence that this 
freedom will not be fbnnd inconsistent 
with the respect and veneration due to 
that excellent man, the last star in the 
literary constellation, by which the me- 
tropolis of Scotland was, in the earlier 
part of the present reign, so beantifnlly 
illuminated. 

'* It is not easy forming an exact judg- 
ment of any one ; but, in my ofHiiion, I^. 
Blair is merely an astonishingproof of what 
industry and application can do. Ntto- 
ral parts like his are frequently to be met 
with; his vanity is proverbially known 
among his acouaintance ; but he is itstly 
at the head or what may be called fine 
writing ; and a critic of the first, the very 
first rimk in prose ; even in poetry, a bsrd 
of Nature's making can only take the pst 
of him. He has a heart, not of the veiy 
finest water, but far from being an ordi- 
nai^ one. In short, he is truly a worthy, 
and most respectable character." 



By the new edition of his poems. Burns 
acquired a sum of money that enabled 
him not only to partake of the pleasures 
of Edinburgh, but to gratify a desire ho 
had long entertained, of visiting those 
parts of his native country, most attrac- 
tive by their beauty or their grandeur ; a 
desire which the return of summer nata- 
rally revived. The scenery on the banks 
of the Tweed, and of its tributary streams, 
strongly interested his fancy; and ac- 
cordingly he left Edinburgh on the 6th 
of May, 1787, on a tour through a coun- 
try so much celebrated in the rural songs 
of Scotland. He travelled on horseback, 
and was accompanied, during some part 
of his journey, by Mr. Ainslie, now wri- 
ter to the signet, a gentleman who en- 
joyed much of his friendship and of his 
confidence. Of this tour a journal re- 
mains, which, however, contains only oc- 
casional remarks on the scenery, and 
which is chiefly occupied with an account 
of the author's different stages, and with 
his observations on the various characters 
to whom he was introduced. In the 
course of this tour he visited Mr. Ainslie 
of Berry well, the father of his companion ; 
Mr. Brydone, the celebrated traveller, to 
whom he carried a letter of introduction 
from Mr. Mackenzie ; the Rev. Dr. Som- 
merville of Jedburgh, the historian ; Mr. 
and Mrs. Scott of Wauchope; Dr. Elliot. 




""•■^^niovempn"- „ i»na»—n>»tf"'' I L had become nctv- HcM« 



it, Rora' 

i noo. A 
1 floe oU I 

I 

\ 

\ 



u 



THE LIFE OF BURNa 



■pent two days, ind then proceeded to the 
■oiith-weflit hy Hexham and Wardrue, to 
Carliile. — After spending a day at Car- 
lisle with his friend Mr. Mitchell, he re- 
turned into Scotland, and at Annan hie 
journal terminates ahruptly. 

Of the various persons with whom he 
became acquainted in the course of this 
journey, he has, in general, given some 
account ; anfd almost always a favourable 
one. That on the banks of the Tweed, 
and of the Tiviot, our bard should find 
nymphs that were beautiful, is what might 
be confidently presumed. Two of these 
are particularly described in his journal. 
But it does not appear that the scenery, 
or its inhabitants, produced any efibrt of 
his muse, as was to have been wished and 
expected. From Annan, Burns proceed- 
ed to Dumfries, and thence througl^an- 
quhar, to Mossgiel, near Mauchlim, in 
Ayrshire, where he arrived about the nth 
of June, 1787, after a long absence of six 
busy and eventful months. It will easily 
be conceived with what pleasure and 
pride he was received by his mother, his 
brothers, and sisters. He had left them 
poor, and comparatively friendless : he 
returned to them high in public estima- 
tion, and easy in his circumstances. He 
returned to them unchanged in his ardent 
affections, and ready to share with them 
to the uttermost farthing, the pittance 
that fortune had bestowed. 

Having remuned with them a few days, 
he proceeded again to Edinburgh, and 
immediately set out on a journey to the 
Highlands. Of this tour no particulars 
have been found among his manuscripts. 
A letter to his friend Mr. Ainslie, dated 
Arrachat^ near Croehairbatj by LocMeary^ 
June 28, 1787, commences as follows : 

" I write you this on my toiir through 
a country where savage streams tumble 
over savage mountains, thinly overspread 
with savage flocks, which starvingly sup- 
port as savage inhabitants. My last stage 
was Interary — ^to-morrow nignt's stage, 
Dumbarton. I ought sooner to have an- 
swered your kind Tetter, but you know I 
am a man of many sins. 

Part of a letter from our Bard to a 
friend, giving some account of his journey, 
has been communicated to the Editor 
since the publication of the last edition. 
The reader will be amused with the fol- 
lowing extract 



<* On our return, at a Highland |feiit]9> 
man*8 hospitable mansion, we fell in tritb 
a merry party, and danced till the ladiea 
left us, at three in the morning. Our 
dancing was none of the French or Eng* 
lish insipid formal movements ; the ladiet 
sung Scotch songs like angels, at inter- 
vals ; then we flow at Bah at ike Brote- 
Mtery TuUochgoram^ Loch Erroch tide,* 
&c. like midges sporting in the mottie 
sun, or craws prognosticating a storm in 
a hairst day. — When the dear lasses left 
us we ranged round the bowl till tlie 
good-fellow hour of six : except a few 
minutes that we went out to pay our de- 
votions to the glorious lamp of day pee^ 
ing over the towering top of Benlomond. 
We all kneeled ; our worthy landlord'i 
son held the bowl ; each man a full glasi 
in his hand ; and I, as priest, rep^ed 
some rhyming nonsense, like Thomas-a- 
Rhymer's prophecies I suppose. — After • 
small refreshment of the gifts of Somnus, 
we proceeded to spend the day on Loch- * 
lomond, and reached Dumbarton in the 
evening. We dined at another goodfel- 
low's house, and consequently pushed 
the bottle ; when we went out to mount 
our horses we found ourselves " No vert 
fou but gaylie yet." My two friends and 
I rode soberly down the Loch-side, till by 
came a Highlandman at the gallop, on a 
tolerably good horse, but Which had never 
known the ornaments of iron or leather 
We scorned to be out-galloped by a High- 
landman, so off we started, whip and 
spur. My companions, though seemingly 
gayly mounted, fell sadly astern ; but my 
old mare, Jenny Geddes, one of the Rosi- 
nante family, she strained past the High- 
landman in spite of all his efibrts, with 
the hair-halter : just "as I was passing 
him, Donald wheeled his horse, as if to 
cross before me to mar my progress, 
when down came his horse, and threw 
his rider's breekless a— e in a dipt hedge ; 
and down came Jenny Geddes over all, 
and my hardship between her and the 
Highlandman's horse. Jenny Geddes 
trode over me with such cautious reve- 
rence, that matters were not so bad as 
might well have been expected ; so I 
came off with a few cuts and bruises, and 
a thorough resolution to be a pattern of 
sobriety for the future. 

•' I have yet fixed on nothing with re- 
spect to the serious business of life. 1 
am, just as usual, a rhyming, maflsn-ma- 



*8eotebtii 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



dagf rmkiiiff, aimleM, ime feDow. How- 
If ar I shall somewhere haye a fann soon. 
[ W88 going to say, a wife too : but that 
Boat never be my blessed lot. I am but 
I younger son of the house of Parnassus, 
ud like other younger sons of great fami- 
lies, I may intrigue, if I choose to run all 
riakfl, but must not nuury. 

** I am afraid I have almost rained one 
Kmrce, the principal one indeed, of my 
brmer happiness ; that eternal propen- 
Hy I always had to fall in love. My 
leait no more glows with feverish rap- 
ore. I have no paradisical evening in- 
eiriews stolen from the restless cares 
md prying inhabitants of this weary 
vorld. I have only * * * *, This last 
B one of your distant acquaintances, has 
k fine figure, and elegant manners ; and 
n the train of some great folks whom you 
mow, has seen the politest quarters in 
Burope. I do like her a good deal ; but 
vhat piques me is her conduct at the 
Mimmencement of our acquaintance. I 

frequently visited her when I was in , 

ind after passing regularly the interme- 
fimte decrees between the distant formal 
bow and the familiar grasp round the 
waist, I ventured in my careless way to 
talk of friendship in rather ambiguous 
terms ; and after her return to , I 
wrote to her in the same style. Miss, 
CQBstniing my words farther I suppose 
than even I intended, flew off in a tan- 
gent of female dignity and reserve, like 
aMonntain-lark in an April morning : and 
wrote me an answer which measured me 
out very completely what an immense 
way I had to travel before I could reach 
the climate of her favour. But I am an 
old hawk at the sport ; and wrote her 
ioch a cool, deliberate, prudent reply, as 
brought my bird from ner aerial tower- 
iBgs, pop down at my foot like corporal 
Tnm's hat. 

'* As for the rest of my acts, and my 
Wars, and all my wise sayings, and why 
my mare was called Jenny Geddes ; they 
ilttll be recorded in a few weeks hence, 
at Lmiithgow, in the chronicles of your 
memory, by 

** Robert Burits." 



From this journey Bums returned to 
hit friends in Ayrshire, with whom he 
nent the month of July, renewing his 
mendshiM and eztendinflr his acruaint- 



ance thronghont the coiuitiy, where be 
was now very generally known and ad- 
mired. In August he again visited Edin- 
burgh, whence he undertook another jour- 
ney towards the middle of this month, in 
company with Mr. M. Adair, now Dr. 
Adair, of Harrowgate, of which this gen- 
tleman has favoured us with the fi>lE>w- 
ing account. 

** Bums and I left Edinburgh to^tner 
in August, 1787. We rode by Lmiith- 
gow and Carron, to Stirling. We visited 
the iron- works at Carron, with which the 
poet was forcibly struck. The resem- 
blance between that place, and its inha- 
bitants, to the cave of Cyclops, which 
must have occurred to every classical 
reader, presented itself to Bums. At 
Stirling the prospects from the castle 
strongly interested him ; in a former visit 
to which, his national feelings had been 
powerfully excited by the ruinous and 
roofless state of the hall in which the 
Scottish parliaments had been held. His 
indignation had vented itself in some im- 
pradent, but not unpoetical lines, which 
had given much offence, and which he 
took this opportunity of erasing, by break- 
ing the pane of the window at the inn on 
which they were written. 

" At Stirling we met with a company of 
traveUers from Edinburgh, among whom 
was a character in many respects conge- 
nial with that of Bums. This was Nicol, 
one of the teachers of the High Grammar- 
School at Edinburgh— the same wit and 
power of conversation ; the same fondness 
for convivial society, and thoughtlessness 
of to-morrow, characterized both. Jaco- 
bitical principles in politics were common 
to both of them ; and these have been sus- 
pected, since the revolution of France, to 
have given place in each, to opinions ap- 
parently opposite. I regret that I have 
preserved no memorabilia of their conver- 
sation, either on this or on other occa- 
sions, when I happened to meet them to- 
gether. Many songs were sung, which I 
mention for the sake of observing, that 
when Bums was called on in his tum, he 
was accustomed, instead of singing, to re- 
cite one or other of his own shorter po- 
ems, with a tone and emphasis, which, 
though not correct or harmonious, were 
impressive and pathetic. This he did on 
the present occasion 

** From Stirling we went next mommg 
through the romantic and fertile vale of 



46 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



Devon to Harvicston in Clackmannan- 
uhire, then inhabited by Mrs. Hamilton, 
with the younger part of wht)se family 
Bums had been previonnly acquainte({. 
He introduced me to the family, and there 
was formed my first acqdaintance with 
Mrs. Hamilton's eldest daughter, to whom 
I have been married for nine vears. Thus 
was I ind^btetl to Burns tor a connexion 
from which I have derived, and expect 
further to derive much liappinoss. 

" During a residence of about ten days 
at Harvieston, we made excurs^ions to vi- 
sit various parts of the surrounding sce- 
nery, inferior to none in Scotland, in beau- 
ty, sublimity, and romantic intc^rest ; par- 
ticularly Castle Campbell, the ancient 
seat of the family of Argyle ; and the fa- 
mous Cataract of the Devon, called the 
Caidron Linn ; and the Rumltlinsc Bridt^e^ 
a single broad arch, thrown by the Devil, 
if tradition is to be believed, across the 
river, at about the height of a hundred 
feet above its be4* I am surprised that 
none of these scenes should have called 
forth an exertion of Bums's muse. But 
I doubt if he had much taste for the pic- 
turesque. I well remember, that the la- 
dies at Harvieston, who accompanied us 
on this jaunt, expressed their disappoint- 
ment at his not expressing in more glow- 
ing and fervid language, his impressions 
ofthe Caldron Linn scene, certainly high- 
ly sublime, and somewhat horrible. 

" A visit to Mrs. Bnicc, of Clackman- 
nan, a lady above ninety, the lineal de- 
scendant of that race which gave the 
Scottish throne its brightest ornament, 
interested his feelings more powerfully. 
This venerable dame, with charactcristic- 
al dignity, informed me on my observing 
that T believed she was descended from the 
family of Robert Bruce, that Robert Bruce 
was sprung from her family. Though al- 
most deprived of speech by a paralytic af- 
fection, she preserved her hospitality and 
urbanity. Slie was in possession of the 
hero's helmet and two-handed sword, with 
which she conferred on Burns and myself 
the honour of knighthood, remarking, 
that she had a better right to confer that 
\\i\e \\\Kn some people, * * You will of 
course conclude that the old lady's politi- 
cal tenets were as Jacobitiral as the po- 
et's, a conformity which contril)uted not 
a little to tho cordiality of our reception 
and entertainment. — She gave us as her 
first toast after dinner, Jiwa^ Uncos^ or 
Away with the Strangers. — Who these 



strangers were, you will readily imder- 
stand. Mrs. A. corrects mc by say'mg it 
should be Ifooiy or Hooi tmow, a sound 
used by shepherds to direct their dogs to 
drive away the sheep. 

" Wc returned to Edinburgh -by Kin- 
ross (on the shore of Loehleven) and 
Queen's-ferry. I am inclined to think 
Bums knew nothing of poor Michael 
Bruce, who was then alive at Kinross, or 
had died there a short while before. A 
meeting between the bards, or a visit to 
the deserted cottage and early grave of 
poor Bruce, would have been highly in- 
teresting.* 

'* At Dunfermline wc visited the min- 
ed abbey and the abbey church, now con- 
secrated to Presbyterian worship. Here 
I mounted the cutty ttool^ or stool of re* 
pentancc, assuming the character of a 
penitent for fornication; while Bums from 
the pulpit addressed to me a ludicrous re- 
proof and exhortation, parodied from that 
which had been delivered to himself in 
Ayrshire, where he had, as he assured 
me, once been one of seven who mounted 
the teat ofthame together. 

" In the chnrch-yard two broad flag- 
stones marked the grave of Robert Bruce, 
for whose memory Burns had more than 
common veneration. He knelt and kiss- 
ed the stone with sacred fervour, and 
heartily {tmm Mt mos eraU) execrated the 
worse than Gothic neglect of the firat o** 
Scottish heroes, "t 



The surprise expressed by Dr. Adair, 
in his excellent letter, that the romantic 
scenery of the Devon should have failed 
to call forth any exertion of the poet's 
muse, is not in its nature singular ; and 
the disappointment felt at his not express- 
ing in more glowing language his emo- 
tions on the sight of the famous cataract 
of that river, is similar to what was felt 
,by the friends of Bums on other occa- 
sions ofthe same nature. Yet the infer- 
ence that Dr. Adair seems inclined to 
draw from it, that he had little taste for 
the j)icturcsque, might be questioned, 
even if it st(K)d uncont reverted by otJier 
evidence. The muse of Bums was in a 
high degree capricious ; she came uncall- 

* Bruce died some yean before. B. 
t Rxtraeted frtm « letter nf Dr. AiUtr to tlM Gdiinr 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



ed, and often refused to attend at his bid- 
ing. Of all the num^^ous subjects Rig- 
gefltcd to him by his friends and corres- 
pondents, there is scarcely one that he 
adopted. The very expectation that a 
ptrticidar occasion would excite the en- 
er^es of fancy, if communicated to Burns, 
wemed in him as in other poets, destruc- 
tive of the effect expected. Hen^e per- 
iiaps may be explained, why tlie banks of 
Che Devon and of the Tweed form no part 
of the subjects of his song. 

A iimilar train of reasoning may per- 
haps explain the want of emotion with 
which he viewed the Caldron Linn. Cer- 
tainly there are no affections of the mind 
more deadened by the influence of pre- 
vious expectation, than those arising from 
the sight of natural objects, and more 
especially of objects of grandeur. Minute 
descriptions of scenes, of a sublime na- 
ture, should never be given to those who 
are about to view them, particularly if 
they are persons of great strength and 
sensibility of imagination. Language sel- 
dom or never conveys an adequate idea of 
fuch objects, but in the mind of a great 
poet t may excite a picture that far tran- 
scends them. The imacrination of Burns 
night form a cataract, in comparison with 
which the Caldron Linn should seem the 
pnrling of a rill, and even the mighty falls 
01 Niagara, an humble cascade.'" 

Whether these suggestions may assist 
in explaining our Bard*s deficiency of im- 
pression on the occasion referred to, or 
whether it ought rather to be imputed to 
Bome pre-occupation, or indisposition ot* 
mind, we presume not to decide; but that 
be was in general feelingly alive to the 
beautiful or sublime in scenery, mav be 
•opported by irresistible evidence* It is 

* Tblfl reasoning might be extended, with mine mo- 
41 fieations, to object! or night of every kind. To bave 
fbrmed before-hand a distinct picture in the mind, of 
aay interesting parson or thing, generally lessens the 
plearare of the first meeting with them. Though this 
liktnre be not superior, or even equal to the realty, still 
it can never be expected to be an exact resemblance ; 
and the disappointment felt at finding the object some- 
lliing diflTercnt from what was expected, interrupts and 
ilmlDisbea the emotions that would otherwise be pro" 
dneed. In such cases the second or third interview 
gives more pleasure than the first — See fht ElemenU 
•f tk» Philosopkif of CAs BwMttn Mind^ by Mr. SUw 
mrt^ p, an. Such pttbllcations as The Guide to the 
Zaibs, where every scene is described in tbe most mi 
note manner, and someUnies with considerable exag- 
geration of language, are in this point of view ofajec- 
tioMbla. 



true this pleasure was greatly heighte 
ed in his mind, as might be expects 
when combined with moral emotions 01 
kind with which it happily unites. Tl: 
under this asi>ociation Bums conteniplat 
the scenery of the Devon with the eye 
a genuine poet, some lines which he wrc 
at this very period, may bear witness.^ 

The different journeys already m< 
tioned did not satisfy the curiosity 
Bums. About the bcgimiing of Septe 
her, he again set out trom Edinburgh 
a more extended tour to the Highlan 
in company with Mr. Nicol, with wb 
he had now contracted a particular w 
macy, which lasted during the remaini 
of his life. Mr. Nicol was of Dumfrii 
shire, of a descent equally humble w 
our poet. Like him he rose by t 
strength of his talents, and fell by t 
strength of his passions. lie died m 1 
summer of 1 797. Having received 1 
elements of a classical instruction at 
parish-school, Mr. Nicol made a very ; 
pid and singular proficiency ; and by ea 
undertaking the oflicc of an iiistruc 
himself, he acquired the means of ent 
ing himself at the University of Ed 
burgh. There he was first a student 
theology, then a student of medicine, 8 
was afterwards employed in the assi 
ance and instruction of graduates in n 
dicine, in those parts of their exercisei 
which the Latin language is employi 
In this situation he was the contempo 
ry and rival of the celebrated Dr. Bro\ 
whom he resembled in the particulars 
his history, as well as in the leading f 
tures of his character. The office of 
sistant-teacher in the JjTigh-school bei 
vacant, it was, as usual, filled up by cc 
petition ; and in the face of some pre 
dices, and, perhaps,* of some well-fount 
objections, Mr. Nicol, by superior lea 
ing, carried it from all the other can 
dates. This office he filled at the per 
of which we speak. 

It is to be lamented that an acquai 
ance with the writers of Greece and Ro 
does not always supply an original wi 
of taste and correctness in manners 1 
conduct; and where it fails of thiseflfc 
it sometimes inflames the native pride 
temper, which treats with disdain thi 
delicacies in which it has not learned 

* Sec the song beginning, 
" How pleasant the baaluof Um daar winding IK>v( 
Poems, page 78. 



THE LIFE OF BUSN8. 



•xc«L It ma thiu with the fellow>tra- 
Tsllor of Bunu. Formed hj ndure in a 
modal of great atiength, neither hii per- 
■on nor his muinetB had any tincture nt' 
tute oi elegance : and hu coaraeneM W!i.-i 
not compcDsated by that romantic seni-j- 
bility, and those towering flight) of inur- 
Ifina'ion which diatinguished the conver- 
sation of Bums, in the blaie of whose ge- 
niiia all the deficiencies of his mannerii 
were absorbed and disappeared. 

Mr. Nicol and our poet travelled in a 
poBtchaiie, which they engaged for thi- 
journey, and passing througn the heart 
of the Highlands, stretched northwards, 
about ten miles beyond Invemeee. Tbert< 
they bent their course eastward, acros!- 
the island, and returned by the diore of 
the German sea to Edinburgh. In the 
course of this tour, some partteulan of 
which will be found in a letter of onr bard, 
No. XXX. they visited a number of re 
markable scenes, and the imagination cif 
Burns was constantly excited by the wild 
and sublime scenery through which hi^ 
paseed. Of this several proofs may bi- 
ibund in the poems formerly printed.' 
Of the history of one of these poems, Tlr 
Humble Pelilion i^ Bruar Water, and 'A' 
the bard's visit to Atbole House, somi' 
paiticulars will be found in No. XXIX ; 
andbythefavourof Mr. Walkerof Perth, 
then residing in the family of the Duk» 
of Atbole, weareenabled togive tbefbl- 
lowing additional account : 

" On reaching Blair, he tent me notice 
of his arrival (as I had been previously 
acquainted with him,]and 1 hastened lo 
meet him at the inn. The Duke to whom 
be brought a letter of introduction, wa^ 
from home ; but the Dutchess, being in- 
formed of his arrival,*gave him an invita- 
tion to sup and sleep at Atbole Bouso. 
He accepted the invit&tioni but as the 
hour of supper was at some distance, 
begged I would in the interval be his 
guide through the grounds. It was al- 
ready growmg dark ; yet the soflened 
though faint and uncertain view of their 
beauties, which the moonlight affiirdediL-i, 
•eemed exactly suited to the etate of hit^i 
feelmga at the time. I had often, likr 
others, experienced the pleaaores which 



ariM from the nbliiiM or dogu 
scape, but I never saw those nc 
intense as in Bums. When we 
a rustic hut on the river Tilt, wh 
overbung by a woody precipic 
which there is a noble water- 
threw himself on the heathy • 
gave himself up to a tender, abs 
and voluptuous enthusiasm of ii 
tiom. I cannot help thinking it mi( 
been here that he conceived the 
the following lines, which he afti 
introduced into bit poem on Bn 
ter, when only fancying such a o 
tion of object! as were now pre 
his eye. 

Or, bf tbs mper*! nlghUj Wua, 
HIM, ciMqiwrInc ihniaf h Uw ina^ 

EaT> to my dirUj'J«*lklD| imamt 
Hi>*ne-*iHlliD( od the tnaa. 

" It was with mnch difficolty I 
ed on him to quit this spot, and t 
traduced in proper time to enppei 

" Hy curiosity was ereat to s 
he would conduct himaelf in com 
difierent from what he had been 
tomedto.* Hia manner was ui 
lasaed, plain, and firm. He app« 
have complete relinnce on hisowi 
good sense foi directing his hcl 
He eeemed at once to perceive ani 
predate what was due to the c 
and to himiielf, and never to forge 
per respect for the separate spi 
dignity belonging to each. He 
arrogate conversation, but, when 
it, he spoke with ease, proprie' 
manlioeaa. He tried to exert his a 
because he knew it was ability alo 
bun a title to be there. The Du) 
young fiuoily attracted much of hi 
ration; he drank their healths as 
and bonny lattei, an idea wbi 
much applauded by the compai 
with which he very felicitously di 

Next day I took & ride vri 
through some of the most romant 
of that neighbourhood, and was 
gratified by nie conversation, Ai 
cimen of bis happiness of concept 
strength of expression, I will me 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



49 



wwrk which he made on his fellow-tra- 
tiOer, who was walking at the time a few 
ftcea before us. He was a man of a ro- 
Wt bat clumsy person ; and while Bums 
w^ expressing to me the value he enter- 
Uined for him on account of his vigorous 
tiloitB, although they were clouded at 
tiskes by coarseness of manners ; ' in 
*bort,' he added, ' his mind is like his 
^y, he has a confounded strong, in- 
^Beed sort of a soul.* 

*'Mach attention was paid to Bums 
^h before and after the Duke's return, 
®f which he was perfectly sensible, with- 
out being vain ; and at his departure I 
^^ommended to him, as the most appro- 
P^ate return he could make, to write 
•ome descriptive verses on any of the 
^Oenes with which he had been so much 
^^lighted. After leaving Blair, he, by 
^He Duke's advice, visited the FalU of 
^^ntar, and in a few days I received a 
« fitter from Inverness, with the verses en- 
closed."* 

It appears that the impression made by 
Our ijoet on the noble family of Athole, 
'^as in a high degree favourable ; it is 
certain he was charmed with the recep- 
uon he received from them, and he often 
tnentioned the two days he spent at Athole 
House as amongst the happiest of his life. 
He was warm^ invited to prolong his 
stay, but sacrificed his inclinations to his 
engagement with Mr. Nicol ; which is 
the more to be regretted, as he would 
otherwise have been introduced to Mr. 
Dundas (then daily expected on a visit to 
the Duke,) a circumstance which might 
have had a favourable influence on Bums's 
future fortunes. At Athole House he 
met, for the first time, Mr. Graham of 
Fintry, to whom he was afterwards in- 
debted for his office in the Excise. 

The letters and poems which he ad- 
dressed to Mr. Graham, bear testimony 
of his sensibility, and justify the supposi- 
tion, that he would not have been defi- 
cient in gratitude had he been elevated 
to a situation better suited to his disposi- 
tion and to his talents, f 

A f^ w da3rs after leaving Blair of Athole, 
our poet and his fellow-traveller arrived 

* Extnet of a letter from Mr. Walker to Mr. Cun- 
■iOfbwn. See Letter, No. XXDL 

t See tbe ant EfittU te Mr. Ormkam, Krtkhinf aa 
ewp hiyi a e m la the Szdae, Letter No. LVI. and Ida 



at Fochabers. In the course of the pre 
ceding winter Bums had been introduced 
to the Ducthess of Gordon at Edinburgh, 
and presuming on this acquaintance, he 
proceeded to Gordon-Castle, leaving Mr. 
Nicol at the inn in the viUage. At the 
castle our poet was received with the ut- 
most hospitality and kindness, and the 
family being about to sit down to dinner, 
he was invited to take his place at table 
as a matter of course. This invitation 
he accepted, and after drinking a few 
glasses of wine, he rose up, and proposed 
to withdraw. On being pressed to stay, 
he mentioned for the first time, his en- 
gagement with his fellow-traveUer : and 
his noble host ofiering to send a servant 
to conduct Mr. Nicol to the castle. Bums 
insisted on undertaking that office him- 
self. He was, however, accompanied by 
a gentleman, a particular acquaintance of 
the Duke, by whom the invitation was 
delivered in all the forms of politeness. 
The invitation came too late ; the pride 
of Nicol was inflamed into a hiffh degree 
of passion, by the neglect which he had 
already suffered. He had ordered the 
horses to be put to the carriage, being 
determined to proceed on his journey 
alone ; and they found him parading the 
streets of Fochabers, before the door of 
the inn, venting his an^er on the postil- 
lion, for the slowness with which he obey- 
ed his commands. As no explanation nor 
entreaty could change the purpose of his 
fellow-traveller, our poet was reduced to 
the necessity of separating from him en- 
tirely, or of instantly proceeding with 
him on their journey. He chose the last 
of these alternatives ; and seating him- 
self beside Nicol in the post-chaise with 
mortification and regret, he turned his 
back on Gordon Castle where he had 
promised himself some happy days. Sen- 
sible, however, of the great kindness of 
the noble family, he miule the best return 
in his power, by the poem beginning, 

*' Streama that glide in orient plalna.*'* 

Bums remained at Edinburgh during 
the greater part of the winter, 1787-8, 
and again entered into the society and 
dissipation of that metropolis. It appears 
that on the 3l8t<day of December, he at- 
tended a meeting to celebrate the birth- 
dav of the lineal descendant of the Scot- 
tish race of kings, the late unfortunate 
Prince Charlos Edward. Whatever 

* Tbia infonnatloii ia eztneted from a letttrof Or 
Cooper of Fochaben, lo the Edftor. 



fiO 



THE UFE OF BURNS. 



might have been the wish or purpoee of 
the original institutors of this annual 
meeting, there is no reason to suppose 
that tliu gpntlonien of whom it was at 
this time coinjjoscd, were not perfectly 
IovilI to tho King on tlie throne. It is 
not to be conceived that they entertained 
any hopv ot*, any wit^h tor, the restoration 
of thi' House ot* Stuart ; but, over their 
sparkling wine, thnv indulged the gene- 
Ti>ns feelings which the recollection of 
fallen great nc'ss is calculated to inspire ; 
and commemorated the heroic valour 
which strove to sustain it in vain — valour 
worthy of a nobler cause, and a happier 
fortune. On this occasion our bard took 
upon Iiimself the office of poet -laureate, 
and produced an ode, which though de- 
ficient in the complicated rhythm and 
polished versification that such composi- 
tions require, might on a fair competition, 
where energy of feelings and of expression 
were alone in question, have won the 
butt of Malmsey from the real laureate 
of that day. 

