« PreviousContinue »
TO DR. BLACKLOCK.*
Ellisland, 21st Oct. 1789.
And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie?
Wad bring ye to:
And then ye'll do.
* In answer to the following Poetical Epistle from Dr. Blacklock.
Edinburgh, 24th August, 1789.
Most anxiously I wish to know
For me, with grief and sickness spent,
The ill-thief blaw the Heron* south !
He'd tak my letter;
And bade nae better.
But aiblins honest Master Heron,
And holy study;
E'en tried the body.
But what d'ye think, my trusty fier,
Ye'll now disdain me!
Will little gain me.
No more to gloomy thoughts a prey,
“ THO. BLACKLOCK.”
It was through Dr. Blacklock's exertions that the Poet was induced to abandon his intention of going to Jamaica, in 1786.
* Robert Heron, author of a History of Scotland, and of a Life of Burns.
Ye glaiket, gleesome, dainty damies,
Ye ken, ye ken,
’Mang sons o' men.
I need na vaunt,
Before they want.
Lord help me thro' this warld o’care !
weary sick o't late and air ! Not but I hae a richer share
Than monie ithers; But why should ae man better fare,
And a' men brithers ?
Come, Firm Resolve, take thou the van,
A lady fair;
Will whyles do mair.
To weans and wife,
Of human life.
My compliments to sister Beckie ;
As e'er tread clay!
I'm yours for ay.
PROLOGUE, SPOKEN AT THE THEATRE,
O song nor dance I bring from yon
great city That queens it o'er our taste—the
more's 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 wish you all a good new-year ! Old Father Time deputes me here before ye, Not for to preach, but tell his simple story:
* In a letter from Ellisland, 11th January, 1790, Burns says, “We have gotten a set of very decent players here just
I have seen them an evening or two. David Campbell, in Ayr, wrote to me by the manager of the company, a Mr. Sutherland, who is a man of apparent worth. On Newyear's-day evening I gave him the following Prologue, which he spouted to his audience with applause;" and on the 9th of the next month he said, “I have given Mr. Sutherland two Prologues, one of which was delivered last week."
The sage grave ancient cough’d, and bade me say,
Last, tho' not least in love, ye youthful fair, Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar care! To you old Bald-pate smooths his wrinkled brow, And humbly begs you'll mind the important now! To crown your happiness he asks your leave, And offers bliss to give and to receive.
For our sincere, tho' haply weak endeavours, With grateful pride we own your many favours ; And howsoe'er our tongues may ill reveal it, Believe our glowing bosoms truly feel it.