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A Towmont, Sirs, is gane to wreck !
The Spanish empire's tint a head,
Ye ministers, come mount the poupit, An' cry till ye be haerse an' roupet, For Eighty-eight he wish'd you weel, And gied you a' baith gear an' meal; 20 E’en monie a plack, and monie a peck, Ye ken yoursels, for little feck.
Ye bonie lasses, dight your een, For some o'you hae tint a frien’; In Eighty-eight ye ken, was ta’en What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.
Observe the vera nowt an’ sheep, How dowf and daviely they creep; Nay, even the yirth itsel does cry, For E’mbrugh wells are grutten dry.
O Eighty-nine, thou's but a bairn, An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn ! Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care, Thou now has got thy daddie's chair, Nae hand-cuffd, mizzld, hap-shackl'd Regent, But, like himsel, a full free agent.
Be sure ye follow out the plan
January 1, 1789.
VERSES WRITTEN UNDER THE PORTRAIT
OF FERGUSSON THE POET,
IN A COPY OF THAT AUTHOR'S WORKS PRESENTED TO A YOUNG LADY IN EDINBURGH,
MARCH 19TH, 1787.
OURSE on ungrateful man, that can be
And yet can starve the author of the me pleasure !
O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
WRITTEN AT A TIME WHEN THE POET WAS ABOUT
TO LEAVE SCOTLAND.*
PER the mist-shrouded cliffs of the lone
mountain straying, Where the wild winds of winter in
cessantly rave, What woes wring my heart while intently surveying
The storm’s gloomy path on the breast of the wave. Ye foam-crested billows, allow me to wail,
Ere ye toss me afar from my lov'd native shore; Where the flower which bloom'd sweetest in Coila's
green vale, The pride of my bosom, my Mary's no more. No more by the banks of the streamlet we'll wander,
And smile at the moon's rimpled face in the wave; No more shall my arms cling with fondness around her,
11 For the dew-drops of morning fall cold on her
grave. No more shall the soft thrill of love warm my
breast, I haste with the storm to a far distant shore; Where unknown, unlamented, my ashes shall rest,
And joy shall revisit my bosom no more.
* These verses, which were published in the Dumfries Weekly Journal of the 5th July, 1815, are apocryphal.
ALCAIR the face of orient day,
But fairer still my Delia dawns,
Sweet the lark's wild-warbled lay,
The flower-enamour'd busy bee
* Allan Cunningham gives the following tradition about this Ode, but has, he says, some suspicion that it was not written by Burns: “One day when the Poet was at Brownhill, in Nithsdale, a friend read some verses composed after the pattern of Pope's song, by a person of quality, and said, • Burns, this is beyond you: the Muse of Kyle cannot match the Muse of London city. The Poet took the paper, hummed the verses over, and then recited Delia, an Ode." Another account of this Ode occurs in the Life of Burns in the “ Lives of Scottish Poets," 12mo. 1822, where it is said that the Poet sent a copy of it to the Editor of the London Evening Star with this letter :
“Mr. Printer - If the productions of a simple ploughman can merit a place in the same paper with Sylvester Otway, and the other favourites of the Muses who illuminate THE STAR with the lustre of genius, your insertion of the inclosed trifle will be succeeded by future communications from yours, &c. R. BURNS.
“ Ellisland, near Dumfries, 18th May, 1789."
Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse
But, Delia, on thy balmy lips
DEATH OF SIR JAMES HUNTER BLAIR.*
res HE lamp of day, with ill-presaging V
glare, Dim, cloudy, sunk beneath the
western wave; Th’inconstant blast howld thro' the dark’ning air,
And hollow whistl'd in the rocky cave.
Lone as I wander'd by each cliff and dell,
Once the lov'd haunts of Scotia’s royal train ; Or mus’d where limpid streams, once hallow'd,
well, Or mould'ring ruins mark the sacred fane. S
VAR. ' beyond. * Sir James Hunter Blair died in 1787. These verses have been collated with a copy in Burns' own hand, and the material variations are pointed out. of The King's Park, at Holyrood House. R. B. St. Anthony's Well. R. B. Burns wrote originally,
Or mus'd where erst revered waters well. § St. Anthony's Chapel. R. B.