The following extracts may serve as a 
specimen : 



Falw flatterer, Hope, Awty ! 
Nor think to lure ui u in dayi of yore : 

Wc mlemnize th» «nrrowing natal day, 
To prove our loyal trutli— wc can no more: 

And, owning Heaven*a in)'aterioiu away, 
BubmiMlve, low, adore. 

Ye lionoiired, mfgtity dead ! 
Who nobly perished in tlK> glorioua caaac, 
Your King, your country, and her lawa! 

From great Dundee, who smiling victory led. 
And fell a martyr in her armi, 
(What breaat of northern ice bat wanna ?) 

To bold Balmerino'a undying name, 

Whoaeaoulof fire, lighted at Heaven*! high flame, 
Daaervea the proudeat wreath departed berow claim.* 

Nor unr0venged your fate ahall be, 

It only lass the fatal hour ; 
Your blood shall with incessant cry 

Awake at last the unsparing power. 
Ai from tho difl*, with thunderinf courae, 

The tanowy ruin smokes along. 
With doubling speed and gathering force, 
Till deep it crashing whclma ttte cottage in lb« rale I 
80 Vengeance • • • 

* In the first part of this ode there Is some beautifbl 
imagery, which the poet afterwards interwove in a 
happier manner in Uie Ckevnlier'tLamenL (See Letter, 
No. LXV.) But if there were no other reasons for 
omitting to print the entire poem, the want of originali- 
ty would lie sufficient. A cooaiderabie part of it is a 



In relatingr the inciikmtit of our poet*^ 
life in Edinburgh, we ought to have 
tioned the sentiments of respect and 
pathy with which he traced out the gn\ 
of his predecessor Ferguson, over wl 
ashes in the Canongate church-yard, lao 
obtained leave to erect an humble moau- 
mcnt, which will be viewed by Teflectins 
minds with no common interest, aii3 
which will awake in the bosom of kindred 
genius, many a high emotion.* Neither 
should we pass over the continued friend- 
ship he experienced from a poet then liv- 
ing, the amiable and accomplished BlaclL- 
lock. — To his encouraging advice it wnM 
owing (as has alrea^ appeared) that 
Burns instead of emigrating to the We^t 
Indies, repaired to Edinburgh. He r^ 
ceived him there with all the ardoor o< 
affectionate admiration ; he eageriy i^^ 
troduced him to the respectable cirde ^^ 
his friends ; he consulted his interei^ * 
he blazoned his fame ; ne lavished npc^ 
him all the kindness of a generous ai» ^ 
feeling heart, into which nothing eelfi^ "^ 
or envious ever found admittance. Amom 
the friends to whom he introduced 
was Mr. Ramsay of Ochtertyre, to w. 
our poet paid a visit in the Aatomn 
1787, at his delightful retirement in th 
neighbourhood or Stirhn|r, and on th^ 
banks of the Teith. Of this visit we hav^ 
the following particulars : 

" I have been in the company of man; 
men of genius," says Mr. Ramsay, ** 
of them poets ; but never witnessed sac 
flashes of intellectual brightne 
him, the impulse of tho moment, iper: 
of celestial fire ! I never was more ' 
lij^hted, therefore, than with his com; 

for two days, tete-a-tete. In a n 

company I should have made little of him ;^ 
for, in the gamester's phrase, he did noi 
always know when to play off and wr 
to play on. * * * I not only proposed t 
him the writing of a play similar to th 
Gentle ShepJie^, gtialem decet 
rem^ but ScoiiiMh Oeorgict a subject 
Thomson has byno means exhausted in 
his Seasons. What beautiful landscape!^ 
of rural life and manners might not have^ 
been expected from a pencU so faithfnl 
and forcible as his, which could have ex- 
hibited scenes as familiar and interesting 
as those in the Qenile Shepherd, wfaicn 






f 

e 

-e 



-Ay 

\ 




kind of rant, for whieb Indeed praeadeat aiaj ba diei 
In various otimr UrUi-4iy, odes, km wita whieh U If 
impoasible to go along. 

* See Letten No. XIX« and JUL. wInis Um Sfteali 
wUlbefoaiid,lbc 



/ 



THE LIFE OF BURNa SI 

le who knows our swdns in their Before Boms was known in Edinburgh, 

rated state, instantly recognises a specimen of his ooetrv had recommend- 

nature. But to have executed ed him to Mr. Miller of Dalswinton. Un- 
' these plans, steadiness and ab- derstanding that he intended to resume 

from company were wanting, the life of a farmer, Mr. Miller had in- 

ts. When I asked him whether vited him, in the spring of 1787, to view 

burgh Literati had mended his his estate in Nithsdale, offering him at 

y their criticisms, * Sir,' said he, the same time the choice of any of his 

mtlemen remind me of some spin- farms out of lease, at such a rent as Bums 

ly country, who spin their thread and his friends might judge proper. It 

hat it is neither fit for weft nor was not in the nature of Bums to take an 

He said he had not changed a undue advantage of the liberdity of Mr. 

^ept one to please Dr. Blair."* Miller. He proceeded in this business, 

however, witn more than usual delibera^ 

r settled with his publisher, Mr. g??', ^^t'^S ma.de choice of the farm of 

b Febmary, 1788; Bums found ^Jff^A,*^® employed two of his friends, 

master of nearly five hundred "kUled m the value of land, to examme it, 

ifler discharging ill his expenses. f^^J^^ JJlf ^ approbation offered a rent 

idredpoundlheimmediatdyad. ^^ Mr. Miller, which was immediately 

3 his brother Gilbert, who had jpcepted. It was not convenient for Mrs. 

on himself the support of their ^^^ to remove immediately from Ayr- 

ther, and was stl^gling with «Hf' and our poet therefore took up hi. 

ficulUes in the farm of Mossgiel. jesMlence alone at EUislwid, to prenare 

e remainder of this sum, and for the reception of his wrfe and chil^^^^ 

ther eventful profits from his ^^^ J^"^®^ *^ t^^*'^ *^« «°^ ^^ ^« 

le determined on settling him- 7^'' 

UoScfrL'^Mr.^^^^^^^ ^ The- situation m which Bums now 

the farm of Ellisland, on the found hunsetf was calculated ^^rJ^^r 

the river Nith, six miles above f eAection. The different steps he had of 

., on which he entered at Whit- Ittetaken were m their nature highly im- 

1788. Having been previously portant,andnuflhtbeB«dtohav^ 

nded to the Board of Excise, hi ™«"»^^t' ^Ia ^*^r1L. K w T 

1 been put on the list of ciiidi- <^^°^«/. ^""^^^ and a father ; be ha^ en- 

the huLle office of a ganger or f|?£^,;^d=f:^d 1^^^^^^^^ 

ifit^drifr^^^ ter»oT«s:?ihl^^^^^^^^ 

[Z'^:AVln^l^^^^ "Potion of which he had^en;^^^^^^^ 

le district in which his farm was o^"»oured ; to ponder seriously on the 

-«^ «„;«!« u^^^A ♦« ,!«;♦*» «;*ii past, and to form virtuous resolutions re- 

^^llw/nn^^^^^ ipecting the future. That such was ac 

^i^c^J^^ ^«*lly ^be stato of his mind, the following 

ciseman. extract from his common-place book may 

bear witness : 
Bums had in this manner ar- 

is plans for futurity, his generous EllUland, Sunday^ lAih June^ 1788. 

ned to the object of his most ar- « This is now the tlurd day that I have 

chment, and listening to no con- been in this country. • Lord, what is 

18 but those of honour and affec- man !' What a busting little bundle of 

dined with her in a public decla- passions, appetites, ideas, and fancies ! 

marriage, thus legalizing their and what a capricious kind of existence 

id rendering it permanent for he has here t * * * There is indeed an 

elsewhere, where, as Thomson says, iwr- 

of a IttUr JT«m Mr, Ranuajf u> (m XoUoT' 

ftMlity of Banis extended, however, onty * Ten m ye dead 

IS printed before be wrlred In Edinburgh ; Win none of yoa In pity dieeloee the Moel 

I to bit unpublbthed poems, be wm unena- What *tW you are, and we must shortly be 1 

■n, of which many proofs might be given. A little ciine 

marks on tJiis subject, in the J9pftMii%. Will malM as wise as you art, and at dose.* 

R 



52 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



'* I tin 0uch a coward in life, lo tired of 
the service, that I would almost at any 
time, with Milton^s Adam, * fi^ladly lay mo 
in my mother's lap, and he at peace.' 

** Bat a wife and children hind me to 
struggle with the stream, till some sud- 
den squall shall overset the silly vessel ; 
or in the listless return of years, its own 
craziness reduce it to a wreck. Farewell 
now to those ffiddy follies, those varnish- 
ed vices, which, though half-sanctified hy 
the bewitching levity of wit and humour, 
are at best but thriftless idling with the 
precious current of existence ; nay, often 
poisoning the whole, that, like the plains 
of Jericho, the vnUer is noughty and the 
ground harreny and nothing short of a 
supematurally gifted Elisha can ever af- 
ter heal the evils* 

•* Wedlock, the circumstance that buc- 
kles me hardest to care, if virtue and re- 
ligion were to be any thing with me but 
names, was what in a few seasons I must 
have resolved on ; in my present situation 
it was absolutely necessary. Humanity, 
generosity, honest pride of character, jus- 
tice to my own happmcss for after-life, so 
far as it could depend (which it surely will 
a great deal) on internal peace ; all these 
joined their warmest suffrages, their most 
powerful solicitations, with a rooted at- 
tachment, to urge the step I have taken. 
Nor have I any reason on her part to re- 
pent it. I can fancy how, but have never 
seen where, I could have made a better 
choice. Come, then, let me act up to my 
favourite motto, that glorious passage in 
Young — 

*' On reaMm balM raaolve, 
TlMteolainD of tni* na^ftttf in man !** 

Under the impulse of these reflections. 
Burns immediately engaged in rebuilding 
the dwelling-house on his farm, which, in 
the state he found it, was inadequate to 
the accommodation of his family. On this 
occasion, he himself resumed at times the 
occupation of a labourer, and found nei- 
ther his strength nor his skill impaired. 
Pleased with surveying the grounds he 
was about to cultivate, and with the rear- 
ing of a building that should give shelter 
to his wife and children, and, as he fond- 
ly hoped, to his own gray hairs, senti- 
ments of independence buoyed up his 
mind, pictures of domestic content and 
peace rose on his imagination ; and a few 
daja passed away, as he himself informs 



us, the most tranquil, if not the hi^;»pM!st, 
which he had ever experienced.* 

It is to be lamented that at this critical 
period of his life, our poet was without 
the society of his wife and children. A 
great change had taken place in his filia- 
tion; his old habits were broken; wni 
the new circumstances in which he wis 
placed were calculated to give a. new di- 
rection to his thoughts and conduct.f But 
his application to the cares and laboon 
of his farm was interrupted by seveni 
visits to his family in Ayrshire; and as 
the distance was too great for a siofle 
day's journey, he generally spent a night 
at an inn on the road. On such occasioDS 
he sometimes fell into company, and for- 

got the resolutions he had formed. In t 
ttle while temptation assailed him nearer 
home. 



His fame naturally drew upon him the 
attention of his neighbours, and he soon 
formed a general acquaintance in the ^ 
trict in which he lived. The public voice 
had now pronounced on the subject of hia 
talents ; the reception he had met with in 
Edinburgh had given him the currency 
which fashion bestows, he had surmount- 
ed the prejudices arising from his humble 
birth, and he was received at the table of 
the gentlemen of Nithsdale with welcome, 
with kindness, and even with respect. 
Their social parties too oflen scducea him 
from his rustic labour and his rustic fare, 
overthrew the unsteady fabric of his reso- 
lutions, and inflamed those propensities 
which temperance might have weakened, 
and prudence ultimately suppressed. { It 
was not long, therefore, before Burm be- 
gan to view his farm with dislike and des- 
pondence, if not with disgust. 

Unfortunately he had for several jreaie 
looked to an office in the Excise as a cer- 
tain means of livelihood, should his other 

* Animated tentimenta of any kind, nloMMl alwaya 
cave rise in our poet to some producikm of Ua muas. 
His aemimenti on tliia occaaion were in part expraaed 
by the vi^oroui and charaeleriatic, ilKMich not yvj 
delicate aonf, beginning, 

*' I bae a wife o* my aia, 
ra partalie wi' naebody ;* 

t Mra. Bama was about to be confined io child-bed* 
and ttae houM at EUialand waa rabaildinc. 

t The poem of 71b ff^Uatf* (Poem, p. 74 ) cetobrain 
a Bacchanalian conteat among three gantlemen of 
Nithadale, where Buma appears aa omplra. Mr. Bid- 
dell died before our Bard, and aoma alegtac iraiatj to 
hia memory will be found aaaUed, 4^«m( an ttt 4tnik 



THE LIFE OF BURN'S. 



■zpectotiotu fai1> Ab bu already been 
mentioned, he bad been recammended to 
the Board of Excise, and had received the 
inetructions ncccssaryfoi «uch a aituBtion. 
He now applied to be emploTed ; and by 
the interest of Mr. Graham ofFintry, waa 
^ipoinled exciseman, or, as it is vulgarly 
caUed, nuget, of the district in which he 
lived. Sis fsnn was after this, in a great 
nieamiTe abandoned to servants, whUe be 
betook himself to the duties of his new 
appointment. 

He might, iikdeed, still be seen in the 
■pring, (Creeling his plough, a labour in 
fritich he excelled ; or with a white sheet, 
containing his seed-corn, slung across his 
■boulders, striding with measured steps 
■lonff his turned up furroWB, and scatter- 
ing U>e grain in the earth. But his farm 
BO longer occupied the principal part of 
his care or his thoughts. It was not at 
Ellishuid that he was now in general to be 
fimnd. Hoimted on horaehack, this high- 
minded poet was pursuing lite defaulters 
of the revenue, among the liills and vales 
of Nitbsdale, his roving eye wandering 
over the charms of nature, and mullering 
feu laayuiardjanciet as he moved along. 

" I had an adventure with him in the 
year 1790," says Mr. Ramsay, of Ochter- 
tyre, in a letter to the editor, " when pass- 
ing through Dumfriesshire, on a tour to 
the South, with Dr. Stewart of Luss. See- 
ing bini pass quickly, near Closebum, I 
•aid to my companion, ' that is Burns.' 
On cominr to the inn, the hostler told us 
he would be back in a few hours to grant 
permits; that where he met with any 
thing sellable, he was no belter than any 
other gauger; in every thing else, that 
he was perfectly a gentleman. After 
leaving a note to be delivered to him 
on his return, I proceeded to his house, 
being curious to see his Jean, Slc. I was 
mucD plateed with his uxor Sabina guaiu, 
and the poet's modest mansion, so unUke 
the habitation of ordinary rustics. In the 
wening he suddenly bounced in upon us, 
and aud, as he entered, I come, to use the 
words of Shakspeare, ilctetd in hatte. In 
ftct he had ridden incredibly fast after 




marnutn of poetry. He told me that he 
had now gotten a story for aDrama, which 
he was to call Rob Macquechan'i Elihon, 
from a popular story of Robert Brace be- 
ing defeated on the water of Caem, when 
the heel of his boot having loosened in his 
flight, he applied to Robert Macquechan 
to fit it ; who, to make sure, ran his awl 
nine inches up the king's heel. We were 
now going on at a great rate, when Mr. 

S popped in his head, which put a 

stop to our discourse, which had become 
very interesting. Yet in a little while it 
was resumed ; and such was the force and 
versatility of the bard's genius, that be 

made the tears run down Mr. 8 'a 

cheeks, albeit unused to the poetic strain. 
• Prom that time we met no more, 
and I was grieved st the reports of him 
afterwarde. Poor Barns! we thall hardly 
see bis like Bgain. He was, in tnitl^ 
tofcometin literature, irregular in its 
motions, which did not do good propor- 
tioned to the blaze of light it display-ed.* 

Id the summer of 1791, two English 
gentlemen, who had before met with him 
in Edinburgh, paid a visit to him st Ellis- 
land. On csllmg at the house they were 
informed that he had walked out on the 
banks of the river ; and dismounting from 
their horses, they proceeded in search of 
him. On a rock that projected into the 
stream, they saw a man employed in aiv- 
ling, of a singular appearance. He hada 
cap made of a fox's skin on his bead, a 
loose great coat fijted round him by a belt, 
from which depended an enormous High- 
land broad-sword. It was Bums. He re- 
ceived them with great cordiality, and 
asked them to share his humble dinner — 
an invitation which they accepted. On 
the table they found boiled beef, with ve- 
getables, and barlej-broth, after the man- 
ner of Scotland, of which they partook 
heartily. After dinner, the bard told them 
ingenuously that he had no wine to offer 
them, nothmgbetter than Highland whis- 
key, a bottle of which Mrs. Bums set on 
the board. He produced at the ssme time 
his punch-bowl made of Tnverary marble ; 
and, mixing the spirit with water and su- 
gar, filled Uieir glasses, and invited them 
to drink.* The travellers were in haste, 
and besides, the flavour of the whiskey t« 
their touArm palates was scarcely tolera- 



Si 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



ble ; but the gencroui poet offered them 
his best, and his ardent hospitality they 
found it impossible to resist. Bums was 
in his happiest mood, and the charms of 
his conversation were altogether fascina- 
ting. He ranged over a great variety of 
topics, illuminating whatever he touched, 
lie related the tales of his infancy and of 
his youth ; he recited some of the gayest 
and some of the tenderest of his poems ; 
in the wildest of his strains of mirth, he 
threw in some touches of melancholy, and 
spread around him the electric emotions 
of his powerful mind. The Highland 
whiskey improved in its flavour ; the mar- 
ble bowl was again and again emptied and 
replenished ; the guests of our poet for- 
got t}ie flight of time, and the dictates of 
1>rudcnce : at the hour of midnight they 
ost their way in returning to Dumfries, 
and could scarcely distinguish it when as- 
sistod by the morning's dawn.'" 

Besides his duties in the excise and his 
social pleasures, other circumstances in- 
terfered with the attention of Bums to 
his farm. He engaged in the formation 
of a society for purchasing and circulat- 
ing books among the farmers of his neigh- 
bourhood, of which he undertook the 
management ;f and he occupied himself 
occasionally in composing songs for the 
musical work of Mr. Johnson, then in the 
course of publication. These engage- 
ments, useful and honourable in /hem- 
selves, contributed, no doubt, to the ab- 
straction of his thoughts from the busi- 
ness of agriculture. 

The consequences may be easily ima- 
gined. Notwithstanding the uniform 
Smdence and good management of Mrs. 
iurns, and though his rent was moder- 
ate and reasonable, our poet found it con- 
venient, if not necessary, to resign his 
farm to Mr. Miller ; after having occu- 
pied it three years and a half. His oflice 
m the excise had originally produced 
about fifty pounds per annum. Having 
acquitted himself to the satisfaction of the 
board, he had been appointed to a new dis- 
trict, the emoluments of which rose to 
about seventy pounds per annum. Hoping 
to support himself and his family on this 
humble income till promotion should reach 
him, he disposed of his stock and of his 
crop on Elliflland by public auction, and 
removed to a small house which he had 

• Given frora the information of on« of Uw party. 
fSccNo LXXXVfll. 



taken in DnmflriMt aboiit (to end of tbe 
year 1791. 

Hitherto Bums, thongh addicted to 
excess in social parties, had abstained 
from the habitual use of strong hquon, 
and his constitution had not lunered any 
permanent injury from the irreguJaritier 
of his conduct. In Dmnfries, temptatioof 
to the Hn that to eatUy be»ei him^ contino- 
ally presented themselveB; and his irregu- 
larities grew by degrees into habiti.- 
These temptations imhappily occurred 
during his engagements m the businetf 
of his oflice, as well as during his houn 
of relaxation ; and though he clearly fore- 
saw the consequences of yielding to then, 
his appetites and sensations', which could 
not prevent the dictates of his judgment, 
finally triumphed over the powen of bis 
will. Yet this victory was not obtained 
without many obstinate struggles, and at 
times temperance and virtue seemed to 
have obtained the mastery. Besides his 
engagements in the excise, and the so* 
ciety into which they led, many circtun- 
stances contributed to the melanchoij 
fate of Bums. His great celebrity made 
him an object of interest and curiosity to 
stiangers, and few persons of cultivtted 
minds passed through Dumfries without 
attempting to see our poet, and to eojoy 
the pleasure of his conversation. Ashe 
could not receive them under his own 
humble roof, these interviews passed it 
the inns of the town, and often terminated 
in those excesses which Bums aometiiaes 
provoked, and was seldom able to leaiit. 
And amon^ the inhabitants of Dvnin» 
and its vicinity, there were nerer wail- 
ing persons to share his social pleaiarsa; 
to lead or accompany him to the tavera ; 
to partake in the wildest salliee of his wit ; 
to witness the strength and the degiida- 
tio ' of his genius. 

Still, however, he cultivated the society 
of persons of taste and of respectability, 
and in their company could impose on bin- 
self the restraints of temperance and deco* 
mm. Nor was his muse dormant. lo 
the four years which he lived in Dumfrie?, 
he produced many of his beautiful lyrif*- 
though it does not appear that be at- 
tempted any poem of considerable Icn^h. 
During this time he made several excur- 
sions into tho neighbouring countryi o' 
one of which, through Galloway, an ac- 
coimt is preserved in a letter of ifr. Syme? 
written soon after ; which, as it gives an 
animated picture of him by a correct ivd 



TRB LIFE OP BURNa 



urns a gray Highland ehelty 

We dined the first day, 27tli 
.t GiendenwjrneBOfParton ! a 
lationonthebankaoflhcDec. 
ig we walked out, and osccnd- 
^mincnce, from which we had 
' of Alpine scenery aa can well 
. A delightfiil soil evening 
s wilder ax well as its (grander 
mediately opposite, ftiid wilh- 
IB, we saw Airds, a tliariuing 
ice, where dwelt Low, the 
lary weep no more for me.' 
Mical ground for Burns. Ho 

hig'hest hill which rises o'er 

Dee;" and would haveetaid 
wing spirit," bad appeared, 
ree^ved to reach Kctimore 

We arrived as Mr. and Mr«, 
: sitting down to supper. 



I Buildi 



In front, the river Ken 

eral miles through the most 
^autiful holm,\ till it expands 
welve miles lon^r, the banks 
the south, present a fine and 
le of green knolls, natural 
ere and there a gray rock. 
, the aspect is great, wild, 
ly, tremendous. In short, 1 



c than the castle of Ken- 
s thinks so highly of it, that 
n description of it in poetry. 
.eve he has begun the work. 
r«e days with Mr. Gordon, 
>d hospitality is of an origi- 
aring kind. Mrs. Gordon's 
o, was dead. She would 
aph for him. Several had 
Bums was asked For one. 
ting Hercules to his distaff, 
lesubject; but to please the 



Inhed ihe hl|hat hill, 



" In WKid ud will, 7< wuMI^ timi«, 
Your beavT loadgptan 1 

T« ]uilii| KnMhlv iMflfi uood, 



" We lefl Kenmore, and went to Gate- 
house, I took him the uioor-road, wliere 
savage and desolate regions extended 
wide around. The sky was sympathetic 
with the wretchedness of the soil ; '" ' 



lowering and dark. The hollow 
sighed, the lightnings gleamed, the 
thunder rolled. The poet enjoyed the 
awful scene — he spoke not a word, but 
seemed wrapt in meditation. In a little 

floods upon ui . 

wild elements rairiblt (Aeir belly full upon 
— defenceless heads. Ok! Oh! 'iwai 






IT getting utterly drunk. 



" From Gatehouse, we went next daj 
Kirkcudbright, through a fine coi^ntry. 
But here I must tell you that Bums had 

I pair of jemmy boots for tlie joumej, 
whichhadbcenthoroughiy wet, and which 
bad been dried in such maancr tliat it 

not possible to get them on again 
The brawny poet tried force, and tore 
to shreds. A whiffling vexation of 

lort is more trying to the temper than 
.. iouscaJamity. We weregoingto St. 
Mary's Isle, the seat oftheBarl of ^Ikirk, 
and the forlorn Burns was discomfited at 
the thought of his ruined boots. A !>ick 
gtnmach, and a head-ache, lent their aid, 
iind the man of verse was quite accable. 
[ attempted to reason with him. Mercy 

I ! now he did fume with rage 1 No- 
thine could reinstate him in temper- T 
'-^-iU various expedients, and at last hit 
one that succeeded. I showed him 
the bouse of * * *, across the bay ol 
Wigton. Against '*•'*, with whom 
he was offended, he expectorated his 
spleen, and regained a most agreeable 
temper. He was in a most epigrammatic 
humour indeed '. He afterwards fall on 
humbler game There is one • ■* • 
whom he does not 1ot». H« had a puf- 
iiig blow at him 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



•Tfru Dothlof 
crown: 



, leibt 4eTll went tewB, 
him knt Suu'i 



I gimat ttaoa'n u wkkci, tat not qwicffo dewr.** 

** Well, I am to bring yon to Kirkcnd- 
bright along with our poet, without boota. 
I carried the torn ruina acroaa my aaddle 
in apite of hia fulminationa, and in con- 
tempt of appearancea ; and what ia more. 
Lord Selkirk carried them in hia coach 
to Dumfriea. He inaiatftd they were 
worth mending. 

^' We reached Kirkcndbright about one 
o'clock. I had promiaed that we ahould 
dine with one of the firat men in our 
country, J. Daizell. But Buma was in a 
wild obetreperoua humour, and awore he 
would not dine where he ahould be under 
the amallcat restraint. We prevailed, 
therefore, on Mr. Daizell to dine with ua 
in the inn, and had a very agreeable party. 
In the evening we aet out for St. Mary'a 
Isle. Robert nad not absolutely regained 
the milkineaa of good temper, and it oc- 
curred once or twice to him, as he rode 
along, that St. Mary's Isle was the aeat 
of a Lord ; yet that Lord waa not an aris- 
tocrat, at least in the sense of the word. 
We arrived about eight o'clock, as the 
family were at tea aim coffee. St. Ma- 
ry's Isle is one of the most delightful 
places that can, in my opinion, be formed 
by the assemblage of every soft, but not 
tame object which constitutes natural and 
cultivated beauty. But not to dwell on 
its external graces, let me tell you that 
we found all the ladies of the fi^nily (all 
beautiful) at home, and some strangers ; 
and among others who but Urbani ! The 
Italian sung us many Scottish songs, ac- 
companied with instrumental music. The 
two young ladies of Selkirk sung also. 
We had the song of Lord Gregory, which 
I asked for, to have an opportunity of 
calling on Bums to recite hU ballad to 
that tune. He did recite it ; and auch 
waa the effect that a dead ailence ensued. 
It was such a silence as a mind of feel- 
ing naturally preserves when it is touched 
with that enthusiasm which banishes 
every other thought but the contempla- 
tion and indulgence of the sympathy pro- 
duced. Bums's Lord Oregory ia, in my 
opinion, a most beautiful and affecting 
ballad. The fastidious critic may per- 
hapa say some of the aentimenta and im- 
agery are of toe elevated a kind for auch 
a style of composition ; for instance, 



" Thon bolt of hMTcn tkit pawnf by ;" 
and ^* Ye, nniatering thunder/' &c.; Mt 
this ia a cold-blooded objection, whidk 
will be 9aid rather than/etf. 

** We enjoyed a moat happy ereniBgaft 
Lord Selkirk'a. We had, in every aeiMt 
of the word, a feast, in which cor mmk 
and our senses were equally gratified^ 
The poet was delighted with his compaay, 
and acquitted himself to admiration. The 
lion that had raged so violently in the 
morning* was now as mild and gentle as 
a lamb. Next day we returned to Dam- 
fries, and so ends our peregrinatioB* I 
told you, that in the midst of the atom, 
on the wilds of Kenmof-e, Burns waa rapt 
in meditation. What do yon think ha 
was about ? He was charging the Enc- 
liah army along with Bruce, at Bannock- 
bum. He was engaged in the same man- 
ner on our ride nome from St. Maiy'i 
Isle, and I did not disturb him. Next 
day he produced me the following address 
of Bruce to his troops, and gave me a 
copy for Daizell." 



i« 



Scoii wha bae wi* Wallaea Ued,*' te. 



Boms had entertained hopes of pro- 
motion in the excise ; but circumatancea 
occurred which retarded their fulfilment, 
and which in his ow^ mind, destroyed all 
expectation of their being ever fulfilled. 
The extraordinary events which ushered 
in the revolution of France, intereated 
the feelings, and excited the hopes of 
men in every comer of Europe. Preju- 
dice and tyranny seemed about to disap- 
pear from among men, and the day-atar 
of reason to rise upon a benighted world. 
In the dawn of this beautiful morning, 
the geniua of French freedom appears 
on our southern horizon with the coun- 
tenance of an angel, but speedily assum- 
ed the features of a demon, and vaniahed 
in a shower of blood. 

