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A GRACE BEFORE DINNER.

THOU, who kindly dost provide

For every creature's want!
We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
For all Thy goodness lent:
And, if it please Thee, Heavenly Guide,

May never worse be sent;
But whether granted, or denied,
Lord, bless us with content!

Amen!

A VERSE COMPOSED AND REPEATED BY

BURNS, TO THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE,

ON TAKING LEAVE AT A PLACE IN THE HIGHLANDS,

WHERE HE HAD BEEN HOSPITABLY

ENTERTAINED.*

HEN death's dark stream I ferry o'er,

A time that surely shall come;
In Heaven itself I'll ask no more,
Than just a Highland welcome.

* Burns made a tour to the Highlands in 1787.

LIBERTY.* A FRAGMENT.

HEE, Caledonia, thy wild heaths among, De Thee, famed for martial deed and sacred

song, de e To thee I turn with swimming eyes; Where is that soul of Freedom fled ? Immingled with the mighty dead !

Beneath the hallow'd turf where Wallace lies ! Hear it not, Wallace, in thy bed of death!

Ye babbling winds, in silence sweep;

Disturb not ye the hero's sleep, Nor give the coward secret breath.

10 Is this the power in Freedom's war,

That wont to bid the battle rage ?, Behold that eye which shot immortal hate,

Crushing the despot's proudest bearing,

* Burns wrote to Mrs. Dunlop from Castle Douglas, onthe 25th June, 1794.

“ Here in a solitary inn, in a solitary village, am I set by myself, to amuse my brooding fancy as I may." ...I am just going to trouble your critical patience with the first sketch of a stanza I have been framing as I paced along the road. The subject is LIBERTY. You know, my honoured friend, how dear the theme is to me. I design it as an irregular Ode for General Washington's birth-day. After having mentioned the degeneracy of other Kingdoms, I come to Scotland thus :

Thee, Caledonia, &c.” No more of this Poem has been found; but Mr. Allan Cunningham says “fragmentary strains were numerous among the Poet's papers.”

That arm which, nerved with thundering fate,

Brav'd usurpation's boldest daring! One quench'd in darkness like the sinking star, And one the palsied arm of tottering, powerless age.

ELEGY* ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT

RUISSEAUX.

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B OSOW Robin lies in his last lair,

He'll gabble rhyme, nor sing nae mair, The Cauld poverty, wi' hungry stare,

Nae mair shall fear him : Nor anxious fear, nor cankert care

E’er mair come near him. To tell the truth, they seldom fash't him, Except the moment that they crush't him ; For sune as chance or fate had husht 'em, 10

Tho' e'er sae short,
Then wi' a rhyme or sang 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 ;
But tell him, he was learn’d and clark,

Ye roos'd him than ! * As this Elegy occurs among Burns' memoranda, dated in May, 1784 or 1785, which were printed by Cromek, it was probably written about that time.

† Ruisseaux-a play upon his own name.

ANSWER TO VERSES ADDRESSED TO

THE POET

BY THE GUIDWIFE OF WAUCHOPE-HOUSE.*

GUIDWIFE,
eller 2 MIND it weel, in early date,

When I was beardless, young and

blate,
B An' first could thresh the barn,
Or haud a yokin at the pleugh,
An' tho' forfoughten sair eneugh,

Yet unco proud to learn :
When first amang the yellow corn

A man I reckon'd was,
And wi' the lave ilk merry morn
Could rank my rig and lass,
Still shearing, and clearing

The tither stooked raw,
Wi' claivers, an' haivers,

Wearing the day awa.
Ev’n then a wish, (I mind its power,)
A wish that to my latest hour,

Shall strongly heave my breast;
That I for poor auld Scotland's sake,
Some usefu' plan, or beuk could make,
Or sing a Sang at least.

20 * The lady to whom these verses are addressed was the late Mrs. Scott, of Wauchope, who was both a painter and a poetess; and Allan Cunningham, as a specimen of her skill in verse, has given the copy of her letter to Burns. to which this was the answer.

The rough bur-thistle, spreading wide

Amang the bearded bear,
I turn'd the weeder-clips aside,
An' spar'd the symbol dear :
No nation, no station,

My envy e'er could raise ;
A Scot still, but blot still,

I knew nae higher praise.

30

But still the elements o' sang
In formless jumble, right an’ wrang,

Wild floated in my brain ;
Till on that har’st I said before,
My partner in the merry core,

She rous'd the forming strain :
I see her yet, the sonsie quean,

That lighted up her jingle,
Her witching smile, her pauky een,
That gart my heart-strings tingle;
I fired, inspired,

At ev'ry kindling keek,
But bashing, and dashing,

I feared aye to speak.

40

Health to the sex, ilk guid chiel says,
Wi’ merry dance in winter days,

An' we to share in common :
The gust o' joy, the balm of woe,
The saul o' life, the heav'n below,

Is rapture-giving woman.
Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name,

Be mindfu' o' your mither :
She, honest woman, may think shame
VOL. II.

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