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to forget these miseries ; or to hang myself, to get rid of them; like a prudent man (a character congenial to my every thought, word, and deed), I, of two evils have chosen the least, and am, very drunk, at your service ?*
I wrote to you yesterday from Dumfries. I had not time then to tell you all I wanted to say ; and heaven knows, at present I have not capacity.
Do you know an air-I am sure you must know it, We'll gang nae mair to yon town? I think, in slowish time, it would make an excellent song. I am highly delighted with it; and if you should think it worthy of your attention, I have a fair dame in my eye to whom I would consecrate it.
As I am just going to bed, I wish you a good night.
25th February, 1795. I HAVE to thank you my dear Sir, for two epistles, one containing Let me in this ae night; and the other from Ecclefechan, proving, that drunk or sober, your mind is never muddy." You have displayed great address in the above song. Her answer is excellent, and at the same time takes away the indelicacy that otherwise would have at
"The bard must have been tipsy indeed, to abuse sweet Ecclefechan at this rate.
tached to his entreaties. I like the song as it now stands, very much.
I had hopes you would be arrested some days at Ecclefechan, and be obliged to beguile the tedious forenoons by song-making. It will give me pleasure to receive the verses you intend for 0 wat ye wha's in yon town?
MR BURNS. to MR THOMSON.
ADDRESS TO THE WOODLARK.
Tunc-" WHERE'LL BONNIE ANN LIE.”
O STAY, sweet warbling wood-lark, stay, · Nor quit for me the trembling spray, A hapless lover coutts thy lay,
Thy soothing, fond complaining.
Again, again that tender part,
Wha' kills me wi' disdaining.
Say, was thy little mate unkind,
Oh ! nocht but love and sorrow join'd,
Sic notes o' woe could wauken.
Thou tells o' never-ending care :
Or-my poor heart is broken !
Let me know, your very first leisure, how you like this song.
ON CHLORIS BEING ILL.
Tune" AY WAKIN 0."
Heavy comes the morrow,
Is on her bed of sorrow. .
Can I cease to care ?
Can I cease to languish ?
Every hope is filed,
Every fear is terror ;
Hear me, Pow’rs divine !
Oh! in pity hear me !
How do you like the foregoing? The Irish air, Humours of Glen, is a great favourite ot' mine ; and as, except the silly stuff in the Poor Soldier, there are not any decent verses for it, I have written for it as follows :
Tune" HUMOURS OF GLEN."
Their groves o'sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon,
Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume; Far dearer to me yon lone glen o'green breckan,
Wi’ the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom.
Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers,
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen : For there, lightly tripping amang the wild flowers,
A listening the linnet, aft wanders my Jean.
Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay sunny valleys,
And cauld CALEDONIA's blast on the wave; Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the proud The slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubbling four
palace, What are they?The haunt of the tyrant and
The brave Caledonian views wi' disdain ; He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains,
Save love's willing fetters the chains o' his Jean.
'Twas na her bonnie blue e'e was my ruin; Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my undoing : 'Twas the dear smile when naebody did mind us, 'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance o' kind.
Sair do I fear that to hope is denied me,
Mary, I'm thine wi' a passion sincerest,
Let me hear from you..