Though previously a iacobite and a 
cavalier. Bums had shared in the original 
hopes entertained of this astonishing re- 
volution, by ardent and benevolent nunds. 
The novelty and the hazard of the at- 
tempt meditated by the First, or Con- 
stituent Assembly, served rather, it is 
probable, to recommend it to his daring 
temper ; and the unfettered scope pro- 
posed to be given to every kind of talents, 
waa doubtless gratif3^g to the feelings of 
conaciouR but indignant geniua. Buma 
foresaw not the mighty ruin that w«« to 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



57 



be the immediate comequence of an enter- 
prifle, which on its commencement, pro- 
mised so much happiness to the human 
race. And even ailer the career ofgruilt 
and of blood commenced, he could not 
immediately, it may be presumed, with- 
draw his partial ^ze from a people who 
had so lately breathed the sentiments of 
aniversal peace and heni^ity ; or oblite- 
rate in his bosom the pictures of hope and 
of happiness to which those sentiments 
had given birth. Under these impres- 
sions, he did not always conduct himself 
with the circumspection and prudence 
which his dependant situation seemed to 
demand. He engaged indeed in no popu- 
lar associations, so common at the time 
of which we speak : but in company he 
did not conceal his opinions of public 
measures, or of the reforms required in 
the practice of our government ; and 
sometimes in his social and unguarded 
moments, he uttered them with a wild 
and unjustifiable vehemence. Informa- 
tion of this was given to the Board of 
Excise, with the exaggerations so gene- 
ral in such cases. A superior officer in 
that department was authorised to inquire 
into his conduct. Burns defended him- 
self in a letter addressed to one of the 
Board, written with great independence 
of spirit, and with more than his accus- 
tomed eloquence. The officer appointed to 
inquire into his conduct gave a favourable 
report. His steady friend, Mr. Graham of 
Fintry, interposed his good offices in his be- 
half ; and the imprudent gauger was suf- 
fered to retain his situation, but given to un- 
derstand that his promotion was deferred, 
and must depend on his future behaviour. 

•* This circumstance made a deep im- 
pression on the mind of Bums. Fame 
exaggerated his misconduct, and repre- 
sented him as actually dismissed from his 
office ; and this report induced a gentle- 
man of much respectability to propose a 
subscription in his favour. The offer 
was refused by our poet in a letter of 
great elevation of sentiment, in which he 
gives an account of the whole of this 
transaction, and defends himself from the 
imputation of disloyal sentiments on the 
one hand, and on the other, from the 
charge of having made submissioiis for 
the sake of his office, unwortliy of his 
character. 

" The partiality of my coimtrymen," he 
ODserves, " has brought me forward as a 
man of genius, and lias given me a cha- 



racter to support. In t^e poet 1 have 
avowed manly and independent senti- 
ments, which I hope have been found in 
the man. Reasons of no less weight than 
the support of a wife and children, have 
pointed out m^ present occupation as the 
only eligible hne of life within my reach. 
StiU my honest fame is my dearest con- 
cern, and a thousand times have I trem- 
bled at the idea of the degrading epithets 
that malice or misrepresentation may affix 
to my name. Oflen in blasting anticipa- 
tion have I listened to some future hack- 
ney scribbler, with the heavy malice of 
savage stupidity, exultingly asserting that 
Bums, notwithstanding the F*anfanmnad€ 
of independence to be tound in his works, 
and afler having been held up to public 
view, and to public estimation, as a man 
of some genius, yet, quite destitute of re- 
sources within himself to support his bor- 
rowed dignity, dwindled into a paltrjr ex- 
ciseman, and slunk out the rest of his in- 
significant existence in the meanest of 
pursuits, and among the lowest of mankind. 

" In your illustrious hands, Sir, permit 
me to lodge my strong disavowal and de- 
fiance or such slanderous falsehoods. 
Bums was a poor man from his birth, and 
an exciseman by necessity ; but — I wHl 
say it ! the sterling of his honest worth 
poverty could not debase, and his inde- 
pendent British spirit, oppression might 
bend, but could not subdue." 

It was one of the last acts of his life to 
copy this letter into his book of manu- 
scripts accompanied by some additional 
remarks on the same subject. It is not 
surprising, that at a season of universal 
alarm for the safety of the consti^tion,the 
indiscreet expressions of a man so power- 
ful as Burns, should have attracted notice. 
The times certainly required extraordina- 
ry vigilance in those intrusted with the ad- 
minist ration of the government, and to 
ensure the safety of the constitution was 
doubtless their first duty. Yet generous 
minds will lament that their measures of 
precaution should have robbed the ima- 
gination of our poet of the last prop on 
which his hopes of independence rested ; 
and by embittering his peace, have aggra- 
vated those excesses which were soon to 
conduct him to an untimely grave. 

Though the vehemence of Bums's tem- 
per, increased as it ofYen was by stimu- 
latinfif liquors, might lead him into many 
improper and unguardod expressions. 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



tliere ■etmi no rtuon to doubt of his at- 
tachment to our mixed fonn of govem- 
ment. In his common-place book, where 
he could have no temptation to diiffuine, 
are the following sentiments. — ^^ What- 
ever might be my sentiments of republics, 
ancient or modem, as to Britain, I ever 
abjured the idea. A constitution, which 
in its original principles, experience has 
proved to be every way fittea for our hap- 
piness, it would be insanity to abandon 
ror an untried visionary theory. " In con- 
formity to these sentiments, when the 
pressing nature of pubhc affairs called, in 
1795, for a general aiming of the people, 
Bums appeared in the ranks of the Dum- 
fries volunteers, and employed his poetical 
talents in stimulating their patriotism ;* 
and at this season of alarm, he brought 
forward a hymn,f worthy of the Grecian 
muse, when Greece was most conspicuous 
for genius and valour. 

Though by nature of an athletic form, 
Bums had in his constitution the peculi- 
arities and delicacies that belong to the 
temperament of genius. He was liable, 
from a very early period of life, to that in- 
teniiption m the process of dige8tion,which 
arises from deep and anxious thought, and 
which is sometimes the effect and some- 
times the cause of depression of spirits. 
Connected with this disorder of the sto- 
mach, there was a disposition to head- 
ache, affecting more especially the tem- 
ples and eye-balls, and frequently accom- 
panied by violent andirregular movements 
of the heart. Endowed by nature with 
fl^eat sensibility of nerves, Bums was, in 
his corporeal, as well as in his mental sys- 
tem, liable to inordinate impressions ; to 
fever of body as weU as of mind. This 
predisposition to disease, which strict 
temperance in diet, regular exercise, and 
sound sleep, might have subdued, habits 
of a very different nature strengthened 
and inflflmed. Perpetually stimuwted by 
alcohol in one or other of its various forms, 
the inordinate actions of the circulating 

* 0«e Poem entitled Tkt Dwmftiet VoUmUtn, 

fTbeFlongofDeath, PoeoMf p. 83. Thte poem was 
written in 1791. It wn printed in JokMaiCt Musical 
Museum. The poet bad an Intention, In the latter part 
of his life, of pdotlug It separately, aeC to mmic, bat 
waa advised agalnit It, or at least discouraged fhun it 
The martial ardour which rose so high afterwards, on 
the threatened invaidon, had not then acquired the 
tone necessary to give popularity to this noUe poem; 
whkh to the Editor, seems more calculated to invigo- 
rate the spirit ofdefence, In a season of rral and prmt- 
ing danger, than any production of modem llmea. 



system became at length habitual; tbe 
process of nutrition was unable to sup- 
ply the waste, and the powers of life be- 
firan to fail. Upwards of a year before his 
death, there was an evident decline in dar 
poet*s personal appearance, and though 
his appetite continued unimpaired, he was 
himself sensible that his constitution wu 
sinking. In his moments of thon^t lie 
reflected with the deepest regret on hb 
fatal progress, clearly foreseeing the goal 
towards which he was hastening, without 
the strength of mind necessary to stop, or 
even to Macken his course. His temper 
now became more irritable and gloomy; 
he fled from himself into society, often of 
the lowest kind. And in such company, 
that part of the convivial scene, in which 
wine increases sensibility and excites be- 
nevolence, was hurried over, to reach the 
succeeding part, over which unoontroDed 
passion generally presided. He who suf- 
fers the pollution of inebriation, how shaO 
he escape other pollution ? But let us re- 
frain from the mention of errors over 
which delicacy and humanity draw the 
veiL 

In the midst of all hb wandering Bums 
met nothing in his domestic circle but 
gentleness and forgiveness, except in the 
gnawings of his own remorse. He ac- 
knowledged his transgressions to the wife 
of his bosom, promised amendment, and 
again and again received pardon for hia 
offences. But as the strength of his body 
decayed, his resolution became feebler ,and 
habit acquired predominating strength. 

From October, 1795, to the January- 
following, an accidental complaint con- 
fined him to the house. A few days af- 
ter he began to go abroad, he dined at a 
tavern, and returned home about three 
o'clock in a very cold morning, benombed 
jand int6xicated. Tliis was followed by 
an attack of rheumatism, which confined 
him about a week. His appetite now 
be^an to fail; his hand shook, and hia 
voice faltered on any exertion or emo- 
tion. His pulse became weaker and more 
rapid, and pain in the larger joints, and in 
the hands and feet, deprived him of the 
eiij oyment of refreshing sleep. Too much 
dejected in his spirits, and too weU aware 
of his real situation to entertain hopes of 
recovery, he was ever musing on the ap- 
proaching desolation of his family, and 
nis spirits sunk into a uniform gloom. 

It was hoped by some of his friends. 



THE LIFE OF BURNS- 



6!) 



tint if he conld live through the months 
of spring, the succeeding season might 
restore him. But they were disappointed. 
The genial beams of the sun infused no 
vigour ipto his hinguid frame : the sum- 
mer wind blew upon him, but produced 
DO refreshment. About the latter end of 
June he was advised to go into the coun- 
tiy, and impatient of medical advice, as 
well as of every species of control, he de- 
termined for hunself to try the effects of 
bathing in the sea. For this purpose he 
took up his residence at Brow, in Annan- 
dale, about ten miles east of Dumfries, on 
the shore of the Solway-Firth. 

It happened that at that time a lady 
with whom he had been connected in 
friendship by the sympathies of kindred 
genius, was residing in the immediate 
neighbourhood.'^ Being informed of his 
amval, she invited him to dinner, and 
sent her carriage for him to the cottage 
where he lodged, as he was unable to 
walk.-»" I was struck," says this lady (in 
a confidential letter to a friend wntten 
soon afler,) ** with his appearance on en- 
tering the room. The stamp of death was 
imprinted on his features. He seemed 
already touching the brink of eternity. 
His firat salutation was, * Well, Madam, 
have you any commands for the other 
world ?* I replied, that it seemed a doubt- 
ful case which of us should be there soon- 
est, and that I hoped he would yet live to 
write my epitaph. (I was then in a bad 
state of hMlth.) He looked in my face 
with aa air of great kindness, and express- 
ed his concern at seeing me look so ill, 
with his accustomed sensibility. At table 
he ate little or nothing, and he complain- 
ed of having entirely lost the tone of his 
stomach. We had a long and serious 
conversation about his present situation, 
and the approaching termination of 4l11 
his earthly prospects. He spoke of his 
death without any of the ostentation of 
philosophy, but with firmness as well as 
feeling, as an event likely to happen very 
soon ; and which gave him concern chiefly 
from leaving his four children so young 
and unprotected, and his wife in so inter- 
eating a situation — ^in hourly expectation 
of lying in of a fiflh. He mentioned, with 
seeming pride and satisfaction, the promis- 
ing genius of his eldest son, and the flat- 
tering marks of approbation he had re- 
ceived from his teachers, and dwelt par- 
ticularly on his hopes of that boy's future 

• For ■ charaeiar of tUi lady, nt Itttar, No. CXZIX. 



conduct and merit. His anxiety fbr his 
family seemed to hang heavy upon him, 
and the more perhaps from the reflection 
that he had not done them all the Justice 
he was so well qualified to do. Passing 
from this subject, he showed great con- 
cern about the care of his literary fame, 
and particularly the publication of his 
posthumous works. He said he was well 
aware that his death would occasion some 
noise, and that every scrap of his writing 
would bo revived against him to the in- 
ju]^ of his future reputation; that letters 
and verses written with unguarded and 
improper freedom, and which he earnestly 
wished to have buried in oblivion, would 
be handed about by idlo vanity or malevo- 
lence, when no dread of liis resentment 
would restrain them, or prevent the cen- 
sures of shrill-tongued malice, or the in- 
sidious sarcasms of envy, from pouring 
forth all their venom to blast his fame. 

" He lamented that he had written many 
epigrams on persons against whom he en- 
tertained no enmity, and whose characters 
he should be sorry to wound ; and many 
indifferent poetical pieces, which he fear- 
ed would now, with all tlicir imperfections 
on tlicir head, be thrust upon the world. 
On this account he deeply regretted hav- 
ing deferred to put his papers in a state 
of arrangement as he was now quite in- 
capable of the exertion.*' — The lady goes 
on to mention many other topics of a pri- 
vate nature on which he spoke. — '* The 
conversation," she adds, " was kept up 
with great evenness and animation on his 
side. I had seldom seen his mind greater 
or more collected. There was frequently 
a considerable degree of vivacity in his 
sallies, and they would probably have had 
a ^eater share, had not the concern and 
defection I could not disguise, damped the 
spirit of pleasantry he seemed not unwil- 
ling to indulge. 

" We parted about sunset on the even- 
ing of that day fthc 5th July, 1796;) the 
next day I saw nim again, and we parted 
to meet no more !" 

At first Bums imagined bathing in the 
sea had been of benefit to him : the pains 
in his limbs were relieved ; but this was 
immediately followed by a new attack of 
fever. When brought back to his own 
house in Difknfries, on the 18th of July, 
he was no longer able to stand upright. 
At this time a tremor pervaded his frame : 
his tongue was parched, and his mind 



. 60 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



sank into dclihuin, when not roused by 
conversation. On the second and third 
day the fever increased, and his strength 
diminished. On the fourth, the sufferings 
of this great but ill-fated genius, were 
terminated ; and a life was closed in which 
virtue and passion had been at perpetual 
variance.* 

The death of Bums made a strong and 
general impression on all who had mter- 
ested themselves in his character, and es- 
pecially on the inhabitants of the town 
and county in which he had spent the 
latter years of his life. Flagrant as his 
follies and errors had been, they had not 
deprived him of the respect and regard 
entertained for the extraordinary powers 
of his genius, and the generous qualities 
of his heart. The Gentlemen- Volunteers 
of Dumfries determined to bury their il- 
lustrious associate with military honours, 
and every preparation was made to ren- 
der this last service solemn and impres- 
sive. The Fencible Infantry of Angus- 
shire, and the regiment of cavalry of the 
Cinque Ports, at that time quartered in 
Dumfries, offered their assistance on this 
occasion ; the principal inhabitants of the 
town and nnighbourhood determined to 
walk in the funeral procession ; and a vast 
concourse of persons assembled, some of 
them from a considerable distance, to wit- 
ness the obsequies of the Scottish Bard. 
On the evening of the 25th of July, the 
remains of Burns were removed from his 
house to the Town-Hall, and the funeral 
took place on the succeeding day. A 
party of the volunteers, selected to per- 
form the military duty in the church-yard, 
stationed themselves in the front of the pro- 
cession, with their arms reversed ; the main 
body of the corps surrounded and support- 
ed the coffin, on which were placed the 
hat and sword of their friend and fellow- 
soldier ; the numerous body of attendants 
ranged themselves in the rear ; while the 
Fencible regiments of infantry and caval- 
ry lined the streets from the Town-Hall 
to the burial ground in the Southern 
rhurch-yard, a distance of more than half 
a mile. The whole procession moved for- 
ward to that sublime and affecting strain 
of music, the Dead March in Saul ; and 
three voUeys fired over his grave, marked 
the return of Bums to his parent earth ! 
The spectacle was in a high degree gnnd 

* The partiealiin raipecthig the UiieK and deitil of 
Bums were obllglnfly furntsbed by Dr. MurweHr tbe 
phyelcUn vrho attended bim. 



and solemn, and accorded with the gm^ 
ral sentiments of sympathy and forrow 
which the occasion had called forth. 

It was an affecting circumataiwe, that, 
on the morning of the day of her haf- 
band's funeral, Mrs. Bums was undergo- 
ing the pains of labour ; and that dormf 
the solemn service we have just been d^ 
scribing, the posthumous son of onr poet 
was bom. This infant boy, who received 
the name of Maxwell, was not destined 
to a long life. He has already become an 
inhabitant of the same grave with his 
celebrated father. The lour other chil- 
dren of our poet, all sons, (the eldest tt 
that time about ten years of age) yet sur- 
vive, and give every promise of prudence 
and virtue that can be expected from their 
tender years. They remain under tbe 
care of their affectionate mother in Dum- 
fries, and are enjoying the means of edu- 
cation which the exceUent schools of that 
town afford ; the teachers of which, in 
their conduct to the children of Bums, do 
themselves great honour. On this occa- 
sion the name of Mr. Whyte deserves to 
be particularly mentioned, himself a poet, 
as well as a man of science.* 

Bums died in great poverty ; but the 
independence of his spirit and the exem- 
plary prudence of his wife, had preserved 
him from debt. He had received from 
his poems a clear profit of about nine hun- 
dred pounds. Or this sum, the part ex- 
pended on his library (which was far from 
extensive) and in the himible furniture of 
his house, remained ; and obligations 
were found for two hundred pounds ad- 
vanced by him to the assistance of those 
to whom he was united by the tics of 
blood, and still more by those of esteem and 
affection. When it is considered, that hie 
expenses in Edinburgh, and on hie varioua 
ioumeys, could not be inconsiderable; that 
his agricultural undertaking wae unsuc- 
cessful; that his income from the excise was 
for some time as low as fifly, and never 
rose to above seventy pounds a-year , 
that his family was large, and his spirit 
liberal — no one will be surprised that 
his circumstances were so poor, or that, 
as his health decayed his proud and feel- 
ing heart sunk under the secret con- 
sciousness of indigence, and the apprehen- 
sions of absolute want. Yet poverty 
never bent the spirit of Bums to any pe- 

• Author of "Bt Oueidon*i Well," a poen; and of 
" A Tribute to the Memory of BarM.** 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



61 



muAiy meannett. Neither chicanery 
or aordidnesB ever appeared in his con- 
luct. He carried his disregard of mo- 
ley to a blameable excess. Even in the 
oidat of distress he bore himself loflily 
o the world, and received with ft ; .?aloiis 
Bluctance every offer of friendly assis- 
ance. His printed poems had procured 
lim great celebrity, and a just and fair 
'ecompense for the latter offsprings of his 
ten might have produced him considera- 
ile emolument. In the year 1795, the 
Sditor of a London newspaper, high in its 
sharactcr for literature, and independence 
if sentiment, made a proposal to him that 
le should furnish them, once a week, 
irith an article for their poetical depart- 
nent, and receive from them a lecom- 
lense of fifty-two {ruineas per annum ; 
in offer which the pride of genius disdain- 
id to accept. Yet he had for several 
^ears furnished, and was at that time fur- 
liahinff, the Muteum of Johnson with his 
leautiful lyrics, without fee or reward, 
Ad was obst'mately refusing all recom- 
lense for his assistance to the greater 
?ork of Mr. Thomson, which the jus- 
ice and generosity of that gentleman was 
iressing upon him. 

The sense of his poverty, and of the ap- 
iroaching distress of his infant family, 
iressed heavily on Bums as he lay on the 
»ed of death. Yet he alluded to his in- 
ligence, at times with something ap- 
proaching to his wonted gayety.— *' What 
tnsiness," said he to Dr. Maxwell, who 
Atended him with the utmost zeal, '^ has 
. physician to waste his time on me ? I 
jn a poor pigeon, not worth plucking, 
klas ! I have not feathers enough upon 
ae to carry me to my grave." And when 
lia reason was lost in delirium his ideas 
an in the same melancholy train ; the 
lorrors of a jail were continually present 
o his troubled imagination, and produced 
he most affectijig exclamations. 

As for some months previous to his 
leath he had been incapable oTthe duties 
)f his office. Bums dreaded that his salary 
hoold be reduced one half as is usual in 
ach cases. His full emoluments were, 
lowever, continued to him by the kind- 
iem of Mr. Stobbie, a young expectant 
D the Excise, who performed the duties 
•f his office without fee or reward ; and 
if r. Graham of Pintry, hearing of his ill- 
less, though unacquainted witn its dan- 
gerous nature, made an ofier of his assis- 
anee towards procuring him the means 



of preserving his healtA. Whatever 
mignt be the faults of Bums, ingratitude 
was not of the number.— Amongst his 
manuscripts, various proofs, are found of 
the sense he entertained df Mr. Graham's 
friendship, which delicacy towards that 
gentleman has induced us to suppress ; 
and on this last occasion there is no doubt 
that his heart overflowed towards him, 
though he had no longer the power of 
expressing his feelings.* 

On the death of Bums the inhabitanta 
of Dumfries and its neighbourhood opened 
a subscription for the support of his wife 
and family ; and Mr. Miller, Mr. M'Mur- 
do. Dr. Maxwell, Mr. 8yme, and Mr. 
Cunningham, gentlemen of the first re- 
spectability, became trustees for the ap- 
phcation of the money to its proper ob- 
jects. The subscription was extended to 
other parts of Scotland, and .of England 
also, particularly London and Liverpool. 
By this means a sum was raised amount- 
ing to seven hundred pounds ; and thus 
the widow and children were rescued from 
immediate distress, and the most melan- 
choly of the forebodings of Burns happily 
disappointed. It is true, this sum, though 
equal to their present support, is insuffi- 
cient to secure them from future penury 
Their hope in regard to futurity depends 
on the favourable reception of these vo- 
lumes from the public at large, in the 
promoting of which the candour and hu- 
manity of the reader may induce him to 
lend lus assistance. 

Bums, as has already been mentioned, 
was nearly five feet ten inches in height, 
and of a form that indicated agility as well 
as strength. His well-raised forehead, 
shaded with black curling hair, indicated 
extensive capacity. His eyes were large, 
dark, full of ardour and intelligence. His 
face was well formed ; and his counte- 
nance uncommonly interesting and ex- 
pressive. His mode of dressing, which 
was oflen slovenly, and a certain fulness 
and bend in his shoulders, characteristic 
of his original profession, disguised in 
some degree the natural symmetry and 
elegance of his form. The extemal ap- 
pearance of Burns was most strikingly in- 
dicative of the character of his mind. On 
a first view, his physiognomy had a cer- 
tain air of coarseness, mingled, however, 

* The letter of Mr. Graham, alluded to above, Is 
dat^ on tlie 13th of Jul/, and probably arrived on tha 
15th. Biirm berame dellrloM on tbe 17th or Iftth, 
and died on Uie Slat 



62 



TUB LIFK OF BUHNS 



with an cxpremlon of deep penetration, 
and of calm tliou^lit fulness, approaching 
to melanclioly. There appeared in his 
firBt manncT and address, perfect ease 
and 8clf-posP4'>ssion, but a stern and almost 
supercilious elevation, not, indeed, incom- 
patible with openness and affability,which, 
however, bespoke a mind conscious of su- 
perior talents. Stranf^crs that supposed 
themselves approaching an Ayrshire pea- 
sant who could make rhymes, and to whom 
tlieir notice was an honour, found them- 
selves speedily overawed bv the presence 
of a man who bore himself with dignity, 
and who possessed a singular power of 
correcting forwardness, and of repelling 
intrusion. But though jealous of the re- 
spect due to himself, Burns never enforced 
it where h>; saw it was willingly paid; 
and. though inaccessible to the approach- 
es of pride, he was open to every advance 
of kindness and of benevolence. His dark 
and haughty countenance easily relajced 
into a look of good- will, of pity, or of ten- 
derness; and, as the various emotions 
succeeded each other in his mind, assumed 
with equal ease the expression of the 
broadest humour, of the most extravagant 
mirth, of the deepest melancholy, or of 
the most snblime emotion. The tones of 
his voice happily corresponded with the 
expression of his features, and with the 
feelings of his mind. When to these en- 
dowments are added a rapid and distinct 
apprehension, a most powerful under- 
standing, and a happy command of lan- 
guage--of strength as well as brilliancy 
of expression — ^we shall be able to ac- 
count for the extraordinary attractions of 
his conversation — for the sorcery which 
in his social parties he seemed to exert 
on all arouna him. In the company of 
women this sorcery was more especially 
apparent. Their presence chumed the 
fiend of melancholy in his bosom, and 
awoke his happiest feelings; it excited 
the powers of his fancy, as well as the 
tenderness of his heart ; and, by restrain- 
ing the vehemence and the exuberance 
of his language, at times gave to his man- 
ners the impression of taste, and even of 
elegance, which in the company of men 
they seldom possessed. This influence 
was doubtless reciprocal. A Scottish 
Lady, accustomed to the best society, de- 
clared with characteristic naivete^ that no 
man's conversation ever carried her to 
completely q/jf her feet as that of Bums ; 
and an English Lady, familiarly acquaint- 
ed with several of the most distinguished 
eharacters of the present times, assured j 



the Editor, that in the happiest of his so- 
cial hours, there was a chann about Bums 
which she had never seen equalled. This 
charm arose not more from the power than 
the versatility of his genius, sio languor 
could be felt in the society of a man who 
passed at ploasure from ^7^6 to gay^ from 
the ludicrous to the j)athetic, from tne sim- 
ple to the sublime ; who wielded all hii 
faculties with equal strength and ease, 
and never failed £0 impress the offspriaf 
of his fancy with the stamp of his under 
standing. 

This indeed, is to represent Bums in his 
happiest phasis. In large and mixed par- 
ties he was oflen silent and dark, some- 
times fierce and overbearing; he wu 
jealous of the proud man's scorn, jealoos 
to an extreme of the insolence of weahk, 
and prone to avenge, even on its innocent 
possessor, the partiality of fortune. By 
nature kind, brave, sincere, add in a sin- 
gular degree compassionate, he was on 
the other hand proud, irascible, and vin- 
dictive. His virtues and his failings had 
their origin in the extraordinary sensi- 
bility of his mind, and equally partook of 
the chills and glows of sentiment. His 
friendships were liable to interruption 
from jealousy or disgust, and his enmities 
died away under the influence of pity or 
self-accusation. His understanding was 
equal to the other powers of his mind, 
and his deliberate opinions were singular- 
ly candid and just ; but, like other men of 
great and irregular genius, the opinions 
which he delivered in conversation were 
oflen the offspring of temporary feelings, 
and widely different from the calm deci- 
sions of nis judgment. This was not 
merely true respecting the characters of 
others, but in regard to some of the most 
important points of human speculation. 

On no subject did he give a more strik- 
ing proof of the strong^ of his under- 
standing, tlian in the correct estimate he 
formed of himself. He knew his own 
failings ; h^ predicted their consequence ; 
the melancholy foreboding was never long 
absent from his mind ; yet his passions 
carried him down the stream of error, 
and swept him over the precipice he saw 
directly in his course. The fatal defect 
in his character lay in the comparative 
weakness of liis volition, that superior 
faculty of the mind, which |roveming the 
conduct according to the dictates of the 
understanding, alone entitles it to he de- 
nommated rational ; which is the parent 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



63 



ade, patience, and self-denial ; 
y regulating and combining hu- 
rtions, may be said to have ef- 
1 that is great in the works of 
literature, in science, or on the 
nature. The occupations of a 
not calculated to strengthen the 
g powers of the mind, or to weak- 
sensibility which requires per- 
mtrol, since it gives birth to the 
Lce of passion as well as to the 
owers of imagination. Unfortu- 
e favourite occupations of genius 
dated to increase all its peculi- 
to nourish that lofly pride which 
the littleness of prudence, and 
'ictions of order : and by indul- 
) increase that sensibility which, 
'escnt form of our existence, is 
compatible with peace or happi- 
;n when accompanied with the 
gifls of fortune ! 

iwerved by one who was a friend 
tciate of Bums,"' and who has 
lated and explained the system of 
1 nature, that no sentient being 
ital powers greatly superior to 

men, could possibly live and be 
1 this world — " If such a being 
isted," continues he, " his misery 
e extreme. With senses more 
and refined ; with perceptions 
ite and penetrating ; with a taste 
iite that the objects around him 
J no means gratify it ; obliged to 

nourishment too gross for his 
be must be bom«on^ to be mis- 
and the continuation of his exis- 
•uld be utterly impossible. Even 
iresent condition, the sameness 
nsipidity of objects and pursnitq, 
ty of pleasure, and the infinite 
if excruciating pain, are support- 
^at difficulty by cultivated and 
linds. Increase our sensibilities, 

the same objects and situation, 
lan could bear to live." 

it appears, that our powers of 
1 as well as all our other powers, 
:ed to the scene of our existence ; 
r are limited in mercy, as well as 
tn. 

}eculations of Mr. Smellie are 
I considered as the dreams of a 
; they were probably founded on 
rience. The being be supposes, 



bli 'ThllQiOpiqrorNatiiral Hirtory.** 



** with senses more delicate tsA refined, 
with perceptions more acute and pene- 
trating," is to be found in real life. He 
is of the temperament of genius, and per- 
haps a poet. Is there, then, no remedy 
for this inordinate sensibility ? Are there 
no means by which the happiness of one 
so constituted by nature may be consult- 
ed ? Perhaps it will be found, that regular 
and constant occupation, irksome though 
it may at first be, is the true remedy 
Occupation in which the powers of the 
understanding are exercised, will dimin- 
ish the force of external impressions, an 
keep the imagination under restraint. 

