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embark for the West Highlands to arrange matters among her friends for our projected change of life. At the close of Autumn following, she crossed the sea to meet me at Greenock; where she had scarce landed when she was seized with a malignant fever, which hurried my dear girl to the grave in a few days! before I could even hear of her illness.” We learn from four of his biographers, that this adieu was performed with all those simple and striking ceremonials which rustic sentiment has devised to prolong tender emotions and to inspire awe. The lovers stood on each side of a small purling brook—they laved their hands in its limpid stream, and, holding a Bible between them, pronounced their vows to be faithful to each other. They parted-never to meet again! The anniversary of Mary Campbell's death (for that was her name) awakening in the sensitive mind of Burns the most lively emotion, he retired from his family, then residing on the farm of Ellisland, and wandered, solitary, on the banks of the Nith, and about the farm-yard, in the extremest agitation of mind, nearly the whole of the night. His excitement was so great, that he threw himself on the side of a corn-stack, and there conceived his sublime and tender Elegy; which, although so well known, we shall, nevertheless, present :
Thou ling’ring star, with less'ning ray,
That lov'st to greet the early morn,
My Mary from my soul was torn.
Where is thy place of blissful rest?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?
Can I forget the hallowed grove,
Eternity cannot efface
Those records dear of transports past;
Ah! little thought we 'twas our last !
Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore,
O’erhung with wild woods, thick’ning, green ;
Twined amorous round the raptured scene ;
The birds sang love on every spray,
Proclaim'd the speed of winged day.
Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care !
As streams their channels deeper wear.
Where is thy place of blissful rest?
Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast ?
The muse of the poet-lover of the Highland Mary owed much of its inspiration to the sex. He tells us that when he desired to feel the pure spirit of poetry, and obey successfully its impulse, he put himself on a regimen of admiring a fine woman.
Burns was possessed of deep emotions and delicate sensibilities, and he was easily subdued by the sweetest of human influences. “My heart,” he says in one of his letters, “was complete tinder, and eternally lighted up by some goddess or other.”
During the three years he spent at Ellisland, Burns was so deeply engaged in the labours of his farm, and those connected with his appointment in the Excise, that he had little of either time or inclination for the cultivation of his poetical gift. Yet, even in this
busy time, he contrived to celebrate the charms of one or two local divinities. One of these was Miss Jeffrey, daughter of the minister of Lochmaben. Spending an evening at the manse, he was greatly pleased with this young lady, who did the honours of the table; and he next morning presented at breakfast the lines which have made her immortal :
I gaed a waefu' gate yestreen, a gate, I fear, I'll dearly rue ;
She talked, she smiled, my heart she wiled, she charmed my soul, I
wist nae how; And aye the stound, the deadly wound, cam frae her een sae bonnie
GEORGE DARLEY wrote this Song of the Summer Winds :
Up the dale and down the bourne, o'er the meadow swift we fly; Now we sing, and now we mourn, now we whistle, now we sigh. By the grassy-fringed river, through the murmuring reeds we sweep; Mid the lily-leaves we quiver, to their very hearts we creep.
Now the maiden rose is blushing at the frolic things we say,
Down the glen, across the mountain, o'er the yellow heath we roam,
Delightful visitant! with thee I hail the time of lowers,
LEYDEN's celebrated Ode to an Indian Gold Coin, has attracted the especial notice and commendation of Colton and other critics. This remarkable poem was written in Cherical, Malabar ; the author having left his native land, Scotland, in quest of a fortune in India. He died shortly afterwards in Java :
Slave of the dark and dirty mine!
What vanity has brought thee here?
So bright, whom I have bought so dear?
The tent-ropes Aapping lone I hear
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear
By Chérical's dark, wandering streams,
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild,
Of Teviot loved, while still a child,
Of castled rocks, stupendous piled,
Where loves of youth and friendship smiled,
Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade!
The perished bliss of youth's first prime, That once so bright on fancy played,
Revives no more in after-time.
Far from my sacred natal clime, I haste to an untimely grave;
The daring thoughts that soared, sublime Are sunk in ocean's southern wave. Slave of the mine! thy yellow light
Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear : A gentle vision comes by night
My lonely, widowed heart to cheer :
Her eyes are dim with many a tear, That once were guiding-stars to mine ;
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear : I cannot bear to see thee shine!
For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave,
I left a heart that loved me true! I crossed the tedious ocean-wave,
To roam in climes unkind and new.
The cold wind of the stranger blew Chill on my withered heart: the grave
Dark and untimely met my view,And all for thee, vile yellow slave!
Ha! com'st thou now so late to mock
A wanderer's banished heart forlorn, Now that his frame the lightning shock
Of sun-rays tipt with death has borne?
From love, from friendship, country, torn, To memory's fond regrets the prey,
Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn ! Go, mix thee with thy kindred clay!