페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

The snaw-drap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the weet o' the morn;
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they bļaw,
They mind me o’ Nanie--and Nanie's awa.

Thou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the lawn The shepherd to warn o' the grey-breaking dawn, And thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa', Give over for pity--my Nanie's awa.

Come autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey, And soothe me wi' tidings o? nature's decay: The dark, dreary winter, and wild-driving snaw, Alane can delight me-now Nanie's awa.

How does this please you? As to the point of time, for the expression, in your proposed print from my Soger's return: It must certainly be at—“ She “ gaz’d.” The interesting dubiety and suspence, taking possession of her countenance; and the gushing fondness, with a mixture of roguish playfulness, in his, strike me, as things of which a master will make a great deal. In great haste, but in great truth, yours.

No.

LXVII.

MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.

January, 1795.

I FEAR for my songs; however, a few may please, yet originality is a coy feature, in composition, and in a multiplicity of efforts in the same style, disappears altogether. For these three thousand years, we, poetic folks, have been describing the spring, for instance; and as the spring continues the same, there must soon be a sameness in the imagery, &c. of these said rhyming folks.

A great critic, Aikin on songs, says, that love and wine' are the exclusive themes for song-writing. The following is on neither subject, and consequently is no song; but will be allowed, I think, to be two or three pretty good prose thoughts, inverted into rhyme.

!, FOR

FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT.

Is there, for honest poverty

That hangs his head, and a' that; The coward-slave, we pass him by,

We dare be, poor for a' that! For a' that, and a' that, .

Our toils obscure, and a' that, The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

The man's the gowd for a'that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hoddin grey, and a' that ; Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,

A man's a man for a' that :
For a’ that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, and a' that ;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,

Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, and stares, and a that ; Though hundreds worship at his word,

He's but a coof for a' that: For a' that, and a' that,

His ribband, star, and a' that, The man of independent mind,

He looks and laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, and a' that ;
But an honest man's aboon his might,

Gude faith he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,

Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith o'sense, and pride o' worth,

Are higher ranks than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will for a' that,
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,

May bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,

Its comin yet for a' that,
That man to man, the warld o'er,

Shall brothers be for a that.

I do not give you the foregoing song for your book, but merely by way of vive la bagatelle; for the piece is not really poetry. How will the following do for Craigie-burn-wood.

SWEET

Sweet fa's the eve on Craigie-burn,

And blythe awakes the morrow,..
But a' the pride o' spring's return ;

Can yield me nocht but sorrow...

I see the flowers and spreading trees,

I hear the wild birds singing;
But what a weary wight can please,

And care his bosom wringing.

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,

Yet dare na for your anger ;
But secret love will break my heart,

If I conceal it langer.

If thou refuse to pity me, i.

If thou shalt love anither,
When yon green leaves fade frae the tree,

Around my grave they'll wither. *

Farewell! God bless you.

No.

* Craigie-burn-wood, is situated on the banks of the riyer Moffat, and about three miles distant from the village of that name, celebrated for its medicinal waters. The woods of Craigie-burn and of Dumcrief, were at one time favourite haunts of our poet. It was there he met

« 이전계속 »