That the bent of every man's mind 
should be followed in his education and 
in his destination in life, is a maxim which 
has been oflen repeated, but which can- 
not be admitted, without many restric- 
tions. It may be generally true when 
applied to weak minds, which being capa- 
ble of little, must be encouraged and 
strengthened in the feeble impulses by 
which that little is produced. But where 
indulgent nature has bestowed her ffifls 
with a liberal hand, the very reverse ofthis 
maxim ought frequently to be the rule of 
conduct. In minds of a higher order, the 
object of instruction and of discipline is 
very oflen to restrain, rather than to im- 
pel ; to curb the impulses of imagina- 
tion, so that the passions also may be 
kept under control.* 

Hence the advanta^s^ even in a morai 
point of yiew, of stumes of a severer na^ 
ture, which while they infbrm the under- 
standing, employ the volition, that regu- 
lating power of the mind, which, like all 
our other faculties, is strengthened by ex- 
ercise, and on the superiority of which, 
virtue, happiness, and honourable fame, 
are wholly dependant. Hence also the 
advantage of regular and constant appli- 

* QuInetlUaii diieinMfl the important qncftion, whe- 
ther the bent of the Inillvidaa]*! fenliu Bhould be fair 
lowed in hie edoeatlon («• McvnAtw »%% qmufus i»r 
genn deeendug Ht iMtarom,) ehiefly, indeed, with a 
reference to the orator, but In a waf that admits of 
very general apptieation. Hii concluaiona coincide 
very much with thoee of the tezL ** A n vero Iiocratea 
cum de £plK>ro atque Tbeopompo ilc Judicaret, ut air 
teri frtnitt alUri ealearibus «jnM mm dicerf^t ; aut in 
illo lentiore *tardltatem, aut in Ulo pene prsclpiti con* 
citatlonem adjovandum docendoexiatimavit t earn alte- 
rum alterlua natuiamiaeendam arlittraretnr. ImlwciUia 
tamen infenila aane sic obaequeDdum, lit, ut tantum in 
id quo Tocat natora, daeantMr. Ita tnioi, quod aol«a 

poiiant, melhia efltdeat.** 

Inat Orator. Bk if. ft 



64 THE LIFE OF BURNS. 

cation, whick aids the voluntary power by tory, or kingdoms to provperity ; nigfat 

the production of habits so necessary to have wielded the thunder of eloqnence, or 

the support of order and virtue, and so discovered and enlarged the sciences that 

difficult to be formed in the temperament constitute the power and improve the coo- 

of genius. dition of our species.^ Such talents are, 

The man who is so endowed and so re- * The rewier mufc not MppoM it b coaioded tM 

gulated, may pursue his course with con- ^ "^ individual could have •xceiled In all tbtrnji- 

fidence in ahnost any of tlie various walks «««»on^ A certain d<^of ln«nietk» »< pnctlw 

c^^c ..I- u ..u^:^^ 1. .^..;.i^»* ..k.11 ^^^» i« necee»ry to •xceUeoce in every one, and Hft b l» 

of life which choice or accident shall open ^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^ ^ iio^7pe« Id. ukui. 
to hmi; and, provided he employs the ta- «^ulring Uita in aU of UKsm. It i. only a^rted, tte 
lents he has cultivated, may hope for such the nme talents, differenUy applied, mlgbt Inve no- 
imperfect happiness, and such limited sue- ceeded in any one, though perbapa, not equally wdl In 
cess, as are reasonably to be expected from each. And, after all, thie position requires certala K- 
human exertions. mitatlous, which the reader's candour and JndpnsiC 

will supply. In supposing that a great poet might tevt 

The pre-eminence among men, which "***• ■ ««•* o"*^'' »he pbyricai quaiues ncceswy la 

procures personal respect, and which ter- ^^'^J^^^ "IJ'l^'^^^ ^ «ipporing that a nitt 

'^ . . • 1 X- i.\- .. • ij orator might have made a great poet, it is a uvuwmij 

mmates in lasting reputation, is seldom eondiUon, that he should have dev^^i himsdnTpi 

or never obtained by the excellence of a try, and that he sliould have acquired a praAdcncy in 

single faculty of mind. Experience teach- metrical numbers, which by patience andattentkm 

es us, that it has been acquired by those may be acquired, though the want of ithasembarraa* 

only who have possessed the comprehen- •d and chilled many of the first eflbits of true poetical 

sion and the energy of general talents, ««"*«■• in supposing Uiat Homer might have lei a»«i« 

and who have regulated their appUcation, ^'^ "^^^y^ "»«"» *«*«;» ^ •»»°«* «*»•" ^ i*J«" 

in the line which choice, or peJhaps ac- Tc^^I^.T^h"!*!:;.'"'^.";'^'*^ 

.j^ , J ^ •11. Ai. J- dihood of mind, that coolness in the midst of dlikahy 

Cldent, may have detormmed, by the die- ^^ danger, which great poets and orator, are Ib«i4 

tales of their judgment. Imagmationis «>meUmes, but not always to poasoss. Theaatareor 

supposed, and with justice, to be the lead- the Instuutiona of Greece and Rome produced man 

ing faculty of the poet. But what poet instances of single individuals who excelled In varloai 

has stood the test of time by the force of departments of active and speculative life, than occur 

this single faculty ? Who does not see *" "oodern Europe, where the employmems ofroea aii 

that Homer and Shakspeare excelled the ^V" »uhdivided. Many of the greatest wmrionrf 

^^ i. ^c *i.^: • J A J*-. -- antiquity excelled in literature and in oralory. Tkat 

rest Of their species m understandmg as th^had the s,«d. of great poets ai«>,wiiiib^^ 

well as m imagination ; that they were ^h.„ ^^^ q^^j^e, are jusUy aprreciat«d whieli an 

pre-eminent m the highest species of necessary to excite, combine, and command the actlva 

knowledge — the knowledge of the nature energies of a great body of men, to rouao that enthial- 

and character of man ? On the other asm which sustains fftlguc, hunger, and the Inclemen- 

hand, the talent of ratiocination is more ^^ ^^^^ elements, and which triumph, over tim flnr 

especially requisite to the orator ; but no of d«*»l>i •*>• "m* powerful inMlnct of our natnre. 
man ever obtained the palm of oratory, „,,. ^ _. ,«. 

even by the highest excellence in this J^^^^^t^^Z*Z^Z^!!!^J!'.^'^T 

^ i ^ ^ VzTi. ji ^ of the close connexion between the poet and the (wator. 

Single talent. Who does not perceive Est ouim finitimus ar^tari poeU, num^H. ^rictior 

that Demosthenes and Cicero were not p«^, verbomm auUm Ueentia Uherior, ^ De Or»- 

more happy in their addresses to the rea- tore, Lib. i. c. 16. See also Lib. ui. c 7.— Ic b traa 
son, than m their appeals to the passions.^ the cxsmple af Cicero may be quoted agalMt bia opi- 
They knew, that to excite, to agitate, "*<>»• niaaltempls in verse, which are piatoed by Phi- 
and to delight, are among the most po- **"^*^' ^^ ""' •^™ '° ^^^^ °»«* ^ approbation of in- 
tent arts of persuasion ; and they enforced ^i*'; ""' *»f ~™ ."^•": ^'"^^ ^^^^ 1*^ "^ «^ 

4.1 • :_^ '^ ' xv 1 t.'^ %• 1 suflkient Ume to learn the art of the poet : but that ha 

thep mipression on the understanding, by ,^ ^, .^^ „^^ ^ poeticaiexceiienc^ ms, 

their command of all the sympathies of be abundantly proved from his compositions in proaa. 

the heart. These observations might be on the oU>cr hand, noUiing is more clear, than that, la 

extended to other walks of life. He who the character of a great poet, all the mental quallticaof 

has the faculties fitted to excel in poetry, an orator are included. It is said by QuinetiliAn, of 

has the faculties which, duly governed, Homer, Ommibti* Ooqunaim pitihu* nnmphm 0t air- 

and differently directed, might lead to pre- ««'" ^'^ ^*'»- *• *''' '^^^ ""^^ of Homar b Uieieibft 

eminence in other, and, as far as respects ^ir'r"*™''^^.? **''' °"T " **^ **^ "^ importaw* 

L:~.^ir « u • 1. • J *.• *• Of the two sublime poets in our own language, who aia 

himself, perhaps m happier destmations. ^^^^,^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^^^ ShakapaarTV^MUtoii, . 

TJe talents necessary to the construction ^milar recommendation may ba givm. Ic la aeart«^ 

of an luad, under different discipline and necessary to menUon bow mneh an noquatnlancc wlili 

application, might have led armies to vie- UMm baa availed tba gnatontdr whola wm Um piMs 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



65 



indeed, rare amon^f the prodactions of na- 
tare, and occasions of bringinfi^ them into 
full exertion are rarer still. But safe and 
■alutary occupations maybe found for men 
of genius in every direction, while the 
useful and ornamental arts remain to be 
cultivated, while the sciences remain to 
he studied and to be extended, and prin- 
ciples of science to be applied to the cor- 
rection and improvement of art. In the 
temperament of sensibility, which is in 
tmth the temperament of general talents, 
the principal object of discipline and in- 
struction is, as has already been mention- 
ed, to strengthen the sel^■command ; and 
this mav be promoted by the direction of 
the studies, more effectually perhaps than 
hu been generally understood. 

If these observations be founded in truth, 
they may lead to practical consequences of 
lome importance. It has been too much 
the custom to consider the possession of 
poetical talents as excluding the possibili- 
ty of application to the severer branches 
of study, and as in some degree incapaci- 
tating the possessor from attaining those 
habits, and from bestowing that attention, 
which are necessary to success in the de- 
taila of business, and in the engagements 
of active life. It has been common for 
persons conscious of such talents, to look 
with a sort of disdain on other kinds of 
inteUectual excellence, and to consider 
themselves as in some degree absolved 
ftom those rules of prudence by which 
humbler minds are restricted. They are 

■ad oraament of the EDgH>ta bar, a ebaraeter that may 
ba appealed to with tingular propriety, when we are 
•nalffiiMHng for the oniTenaUty of genlni. 

na Identity, or at Jeast the great rimnarity, oftbe 
te le Bt i necevary to txceUnu* in poetry, oratory, paint- 
la^ WA war, will be admitted by tome, who will be in- 
cltaed to diepote tlie eztenaion of the poeitlon to acience 
or aamral knowledfe. On thia occaalon I may quote 
tiM fbOowlng obaenrationa of Sir William Jone^, whoae 
OWB «ctmple will however far ezceed in weight the 
•atlwrlty of hia precepta. ** Abul Ola had ao flouriah- 
lag a reputation, that aaveral peraona of uncommon 
fenlna were ambitioua of learning the art «/ fottry 
fronaoableaninatructor. ntomoatilluatrioiiaKholara 
wera FeleU and Khakani, who were no lets eminent 
fiir their Peralao cempoaltiona, than for their akill in 
•very braacta of pure and mixed mathematlca, and par- 
tfcotariy in aatronomy ; aatriking proof that a aublime 
poet may become maater of any kind of learning which 
be cbooaea to profeai ; ainee a flue imagination, a lively 
wh, an eaay and copioua atyle, cannot poaaiMy ob- 
tbe acquiaitkHi of any acience whatever ; but 
riiy Miisi blmia bla atudlei, and aborten 
Sir WUUtmMmt'M WcrkSfVl \i.pJSir 



too much disposed to abandon themselvee 
to their ovm sensations, and to suffer life 
to pass away without regular exertion or 
settled purpose. 

But though men of genius are generally ' 
prone to indolence, with them indolence 
and unhappibess are in a more especial 
manner allied. The unbidden splendours 
of imagination may indeed at tmies irra- 
diate the gloom wliich inactivity produces ; 
but such visions, though bright, are tran- 
sient, and serve to cast the realities of 
life into deeper shade. In bestowing great 
talents, Nature seems very generally to 
have imposed on the possessor the neces- 
sity of exertion, if he would escape wretch- 
edness. Better for him than sloth, toils 
the most painful, or adventures the most 
hazardous. Happier to him than idleness, 
were the condition of the peasant, earn- 
ing with incessant labour his scanty food ; 
or that of the sailor, though hanging on 
the yard-arm, and wrestling with the hur- 
ricane. 

These observations might be amply il- 
lustrated by the biography of men of ge- 
nius of every denomination, and more es- 
pecially by the biography of the poets. 
Of this last description of men, few seem 
to have enjoyed the usual portion of hap- 
piness that falls to the lot of humanity, 
those excepted who have cultivated poe- 
try as an elegant amusement in the hours 
of relaxation from other occupations, or 
the small number who have engaged w^ith 
success in the greater or more arduous 
attempts of the muse, in which all the 
faculties of the mind have been fully and 
permanently employed. Even taste, vir- 
tue, and comparative independence, do 
not seem capable of bestowing on men of 
genius, peace and tranquillity, without 
such occupation as may give regular and 
healthful exercise to the faculties of body 
and mind. The amiable Shenstone has 
left us the records of his imprudence, of 
his indolence, and of his unhappiness, 
amidst the shades of the Leasowes ;* and 
the virtues, the learning, and the genius 
of Gray, equal to the loftiest attempts of 
the epic muse, failed to procure him in 
the academic bowers of Cambridge, that 
tranquillity and that respect which less 
fastidiousness of taste, and greater con- 
stancy and vigour of exertion, would have 
doubtless obtained. 

^ee hia Leuera, which, aa a diaplay of the aflteta of 
poetical idltneaa, are highly Inainietnre. 



M THE UFB OF BURNS. 

It is more neceoary that men of gemoe it is so often a prey, bow atroaf k the 
ahould be awtre of the importance of self- temptation to have reoouree to an anti- 
command, and of exertion, because their dote by which the pain of these wounds 
indolence is peculiarly exposed, not mere- is suspended, by which the heart is exhi- 
ly to unhappinestf, but to diseases of mind, laratcd, visions of happiness are excited in 
and to errors of conduct, which are gene- the mind, and the forms of external na- 
rally fatal. This interesting subject de- ture clothed with new beauty ! 
serves a particular investig^aHon ; but we 

must content ourselves with one or two "Bsrvinmopcoaromi^ 

cursory remarks. Relief is sometimes ApiMstafff^nxyimoTi Uieiigiiini*dfo«i, 

souffht from the melancholy of indolence ^nd mifuine bopM:dbpei yoat flMdoc ewt; 

in practices, which for a time sooth and t^,,^^^ ^'^ **'""• ««i wh^ wMim, 

gnTtify the sensations, but which in the ^^Z'J^Z!!!! ^T^^'^^^i 

^ ^ • \ ^i_ A*-ji_ 1 Toe nappieu yoa Of sn uu e er were mag, 

end involve the sufferer m darker gloom. or a«, or ihni i», eouid thit ibuy Iml 

To command the external circumstances But koo yoor beawn to goM ; « btsvlar ibasi 

by which happiness is affected, is not in Biwto o'ar yov bwd — 

human power ; but there are various sub- ^ ^ 

stances in naturo which operate on the 

system of the nerves, so as to give a fie- Morning eomea; yonrearwretam 

titioua gayety to the ideas of imagination, wwuea fold rage. An anxkxM itomack wil 

and to alter the effect of the external im- >*«y ba endured ; eo may Uie throMiing bsad : 

pressions which we receive. Opium is Bui euch a dim deHrlum ; such a dream 

chieflv cmnlovcd for this pur^Jby the ?r::j::;r,!itr?LT„X.L.«, 

disciples of Ma homet and the inhabitants ^hen, baited round Chhcron^a erad aMca, 

of Asia ; but alcohol, the prmciple of m- He aaw two luna and double Thebea aMMd.** 

toxication in vinous and spirituous liquors, Armtramg'M Art tf Pnswimg Btdi^ ' 
is preferred in Europe, and is universally 

used in the Christian world.* Under the Such are the pleaanres and the paini 

various wounds to which indolent sensi- of intoxication, as they occur in the tc»- 

bility is exposed, and under the gloomy perament of sensibility, described byi 

apprehensions respecting futurity to which genuine poet, with a degree of truth 

and energy which nothing out experience 

. ,^ could have dictated. There are, indeed, 

.hiT*^ ^Z" '^^'"^'^.^^fT^' ^^^ individuals of this temperament oa 

which may be ooiMidered under thia point of view. „,!,«,« «,:«« ^.^^.,«^ «-. ^u^ : ■ ^ , 

Tobacco,tea..ndcoffee.areofthenumb«.The«»aub- whom wme produces no cheenng mflll. 

aianoea encnUally differ from each oUier In their quail- ®"^' . P^ ^^^^ ®ven m very modeiate 

dea ; and an Inquiry into the particular efl^ta of eaeli quantities, its effects are painfully ifri- 

on the health, morata, and happincM of thoee who use tating ; in larcre draughts it excites dark 

ihem, would be curiooa and uaeAii. The eflbcta of and melancholy ideas ; and in draughts 

wine and of optnm on Uie temperament of aeaalUlity, gtiU larger, the fierceness of insanity it^ 

the Editor intended to have diaciiiaed In thiapiaee at gelf. Such men are happUy exempted 

r^^f!SL^/.^*.l7^^ fron* » temptation, to wtfeh experience 

too profewkmal to be introdooed with proprieiy. The . . '^^u i- *. j* -a* *^ a 

dimcultyof abandoning any of U>eaenareotl^ teaches US the finest dlspOSlUOM often 

may BO term them,) when inclination la itreogUiened by yioW, and the influence Of wniCD, When 

habit, is wcu known. JohiMon, in hie diatrcMea, had Strengthened by habit, it is a humiliating 

eiperlenced the obeerlng but treacheroni inthienee of truth, that the most powerful mindfl have 

wine, and by a powerftil effort, abandoned it. He waa not been able to resist. 

obliged, however, to um tea as a eubetltnte, and this 

was the solace to which ho constantly had recoorae Jt ig the morc necessaTY for men of 

under hi. habitual "*»f»><;^- ,T^P~«f-of '^w ^^j^g ^0 be on their guard against the 

form many of the most beautiful lyrics of the poeta of £ v* i ^ • c ^rv^ /^" 

r.««ce and Rome, and of modem Europe. Aether 7^\tual use of Winc, because it IS apt tO 

opium, which produces TisionsstiH more ecauUc. has ^J®*1 ^^ ^'^e™ insensibly; and because 

been the theme of the eastern poems, I do not know. the temptation to excess usually presents 

wi I. J 1. 1 It .... .. . itself to them in their social hours, when 

wine Is drunk in small quantities at a time, in eom- ^u^„ .,^ .i:„^ ^„i« *^ ,„. « j ^L 

pany,where,/T. t.'**, it promotes harm^ and so- they are ahve only to Warm and ffonerous 
ciai aflbction. Opium b swallowed by the Asiaties in ©n^ptions, and when prudence and mode- 
full doses at once and the Inebriate retiree to the soli- ration are often contemned as selfishness 

tary indulgence of hto delirious ImaginatloM. Hence and timidity. 

the wine drinker appeals in a superior light to the Im- 

Uber of opium, a dlstinetkm which Im owaa mon to It is the more necessary for them to 

che/erM than to the f»aUt|r of UaHqnor guard against excess in the use of wine, 



THE LIFE OF BURNSL 



67 



'on tliem its eflfbcto are, physically 

and morally, in an especial manner inju- 

liDus. In proportion to its stimulating 

inflnence on the system (on which the 

pVeawirable sensations depend,) is the de- 

Dility that ensues ; a debility that destroys 

digestion, and terminates m habitual &- 

▼er, dropsy, jaundice, paralysis, or insani- 

tr. As the strength of the body decays, 

the Tolition failb ; in proportion as tho 

aensations are soothed and gratified, the 

■eosibility increases ; and morbid scnsi- 

hllity is the jMirent of indolence, because, 

while it impairs the regulating power of 

the niind» it exaggerates all the obstacles 

to exertion. Activity, perseverance, and 

self-command, become more and more 

difficult, and the great purposes of utility, 

pttriotism, or of honourable ambition, 

which had occupied the imagination, die 

away in fruitless resolutions, or in feeble 

efibrts. 

To apply these observations to the sub- 
ject of our memoirs, would be a useless as 
well as a painful task. It is, indeed, a 
doty we owe to the living, not to allow 
oar admiration of great genius, or even 
our pity for its unhappy destiny, to con- 
ceal or disguise its errors. But there are 
•entiments of respect, and even of tender- 
ness, with which this duty should be per- 
fbnned ; there is an awful sanctity which 
iovMts the mansions of the dead ; and let 
thoae who moralise over the graves of 
their contemporaries, reflect with humili- 
ty on their own errors, nor forget how 
soon, they may themselves require the 
eandoor and the sympathy they are called 
jtpoa to bestow. 



Soon after the death of Bums, the fol- 
lowing article appeared in the Dumfries 
Journal, from which it was copied into 
the Edinburgh newspapers, and into vari- 
ous other periodical publications. It is 
from the elegant pen of a lady already 
alluded to in the course of these memoirs,'^ 
whose exertions for the family of our bard, 
in .the circles of literature and fashion in 
which she moves, have done her so much 
honour. 

*^ The attention of the public seems to 
be mnch occupied at present with the loss 
it has recently sustained in the death of 
the Caledonian poet, Robert Boms ; a 

•Am 11.9a 



§ 



loss calculated to be severely felt through- 
out the literary world, as well as lamented 
in the narrower sphere of private friend- 
ship. It was not, therefore, probable, that 
such an event should be long unattended 
with tho accustomed profusion of posthu- 
mous anecdotes and memoirs which are 
usually circulated immediately afler the 
death of every rare and celebrated person- 
Sjge : I had, however, conceived no inten- 
tion of appropriating to myself the privi- 
lege of criticising Bums's writings and 
character, or of anticipating on the pro- 
vince of a biographer. 

" Conscious, indeed, of my own ina- 
bility to do justice to such a subject, I 
should have continued wholly silent, 
had misrepresentation and calumny boen 
less industrious ; but a regard to truth, 
no less than affection for the memory of 
a friend, must now justify my offering to 
the public a few at least of those obser- 
vations which an intimate acquaintance 
with Bums, and the frequent opportuni- 
ties I have had of observing equally his 
happy qualities and his failings for seve- 
ral years past, have enabled me to com- 
municate. 

** It will actually be an injustice done 
to Burns*8 character, not only by future 
generations and foreign countries, but 
even by his native Scotland, and perhaps 
a number of his contemporaries, that he 
is generally talked of, and considered, 
with reference to his poetical talents only: 
for the fact is, even allowing his great 
and original genius its due tribute of ad- 
miration, that poetry (I appeal to all who 
have had the advantage of^ being person- 
ally acquainted with him) was actually 
not his/orto. Many others, perhaps, may 
have ascended to prouder heights in the 
region of Parnassus, but none certainly 
ever outshone Bums in the charms — ^the 
sorcery, I would almost call it, of fasci- 
nating conversation, the spontaneous elo- 
quence of social argument, or the unstu- 
died poignancy of brilliant repartee; nor 
was any man, I believe, ever gifted with 
a larger portion of the *• tdvida vis animu' 
His personal endowments were perfectly 
correspondent to the qualifications of his 
mind ; his form was manly ; his action, 
energy itself; devoid in a great measure 
perhaps of those graces, of that polish, 
acquired only in tne refinement of soci- 
eties where in early life he could have no 
opportunities of mixing ; but where such 
was the irresistible iH>wer of attraction 



TO 



THB UFE OF BURNtf. 



" I will not, however, undertake to be 
the tpologist of the irregfularities eren of 
a man of genius, though I beliere it Lb aa 
certain that genius never was free from 
irrrgularities, as that their absolution 
may, in a great measure, be justly claim- 
ed, since it is perfectly evident that the 
world had continued very stationary in its 
intellectual acquirements, had it never 
ffiven birth to any but men of plain sense. 
Kvenness of conduct, and a due regard to 
the decorums of the world, have been so 
rarely seen to move hand in hand with 
genius, that some have gone as far as to 
say, though there I cannot wholly acqui- 
esce, that they are even incompatihle, be- 
sides the frailties that cast tneir shade 
over the splendour of superior merit, are 
more conspicuously glaring than where 
they are the attendants of mere mediocri- 
ty. It is only on the gem we are disturb- 
ed to see the dust : the pebble may be 
■oiled, and we never re^d it. The ec- 
centric intuitions of genius too often yield 
the soul to the wild effervescence of de- 
sires, always unbounded, and sometimes 
equally dangerous to the repose of others 
as fat al to its own. No wonder, then, if vir- 
tue herself be sometimes lost in the blaze 
of kindling animation, or that the calm mo- 
nitions of reason are not invariably found 
sufficient to fetter an imagination, which 
scorns the narrow limits and restrictions 
that would chain it to the level of ordina- 
ry minds. The chDd of nature, the child 
of sensibility, unschooled in the rigid pre- 
cepts of philosophy, too often unable to 
control the passions which proved a source 
of frequent errors and misfortunes to him. 
Bums made his own artless apoloery in 
language more impressive than all the 
argumentatory vindications in the world 
could do, in one of his own poems, where 
he delineates the gradual expansion of his 
mind to the lessons of the ' tutelary muse,' 
who concludes an address to her pupil, al- 
most unique for simplicity and beautiful 
poetry, with these lines : 



** I nw tby pulM*! inadd*nlsg play 
Wild lend the« pleaiure*! deYloiu wqr ; 
Misled by fancy*! oieteor rmy 

By puston driven; 
Bat ytt tlM light that led aacray 

Waa Ufkt fnm Amom.**^ 



** I have already transgressed beyond 
the bounds I had proposed to myBeli, on 
first committing this sketch to paper, 
which comprehends what at least I have 

• vide tbeViaion— DnanSJ. 



been led to deem the leading fiMtpree ai 
Bums's mind and character : a Hteruy 
critique I do not aim at ; mine is whel^ 
fulfilled, if in these pages I have beea 
able to delineate any or those strong tniti^ 
that distinguished him, of those tilenti 
which rMscd him from the plough, where 
he passed the bleak mominff of his life, 
weaving his rude wreaths or poesy with 
the wild field-flowers that sprang annmd 
his cottsj^e, to that enviable eminence of 
literary nime, where Scotland will loB^ 
cherish his memory with delight andgrt- 
titude ; and proudly remember, that be- 
neath her cold sky a genius was ripened, 
without care or culture, that would haie 
done honour to climes more favourable to 
those luxuriances — ^that warmth of co- 
louring and fancy in which he so emi- 
nently excelled. 

" Prom several paragraphs I have no- 
ticed in the public prints, ever since the 
idea of sending this sketch to some oM 
of them was formed I find private ud- 
mosities have not yet subsisded, and thtt 
envy has not exhausted all her shafts. I 
still trust, however, that honest fame will 
be permanently affixed to Bums'schanc- 
ter, which I think it will be found he hat 
merited by the candid and impartial among 
his countr]rmen. And where a recoQeC' 
tion of the imprudence that sullied hif 
brighter qualifications interpose, let the 
imperfections of all human excellence bo 
remembered at the same time, lea^nog 
those inconsistencies, which alternately 
exalted his nature into the seraph, and 
sunk it again into the man, to the tribu- 
nal which alone can investigate the laby- 
rinths of the human heart— 

* Where they alike in tremlriing hope rtp § §9 , 
—The boaom of bia father and liia Oedt' 

Gra7*s Sleot. 



ft 



^iqt 



" .fMMMtala, Aujr* 7, 1096. 

AfTEn this account of the lifb and pe^ 
sonal character of Bums, it may be ex« 
pected that some inquiry should be made 
mto his literary merits. It will not, how- 
ever, be necessary to enter very minutely 

o this investigation. If fiction be, te 
some suppose, the soul of poetry, no one 
had ever less pretensions to the name 
of poet than Bums. Though he has dis- 
played ip-eat powers of imagination, yet 
the subjects on which he has written, are 
seldom, if ever, imaginary ; lus poems, as 
well as his letters, may be considered as 
the effusions of his senaibility, and the 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



71 



tnnseript of his own monngs on the real 
tneidentfl of his humble life. If we add, 
that they also contain most happy deline- 
atioDfl of the characters, manners, and 
scenery that presented tnemselves to his 
observation, we shall include almost all 
the subjects of his muse. His writings 
mayt therefore, be regarded as affording 
a great part of the data on which our ac- 
count of his personal character has been 
founded ; and most of the observations we 
have applied to the man, are applicable, 
with little variation, to the poet. 

The impression of his birth, and of his 
original station in life, was not more evi- 
ient on his form and manners, than on 
iiis poetical productions. The incidents 
Krhich form the subjects of his poems, 
ihough some of them highly interesting, 
uid susceptible of poetical imagery, are 
incidents in the life of a peasaat wlio takes 
no pains to disguise the lowliness of his 
condition, or to throw into shade the cir- 
eiimstances attending it, which more fee- 
Ue or more artificial minds would have 
•ndeavourcd to conceal. The same rude- 
neM and inattention appears in the for- 
mation of his rhymes, which are frequent- 
ly incorrect, while the measure in which 
many of the poems arc written, has little 
of the pomp or harmony of modern versi- 
fication, and is 'indeed to an English ear, 
ftrange and uncouthf-^The greater part 
of his earlier poems are written in the di- 
alect of his country, which is obscure, if 
Bot onintelligible to Englishmen ; and 
which, though it still adheres more or less 
to the speech of almost every Scotchman, 
til the polite and the ambitious are now 
endeavouringto banif«h from their tongues 
as well as their writings. The use of it 
in composition naturally therefore calls 
up ideas of vulgarity in the mind^These 
■ingularities are increased by the charac- 
ter of the poet, who delights to express 
himself with a simplicity that approaches 
to nakedness, and with an unmeasured 
energy that oflcn alarms delicacy, and 
sometimes offends taste. Hence, in ap- 
proaching him, the first impression is pcr- 
napa repulsive : there is an air of coarse- 
ness about him which is difficultly recon- 
ciled with our established notions of po- 
etical excellence. 

As the reader however becomes better 
acquainted with the poet, the effects of 
hu peculiarities lessen. He perceives in 
his poems, even on the lowest subjects, 
ezpfesnont olwitiment, and delineations 



of manners, which are highly interesting* 
The scenery he describes is evidently ta- 
ken from real life ; the characters he in- 
troduces, and the incidents he relates, 
have the impression of nature and truth. 
His humour, though wild and unbridled, 
is irresistibly amusing, and is sometimes 
heightened m its effects by the introduc- 
tion of emotions of tenderness, with which 
genuine humour so happily unites. Nor 
is this the extent of his power. The rea- 
der, as he examines farther, discovers 
that the poet is not confined to the de- 
scriptive, the humorous, or the pathetic ; 
he is found, as occasion offers, to rise with 
ease into the terrible and the sublime. 
Every where he appears devoid of arti- 
fice performing what he attempts with 
little apparent effort ; and impressing on 
the offspring of hi* fancy the stamp m hi» 
under Mtandinf^. The reader, cspable of 
forming a just estimate of poetical talents, 
discovers in these circumstances marks 
of uncommon genius, and is willing to in- 
vestigate more minutelyits nature and it4 
claims to originality. This last point we 
shall examine first. 

That Bums had not the advantages of 
a closssical education, or of any degree of 
acquaintance with the Greek or Roman 
writers in their original dress, has appear- 
ed in the history of his life. He acquired 
indeed some knowledge of the French lan- 
guage, but it does not appear that he was 
ever much conversant in French litera- 
ture, nor is there any evidence of his 
having derived any of his poetical stores 
from tnat source. With the English clas- 
sics he became well acquainted in the 
course of his life, and the effects of this 
acquaintance are observable in his latter 
productions ; but the character and style 
of his poetry were formed very early, 
and the model which he followed, in as 
far as he can be said to have had one, is 
to be sought for in the works of the po- 
ets who have written in the Scottish dia- 
lect — in the works of such of them more 
especially, as are familiar to the peasantry 
of Scotland. Some observations on these 
may form a proper introduction to a more 
particular examination of the poetry of 
Burns. The studies of the Editor in this 
direction are indeed very recent and very 
imperfect. It would have been impru- 
dent for him to have entered on this sub- 
ject at all, but for the kindness of Mr. 
Ramsay of Ochtertyre, whose assistance 
he is proud to acknowledge, and to whom 
the reader must ascribe whatever is of 



78 



THE LIFE OF BUUN& 



anj Tilae In the followini^ imperfect 
■ketch of literary coxnpositiozii in the 
Scottish idiom. 

It is a circumstance not a Uttle carious, 
and which docs not seem to be satisfac- 
torily explained, that in the thirteenth 
century, the language of the two British 
nations, if at all different, differed only in 
the dialect, the Gaelic in the one, like 
the Welsh and Armoric in the other, be- 
jnff confined to the mountainous districts.* 
The English under the Edwards, and the 
Scots under Wallace and Bruce, spoke 
the same language. We may observe 
also, that in Scotland the history of poetry 
ascends to a period nearly as remote as 
in England. Barbour, and Blind Harry, 
James the First, Dunbar, Douglas and 
Lindsay, who lived in the fourteenth, fif- 
teenth, and sixteenth centuries, were co- 
eval with the fathers of poetry in Eng- 
land ; and in the opinion of Mr. Whar- 
ton, not inferior to them in eenius or in 
composition. Though the language of 
the two countries gradually deviated 
from each other during this period, yet 
the difference on the whole was not con- 
siderable ; not perhaps greater than be- 
tween the different dialects of the differ- 
ent parts of England in our own time. 

At the death of James the FifUi, in 
1543, the language of Scotland was in a 
flourishing condition, wanting only wri- 
ters in prose equal to those in verse. 
Two circumstances, propitious on the 
whole, operated to prevent this. The 
first was the passion of the Scots for com- 
position in Latin ; and the second, the 
accession of James the Sixth to the Eng- 
lish throne. It may easily be imagined, 
that if Buchanan had devoted hid admi- 
rable talents, even in part, to the culti- 
vations of his native tongue, as was done 
by tlie revivers of letters in Italy, he 
would have lefl compositions in that lan- 
guage which might have incited other 
men of genius to have followed his exam- 
ple,! ^^ given duration to the language 
Itself. The union of the two crowns in the 
person of James, overthrew all reasonable 
expectation of this kind. That monarch, 
seated on the Englith throne, would no 
longer suffer himself to be addressed in 
the rude dialect in which the Scottish 

*Hlitorieftl EMy on Bcottiih SoDg, p, 90, by M. 

BitMUl. 



t « #. Tbs AtUbofB orfhd D$U«im 



$e0U 



clergy had eo often Insulted taa dignity 
He encouraged Latin or English only» 
both of whicn he prided himself on wri- 
ting with purity, though he himself never 
could acquire the English pronunciation^ 
but spoke with a Scottish idiom and into- 
nation to the last. — Scotsmen of talenti 
declined writing in their native language^ 
which they knew was not acceptable to 
their learned and pedantic monarch ; and 
at a time when national prejudice and 
enmity prevailed to a great degree, they 
disdained to study the niceties of the Eng- 
lish tongue, though of so much easier ac- 
quisition than a dead language. Lord 
Stirling and Drummond of Hai^omden, 
the only Scotsmen who wrote poetry in 
those times, were exceptions. They 
studied the language of England and com- 
posed in it with precision and elegance. 
They were however the last of their 
countrymen who deserved to be conside^ 
ed as poets in that century. The mosei 
of Scotland sunk into silence, and did not 
a^in raise their voices for a period of 
eighty years. 

To what causes are we to attribute this 
extreme depression among a people com- 
paratively learned, enterprisinig, and in- 
genious ? Shall we impute it to the fa- 
naticism of the covenanters, or to the ty- 
ranny of the house of Stuart, after their 
restoration to the throne ? Donbtlesi 
these causes operated, but they seem un- 
equal to account for the efifect. In Eng- 
land, similar distractions and oppression 
took place, yet poetry flourished there in 
a remarkable degree. During this period, 
Cowley, and Waller, and Dryden sung, 
and Milton raised his strain of unpavallel- 
ed grandeur. To the causes already men- 
tioned, another must be added, m ac- 
counting for the torpor of Scottish litera* 
ture — the want of a proper vehicle for 
men of genius to employ. The civil wars 
had frightened away the Latin Muses, and 
no standard had been established of the 
Scottish tongue, which was deviating still 
farther from the pure English idiom. 

The revival of literature in Scotland 
may be dated from the establishment of 
the union, or rather from the extinction 
of the rebellion in 1715. The nations be- 
ing finally incorporated, it was clearly 
seen that their tongues must in the end 
incorporate also; or rather indeed that 
the Scottish language must degenerate 
into a provincial idioms to be avoided by 
those who would aim at diftinction in 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



73 



ktton, or rise to eminence in the united 
Ufifllature. 



Soon after this, a band of men of genius 
l]ipeared, who studied the English clas- 
sicsy and imitated their beauties, in the 
nme manner as they studied the classics 
of Greece and Rome. .They had admi- 
fable models of composition lately pre- 
•ented to them by the writers of the reign 
of (^ueen Anne ; particularly in the peri- 
odical papers published by Steele, Addi- 
•on, and their associated friends, which 
circuUted widely through Scotland, and 
diffiiaed eyery where a taste for purity of 
style and sentiment, and for critical dis- 
quiaitton. At length the Scottish writers 
succeeded in English composition, and a 
union was formed of the litenuy talents, 
aa well as of the legislatures of the two 
nations. On this occasion the poets took 
the lead. While Henry Home,* Dr. Wal- 
lace, and their learned associates, were 
onlr laying in their intellectual stores, 
and atadying to clear themselves of their 
Scottish idioms, Thomson, Mallet, and 
Hamilton of Bangour had made their ap- 
pearance before the public, and been en- 
rolled on the list of English poets. The 
writers in prose followed a numerous and 
powerful band, and poured their ample 
■tores into the general stream of British 
literature. Scotland possessed her four 
miversities before the accession of James 
to the English throne. Immediately be- 
fore the union, she acquired her parochial 
schools. These establishments combining 
happily together, made the elements of 
knowledge of easy acquisition, and pre- 
sented a direct path, by which the ardent 
student might be carried along into the 
recesses of science or learning. As civil 
broils ceased, and faction and prejudice 
gradually died away, a wider field was 
opened to literary ambition, and the in- 
fluence of the Scottish institutions for in- 
struction, on the productions of the press, 
became more and more apparent. 



It seems indeed probable, that the es- 
tablishment of the parochial schools pro- 
duced effects on the rural muse of Scot- 
land also, which have not hitherto been 
suspected, and which, though less splen- 
did in their nature, are not however to be 
regarded as trivial, whether we consider 
the happiness or the morals of the people. 

There is some reason to believe, that 



•Lert 



the original inhabitants of the British isles 
possessed a peculiar and interesting spe- 
cies of music, which being banished from 
the plains by the successive invasions of 
the Saxons, Danes, and Normans, was 
preserved with the native race, in the 
wilds of Ireland and in the mountains of 
Scotland and Wales. The Irish, the Scot- 
tbh, and the Welsh music differ, indeed, 
from each other, but the difference may 
be considered as in dialect only, and pro- 
bably produced by the influence of time, 
and lilce the different dialects of their 
common language. If this conjecture be 
true, the Scottu^h music must be more 
immediately of a Highland origin, and 
the Lowland tunes, though now ofa cha- 
racter somewhat distinct, must have de- 
scended from the mountains in remote 
ages. Whatever credit may be given to 
conjectures, evidently involved in groat 
uncertainty, there can be no doubt that 
the Scottish peasantry have been long in 
possession of^a number of songs and bal- 
lads composed in their native dialect, and 
sung to their native music. The subjects 
of these compositions were such as most 
interested the simple inhabitants, and in 
the succession of time varied probably as 
the condition of society varied. During 
the separation and the hostility of the two 
nations, these songs and ballads, as far as 
our imperfect documents enable us to 
judge, were chiefly warlike ; such as the 
HtmtU of Cheviot J and the Bailie ofHar" 
low, Afler the union of the two crowns, 
when a certain degree of peace and of 
tranquillity took place, the rural muse of 
Scotland breathed in sofler accents. " In 
the want of real evidence respecting the 
history of our songs,'* says Mr. Ramsay of 
Ochtertyre, " recourse may be had to 
conjecture. One would be disposed to 
think that the most beautiful of the Scot- 
tish tunes were clothed with new words 
aflcr the union of the crowns. The in- 
habitants of the borders, who had former- 
ly been warriors from choice, and hus- 
bandmen from necessity, either quitted ' 
the country, or were transformed nto 
real shepherds, easy in their circumstan- 
ces, and satisfied with their lot. Some 
sparks of that spirit of chivalry for which 
they are celebrated by Froissart, remain- 
ed, sufficient to inspire elevation of senti- 
ment and gallantry towards the fair sex. 
The familiarity and kindness which had 
long subsisted between the gentry and 
the peasantry, could not all at once be 
obliterated, and this connexion tended to 
sweeten rural life. In this state of inno- 



74 



THE UFB OF BURNS. 



eenee, mm and trtoqaUlity of mind, the 
lore of poetry and music would still main- 
tain its g^round, though it would natural- 
ly assume a form congenial to the more 
peaceful state of society. The minstrels, 
whose metrical tales used once to rouse 
the horderers like the trumpet's sound, 
had been by an order of the legislature 

iin 1579,) classed with roffues and vaga- 
bonds, and attempted to be suppressed. 
Knox and his disciples influenced the 
Scottish parliament, but contended in 
Tain with her rural muse. Amidst our 
Arcadian vales, probably on the banks of 
the Tweed, or some of its tributary 
streams, one or more original geniuses 
may have arisen, who were destined to 
give a new turn to the taste of their coun- 
trymen. They would see that the events 
and pursuits which chequer private life 
were the proper subjects for popu- 
lar poetry. Love, which had formerly 
held a divided sway with glory and am- 
bition, became now the master passion of 
the soul. To portray in lively and deli- 
cate colours, though with a hasty hand, 
the hopes aiid fears that agitate the breast 
of the love-sick swain, or forlorn maiden, 
affords ample scope to the rural poet. 
Love-songs of which TibuUus himself 
would not have been ashamed, might be 
epmposed by an uneducated rustic with a 
slight tincture of letters ; or if in these 
songs, the character of the rustic be some- 
times assumed, the truth of character, and 
the language of nature, are preserved. 
With unaffected simplicity and tender- 
n jss, topics arc urged, most likely to sof- 
ten the heart of a cruel and coy mistress, 
or to regain a fickle lover. Even in such 
as are of a melancholy cast, a ray of hope 
breaks through, and dispels the deep and 
Mttled gloom which characterizes the 
sweetest of the Highland luinaga^ or vo- 
cal airs. Nor are these songs all plain- 
tive ; many of them are lively and humor- 
ous, and some appear to us coarse and in- 
delicate. They seem, however, genuine 
descriptions of the manners of an ener- 
getic and sequestered people in their hours 
of mirth and festivity, though in their por- 
traits some objects are brought into open 
view, which more fastidious painters would 
have thrown into shade. 

" As those rural poets sung for amuse- 
ment, not for gain, their eflfusions seldom 
exceeded a love-song, or a ballad of sa- 
tire or humour, which, like the works of 
the elder minstrels, were seldom commit- 
ted to writing, but treasured up in the 



memory of their fHends and aeifliboiiiii 

Neither known to the learned, nor patio- 
nised by the great, these rustic bards Uv- 
ed and died in obscurity ; and by a strange 
fatality, their story, and even their veiy 
names have been forgotten.* When pro- 
per models fbr pastoral songs were pro- 
duced, there would be no want of imita- 
tors. To succeed in this species of com- 
position, soundness of understanding, and 
sensibilitv of heart were more requisite 
than flights of imagination or pomp of 
numbers. Great chancres have certainly 
taken place in Scottish song-writing, 
though we cannot trace the steps of this 
change ; and few of the pieces admired 
in Queen Mary's time are now to be dis- 
covered in modem collections. It is pos- 
sible, though not probable, that the music 
may have remained nearly the same, 
though the words to the tunes were en- * 
tirely new-modelled, "f 

These conjectures are highly ingeniooi* 
It cannot however, be presumed, that tkt 
state of ease and tranquillity described by 
Mr. Ramsay, took place among the Scot- 
tish peasantry immediately on the wuoD 
of the crowns, or indeed during the great- 
er part of the seventeenth century* 
The Scottish nation, through all its rankf, 
was deeply agitated by the civil wars, and 
the religious persecutions which succeed- 
ed each other m that disastrous period ; 
it was not till after the revolution in 
1688, and the subsequent establishment 
of their beloved form of church govern- 
ment, that the peasantry of the Lowlands 
enjoyed comparative repose ; and it it 
since that period, that a great number of 
the most admired Scottish songs have 
been produced, thougrh the tunes to which 
they are sung, are m general of much 
greater antiquity. It is not unreasona- 
ble to suppose that the peace and securi- 
ty derived from the Revolution and the 
Union, produced a favourable chan^ on 
the rustic poetry of Scotland ; and it can 
scarcely be doubted, that the institution 
of parish-schools in 1696, by which a cer- 
tain degree of instruction was diffused 

* In the Pepyi OoIlectkMn, tbere are a few SScottMi 
■ongB of Uie laiit century, but the namee of the autboii 
are not preeerred. 

t Eztrmct of a letter tnm Mr. Ramaay of Ochtertjrre 
to the Editor, Sept. 11, 1799.— In the Dee, toI. il. ia a 
communication to Mr. Ramsay, under the signature of 
J. Buncole, which enters into this subject somewhat 
more at large. la that paper be glTes bis reasons for 
questioning the antiqaltjr of many of tba moat ealabraisd 
Scottish 



THE LIPE OP BURNa 



75 



nnreTaallT tmong the peastntry, contri- 
Mited to tnifl happy effect. 

Soon after this appeared AUan Ram- 
Ay, the Scottish Theocritus. He was 
lom on the hiffh mountains that divide 
i^lydesdale and Annandale, in a small 
lamlet by the hanks of Glangouar, a 
tream which descends into the Clyde. 
Phe ruins of this hamlet are still shown 

the inquiring traveller.* He was the 
on of a peasant, and probahly received 
Bch instruction as his parish-school be- 
towed, ami the poverty of bis parents 
dmitted.t Ramsay made his appearance 

1 Edinburgh in the beginning of the pro- 
mt century, in the humble character of 
a apprentice to a barber, or pcruke-ma- 
er ; he was then fourteen or fifteen 
ears of age. By degrees he acquired 
otice for his social disposition, and Jiis 
ilent for the composition of verses in the 
cottish idiom ; and, changing his pro- 
wsion for that of a bookseller, he be- 
ame intimate with many of the literary, 

■ well as of the gay and fashionable cha- 
MStera of his time.^ Having published 

▼olume of poems of his own in 1721, 
rliich was favourably received, he un- 
dertook to make a collection of ancient 
(cottish poems, under the title of the JCver- 
jhreen^ and was afterwards encouraged to 
(resent to the world a collection of Scot- 
ish songs. *' From what sources he pro- 
Tired them," says Mr. Ramsay of Och- 
ertyre, " whether from tradition or ma- 
HBcript, is uncertain. As in the Ever- 
Irten he made some rash attempts to 
mprove on the originals of his ancient 
K>em8, he probably used still greater free- 
tom with the songs and ballads. The 
roth cannot, however, be known on this 
mint, till manuscripts of the songs printed 
ly him, more ancient than the present 
century, shall be produced ; or access be 

^fleeCampbelTtHiftorj of Poetry In Bcotimnd, p. 185. 

f Tbe fotber of Ramiay wu, It ii uUd, a workman 

■ tbe lead-mines of tbe Earl of Hopeton, at Lead-hilla. 
Pbe workmen in tboee mines at pre«ent are of a very 
nperlor character to miners In general. Tliey have 
idy six bonn of labour In the day, and have time for 
•■diof . Tliey have a common library, supported by 
oatribotioa, eontainlof several thousand volumes. 
Vben this was instituted I have not learned. These 
Blaeii are said to be of a very sober and moral eha- 
acter: AUan Rimsay, wlien very young, is supposed 
have been a waiiher of ore in these mines. 

X ** He was coeval with Joseph Mitchell, and his club 
t twioU wits, who about 1719, published a very poor 
alaeellany, to which Dr. Toung, the author of the 
VTf)U Tkonghta prefixed a copy of verses.*' Ez- 
rttct of a latfar Irom Mr. Rannj of OehUrtfrs to 
htldilor 

S 2 



obtained to his own^papere, if they are 
still in existence. To several tones which 
either wanted words, or had words that 
were improper or imperfect, he, or his 
friends, adapted verses worthy of the me- 
lodies they accompanied, worthy indeed 
of the golden age. These verses were 
perfectly intelligible to every rustic, yet 
justly admired by persons of taste, who 
regarded them as the genuine offspring 
of the pastoral muse. In some respecta 
Ramsay had advantages not possessed 
by poets writing in the Scottish dialed 
in our days. Songs in the dialect of 
Cumberland or Lancashire could never 
be popular, because these dialects haye 
never been spoken by persons ^ fashion. 
But till the middle of the present century, 
every Scotsman from the peer to the pea- 
sant, spoke a truly Doric language. It 
is true the English moralists and poets 
were by this time read by every person 
.of condition, and considered as the stan- 
dards for polite composition. But, as na- 
tional prejudices were still strong, the 
busy, the learned, the gay, and the fair, 
continued to speak their native dialect, 
and that with an elegance and poignancy, 
of which Scotsmen of the present day can 
have no just notion. I am old enough to 
have conversed with Mr. Spittal, of Leu- 
chat, a scholar and a man of fashion, who 
survived all the members of the Union 
Parliament, in which he had a seat. His 
pronunciation and phraseology differed 
as much from the common dialect, as the 
language of St. James's from that of 
Thames-street. Had we retained a court 
and parliament of our own, the tongues 
of the two sister-kingdoms would indeed 
have differed like the Castilian and Por- 
tuguese ; but each would have had its 
own classics, not in a single branch, but 
in the whole circle of literature. 

** Ramsay associated with the men of 
wit and fashion of his day, and several of 
them attempted to write poetry in his 
manner. Persons too idle or too dissipa- 
ted to think of compositions that required 
much exertion, succeeded very happily in 
making tender sonnets to favourite tunes 
in compliment to their mistresses, and, 
transforming themselves into impassion- 
ed shepherds, caught the language of the 
characters they assumed. Thus, about 
the year 1 731 , Robert Crawford of Auchi- 
namcs, wrote the modem song of Tweed 
Side* which has been so much admired. 

* B«gfanUig, " What beauUet does Flora dlsclon I** 



la 



THE LIFE OF BURNa 



In 1743, Sir Gilbert Elliot, the first of 
oar lawyers who both spoke and wrote 
Bnglish elegantly, composed, in the cha- 
racter of a love-sick swain, a beautiful 
song, beginning, My sheep I neglectmly I 
lott my ekeep-hookj on the marriage of his 
mistress. Miss Forbes, with Ronald Craw- 
ford. And about twelve years afler- 
wards, the sister of Sir Gilbert wrote the 
ancient words to the tune of the Flowert 
of the Forett^* and supposed to allude to 
the battle of Flowden. In spite of the 
double rhyme, it is a sweet, and though 
in some parts allegorical, a natural ex- 
pression of nationu sorrow. The more 
modem words to the same tune, beginning, 
1 have eeenths snulinf( of fortune he.guilingy 
were written long be&re by Mrs. Cock- 
bum, a womsn otgrcat wit, who outlived 
all the first group of literati of the pre- 
sent century, all of whom were very fond 
of her. I was delighted with her com- 
pany, though, when I saw her, she was 
very old. Much did she know that is 
now lost." 

• 

In addition to these instances of Scot- 
tish songs produced in the earlier part of 
the present century, may be mentioned 
the ballad of Hardiknute^ by Lady Ward- 
law ; the ballad of William and Marga- 
ret ; and the song entitled The Birki of 
Endermay^ by Mallet ; the love-song, be- 
ginning. For ever, Fortune, ibilt thoii prove, 
produced by the youthful muse of Thom- 
son ; and the exquisite pathetic ballad. 
The Braet of Yarrow, by Hamilton of Ban- 
grour. On the revival of letters in Scot- 
land, subsequent to the Union, a very 
general taste seems to have prevailed for 
the national songs and music. ** For 
many years,'* says Mr. Ramsay, " the 
singing of songs was the great delight of 
the hififhcr and middle order of the people, 
as well as of the peasantry ; and though 
a taste for Italian music has interfered 
with this amusement, it is still very pre- 
valent. Between forty and fifty years 
ago, the common people were not only 
exceedingly fond of songs and ballads, 
but of metrical history. Often have I, in 
my cheerful mom of youth, listened to 
them with delight, when reading or re- 
citing the exploits of Wallace and Brace 
against the Sovthrom, Lord Hailes was 
wont to call Blind Harry their Bihle, he 
being their great favourite next the Scrip- 
tures. When, therefore, one in the vale 



• B«giBBiiig, " I Ouivi beard a llltiiif at oar 
mUklnc* 



of life, felt the first emotions of geniu% 
he wanted not models avi generis. But 
though the seeds of poetry were scatter- 
ed with a plentiful hand among the Scot* 
tish peasantry, the product was probably 
like that of pears and apples— of a thou- 
sand that spring up, nine hundred and 
fifty are so bad as to set the teeth on 
edge ; forty- five or more are passable and 
useful ; and the rest of an exquisite fla- 
vour. Allan Ramsay and Bums are 
wildings of this last description. They 
had the example of the elder Scottish po- 
ets ; they were not without the aid of tbe 
best English writers ; and what waa of 
still more importance, thoy were no stran- 
gers to the book of nature, and the book 
of God." 

From this general view, it is apparent 
that Allan Ramsay may be considered u 
in a great measure the reviver of the rur 
ral poetry of his country. His collection 
of ancient Scottish poems, under tho 
name of The Ever-Green, his collection 
of Scottish songs, and his own poems, the 
principal of which is the Gentle Shepherd, 
have been universally read among the 
peasantry of his country, and have in 
some degree superseded the adventures 
of Bruce and Wallace, as recorded by 
Barbour and Blind Harry. Bums wai 
well acquainted with all these. He had 
also before him the poems of Fergusson 
in the Scottish dialect, which have been 
produced in our own times, and of which 
it will be necessary to give a short ac- 
count. 

Fergusson was bom of parents who hid 
it in their power to procure him a liberal 
education, a circumstance, howcver,which 
in Scotland implies no very high rank in 
society. From a well written and appa- 
rently authentic account of his life,* we 
learn that he spent six years at the schools 
of Edinburgh and Dundee, and several 
years at the universities of Edinburgh and 
St. Andrews. It appears that he was at 
one time destined for the Scottish church; 
but as he advanced towards manhood, he 
renounced that intention, and at Edin- 
burgh entered the office of a writer to the 
signet, a title which designates a separate 
and higher order of Scottish attomeys. 
Fergusson had sensibility of mind, a warm 
and generous heart, and talents for socie- 

* In tht rapplement to the " Enejdopsdla BritiiH 
nica.** 8ce also, " CampbelPi Intrndootioa lo tbt Hii^ 
tonr of " Poetry In Scoitand,** p. tS8. 



THE UPE OP BURNS. 



T7 



' of the most attractive kind. To 8uch 
man no situation could be more danger- 
19 than that in which he was placed. 
he excesses into which he was led, im- 
dred his feeble constitution, and he sunk 
ider them in the month of October, 1774, 

his 23d or 24th year. Bums was not 
quainted with the poems of this youth- 
I genius when he himself began to write 
•etry ; and when he first saw them he 
A renounced the muses. But while he 
sided in the town of Irvine, meeting 
th Ferguaion'i Scottish Poena, he in- 
rms us that he " stnmg his lyre anew 
th emulating vigour."* Touched by 
e sympathy originating in kindred ge- 
iis, and in the forebodings of similar tor- 
ne. Bums regarded Fergusson with a 
rtiaX and an affectionate adniiration. 
ver his grave he erected a monument, 

has already been mentioned ; and his 
ietOB he has, in several instances, made 
e subjects of his imitation. 

From this account of the Scottish po- 
ns known to Bums, those who are ac- 
i&inted with them will see that they are 
liefly humorous or pathetic ; and under 
le or other of these descriptions most of 
is own poems will class. Let us com- 
ire him with his predecessors under each 
r these points of view, and close our ex- 
nination with a few general observa- 
ons. 

It has frequently been observed, that 
cotland has produced, comparatively 
)eaking, few writers who have excelled 
I humour. But this observation is true 
nly when applied to those who have con- 
nued to reside in their own country, and 
&ve confined themselves to composition 
I pure English; and in these circum- 
Ances it admits of an easy explanation, 
'he Scottish poets, who have written in 
le dialect of Scotland, have been at all 
mes remarkable for dwelling on subjects 
r humour, in which indeed many of them 
ftve excelled. It would be easy to show, 
lat the dialect of Scotland having be- 
>me provincial, is now scarcely suited to 
le more elevated kinds of poetry. If we 
lay believe that the poem of Chrittis 
^rk of the Orene was written by James 
16 First of Scotland,! this accomplished 

•Bee p. 15* 

t Notwldiftendlng the evldfiiee pradneed on tbie lab- 
el ^ Mr. Tytler, tbe EdUor aelraoirledgee bie beliy 
•Mwbu of a fcepiSe ob tbto point. 0ir DavM Dal- 
IsdtaM 10 ibt opinlM tbat it wtswriiltDbj 



monarch, who had received an English 
education under the direction of Henry 
the Fourth, and who bore arms under his 
gallant successor, gave the model on which 
the greater part of the humorous produc- 
tions of the rustic muse of Scotland has 
been formed. Chrittit Kirk of the Grene 
was reprinted by Ramsay, somewhat mo- 
demized in the orthoffraphy, and two can- 
toes were added by him, in which he at- 
tempts to carry on the design. Hence the 
toem of King James is usually printed in 
ty's works. The royal bard de- 
ibes, in the first canto, a nistic dance, 
and afterwards a contention in archery, 
ending in an affray. Ramsay relates the 
restoration of concord, and the renewal 
of the rural sports, with the humours of a 
country wedding. Though each of the 
poets describes the manners of his respec- 
tive age, yet in the whole piece there is 
a very sufficient uniformity; a striking 
proof of the identity of character in the 
Scottish peasantry at the two periods, dis- 
tant from each other three hundred years 
It is an honourable distinction to this bo- 
dy of men, that their character and man- 
ners, very little embellished, have been 
found to be susceptible of an amusing and 
interesting species of poetry ; and it must 
appear not a little curious, that the single 
nation of modem Europe, which possess- 
es an oripfinal rural poetry, should have 
received the model, followed by their ms- 
tic bards, from the monarch on the throne. 

The two additional cantoes to Chrittis 
Kirk of the Grene, written by Ramsay, 
though objectionable in point of delicacy, 
are among the happiest of his productions. 
His chief excellence, indeed, lay in the 
description of rural characters, incidentSi 
and scenery ; for he did not possess any 
very high powers either of imagination or 
of understanding. He was well acquaint- 
ed with the peasantry of Scotland, their 
lives and opinions. The subject was in a 
great measure new ; his talents were equal 
to the subject ; and he has shown that it 
may be happily adapted to pastoral poe- 
try. In his Gentle Shepherd the charao 
ters are delineations from nature, the de- 
scriptive parts are in the genuine style of 
beauti^l simplicity, the passions and af- 
fections of rural life are finely portrayed, 
and the heart is pleasingly interested in 

bit ioeeepior, Jamei Uie Ftflh. There are difllenlUee 
attending tiiie mppoeitlon alao. But on tbe mbject of 
Seotttab Antiqiiitlee, tbe Editor Is an Ineompeient 
Judgi 



78 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



the happinen that is hestowed on inno- 
cence and virtae. Throughout the whole 
there is an air of reality which the most 
careless reader cannot hut perceive ; and 
in fact no poem eVcr perhaps acquired so 
high a reputation, in which truth receiv^ 
so little emhellishment from the imagina- 
tion. In his pastoral songs, and in his 
rural tales, Ramsay appears to less ad- 
vantage indeed, but still ivith considera- 
ble attraction. The story of the Jtonk 
and the Miller' i Wife^ though somewhat 
licentious, may rank with the happie|L 
productions of Prior or La Fontaine. Bar 
when he attempts subjects from higher 
life, and aims at pure English composition, 
he is feeble and uninteresting, and seldom 
ever reaches mediocrity.'" Neither are 
his familiar epistles and elegies in the 
Scottish dialect entitled to much approba- 
tion. Though Fergusson had higher pow- 
ers of imagination than Ramsay, hi& ge- 
nius was not of the highest order ; nor did 
his learning, which was considerable, im- 
prove his genius. His poems written in 
pure English, in which he oflen follows 
classical models, though superior to the 
English poems of Ramsav, seldom rise 
above mediocrity ; but in those composed 
in the Scottish dialect he is oflen very 
successful. He was in general, however, 
less happy than Ramsay in the subjects of 
his muse. As \\6 spent the greater part 
of his life in Edinburgh, and wrote for his 
amusement in the intervals of business or 
dissipation, his Scottish poems are chiefly 
founded on the incidents of a town life, 
which, though they are susceptible of hu- 
mour, do not admit of those delineations 
of scenery ana manners, which vivify the 
rural poetry of Ramsay, and which so 
agreeably amuse the fancy and interest 
the heart. The town-eclogues of Fer- 
gusson, if we may so deAominate them, 
arc however faithful to nature, and oflen 
distinguished by a very happy vein of hu- 
mour. His poems entitled. The Daft 
DapMy The King*i Birth-day in Edin- 
hure^hj Leith Races^ and The Hallow Fair, 
will justify this character. In these, par- 
ticularly in the last, he imitated ChriHii 
Kirk of the Orene^ as Ramsay had done 
before him. His Addresa to the TVonkirk 
Bell is an exquisite piece of humour, 
which Bums has scarcely excelled. In 
appreciating the genius of Fergusson, it 
ought to be recollected, that his po^ms 
are the careless effusions of an irregular, 
though amiable young man, who wrote 

* See " The Bfoninc Intenriew,** fce. 



for the periodical ptpem of tlMTday, and 
who died in early youth. Had his life 
been prolonged under happier circnm- 
stances of fortune, he would probably have 
risen to much higher reputation. He might 
have excelled in rural poetry ; for though 
his professed pastorals on the esttablished 
Sicilian model, are stale and uninterest- 
ing, The Farmer' t In^Uy* which may be 
considered as a Scottish pastoral, is the 
happiest of all his productions, and cer- 
tainly was the archetype of the Cotter'a 
Saturday ^ghi, Fergusson, and more 
especially Burns, have shown that tlie 
character and manners of the peasantry of 
Scotland of the present times, are as well 
adapted to poetry, as in the days of Ram- 
say, or of tre author of Chrietii Kirk (f 
the Orene. 

The humour of Bums is of a richer vein 
than that of Ramsay or Fergusson, both 
of whom, as he himself informs us, he had 
"frequently in liis eye, but rather with a 
view to kindle at their flame, than to ser- 
vile imitation.**! His descriptive powen, 
whether the objects on which they are 
employed be comic or serious, animate or 
inanimate, are of the highest order. A 
superiority of this kind is essential to 
every species of poetical excellence. la 
one of his earlier poems, his plan seeme 
to be to inculcate a lesson of contentment 
in the lower classes of society, by showing 
that their superiors are neither much bet- 
ter nor happier than themselves ; and 
this he chooses to execute in a form of a 
dialogue between two dogs. He intro- 
duces this dialogue by an account of the 
persons and characters of tjie speakerf> 
The first, whom he has named Ccaeor, >■ 
a dog of condition : 

" Hit locked, letter*d, bnw hnm collar, 
8bow*d him the ffenUeman and echolar." 

High-bred though he is, he is howerer 
full of condescension : 

" At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, 
Nae tawted tyke, the, e'er nee duddi«, 
But he wad euwn*!. as glad to eee him, 
Jhtd «Cr»efi*< e» ttauu en* AiZImJU «•* AAr.** 

The otheTy Lttathy is a " ploughman's col- 
lie, but a cur of a good heart and a lound 
imderstanding. 

*' Hie booeet, eonale, bawe'nt flue, 
Ay gat him friande inilka place; 



* The raniier*i tre-eide. 



t 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



7g 



wldt«, bki 
"WmI elad wi* coat o' gkmf Mack. 
Mi» gaweU UtZ, tn^ upward orrl, 
Mwmg #*«r Aif hmrdia tn* a awmrl,** 

Nerer were twa dogi so exquisitely de- 
lineated. Their gambols before they sit 
down to moralize, are described with an 
equal degree of happiness ; and through 
the whole dialogue, the character, as well 
as the different condition of the two speak- 
ers, is kept in view. The speech ofLuatK, 
in which he enumerates tho comforts of 
the poor, ^ves the following account of 
their merriment on the first day of the 



*Ttet Meny day the year begiin, 
Tbagr bar the door on fraaty winda; 
Tlie nappy raeki wi* mantUnf ream. 
And ahcda a beart-intpirinc ttcam ; 
The lontiD |rfpe, and ineethin mill, 
Ar« banded round wi* riebt gold- will 
Tbe caatia anld folki crackin erouae, 
Tha young anea ranUn tbro' tbfi booM, 
My boait baa been aae fain to aee tbeOf 

n«f If^rin ^^ hvtlat w€ Om.*' 

Of all the animals who have moralized 
on han^ afiairs since the days of iBsop, 
the dog seems best entitled to this privi- 
lege, as well from his superior sagacity, as 
from his being more than any other, the 
firiend and associate of man. The doffs 
of Bams, excepting in their tslent ror 
moralizing, are downright dogs ; and not 
like the horses of Swift, or the Hind and 
Ptmiher of Dryden, men in the shape of 
bmtes. It is this circumstance that 
keigfatena the humour of the dialogue. 
The " twa dogs" are constantly kept be- 
fore our eyes, and the contrast between 
their form and character as dogs, and the 
ngacity of their conversation, heightens 
the humour and deepens the impression 
of the poets, satire. Though in this poem 
the chief excellence may be considered as 
humour, yet ^eat talents are displayed 
in its composition ; the happiest powers 
of description and the deepest insight in- 
to the human heart.* It is seldom, how- 

• When tbia poem first appeared, It waa tbongbt by 
■ome Tery sorprialnff that a peasant, wbo bad not an 
opportunity of aaMciaUnf even witb a rimple gentle- 
man, abonld bave been able to portray tbe cbaraeter of 
bigh-life witb aneb accuracy. And when it was recoI> 
lected tbat ha bad probably been at tbe racea of Ayr, 
where noWllty aa well as gentiy are to be seen, it was 
concluded tbat tbe race-ground bad been tbe field of Us 
etaenratlon. Tbia waa sagadoos anoogh; botitdid 
vot require such instruetioa to inform Buma, tbat bn- 
nwn nature ia easantially tbe same In tbe high and tbe 
low ; and a genfau which oomprehenda tha human 
artnd, easily comprahenda the acddantal farlallaa in- 
«odaoad byaltaadoB. 



ever, thai the humour of Bums appears 
in so simple a form. The liveliness of 
his sensibility frequently impels him to 
introduce into subjects of humour, emo- 
tions of tenderness or of pity ; and where 
occasion admits, he is sometimes carried 
on to exert the higher powers of imagi- 
nation. In such instances he leaves the 
society of Ramsay and of Fergusson, and 
associates himself with the masters of 
English poetry, whose language he fre- 
quently assumes. 

Of the union of tenderness and humour, 
examples may be found in The Death and 
Dying Words qfooor MaUie^ in J%e Auld 
Farmer' 8 JWtr- Year's Morning Salutation 
to his JUare JUaggie^ and in many of his 
other poems. The praise of wmskey is 
a favourite subject with Bums. To this 
he dedicates his poem of Scotch Drink, 
After mentioning its cheering influence 
in a varictv of situations, he describes, 
with singular liveliness and power of fan- 
cy, its stimulating effects on the black- 
smith working at his forge : ^ 

** Nae mercy, then, for aim or steel ; 
Tbe brawnie, bainie, ploughman cbiel« 
Brings bard owrcblp, wi* sturdy whed, 

Tbe strong fore hammer, 
TiU block an* studdie ring an* reel 

Wi' dinaome clamour.*' 

On another occasion,* choosing to exalt 
whiskey above wine, he introduces a com- 
parison between the natives of more ge- 
nial climes, to whom the vine furnishes 
their beverage, and his own countrymen 
who drink the spirit of malt. The de- 
scription of the Scotsmen is humorous : 

** But bring a Scotsman flrae bis bin, 
Clap in bis cbeek a* Highland giU, 
Bay such is Royal George*s wlU, 

An* there's tbe foe. 
He baa nae thought but bow to kill 

Twa at a Mow." 

Here the notion of danger rouses the 
imagination of the poet. lie goes on thus: 

•* Nae cauld, falnl-bearted doubtings teaae htan ; 
Death comes, wi* fearless eye be sees him ; 
Wi* bluidy hand a welcome glea him 

An* when be fti*s. 
His latest draught o'breatbing lea*ca binT 

In faint boszaa.*' 

Agam, nowever, he sinks into humour, 
and condudes the poem vrith the foUow- 

• "The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer to 3ht 
Bcoiah Reprasentadvea in Parliamaot** 



tojr moat Uagh&blQ) bnt moat irrsreKDt 
apottiophe : 



Orthia union of homour with the high- 
er powers of imapnation, instaiiCM may 
be found in the poem entitled DtaA and 
Dr. Momboakf and in almost eter; stan- 
za of the Addreit Co th* Deil, one of tlif 
happicRt of his productions. After r>?- 
proaching thia terrible beinr with aH hin 
" doings" and misdeeds, in the course nf 
which iie passes through a scries of Scot- 
tish superstitions, and rises at timea intri^ 
a high stritin of poetiy; he concludes this 
address, delivered in a tone of great fa- 
miliarity, not altogether uomiied with 
apprehension, in the following wordi : 

"Bul,fvarewe«l, aaUHktldbnl 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 

was interrupted onlj b^ tha nuliiiig mmd 
of the influx of the tide. It wu after 
Diidnight. The Dungeon-clock* bad 
struck two, and the aomid had been n- 
peated by Wallace-Tower.* All eba 
waa huabed. The moon abono biij^itlf, 

"TTii rlinij riim.liiiintrMhrnlliri >■■■. 
Cnpt, itWO'enwiliic, o'u Uh ■■UHriniaiMSL''— 

In this situation the listening bard bean 
the " clanging sugh" of wmga morinf 
through the air, and speediJj he perceirei 
two beings, reared the one on the 01d,ttaa 
other on the New Bridge, whose fbrm 
and attire he deccribea, and whose cod- 
vers&tion with each other be rebeano- 
These genii enter into a compariaon of 
the respective edifices over which tliej 
preside, and afterwards, as is nsnal b^ 
tween the old and young, compare tno- 
dem characters and manners with tlwM 



Humour and tenderness are here so 
happily intermixed, that it is impossible 
to say which preponderates. 

Fergusson wrote a dialogue between 
the Cautneav and the Plaiiulonet* oTEA- 

inburgh. This probably suggested to 
Burns his dialogue between the Old ani) 
the New bridge over the river Ayr.f 
The nature of such subjects requires thnt 
they shall be treated humorously, and 
FergiiMon has attempted nothing beyonil 
this. Though the Caiueaay and thu 
Plainrlma talk together, no attempt ia 
made to personify the Epeakers. A "cn- 
die"t heard the conversation and report- 
ed it to the poet. 

In the dialogue between the Brigt of 
.dyr. Bums himself is the auditor, and the 
time and occasion on which it occurred is 
related with great circumstantiality. The 
poet, "pressed by care," or "inspired by 
whim," had left his bed in the town of 
Ayr, and wandered out alone in the dark- 
ness and solitude of a winter night, to the 
mouth of the river, where tbe itiUneaB 



fpaattimes. They di9*er, as maybe ai 
pected, and taunt and ecold each otlw 
m Broad Scotch. Thia conversalion, 
which la certainly humorous, may be nb- 
eidered as the proper business of ths po- 
As the debate runs high, and thrct^ 
ens serious consequences, all at once it ii 
interrupted by a new scene of wonden: 



A htrj I.1I 


"~~;jj,™ 


m (h»lr did 






un ihcy fn 


Bilfhl 10 III 






ThtrloMti 




rrri— »» 


TIM lnr.ni 




benHIhlli 


VfbUtvu 


rMlnnreliT 


unoBiIlMm 


AndnuJ-cii 


opbUDlfiudtlMnlcdUU 


"TUB 0«iiliu of ilM Stmm in fhjol 




elil«r, idnn 


M1ny«™ 



Hit mtnlr lef wJth (tnu-unfla boiiBd." 

Next follow a nnrober of other aSue- 
rieal beinjra, among whom are the four 
seasons. Rural Joy, Plenty, HotpitalitJ, 
and Courage 




THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



81 



?biB poem, irre^ar and imperfect as 
8, displays vanous and powerful ta- 
ts, and may serve to illustrate the ge- 
s of Burns. In particular, it affords a 
long instance of his being carried he- 
ld his original purpose by the powers 
magination. 

n Fergus8on*8 poems, the PlaituUmes 
I Cau^way contrast the characters of 
different persons who walked upon 
m. Burns probably conceived, that, 
a. dialogue between the Old and New 
dge, he might form a humorous 
trast between ancient and modem 
oners in the town of Ayr. Such a 
logue could only be supposed to pass 
lie stUlness of night ; and this led our 
it into a description of a midnight 
ne, which excited in a high degree the 
vers of his imagination. During the 
ole dialogue the scenery is present to 
&ncv, and at length it suggests to him 
aiiy aance of aerial beings, under the 
iniB of the moon, by which the wrath 
the Genii of the Brigi of Ayr is ap- 
ised. 

Incongruous as the different parts of 
Is poem are, it is not an incongruity 
fct displeases ; and we have only to re- 
et that the poet did not bestow a little 
ins in making the figures more correct, 
d in smoothing the versification. 

The epistles of Bums, in which may be 
eluded his Dedication to O. H. Esq, 
icover, like his other writings, the pow- 



niral life. In the Halloween^ a female in 
performing one of the spells, has occasion 
to go out by moonlight to dip her shift- 
sleeve into a stream running towards thB 
JSouik.* It was not necessary for Bums to 
give a description of this stream. But it 
was the character of his ardent mind to 
pour forth not merely what the occasion 
required, but what it admitted ; and the 
temptation to describe so beautiful a natu- 
ral object by moonlight, was not to be 
resisted. 

** Whytei own a linn tht barnie playi 

A* thro* the glen It wimpl't ; 
Wbyles round a rocky tear it Urayi ; 

Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't ; 
Wbylea glltter'd to the nigbtly rayi, 

Wi* bickerinf , dancing dazzle ; 
Wbyles cookit underneath the braea, 

Balow the epreading hazel, 

Uneeen that night*' 

Those who understand the Scottish di- 
alect will allow this to be one of the finest 
instances of description which the records 
of poetry afford. Though of a very dif- 
ferent nature, it maybe compared in point 
of excellence with Thomson's description 
of a river swollen by the rains of winter, 
bursting through the straights that con- 
fine its torrent, '* boiling, wheeling, foam- 
ing, and thundering along."f 

In pastoral, or, to speak more correct- 
ly, in rural poetry of a serious nature, 
Bums excelled equally as in that of a hu- 
morous kind ; and, usmg less of the Scot- 
tish dialect in his serious poems, he be- 



8 of a superior understanding. They I comes more generally intelligible. It la 



iplay deep insight into human nature, 
oay and happy strain of reficction, great 
dependence of sentiment, and generosi- 
of heart. It is to be regretted, that, 
his HoiyFair, and in some of his other 
>ems, his humour degenerates into per- 
nal satire, and that it is not sufficiently 
larded in other respects. The HalUno' 
n of Bums is free from every objection 
' this sort. It is interesting, not merely 
om its humorous description of manners, 
it as it records the spells and charms 
led on the celebration of a festival, now. 
Ten in Scotland, falling into neglect, but 
hich was once observed over the great- 
!• part of Britain and Ireland.* These 
larms are supposed to afford an insight 
ito futurity, especially on the subject of 
larriage, the most interesting event of 



• la Ireland It Is atUl calabratfld. It la not quits ia | 
■oaa In Wales. 



difficult to decide whether the Address to a 
Mousey whose nest weu turned up vnih the 
plough^ should be considered as serious or 
comic. Be this as it may, the poem is 
one of the happiest and most finished of 
his productions. If we smile at the " bick- 
ering battle" of this little flyinp animal, 
it is a smile of tendemcss and pity. The 
descriptive part is admirable ; the moral 
reffections beautiful, and arising directly 
out of the occasion ; and in the conclu- 
sion there is a deep melancholy, a senti- 
ment of doubt and dread, that rises to the 
sublime. The Address to a Mountain 
Daisy y turned down with the ploughy is a 
poem of the same nature, though some- 
what inferior in point of originality, as 
well as in the interest produced. To ex- 
tract out of incidents so common, and 

•Sm " Hallowaea,** Stanzas ndr. aod sv. 
t Saa Thonsoa's WlnUm* 



m THK LIFE 

HemioffV "> trivisl u thcM, eo.fine 
train of MDtuncnt and imageir, id the 
■urect prouf, as well bb Ihc most bni'' 
triumph, of oiig-inal^nim. 7^ I'i 
in two cantocu, from which ft beautifui 
extract ia taken by Mr. Mackeniie, in tlie 
B7lh numbiir of Tlit Loan/^er, ia a poem 
of frrca-t and various c.^cellencu. 
opening, in whicii tlie poet dcscnlit.'f 
own state of mind, rclirinjt in tLi.i c 
ing, wearied fiom the labours of tlu^ 
to ntnraJiin on hiii.conduct anJ pTr.-.]Ai 
is truly interesting. The chairibi r, i 
may 00 term it, in wliicb be sits ilu»ii I'j 
uuac, is an cxquUite painting : 

"TbFrT, linelr, bf Ihe infle-clMck 



To reconcile to our imagination llic cn- 
tranee of an aciial being into a mnnEinn 
of this kind, required the powers 111' Burns 
^-he however succeeds. CoilaenitTs, ami 
her countenance, attitude, and dri!:^^, un- 
like thoiie of other spiritual beijius, nrt 
distinctly portrayed. To the paini mr?, on 
her mantle, on which is depicted tin' mvi 
■trikin? scenery, as well as the VlMi^i Am- 
tirguianed characters, of his native- coku- 
try, some exceptionj may be mailo. Tlie 
mantle of Coila, like the cup of Thyrt-is,* 
and tha shield of Achillea, is too much 
crowded with figures, and some of the 
objects represented upon it are scarce!/ 
kdmissible, according to the piinci;>les of 
design. The generous tempcntmenl of 
Bums led him into these exuberancca. In 
his second edition he enlarged the niim- 
bor of figures originally introducril. thut 
he might include objects to whieli ho \vn!< 
attached by sentiments of affoctii.ni, gra- 
titude, or patriotism. The soconrl Dtmn, 
or canto of this poem, in which Coila d<'- 
ecribes her own nature and occupations, 
particularly her superintendence! of V^s 
wfant gemus, and in which she reconciles 
him to the character of a bard, iu an ele- 
vated and solemn strain of poetry, ranking 
in al) respects, excepting the haMnony of 
iiumhers, with the higher productinne of 
the Knglish muse. The concluding stan- 
za, compared with that already quoLeil. 
will show to what a height Burns rises in 
this poem, fi:om the point at which be set 



* Sw tba Ont /^iu dTTIkh 



And, bouKl Um ir*UV mnd mrfaiM 1 
TIM palUfa'd Inns, ud beirlMfcd, 

Dtd tuBllBf pla> : 
And, Ilka ■ purii^ iboutfH, ite UA 



tn various poems. Bums has exhibited 
the picture of a mind under the deep im- 
pressions of real sorrow. 7Ti« Lmad, 
the OJt to Ruin, Dapondtmy, and Wim- 
ttr, a Dirge, are of this character. Is 
the first of these poems, the 8tb staut, 
which describes a sleepless ni^rt fim 
anguish of mind, is particularly stHkiv. 
Burns otlcn indulged in those melan^oqr 
views of the nature and condition ofmn, 
which are so congenial to the ten^efs- 
ment of sensibility. The poem eatilM 
JUon Wat made to Mourn, aSbidi an b- 
stance of this kind, and The WaOtr JtSfl^ 
is of the Bams description. 7^ ImI ■ 
highly characteristic, both of the tmfK 
of mind, andofthc condition of Boni> fi 
begins with a description of a dnaJN- 
storm on a night in wmter. The pod n- 
presents himself as lying in Bed, andii*- 
tening to its howling- In this sitoativ t* 
naturally turns his thoughts to the ewrtt 
CaUte and the mUIi/ Sheep, exposed to til 
the violence of the temf^t. Haviiif k 
mented their fate, he proceeds in the M 
lowing manner : 



"Ift hi 



WbanwillUuau 



bclplcntUiI 



Other reflections of the b 



dreary light on his window, thoughts rf * 
darker and more melancholy natnre crowd 
upon him. Tn this state of mind, he hear* 
a voice pouring through the rlooin s so- 
lemn and plaintive strain of reflection. 
The mourner compares the fiiry of ths 
elements with that of man to bis brotbei 
man, and finds the former light in the bs- 
lance. 



'* Sea hbth oppr^flklnn 






He pursues this tnun of reflection 
through a variety of particulars, in the 
course of which he introduces the fallow- 
ing animated apostrophe : 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



83 



'*Ohy«I who.iunklabedtoi'dowii, 
FmI boC a want but what yoonelTaa ereata, 

Think, for a moment, on bit wretcbed fkta, 
Wbom friends and f<Mrtana qaiie diaown ! 

I]i-flatiafy*d keen Natare*i clam* row call, 
' Stretch'd on bla itraw b« laji bimeelf to aleep, 
Wblle thro* the rafse4 roof and chinkjr wall, 
ChiU o'er hia ■Inmberi pUea the drlfty heap !*' 

The strain of sentiment which runs 
rough the poem is noblo, though the 
oeution is unequal, and the versification 
defective. 

Kmang the serious poems of Bums, 77^^ 
fUr*i Saturday J^ht'vA perhaps entitled 
the first rank. Tht Farmer' m Inffle of 
rgusson evidently suggested the plan of 
8 poem, as has been ^ready mentioned; 
t after the plan was formed, Burns trust- 
entirely to his own powers for the cx- 
ition. FerousBon^s poem is certainly 
rr beautiful. It has all the charms 
ich depeiid on rural characters and 
nners happily portrayed, and exhibited 
3er circumstances highly grateful to the 
igination. The farmer' m Inf^le begins 
th describing the return of evemng. 
.e toils of the day are over, and the far- 
r retires to his comfortable fire-idde. 
le reception which he and his men-ser- 
ita receive from the careful housewife, 
>leasingly described. Af^er their sup- 
' is over, they begin to talk on the ru- 
events of the day. 

** Boot kirk and market eke their talaa gae on, 
How J(m4( wooed Jnay hare \t> be hto brlda; 

yind there how Marion for a bHUfd aoa, 
Upo* the entty-itool was forecd to ride, 

Tba itaefti* seauhl o' our Mut Jdbi» to bidf.'T 

rhe '* Gruidame" is next introduced as 
ming a circle round the fire, in the 
ist of her grand-children, and while 
I spins from the rock, and the spindle 
ys on her *' russet lap," she is relating 
the young ones tales of witches and 
Mts. The poet exclaims : 

" O mock na this, mj friends ! bat rather moam, 
Te In life*s brawrat spring wi* reaaooelaar, 

Wr eild our idle fancies a* return. 
And dlra our dolefu* dajrs wi* baimljr fear ; 

The mind's aye cradUd when the ^om is near.*' 

[n the mean time the farmer, wearied 
;h the fatigues of the day, stretches 
dself at length on the SettUy a sort of 
itic couch, which extends on one side 
the fire, and the cat and hoose-dog 
p apon it to receive his caresses. Here 

T 



resting at his esse, he gives his directions 
to his men-servants for the succeeding 
day. The housewife follows his exam- 
ple, and gives her orders to the maidens. 
By degrees the oil in the cruise begins to 
fail ; the fire runs low ; sleep steals on this 
rustic group ; and they move off to enjoy 
their peaceful slumbers. The poet con- 
cludes by bestowing his blessings on the 
** husbandman and all his tribe." 

This is an original and truly interesting 
pastoral. It possesses every thing re- 
quired in this species of composition. We 
might have perhaps said every thin^ that 
it admits, had not Burns written his Coi' 
ter'M Saturday Jftght. 

The cottager returning from his la- 
bours, has no servants to accompany him, 
to partake of his fare, or to receive his 
instructions. The circle which he joins, 
is composed of his wife and children only ; 
and if it admits of less variety, it affords 
an opportunity for representing scenes that 
more stronglv interest the affections. The 
younger children running* to meet him, 
and clambering round his knee ; the elder, 
returning from their weekly labours with 
the nei^bouring farmers, dutifully de- 
positing their little gains with their pa- 
rents, and receiving their father's blessing 
and instructions; the incidents of the 
courtship of Jenny, their eldest daughter, 
'* woman grown ;'* are circumstances of 
the most interesting kind, which are most 
happily delineated ; and afler their frugal 
supper, the representaticm of these hum- 
ble cotta^rs forming a wider circle 
round their hearth, and uniting in the 
worship of God, is a picture the most 
deeply affecting of any which the rural 
muse has ever presented to the view. 
Bums was admirubly adapted to this de- 
lineation. Like all men of genius, he 
was of the temperament of devotion, and 
the powers or memory co-operated in 
this instance with the sensibility of his 
heart, and the fervour of his imagina 
tion.* The Cotter'i Saturday JVt^ is 
tender and moral, it is solemn and devo- 
tional, and rises at length into a strain of 
grandeur and sublimity, which modem 
poetry has not surpassed. The noble 
sentiments of patriotism with which it 
concludes, correspond with the rest of 
the poem. In no age or country have 
the pastoral mutes nreathed such ele- 
vated accents, if the Messiah of Pope be 



* Tha laadcr win recoDact that tht Cottar 
fiuber. 8aap. 94. 



Bana's 



04 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



excepted, which ia indped a pustoral in 
form only. It ia to be wgrctted that 
Burns did not employ hid geuiiia on other 
subjectd of the same naturiN which the 
niannprn and customs of the Scottish pea- 
santry would have amply supplied. Such 
jwolry is not to be estimated by the dc- 
^rvii «)f pltiisure which it bestows ; it 
>iMks do< ply iult) till! hfurt, and is calcu- 
i:itrii tur bi'youd any other human means, 
fur unvnijr pormaui'iicu to the scenes and 
ciiaructurs it so exquisitely describes.* 

Btforc we conclude, it will be proper to 
olU'r a few observations on the lyric pro- 
ductions of Burns. His com]H>8itions of 
this kind are chiefly sonpa, generally in 
the Scottish dialect, and always after the 
model of the Scottish sonjfs, on the gonc- 
ral cliaructer and moral influence of \vhicii, 
some observations have already been of- 
fered.! We may hazard a few more par- 
ticular remarks. 

Of the historic or heroic ballads of 
Scotland, it is unnecessary to speak. 
Burns has nowhere imitated them, a cir- 
cuiiiHtancc to be regretted, since in this 
species of composition, from its admitting 
the more terrible as well as the Bofter 
graces of poetry, ho was eminently quali- 
fm\ to have excelled. The Scottish songs 
which served as a model to Buras, arc al- 
most without exception pastoral, or rather 
rural. Such of them as aro comic, fre- 
quently treat of a rustic courtship or a 
country wedding ; or they describe the 
dilTerences of opinion which arise in mar- 
ried life. Burns has imitated this species, 
and surpassed his models. The song, be- 
ginning, '* Husband, husband, cease your 
8trife,"t may br> cited in support of this 
observation. fr His other comic songs are 
of equal merit. In the rural songs of 
Scotland, whether humorous or tender, 
the sentiments are given to particular 
characters, and very generally, the inci- 
dents are referred to particular scenery. 
This last circumstance may be consider- 

* See Appendix, No. 11. Noce D. 
fSeep. 8. 

X Bee Poemi, p. 95. 

$ The dialofrues between biubamli uoA thtUr wivea, 
which form the wbject* of th« Bcottliih eon^ are 
iilmnat all ludicrous and Mtirical, and In theee conteeri 
the lady la Kencralijr Tictorioui. From th<* coDectiona 
of Mr. Piiikertnn we fliid that the comic muse of Scot- 
Iniid delif!lii«Ml ill such reiireaentaiioos from very early 
mm^M, in liar rude drajnatic oflfarte, as well aa in lier 
rurtic songs. 



cd as tho distiDguialiod featnra of the 
Scottish songs, and on it & connderable 
part of their attraction depende. On aU 
occasions the sentiments, of whatever na- 
ture, are delivered in the character of the 
person principally interested. If love be 
described, it is not as it is observed, bnt 
as it is felt ; and the passion is delineated 
under a particular aspect. Neither is it 
the tierccr impulses of desire that are ex- 
pressed, as in the celebrated ode ofSappho, 
the model of so many modern songs, but 
those gentler emotions of tenderness aad 
affection, which do not entirely absorii 
the lover; but permit him to associate hii 
emotions with the charms of external lmf 
turc, and breathe, the accents of purity 
and innocence, as well aa of love. Id 
these respects the love-sonn of Scotland 
are honourably distinguished from the 
most admired classical compositions of 
the same kind : and by such associations, 
a variety, as well as liveliness, is given to 
the representation of this passion, which 
are not to be found in the poetry of Grecct 
or Rome, or perhaps of any other nation. 
Many of the love-songs of Scotland de- 
scribe scenes of rural courtship ; many 
may be considered as invocations from 
lovers to their mistresses. On such oc- 
casions a degree of interest and reality is 
given to the sentiments, by the spot des- 
tined to these happy interviews being 
particularized. The lovers perhaps meet 
at the Bu$h aboon Traqwiir^ or ob the 
Bankt ofEUrick; the nymphs are invoked 
to wander among the wilds of TZoslifi, or 
the fDoodt of Invermay. Nor ie the spo 
merely pointed out ; the scenery is often 
described as well as the characters, so u 
to present a complete picture to the fan- 
cy.'" Thus the maxim of Horace %it ptc- 



* One or two exaaiplea nay illustrate tbts 
tlon. A Beottidi aong, written about a knndred 
■go, begins tbus: 

" On Ettrick baaka, on a summer's nlfhl. 

At gloaminf , when the sheep drove bane, 
I met my lassie, braw and lixht, 

Come wading barefoot a' her lane ; 
My heart grew light, I ran. I flang 

My arms about her lily neck, 
And klss*d and clasped there fu' lanf, 

My words they were na moiiy feck.'** 



The lover, who is a Highlander, goes on to relsif the 
language he employed with his Iiowlaitd maid to yv\n 
her heart, and to persuade her to fhr with him tii the 
Highland bills, there to share his fortune. The B«*nti- 
ments are in themselves beautiful. Rut we feel them 
witb double force, while we conceive that tbcy weis 

* .¥0iMy /set, not very maajr. 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



85 



poentf 18 faithfully observed by these 
mitic bsrds, who are ^ded bv the same 
iflumlfle of nature and senBibuity which 
mfluenced the father of epic poetry, on 
whose example thfe precept of the Roman 
poet was perhaps founded. By this 
means the imagination is employed to in- 
terest the feelings. When we do not 
conceive distinctly we do not simpathyze 
deeply in any human affection ; and we 
oijlideive nothing in the abstract. Ab- 
straction, so useful in morals, and so es- 
sential in science, must be abandoned 
when the heart is to be subdued by the 
powers of poetry or of eloquence. The 
oards of a ruder condition of society paint 
indiviiual objects ; and hence, among 
other causes, the easy access they obtain 
to the'heart. Generalization is the vice 
of poets whose learning ovcrpowera their 
graius ; of poets of a refined and scien- 
tific age. 

The dramatic style which prevails so 
much in the Scottish songs, while it con- 
tributes greatly to the interest they ex- 
cite, also shows that they have originated 
among a people in the earlier stages of 
society. Where this form of composition 
appears in songs of a'modern date, it in- 
dicates that they have been written after 
the ancient model.* 



ly a lover to hlc mlttnw, wbom he met an 
trUn a emnmer's evening, by tbe banke of a beaa- 
fttU Btnam, which eoQie of uc have actually eeen, and 
wkleli^all of oa can paint to our imaginadon. Let ui 
teksaaotber example. Itianowanymphtbal^ealM* 
Bear bow abe ezpreesce benelT— 



* Bow biytbe each mom waa I to 
My awali come o'er tbe hill ! 

He Bidpt the bum, and flew to me, 
I met him with guid will." 



Here le another picture drawn by tbe pencil of Na- 
ln«. We eee a ehepherdeM standing by the tide of a 
hrook, watching her lover as he deecenda the oppocite 
Un. He bounds lightly along ; he approaches nearer 
ind nearer; he kaps the brook, and files into her 
urns. In tbe recollection of these circumstances, the 
NUToanding scenery becomes endeared to the fkhr 
Douraer, and 'she bursts into tbe following excla- 
■atlon : 

** O tbe broom, tbe bonnie, bonnie broom. 
The broom of tbe Cowden-Knoweft! 

I wish I were with my dear swain. 
With his (rfpe and my ewes." 

rboa tbe Individual spot of this happy latervlew is 
pointed out, and tbe picture is completed. 

* That the draButic form of writing characterizes 
jw prodoctiuos of an eariy. or, what amounts to tbe 



The Scottish songs are of a very une- 
qual poetical merit, and this inequality 
often extends to the different parts of the 
same song. Those that are humorous, 
or characteristic of manners, have in ge- 
neral the merit of copying nature ; those 
that are serious, are tender, and oflen 
sweetly interesting, but seldom exhibit 
high powers of imagination, which indeed 
do not easily find a place in this species 
of composition. The alliance of the 
words of the Scottish songs with the mu* 
sic, has in some instances given to the 
former a popularity, which otherwise they 
would not have obtained. 

The association of the words and the 
music of these songs, with the more beau- 
tiful parts of the scenery of Scotland, con- 
tributes to the same effect. It has given 
them not merely popularity, but perma- 
nence ; it has imparted to the works of 
man some portion of the durability of the 
works of nature. If, from our imperfect ex- 
perience of the past, we may judge with 
any confidence respecting the future, 
songs of this description are of all others 
least likely to die. In the changes of Ian- 
same thing, of a rude stage of society, may be lUm- 
tratod by a reference to tbe moat ancieoc compoeitiona 
that we know of, the Hebrew scriptures, and tbe wri* 
tings of Homer. The form of diakigue is adopted in tbe 
old Scottish ballads even in narration, whenever iba 
situations deecribed became teteresting. This soma, 
timeif produces a very striking effect, of which an in- 
stance may be given flrom the ballad of fdlsm •* Otrdm 
a composition apparently of the slzteentb centoiy. 
The story of the ballad is shortly this.— Tbe castle of 
Rhodes, in the abeenee of lis k>rd, is attacked by iba 
vobber Edom o* Gordon. The lady stands on her da- 
fence, beats off the assailants, and wounda Gordon, 
who, in his rage, orders the castie to be set on lire. 
That bis orders are carried into effect, we leam froae 
the expostulation of the lady, who is represented % 
standing on tbe battlements, and remoostnUiiif en ttais 
barbari^. She is interruptect— 

" O tlien bespake her little son. 

Sate on hto nourice knee ; 
Says, * mither dear, gi' owre thia boose, 

For the reek it smiibers me.* 
* I wad gie a* my gowd, my cbllde, 

See wad I a* my fee, 
For ae blast o' the wesUn wind. 

To blew the reek fVae thee.*' ' 

The clreomst^tiality of the Seottisb lore-songi, and 
tbe dramatic form which prevails so generally in them, 
probably arises from their being tbe deseendants aad 
successors of the ancient ballads. In tbe beantiftil 
modem song of Mary of Cs«(l«-Csry, tbe dramatleftnrm 
has a very happy effect. The sane may be saM of 
D0naU and Mero, and Cssis wMbr aqr jrMdts, by tbt 
■ana author, Mr. MacoleL 



C6 



THE LIFE OF BURXR 



fpmpe they may no doubt sufier chan(^ : 
but the aMOciatcd itrain of sentiment and 
of music will perhaps survive, while the 
clear stream sweeps down the vale of 
Yarrow, or the yellow broom wavea on 
Cowdcn-Knowes. 

The first attempts of Bums in son^- 
writinp were not very successful. His 
habitual inattention to the exactness of 
rhymes, and to the harmony of numbers, 
arising probably from the models on which 
his verification was formed, were faults 
likely to appear to more disadvantage in 
this species of composition, than in any 
other ; and we may also remark, that the 
strength of his imagination, and the ex- 
uberance of his sensibility, were with dif- 
ficulty restrained within the limits of gen- 
tleness, delicacy, and tenderness, which 
seemed to be assigned to the love-songs 
of his nation. Burns was better adapted 



prolongs the mt«ful leason of twiliffht 
to the midnight hours: and the shades 
of the evening seem to mingle with the 
morning*8 dawn. The rural poets of 
Scotland, as may be expected, associate 
in their songs the expressions of passion, 
with the most beautiful of their scenery, 
in the fairest season of the year, and ge- 
nerally in those hours of the evening when 
the beauties of nature are most intoestr 
ing.* 

To all these adventitious drcnmstan- 
ces, on which so much of the effect of po- 
etry depends, great attention is paid by 
Bums. There is scarcely a s6igle song 
of his, in which particular scenery is not 
described, or allusions made to natural 
objects, remarkable for beauty or intcr- 
and though his descriptions are not 



so full as are sometimes met with in the 

v< is.o ..-—"- r--- older Scottish songs, they are in the high- 

by nature for following, in such composi- I est degree appropriate and interesting. 
tionSfthe model of the Grecian, than that I Instances in proof of this might be quoted 



of the Scottish muse. By study and prac- 
tice ho however surmounted all these ob- 
stacles. In his earlier songs, there is 
some rupgcdness ; but this gradually dis- 
appeart) m liis successive eflTort s ; and some 
of his later compositions of this kind may 
be compared, in polished delicacy, with 
the finest songs in our language, while in 
the elo(]ucnce of sensibility they surpass 
them all. 



from the Lea Ri^, Highland J^ary^ The 
Soldier'9 Return, Loscan WaUr ; from 
that beautiful pastoral Bonny Jean^ and a 
great number of others- Occasionally 
the force of Iiis genius carries him beyond 
the usual boundaries of Scottish song, 
and the natural objects introduced have 
more of the character of sublimity. An 
instance of this kind is noticed by Mr. 



The pongs of Bums, like the moacls he 
followed and excelled, are oflen dramatib, 
and for the greater part amatory ; and the 
beauties of rural nature are every where 
associated with the passions and emotions 
of the mind. Disdaining to copy the works 
of others, he has not, like some poet*s of 
great name, admitted into his descriptions 
exotic imagery. The landscapes he has 
painted, and the objects with which they 
are embellished, are, in every single in- 
stance, such as are to be found in his own 
country. In a mountainous region, es- 
pecially when it is comparatively rude 
and naked, and the most beautiful scene- 
ry will always be found in the valleys, 
and on the banks of the wooded streams. 
Such scenery is peculiarly interesting at 
the close of a summer-day. As we ad- 
vance northwards, the number of the days 
of summer, indeed, diminishes ; but from 
this cause, as well as from the mildness of 
the temperature, the attraction of the sea- 
son increases, and the summer-night be- 
comes still more beautiful. The greater 
obliquity cf the sun's path on the ecliptic J 



♦ A Itdf , of whose Rrnliis the edUor entertnlriB Iii;ll 
admtration (Mri. Barbauld.) hai fallrn Into ap error 
In thia respect. In tier prefatory aildroi lo the worita 
of CoIUnn, fip«'akinf; of the natural objects that nsf be 
emplojcd to give interest to the descriptiona of pawtoo, 
she obaervea, ** they prevent an inevhausuUc varitiy, 
from the Bong of Solomon, breatliing o|[.caii«ia, mjirt^ 
and cinnamon^ lo the Gentle Shepheffl of Samaty, 
whose daniaels carry their milking- paiU Uiroufh the 
ftpsta and anowa of their lesa genial, but not Im pMto;> 
ral country.'* The damsels of Ranuiay do not walk la" 
the midst of froat and snow. Almost all the scenes of 
the Oende Bhephcrri are laid In the open nir. amidrt 
beaatiful natural objects, and at the moat fenial araana 
of the year. Ramsay introduces all hia acts whh a 
prefatory description to aaaure os of thia. The fault of 
the climate of Britain ia not, that it doea not aflbrd us 
the beauties of aummer, but that the season f>f sudi 
beautiea ia comparatively abort, and even uncertain 
There are days and nights, even in the northern divl 
siim of the Island, which equal, or pcrhapm surpaia, 
what ar« to be found in the latitude of Hiclly, or of 
Greece. Buchanan, when he wrote hla eiqufaaie CKle 
to May, felt the charm as well aa the tramtentneaa of 
these happy days : 



ffalve fugacte gloria secuH, 
Salve aecunda di^ns dies nota 
Salve vctustn vlic imago, 
Et spocimen vententis Avi. 



/. 



e of which ii 



THE UFK OF BURH8. 87 

Thsre i* no ipeciM of poetry, the pra- 
JuctioDB of the dnou not excepted, M 
much calculated to inflnenco tlie morali, 
hb well as the happinesB of a peopla^aa ■ 
ihose popular venea which are asaociated 
vlth national airs; aad which being learn' 
latamtmjtTalmiaelim *"! ^ ^''^ J^*^' "*" infancy, make a deep 

■ — resBion on the heart before tha evblu- 
of tha powvB of the undeiataudinfr. 
The compositiona of Bums of this kiad, 
now presented in a, collected form to the 
world, mako a moat important addition 
the popular eange of his nation. Lika 
his other wrilinj^, they exhibit inde- 
pendence of sentiment; thpy arc peciili- 
irly calculated to increase those tic* wliich 
aind gcnerouB hearts to their native doil, 
U)d to tho dumwitic circle of their infan- 
cy ; ftnd to cherish those sensibilitiea 
A'hicb, under due restriction, form tha 
purest happincM of our nature. If in hi« 
jnfruardcd momenta he composed some 
eonga on which this praise cannot bo be- 
stowed, let us hope that they will speedi- 
ly be for^tten. In several inatancce, 
where Scottish aira were allied to words 
objectionable in point of delicacy. Bums 
has substituted others of a purer charae- 
ter. On such occasions, without chang 
ing the subject, he has changed the sen- 
timents. A proof of this may bo seen in 
the air of John ^ndtrton my Joe, which 
is now united to words that breathe a 
strain of conjugal tenderness, that ia u 
highly moral as it is exquisitely atTectiug. 



jn a wioter-nigbt, the " wan moon" is de- 
acribe^ as " setting behind the white 
waves;" in another, the "storms" arc 
apoatiephized, and commanded to " rest 
in the csve of their slumbers," on several 
occasions the genius of Bums loxes sij^bt 
entirely of his archetypes, and rises into 
a atrain of uniform Bublimity. _ Invtanccs 
of this kind appear in Liberlie, a fition; 
■nd in his two war-songs, Bniee to JUi 
Traopr, and the Song of Dialh. These 
last are of a description of which we have 
no other in our language. The martial 
flongs of our nation are not military, but 
lULvaL If we were to seek a comparison 
of these songs of Burns with others of a 
similar nature, we must have 



dern Gam, 

Bums bss made an important addition 
to the longs of Scotland. In his compo- 
ntions, the poetry equals nnd aometimea 
Biirpaases the music. He has enlarged 
the poetical scenery of hi» country. Sla- 
ny of her rivers and mountains, formerly 
anknown to the muse, are now conse- 
crated by his immortal verse. The Doon^ 
the Lngar, the Ayr, thn Nith, and the 
Cluden, will in future, like the Yarrow, 
the Tweed, and the Tay, be considered 
ss classic streams, and tlieir borders '" 
be trodden with new and superior c 

The greater part of the lon^ ofBurns 
were written after he removed into Ihe 
county of DumfrioH. Influenced, perhajis, 
by habits farmed in early life, he usually 
composed while walking in the open 
When engaged in writing these songs, 
favourite w^ks were on the banks of tlio 
Nith, or of the Cluden, particularly near 
the rains of Lincluden Abbey ; and thia 
beautiful scenery he baa very happily de- 
scribed under various aspects, ae *' 
pean during the softness and sere 
evening, and during the stillness 
Ismnity of the moon-light nipht.f 






Few circumstances could afford a mors 
striking proof of the strength of Bums'* 
genluB, than the general circulation of his 
poems in Kngland, notwithstanding the 
dialect in which the greater part are writ 
ten, and which might be supposed to ren- 
der them here uncouth or obscure. In 
some instances he hns used thia dialect 
on subiccts of a sublime nature ; but in 
general he confines it to sentiments or 
descriptions of a tender or humorous kind ; 
and where he rises into elevation of 
thought, he assumes apurer English st^lp. 
The sing[dar faculty he possessed of ming- 
ling in the same poem, humoroua senti- 
mrnts and descriptions, with imagery of 
a sublime and terrific nature, enabled Iiim 
to Uio thii variety of dialect on some oc- 
casions with striking eflect. His poem of 
Tnm o'Shanttr affords an instance of this. 
There he passes from a scene of the low- 
est humour, to situations of tho most aw- 
fnl and terrible kind. He is a musician 
that runs from the lowest to the higheat 
of hii keja ; and the use of tlie Scottish 



THE LIFE OF BURNS. 



dialect enablet him to add two additional 
notti to the bottom of hia scale. 

^eat efibrtB hare been made by the 
inhabitants of Scotland, of the superior 
ranks, to approximate in their speech to 
the pure English standard ; and this has 
made it difficult to write in the Scottish 
dialect, without excitiiifr in them some 
feelings of disgust, which in England are 
scarcely felt. An Englishman who un- 
derstands the mcaningr of the Scottiah 
words, is not offended, nay, on certain 
subjects, he is perhaps, pleased with the 
rustic dialect, as he may be with the Do- 
ric Greek of Theocritus. 

But a Scotchman inhabiting his own 
country, if a man of education, and more 
especially if a literary cliaracter, lias ba- 
nished such words from his ^\'ritings, and 
has attempted to banish them from his 
speech : and being accastomcd to hear 
them from the vulgar, daily, does not 
easily admit of their use in poetry, which 
requires a style elevated and ornamental. 
A dislike of this kind is, however, acci- 
dental, not natural. It is one of the spe- 
cies of disgust which we feel at seeing a 
female of high birth in the dress of a rus- 
tic ; which, if she be really young and 
beautiful, a little habit will enable us to 
overcome. A lady who assumes such a 
dress, puts her beauty, indeed, to a se- 
verer trial. She rejects — she, indeed, op- 
poses the influence of fashion ; she possi- 
bly abandons the grace of elegant and 
flowing drapery ; but her native charms 
remain the more striking, perhaps, be- 
cause the less adorned ; and to these she 
trusts for fixing her empire on those af- 
fections over which fashion has no sway. 
If she succeeds, a new artsociation arises. 
The dress of the beautiful rustic becomes 
itself beautiful, and establishes a new 
fashion for the young and the gay. And 
when in afler ages, the contemplative ob- 
server shall view her picture in the gal- 
lery that contains the portraits of the 
beauties of successive centuries, each in 
the dress of her respective day, her dra- 

Eery will not deviate, more than that of 
er rivals, from the standard of his taste, 
and he will give the palm to her who ex- 
cels in the lineaments of nature. 

Bums wrote professedly for the pea- 
lantry of his country, and by them their 
native dialect is universally relished. To 
a numerous class of the natives of Scot- 
Jnnd of another description, it mav also be 



considered as attntcUve in a «1i<%ff4 
point of view. Estranged from their Mr 
tive soil, and spread over foreign kndi^ 
the idiom of their country uiites with the 
sentiments and the deschptioiui on which 
it is employed, to recal to their minds the 
interesting scenes of infancy and youth— 
to awaken many pleasing, .^many tender 
recollections. Literary men, residing it 
Edinburgh or Aberdeen, cannot judge on V 
this point for one hundred and fifty thos' 
sand of their expatriated countrymen.* 

To the use of the Scottiah dialect 'm 
one species of poetry, the composition of 
songs, the taste of the public has been for 
some time reconciled. The dialect ia 
question excels, as has already been ob- 
served, in the copiousness and exactne« 
of its terms for natural objects ; and in 
pastoral or rural songs, it gives a Doric 
simplicity, which is very generally ap- 
proved. Neither does the regret seem 
well founded which some persons of taste 
have expressed, that Burns used this 
dialect in fo many other of his compo- 
sitions. Ilis declared purpose was to 
paint the manners of rustic life among hii 
" humble compeers," and it is not easy 
to conceive, that this could have been 
done with equal humour and effect, if he 
had not adopted their idiom. There are 
some, indeed, who will think the subject 
too low for poetry. Persons of this sick- 
ly taste will find their delicacies consulted 
in many a polite and learned author : let 
them not seek for gratification in the 
rough and vigorous lines, in the imbridled 
humour, or in the overpowering sensi- 
bility of this bard of nature. 

To determine the comparative merit 
of Burns would be no easy task. Many 
persons, afterwards distinguished in lite- 
rature, have been bom in as humble a 
situation of life ; but it would be difficult 
to find any other who, while earning his 
subsistence by daily labour, has ^Titten 

* These nbaenratioitf are excited bf tome reroarln of 
revpectable correspondents orthedettcription alluded to. 
This calculation ofthe number of ScotrbmcnlivinR out 
of Scotland is not allojsrther arbitrary, and it is proba- 
bly below the truth. It is, in some dcpr^, founds on 
the proimrtion between the number of the sexes t ■ S<et- 
land, as it appears from the invaluable Btatistios of Sir 
John Sinclair. For Scotchmen of tlUs deaeripcinn, wore 
particularly, Bums seems to have written bis aoiiit, be- 
(rinninie, TlkrirfrovtM o'sveet myrtle^ a beauUfui strain, 
wliich, it may be enofidently predirlad, will \m> snnf 
with equal or superior interest on Um> banks nf tha 
Games or ofthe Mississippi, as ou tta«Ma of the Tay or 
tha Twesd 



THE LIFE OP BURNS. 



1:9 



rnicn on^ve attracted, and retained 
al attention, and which are likely 
the author a permanent and dia- 
led place amoo^ the followers of 
pes. If he is deficient in grace, 
istinffuished for ease as well as 
; and these are indications of the 
order of genius. The father of 
3try exhibits one of his heroes as 
ig in strength, another in swifl- 
form his perfect warrior, these 
«8 are combined. Every species 
loctual superiority admits perhaps 
Bular arrangement. One writer 
in force-— another in ease ; be is 
r to them both, in whom both 
[ualities are united. Of Homer 
it may be said, that, like his own 
s, he surpasses his competitors in 
as well as strength. 

force of Burns lay in the powers 
nderstanding, and in tl^ sensibili- 
18 heart ; and these will be found 
le the living principle into all the 



works of genius which seem destined to 
immortality. His sensibility had an an- 
common range. He was alive to every 
species of emotion. He is one of the few 
poets that can be mentioned, who have 
at once excelled in humour, in tenderness, 
and in sublimity ; a praise unknown to 
the ancients, and which in modem tiroes 
is only due to Ariosto, to Shakspeare, and 
perhaps to Voltaire. To compare the 
writings of the Scottish peasant with the 
works of these giants in literature, might 
appear presumptuous ; yet it may be as- 
serted that he has displayed the foot of 
Hercules* How near he might have ap- 
proached them by proper culture, with 
lengthened years, and under happier au- 
dioes, it is not for us to calculate. But 
while we run over the melancholy story 
of his life, it is impossible not to heave a 
sigh at the asperity of his fortune ; and 
as we survey the records of his mind, it 
is easy to see, that out of such materials 
have been reared the fairest and the most 
durable of the monuments of genius. 



X 



ABTmmvasuKminr 



TO 



DB. OURRXS'S 



EDITION OP THB CORRESPONDENCE. 



It is impossible to dismiss this volume* 
of the Correspondence of our Bard, with- 
out some anxiety as to the reception it 
may meet with. The experiment we are 
making has not often been tried ; perhaps 
on no occasion has so large a portion of 
the recent and unpremeditated effusions 
of a man of genius been committed to the 
press. 

Of the following letters of Bums, a con- 
siderable number were transmitted for 
publication, by the individuals to whom 
they were adchressed ; but very few have 
been printed entire. It will easily be be- 
lievea, that in a series of letters written 
without the least view to publication, va- 
rious passages were found unfit for the 
press, from different considerations. It 
will also be readily supposed, that our po- 
et, writing nearly at the same time, and 
under the same feeling to different indi- 
viduals, would Bometmies fall into the 
same train of sentiment and forms of ex- 
pression. To avoid, therefore, the tedi- 
ousness of such repetitions, it has been 
found necessary to mutilate many of the 
individual letters, and sometimes to ex- 
scind parts of great delicacy — the unbri- 
dled effusions of panegyric and regard. 
But though many of the letters are print- 
ed from originals furnished by the persons 
to whom they were addressed, others are . 
printed from first draughts, or sketches, 
found among the papers of our Bard. 
Though in general no man committed his 
thoughts to his correspondents with less 
consideration or effort than Bums, yet it 
appears that in some instances he was 
dissatisfied with his first essays, and wrote 
out his communications in a fairer charac- 
ter, or perhaps in more studied language. 
In the chaos of his manuscripts, some of 
the oriffinal sketches were found ; and as 
these sketches, though less perfect, are 
fairly to be considered as the offspring of 
his mind, where they have seemed in them- 

* Dri Currie'i edition of Burnt*! Worki was origl- 
ludlX puU'ished in four volumw^ of which tb« (bDow- 
Ing CorreipondedM fonnod Uio ncond. 



selves worthy of a place in this vohimi) 
we have not hesitated to insert theOt 
though they may not always correspoDd 
exactly with the letters t^ansmitted,whieli 
have been lost or withheld. 

Our author appears at one time to htn 
formed an intention of making a collee- 
tion of his letters for the amusement of ft 
friend. Accordingly he copied an incon- 
siderable number of them into abookf 
which he presented to Robert Riddel, of 
Glenriddel, Esq. * Among these was tbe 
account of his life, addressed to Doctor 
Moore, and printed in the first volume.* 
In cop3ring from his imperfect sketcbefl*. . 
(it does not appear that he had theJetters 
actually sent to his correspondents before 
him,) he seems to have occasionally en- 
larged his observations, and altered ioB 
expressions. In such instances his emen- 
dations have been adopted ; but in tmtk 
there are but five of the letters thus se- 
lected by the poet, to be found in Um 
present volume, the r^t being thongfat of 
inferior merit, or otherwise unfit. f& the 
public eye. 



In printing this volume, the editor has 
found some corrections of grammar neces- 
sary ;' bat these have been very few, and 
sucn as may be supposed to occur in the 
careless effusions, even of literary chaiaC* 
ters, who have not been in the habit of 
carrying their compositions to the press. 
These corrections have never been ex- 
tended to any habitual modes of expres- 
sion of the poet, even where his phrase- 
ology may seem to violate the delicacies 
of taste ; or the idiom of our language, 
which he wrote in general with great ac* 
curacy. Some difference will indeed be 
found in this respect in his earlier and in 
his later compositions ; and this volume 
will exhibit the progress of his style, as 
well as the history of his mind. In the 
fourth edition, several new letters were 
introduced, and some of inferior impor- 
tance were omitted. 

* OMopyinf flnom p«c* 9 ^ P*6« ^^ of Ibis Sdbisa. 



GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE 



lEossm^r iBinBns« 



X.aTTBKS, IlO. 



TO MR. JOHN MURDOCH, 

eCBOOLHABTEB, 
STAPLES INN BUILDINGS, LONDON. 
LoAUe, IhtkJamiary, 17G3. 

Aa I hare utopportanity of lending 
fan L letter, without putting you to that 
l^nwe which uiy production of mine 
Woold but ill repay, I embrace it with 
pltiaara, to tell you U»t I have not for- 
Mtten nor ever will forget, the many ob- 
n^ionsl lie under to your IdndnesB and 



I do not doubt. Sir, but you will wiah 
to know what has been the result of all 
tha pftina of an indulgent father, and a 
muterly teacher ; and 1 wixli I could 
gratify your curiosity with such a recital 
as you would be plettaed with ; but that 
is what I am afraid will not be the cose. 
I have, indeed, kept pretty clear of vicious 
habits ; and in this respect, I hope my 
eondact will not disgrace the education 1 
\Mn gotten ; but m» a man of the world, 
I am most miserably deScient. — One 
woold haTfl thoDKht that bred as I have 
been, under a father who has figured 
pretty well as in hamma da affatra, 1 
might have been what the world calls a 
pushing, active fellow ; but, to toll you 
the truth. Sir, there is hardly any thing 
more my reverse. I seem to be one srnt 
into the world to see, and observe ; and 
1 very tiwily eompounil wi>Ji the knave 



who tricks me of my money, if there bfl 
any thing original about him which shows 
me human nature in a different light from 
any thing I have seen before. In short, 
the joy of my heart is to "study men, 
their manners, and their wajs i" and for 
this darling object, I cheerfully sacrifico 
every other consideration. I am quite 
indolent about those great concerns that 
set the bustling busy sons of care agog ; 
and if I have to answer for the present 
hour, I am very easy with regard to any 
thing further. Even the last worthy shift, 
of the unfortunate and the wretched does 



then my talent lor what coimtry-fi 
" a senuible crack," when once it 



I call 



learn to be happy.* However, I am un- 
der no apprehensions about that ; for, 
thoueJi indolent, yet, so far as an extreme- 
ly delicate constitution permits, I am not 
lazy ; and in many things, especially ia 
tavern -matters, I am a strict economist; 
not indeed for the sake of the money, but 
one of the principal parts in my composi- 
tion is a kind of pride of stomach, and I 
scorn to fear the face of any man living ; 
above every thing, I abhor, ha hell, tnci 
idea of sneaking in a comer to avoid • 
dun — possibly some pitiful, sordid wretch, 
whom in my heart I despise and detest. 
'Tis this, and this alone, that endears 
economy to me. In the matter of books, 
indeed, I am very profuse. My favourite 
authors arc of the sentimental kind, such 

•ThriiiiininiiiucIcdtDlwra,BUttUlbicnBillSoa 



LETTERS. 



■8 ShenHoniy particularly his EUgUt ; 
TKomaon ; Man of Feelings a book I prize 
next to the Bible ; Man of the JForld ; 
Stemfy especially his SentimentulJoumf^ ; 
MPherton't Ottian^ &.c. Tliese are the 
glorious models afler which I endeavour 
to form my conduct ; and 'tis incongru- 
ous, 'tis absurd, to suppose that the man 
whose mind glows with the sentiments 
lighted up at their sacred flame — the man 
whose heart distends with benevolence to 
all the human race — he *' who can soar 
above this little scene of things," can he 
descend to mind the paltry concerns about 
which the terra?filial race fret, and fume, 
and vex themselves ? O how the glorious 
triumph swells mj heart ! I forget that I 
am a poor insignificant devil, unnoticed 
and unknown, stalking up and down fairs 
and markets, when I happen to be in them, 
reading a page or two of mankind, and 
" catching the manners living as they 
rise," whilst the men of business jostle 
me on every side as an idle incumbrance 
in their way. But I dare say I have bv 
this time tired your patience; so I shall 
conclude with begging you to give Mrs. 
Murdoch — not my compliments, for that 
is a mere common-place story, but my 
warmest, kindest wishes for her welfare ; 
and accept of the same for yourself from, 
Dear Sir, Your's, dtc. 



ces must be strongly tinctared with hit 
unpolished rustic way of Ufe ; but as I 
believe they are really his own^ it may be 
some entertainment to a curious observer 
of human nature, to see how a ploughman 
thinks and feels, under the prenure of 
love, ambition, anxiety, grief, with the 
like cares and passions, which, howerer 
diversified by the modet and mannen of 
life, operate pretty much alike, I believe^ 
on all the species. 

" There are numbers in the worid wbo 
do not want sense to make a figure, so 
much as an opinion of their own abilitjes, 
to put them upon recording their oble^ 
vations, and allowing them the same im- 
portance, which they do to those whieh 
appear in print." — Shenttone* 



No. II. 

Hm fbllowliif ii taken from tbe MS. Prott pre- 
■ented by oar Bard to Mr. Riddel. 

On rummaging over some old papers, I 
lighted on a MS. of my early years, in 
which I had determined to write myself out, 
as I was placed by fortune among a class 
of men to whom my ideas would have 
been nonsense. I had meant that the 
book should have lain by me, in the fond 
hope that, some time or other, even after 
I was no more, my thoughts would fall 
into the hands of somebody capable of ap- 
preciating their value. It sets off thus : 

OhierwUvmiy HinU, Song*, Scraps of 
Poetry y SfC, by R, B, — a man who had 
little art in making money, and still less 
in keeping it ; but was, however, a man of 
some sense, a great deal of honesty, and 
unbounded good will to every creature 
rational and irrational. As he was but 
little indebted to scholastic education, 
and bred at a plough-tail, his performan- 



" Plearinf, when youth it loafczpir'd, to < 
Tbe fbnm our pencil or our pen detigned ! 

Such was our youUiful air, and shape, and Ikn, 
Such tbe eufk image of our youthful inijML*'—iUK 

^9ri/, 1783. 
Notwithstanding all that nas been Hid 
against love, respecting the foUy lod 
weakness it leads a young inexpenenced 
mind into ; still I thmk it in a great mea- 
sure deserves the highest encominms 
that have been passed upon it. If any 
thing on earth deserves the name of rap- 
ture or transport, it is the feelings of green 
eighteen, in the company of the mistresi 
of liis heart, when she repays him aith 
an equal return of affection. 



There is certainly some connexion be- 
tween love, and music, and poetry ; ted 
therefore I have always thought a ^ 
touch of nature, that passage in a modem 
love composition : 

" At tow*rd her cot be jofg'd along, 
Her name wai frequent in tail tong .** 

For my own part, I never had the least 
thought or inclination of turning poet, till 
I got once heartily in love ; and then 
rhyme and song were, in a manner, the 
spontaneous language of my heart. 

Septewlher* 
1 entirely agree with that judicioni 
philosopher, Mr. Smith, in his excellent 
Theonj of Moral SeniimenUy that remorse 
is the most painful pontimont that can im- 
bittpr lUe human bosom. Any ordinary 



LETTERS. 



93 



r fortitude may bear up tolerably 
Aet those calamities, in the pro- 
nt of which we ourselves have had 
1 ; but when our own follies, or 
have made us miserable and 
ed, to bear up with manly firm- 
id at the same time have a proper 
itial sense of our misconduct, is a 
9 effort of self command. 

the numeroof ills that hurt oar pmee, 
"vm the toul, or wring the mind with anfulih, 
; coiap&ri«on the worst are those 
) oar folly or our guilt we owe. 
y oilier circumstance the mind 
s to saf— ' It was no deed of mine ;* 
«n to all the evils of misfortune 
ing isVdded— ' Blame thy foolish self!* 
aer far, the pangs of Iceen remorse ; 
taring, gnawfcg consciousness of guilt— 
L, perhaps, where we've involved others ; 
nngr, the innocent, who fonilly lov*d us, 
lore, that very love their cause of ruin! 
ing hell ! in all thy store of torments, 
I not a keener lash! 

tiere a man so hrm, who, while his heart 
U the bitter tiorrors of his crime, 
ison down its agonizing throbs ; 
fter proper purpose of amendment, 
mly force his jarring thoughts to poacel 
y ! happy ! enviable man ! 
MU magnanimity of soul !** 



March, 1784. 
re often observed, in the course of 
»erience of human life, that every 
^en the worst, has something good 
dm; though very often nothing else 
bappy temperament of constitution 
ig him to this or that virtue. For 
ason, no man can say in what de- 
ny other person, besides himself, 
, with strict justice, called wicked, 
y of the strictest character for re- 
V of conduct among us, examine 
tally how many vices he has never 
uilty of, not from any care or vigi- 
but for want of opportunity, or 
:»;idental circumstance intervening; 
any of the weaknesses of mankind 
escaped, because he was out of the 
such temptation ; and, what often, 
always, weighs more than all the 
10W much he is indebted to the 
i good opinion, because the world 
ot know all. I say any man who 
us think, will scan the failings, nay, 
ilts and crimes, of mankind around 
dth a brother's eye. 

ve often courted the acquaintance 



of that part of mankind commonly known 
by the ordinary phrase of blackguards^ 
sometimes farther than was consistent 
with the safety of my character ; those 
who, by thoughtless prodigality or head- 
strong passions have been driven to ruin. 
Though disgraced by follies, nay, some- 
times *' stained with guilt, * * * * 
* *," I have yet found among them, in 
not a few instances, some of the noblest 
virtues, magnanimity, generosity, disin- 
terested friendship, and even modesty 



^priL 
As I am what the men of the world, if 
they knew such a man, would call a whim- 
sical mortal, I have various sources of 
pleasure and enjoyment, which are, in a 
manner, peculiar to myself, or some here 
and there such other out-of-the-way per- 
son. Such is the peculiar pleasure I take 
in the season of winter, more than the 
rest of the year. This, I believe, maybe 
partly owing to my misfortunes giving 
my mind a melancholy cast ; but there is 
something even in the 

** Mighty tempest, and the hoary waste 

Abrupt and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth.**-^ 

which raises the mind to a serious subli- 
mity, favourable to every thing great and 
noble. There is scarcely any earthly ob- 
ject gives me more — I do not know if I 
should call it pleasure — but something 
which exalts me, something which en- 
raptures me — than to walk m the shel- 
tered side of a wood, or high plantation, 
in a cloudy winter-day, and hear the 
stormy wind howling among the trees and 
raving over the plain. It is my best sea- 
son for devotion ; my mind is rapt up in a 
kind of enthusiasm to Him^ who in the 
pompous language of the Hebrew bard, 
** walks on the. wings of the wind." In 
one of these seasons, just after a train of 
misfortunes, I composed the following : 

The wintry west extends bis blast, fcc.— Poems, p. 39. 

Shenstone finely observes, that love- 
verses writ without any real passion, are 
the most nauseous of all conceits ; and I 
have often thought that no man can be a 
proper critic of love composition, except 
he himself, in one or more instances, have 
been a warm votary of this passion. As 
I have been all along a miserable dupe to 
lovp, and havp been led into a thousand 
wcakncsFcs and follies by It^ fciT VVi^ x^x.- 



■on I pot the more confidence in my cri- 
tical Bldll, in distioguiihing fopper; ud 
conceit from real puaion tnd nature. 
Whether the rollowing Bonjf will stand 
thetest.I will not pretend to saj^, becauie 
it ii my own; only I can say it was, at 
the time genuine from the heart. 



I think the whole Bpecies of young men 
may be naturally enough divided into two 
grand classes, which I shall call the yftviee 
and the merry; though, by the by, these 
terms do not with propriety enough ei- 
presB my ideas. The gravi! I shall cast 
mto the usual division of thnpo who are 
goaded on by thclovcof money, nndthonc 
whose darlingwiah Ip to make a figure in 
the world. The merry are, the men of 

Eleaeurc of all denominations ; the jovial 
ida, who have too much fire and spirit to 
have any settled rule of action; but, with- 
out much deliberation follow the atronp 
impalaes of nature : the thoughtless, the 
cirelei"', the indolent — in particular hf, 
who, with a happy sweetofsa of natural 
temper.andachecrfiilvacancyof thought, 
Bteale through life — generally, indeed, in 
poverty and obscurity ; but poverty and 
obscurity arc only evils to him who can 
ait gravely down and make a repining 
comparison between bis own situation nnc] 
that of others ; and laally. to grace the 
quorum, such an are, generally, those 
whose heads are capable of all the tower- 
ings or genius, and whofe hearts are 
wanned with all the delicacy of feeLng. 



As th« grand end of human lite is to 
cultivate an intercourse with that Being 
to whom we owe our life, with every cn- 
joynicnt that can render life delighlful; 
and to maintain an integritivo conduct 
towards our fellow-creatures; that so, by 
forming piety and virtue into habit, wc 
may be fit members for that society of 
the pious and the good, which reason and 
revelation teach us to expect beyond the 
grave ; t do not see that the turn of miiid 
and pursuits of any win of poverty and 
obscurity, are in the least more inimical 
to the sacred interests of piety and vir- 
tue, than the, even lawful, bustling and 
■training adnr the world's riches and ho- 
nour* ' and I do not see but that he may 



[ among the wreck d 



through the rale of life, amuaing himielf 
with every little flower, that fortUM 
throws in his way; aa he who, atrainini 
itmight forward, and perhaps bespatter- 
ing all about him, gains some of life'slilllt 
eminences ; where, after all, he can onlj 
see, and be seen, a little more conspra- 
ously tlian what, in the piide ofhiahear^ 
he is apt to term tlie poci indolent dnS 
be has Icfl behind him. 



There is a noble sublimity, a Wtt 
melting tendemcKs, in some' (rf oar U^ 
cient ballad*, which show them to bath* 
worlief a masterly hand; and ithascftai 
riven me many a heart-ache toreSect,tbt 
luch glotioud old bardH — barda whorei; 
probably owed all their talents to Datif* 
genius, yet have described the expUlt 
of iicroes, the panga of 
and tlic meltings of love, with 
strokes of nature — that their very 
(U how mortifying to a bard's nnitj' 
are now "buried 
things which 

O ye illuBtriooB names unknown! wlw . 
could feel so strongly aud describe so well; 
the ksi, the meanest of the muses' tiaio 
— one who, though far inferior to year 
flights, yet eyes your path, and with treio- 
bling wing would sometimes soar after 
you — a poor rustic bard unknown, pap 
tliis sytnpnthetic pang to yonr memory! 
Some of ybn tell us with all the charoi of 
verde, that you have been unfortunate ia 
the world — unfortunate in love i he too 
has felt the loss of bis little fortune, tbt 
loss of friends, and, worse than all, tha 
loss of the woman he adored. Lite yon, 
all his consolation was hia muse; she 
taught himin rustic measures to complain. 
Happy could he have done it with your 
strength of imaginstion and flow of verse! 
May the turf lie lightly on your bone* I 
and may you now enjoy that solaee and 
rest which this world rarely given to tba 
heart tuned to all tba feelinga of poe^ 
and love I 



is an woith quoting in mj USS 
e than all. 

R. B 



TO MR. AIKIN. 



LETTERS. 95 

of tha executioner. All theat Teuoiia 
ur^ me to go abroad ; *nd to all tbeM 
reasoiu I have onlj one anawer — the 
feelings of a father. This, in the present 
mood I am in, overbalances every thing 
that can be laid in the icale egainat it. 



AyrMre, 1T8S. 

IS with Wilson, my printer, t'other 
settled all our bj-gonc matters 
OB. Af\er I had paid him all 
, I made him the offer ofthe ac- 
tion, on the hazard of being paid 
efirit and readieil, whirh he de- 
By his account, the paper of a 
I copies would cost about twent^- 
unds, and the printini; about iif- 
ixteenj he offers to agree to this 
rintin^, if I will advance for the 
tut this you know, is out of my 

farewell hopes of a second edi- 
grow richer t an epochs, which, 

viU arrive at the payment of the 
ational debt. 

ia scarcely any thine hurts me 
in being disappointed of my se- 
;ioD, as not having it in my power 
my gratitude to Mr. Ballautyne, 
ihing my poem of The Bhg$ of 
would detest myself as a wretch, 
^ht I were capable, in a very long 
orfettinjT the honest, warm, and 
slicacy with which he enters into 
ests. I am Bometimes pleased 
■elf in mv grateful Bensations ; 
lieve, on the whole, I have very 
rit in it, as my gratitude is not a 
le consequence of reflection, but 
he instinctive emotion of a heart 
entive to allow worldly maxims 
■ to settle into selfish habits. 

been feeling all the various ro- 
id movements within, respecting 
a. There are many things plead 

ajrainst It, the uncertainty of get- 

1 into business, the consequences 
lies, which may perhaps make it 
sable for me to stay at home ; 
des, I have for some time been 
nder secret wretchedness, from 
hich you pretty well know — the 
isRppointment, the sting of pride, 
le wandeii?" stabs of remorse, 
iver fail to settle on my vitals 
ires, when attention is not called 



You may perhaps think it an extravt- 
gant fancy, but it is a sentiment which 
strikes home to my very soul ; though 
sceptical in some points of our current 
belief, yet, I think, I have every evidear4 
for the reality of a life beyond the stint< 
ed bourn of our present existence ; if so, 
then bow should I, in the presence of 
that tremendous Being, the Author of 
existence, how should I meet the ra- 

§ roaches of those who stand to me in the 
ear relation of children, wiiom I desert- 
ed in the smiling innocency of helpless 
infancy.' O thou great, unknown Fowerl 
thou Almighty God ! who has lighted np 
reason in my breast, and blessed me with 
immortality ! I have frequently wandered 
from that order and regularity necessary 
for the perfection of thy works, yet thott 
hast never lefl mo nor forsaken me 



Since T wrote the foregoing sheet, I 
have seen something of the stonn of mi*- 
chief thickening over m^ folly-davoled 
head. Should you, my fnends, my bene- 
factors, be successful in your applications 
for me, perhaps it may not be in my pow- 
er in that way to reap the fruit of your 
friendly efforts. What 1 have written in 
the preceding pages is the settled tenor 
of my present resolution ; but should in- 
imical circumstances forbid me closing 



To tell the truth, I have little reawin 
for complaint, as the world, in general, 
has been kind to me, fully up to my de- 
serts. I was, for some time past, fast 
getting into the pining, distrustful snarl 
ofthe misanthrope. I saw myself alone, 
unfit for the struggle of life, shrinlcing at 
every lising cloud in the chance-directed 
atmosphere of fortune, while, all defence- 
less, I looked about in vain for a cover. 
Tt never occurred to me, at least never 
with the force it deserved, that this world 
is a busy scene, and man a creature de*> 



96 



LETTERS. 



lined for a progrressive struggle; and that 
however I might poBsess a warm heart, 
and inoffensive manners, (which last, by 
the by, was rather more than I coold 
well boast) still, more than these passive 
qualities, there was something to be done. 
Sv'tien all my stchool-lullows and youthful 
compoors (thoMO misguided few excepted 
who joined, to use a (jeuloo phrase^ the 
/. Hlavhares of the human race,) were atri- 
kiiiir olfwith eager hope and earnest in- 
tention 8omt' one or other of the many 
paths of busy life, I was standing * idle in 
the market-place,' or only loll the chase 
of the butterliy from flower to flower, to 
hunt I'ancy from wliim to wliim. 



You Fee, Sir, that if to Armno one's er- 
rors were a probability of mending them, 
I stand a fair chance, but, According to 
the reverend Westminster divines, though 
conviction must precede conversion, it is 
very far from always implying it.* 



NO. IV 
TO MRS. DUNLOP OP DUNLOP. 



Ayrthire^ 17b6. 



MADAM, 



I AM truly sorry I was not at home 
yesterday when I was so nmch honoured 
with your order for my copies, and incom- 
parably more by the handsome compli- 
ments you are pleased to pay my poetic 
abilities. I am fully persuaded that there 
is not any class of mankind so feelingly 
alive to the titillations of applause, as the 
sons of Parnassus ; nor is it easy to con- 
ceive how the heart of the poor bard dan- 
ces with rapture, when those whose cha- 
racter in life gives them a right to be po- 
lite judges, honour him with their appro- 
bation. Had you been thoroughly ac- 
quainted with me, Madam, you could not 
have touched my darling heait-chord more 
sweetly than by noticing my attempts to 
celebrate your illustrious ancestor, the 
Saviour of his Country. 

" Great patriot-bero ! tUreqaited ehlaf !** 

*Thi« letter WM evidentir written under the di*. 
tim of mind (Kcaaloned br our r<Mt*f wpvatkm front 
Mn. Buriii. E 



The first book I met with in my etih 
years, which I perused with pleasure, wm 
The Life ofHaniMbal: the next was 21t 
History of Sir Wiiliam JFaikug-, for SB 
veral of my earlier years I had few otiier 
authors ; and many a solitary hour havi I 
stole out, afler the laborious vocatiins of 
the day, to shed a tear over their gkri- 
ous but unfortunate stories. In Ukmi 
boyish days I remember in particular be- 
ing stnick with that part of Wsllaei^ 
story where these lines occur— 

** Syne to the Leglen wood, whan It wh taM^ 
To make a silent and a aafe retreat.*' 

I chose a fine summer Sunday, the onir 
day my line of life allowed, and wiliflt 
half a dozen of miles to pay my respedi 
to the Leglen wood, with as much deroit 
enthusiasm as ever pilgrim did to LonU 
to ; and, as 1 explored, every den and dd 
where I could suppose my heroic countiy- 
man to have lodged, I recollect (for efci. 
then I was a rhymer) that my heart j^ov* 
ed with a wish to be able to make a My 
on him in some measure equal to hi 
merits 



NO. V. 
TO MRS. STEWART, OF STAIR 



1786. 



MADAM, 



The hurry of my preparations for go- 
ing abroad has hindered me from perfemi* 
ing my promise so soon as I intended, I bavt 
here sent vou a parcel of songs, d^. wUch 
never made their appearance, except to i 
friend or two at most. Perhaps soma if 
them may be no great entertainment to 
you ; but of that 1 am far from heiag n 
adequate judge. The song to the too 
of Ettrick Banksy you will easily see ths 
impropriety of exposing much, even !■ 
manuscript. I think, myself, it has boim 
merit, both as a tolerable description of 
one of Nature's sweetest scenes, a July 
evening, and one of the finest pieces of 
Nature's workmanship, the finest, indeed, 
we know any thing of, an amiable, beau- 
tiful yoimg woman ;* but I have no com* 
men friend to procure me that permis- 
sion, without which I would not dare to 
spread the copy. 



* The rnng tnckieed ia tbe one 
*Tiraft even— tbe demr Oaldf 






LETTERS. 



97 



Suite aware, Madam, what task 
would assign me in this letter, 
rcure bard, when any of the ffreat 
end to take notice of him, should 
e altar with the incense of flatte- 
eir high ancestry, their own great 
Hike qualities and actions, should 
unted with the most exaggerated 
ion. This, Madam, is a task for 
am altogether unfit. Besides a 
disqualifying pride of heart, I know 
of your connexions in life, and have 
iSB to where your real character 
found — the company of your com- 
and more, I am afraid that even 
it refined adulation is by no means 
d to your good opinion. 

feature of your character I shall 
th grateful pleasure remember — 
eption I got when I had the ho- 
' waiting on you at Stair. I am 
cquainted with politeness; but I 
good deal of benevolence of tem- 
l goodness of heart. Surely, did 
1 exalted stations know how hap- 
' could make some classes of their 
8 by condescension and affability, 
Duld never stand so high, measur- 
; with every look the height of 
evation, but condescend as sweet- 
d Mrs. Stewart of Stair. 



No. VI. 

' THE NAME OF THE NINE. AmEN. 

>BERT Burns, by virtue of a War- 
'om Nature, bearing date the 
f-fiflh day of January, Anno Do- 
e thousand seven hundred and fif- 
8,* Poet-Laureat and Bard in 
in and over the Districts and 
ies of Ktle, Cunningham, and 
:e, of old extent. To our trusty 
iU-be1oved William Chalmers 
IN M'Adam, Students and Prac- 
« in the ancient and mysterious 
) of CoNFouNDiNO RiGBT and 



Wm 



IT Trusty, 

( it known unto you, That whereas, 
course of our care and watchings 
e Order and Police of all and sun- 
3 Manufacturers, Retainers, 
-.nders of Poesy ; Bards, Poets, 
ters, Rhymers, Jinglers, Songsters, 
singers, o^c, &c., dtc, dltc, A&c, 

* His UrUhdaj. 



male and female — ^We have diseorered a 
certain * * *, nefarious, abominable, and 
Wicked Sono, or Ballad, a copy where- 
of We have here enclosed ; Our Will 
THEREFORE 18, that Ye pltch upou and 
appoint the most execrable Individual of 
that most execrable Species, known by 
the appellation, phrase, and nickname of 
The Deil's Yell Nowte ;* and, after 
having caused him to kindle a fire at the 
Cross of Ayr, ye shall at noontide of 
the day, put into the said wretch's mer- 
ciless hands the said copy of the said ne- 
farious and wicked Song, to be consumed 
by fire in the presence of all Beholders* 
in abhorrence of, and terrorum to all such 
Compositions and Composers. And this 
in no wise leave ye undone, but have it 
executed in every point as this Our Man 
DATE bean before the twenty-fourth cut ' 
rent, when in person We hope to ap 
plaud your faithfulness and zeaL 

Given at Mauchline, this twentieth 
day of November, Anno Domini one thou- 
sand seven hundred and eighty-six.f 
God save the babx» I 



No. VII. 

DR. BLACKLOCK 

TO THE REVEREND MR. G. 

LOWRIE. 

REVEREND AND DEAR SIBy 

I OUGHT to have acknowledged your 
favour long ago, not only as a testimony 
of your kind remembrance, but as it fnYe 
me an opportunity of sharing one of the 
finest, and, perhaps, one of tM most genu- 
ine entertainments, of which the human 
mind is susceptible. A number of avoca- 
tions retardea my progress in reading the 
poems ; at last, however, I have fiaished 
that pleasing perusal. Many instances 
have 1 seen of Nature's force and benefi- 
cence exerted under numerous and formi- 
dable disadvantages ; but none equal to 
that with which you have been kind enouffh 
.to present me. There id a pathos and deli- 
cacy in his serious poems, a vein of wit and 
humour in those of a more festive turn, 
which cannot be too much admired, nor too 
warmly approved ; and I think I shall never 

• Old Bacbekm. 

fEnoloMd WM the bsllad, protaMf JMf fnOkt 
Frmtvr E 



\ 



98 



LETTERS 



open the book withoat feeling my aston- 
ishment renewed and increased. It was 
my wish to have expressed my approba- 
tion in verse ; but whether from declining 
life, or a temporary depression of spirits, 
it is at present out of my power to accom- 
plish that agreeable intention. 

Mr. Stewart, Professor of Morals in 
this University, had formerly read me 
three of the poems, and I had desired him 
to get my name inserted among the sub- 
scribers ; but whether this was done, or 
not, I never could learn. I have, little 
intercourse with Dr. Blair, but will take 
care to have the poems communicated to 
him by the intervention of some mutual 
friend. It has been told me by a Gentle- 
man, to whom I showed the performances, 
and who sought a copy with diligence and 
ardour, that the whole impression is al- 
ready exhausted. It were, therefore, 
much to be wished, for the sake of the 
young man, that a second edition, more 
numerous than the former, could imme- 
diately be printed : as it appears certain 
that its intrinsic merit and the exertion of 
the author's friends, might give it a more 
universal circulation than any thing of 
the kind which has been published within 
my memory.* • 



No. VIII. 

FROM THE REVEREND MR. 
LOWRIE. 



22d December^ 1786. 



DEAR SIR, 



I LAST week received a letter from 
Dr. Blacklock, in which he expresses a 
desire of seeing you, I write this to you, 
that you may lose no time in waiting 
upon nim, should you not yet have seen 
him. 



I rejoice to hear, from all comers, of your 

* The reader will perceive that thia ii tbe letter which 
produced tbe determination of our Bard to give up his 
■cbenie or going to tb^ Weat Indlei, and to try the fate 
of a new Edition of hie Poenu In Edinburgh. A copy 
of this letter wasnent by Mr. Lowrie to Mr. 6. Bamll- 
tnn, and by hloi communicated to Bums, amoof whoae 
paper* it wafl found. 

For an account of Mr. Lowrie and hia (telly, ■•• the 
letter of Gilbert Burns to the Editor. 



rising fame, and I with and expect It may 
tower still higher by the new pubUcalion. 
But, as a friend, I warn you to prepare to 
meet with your share of detraction ud 
envy — a train that always accompaiiy 
great men. For your comfort I am ia 
great hopes that the number of your 
friends and adinirera will increase, and 
that you have some chance of ministerii], 
or even ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ patronage. Now, ay 
friend, such rapid success ia very aneon- 
mon : and do you think yoorself in no 
danger of suffering by appfaase and afuB 
purse ? Remember Solomon's adrice, 
which he spoke from experience, " stroa- 
ger is he that conquers,'* Slc^ Keep hd 
hold of your rural simplicity and pontic 
like Telemachus, by Mentor'ta aid, m 
Calypso's isle, or even in that of Cypna • 
I hope you have also Minerva with yoa 
I need not toll jou how much a mo^ 
diffidence and invmcible temperance adon 
the most shining talents, and elevate tlio 
mind, and exalt and refine the imtgiia- 
tion, even of a poet« 

I hope you will not imagine I speik 
from suspicion pr evil report. I^anara 
you I speak from love and good ieport, 
and good opinion, and a atrong desire to 
see you shine as much in the snnslune m 
you have done in the shade ; and in tht 
practice, as you do in the theory of rir 
tue. This is my prater, in return ftr 
your elegant composition in verse. All 
here join in compliments and good wiihei 
for your further prosperity. 



No. IX. 

TO MR. CHALMERa 
Edmbwrgh, ftlth Dee. 1786. 

MT DBAK FRIEND, 

I CONFESS I have sinned the tin for 
which there is hardly any forgivenen— 
ingratitude to friendship— in not wxi|iBf 
you sooner ; but of all men living, Ihu 
intended to send you an entertaimng let- 
ter ; and by all the plodding stupid pow- 
ers that in nodding conceited majesty pre- 
side over the dull routine of business— t 
heavily solemn oath this !— I am, and 
have been ever since I came to Edinburgli 
as imfit to write a letter of humour as to 
write a commentary on the Rtvelatumt. 



i 



ke jon some amend* for what, 
in reach this paragraph jou will 
eredf I enclose you two poema I 
led and spun since I passed Gleu- 
>ne blank in the addresi to Bdin- 

Fair B ," is the heavenly 

net, daughter to Lord Honbod- 
loae house 1 had the honour to be 
in once. There has not been 
[ nearly like her, in all the com- 

of beautj, ^race, and goodneM, 
. Creator hac formed, since Mil- 
I on the firstdsy of her existence- 
sent you aparecl or Bubscription- 
1 have written to Mr. Ballantyne 
liken, to call on you for some of 
the; want them. My direction 
of Andrew Bruce, Merchant, 



IE EARL OF ECLINTON. 

Edmbur^, Jaimary, I7S7. 
iD, 

have but slender pretensions to 
y, I cannot rise to the exalted 
, citizen of the world ; but have 
national prejudices which, 1 be- 
iw peculiarly strong in the breoat 
chfflan. Thcie is scarcely any 
which I am bo feelingly alive ; 
aourend welfare of my country; 

poet, I have no higher eojoy- 
Q singing her sons and daugn- 
.te had cast my station in the 
lades of life ; but never did a 
it more ardently than mine, to 
fished ; though till ver^ lately, 
in vain on every side for a ray 

It is easy, then, to guess how 
vaa gratified with the counte- 
l approbation of one of my coun- 
it illiislrious sons, when