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to forget these miseries ; or to hang myself, to get rid of them : like a prudent man (a character congenial to my every thought, word, and deed) I, of two evils, have chosen the least, and am very drunk, at your service! *

I wrote you yesterday from Dumfries. I had not time then to tell you all I wanted to say ; and heaven knows, at present I have not capacity.

Do you know an air-I am sure you must know it, Will gang nae mair to yon town? I think, in slowish time, it would make an excellent song. I am highly delighted with it ; and if you should think it worthy of your attention, I have a fair dame in my eye to whom I would consecrate it.

As I am just going to bed, I wish you a good night.

No.

* The bard must have been tipsy indeed, to abuse sweet Ecclefechan at this rate.

E.

No. LXXI.

MR. THOMSON TO MR. BURNS.

25th February, 1795.

I HAVE to thank you, my dear Sir, for two epistles, one containing, Let me in this ae night; and the other from Ecclefechan, proving, that drunk or sober, your « mind is never muddy." You have displayed great address in the above song. Her answer is excellent, and at the same time takes away the indelicacy that otherwise would have attached to his intreaties. I like the song as it now stands, very much.

I had hopes you would be arrested some days at Ecclefechan, and be obliged to beguile the tedious forenoons by song-making. It will give me pleasure to receive the verses you intend for, O wat ye wha's in yon town.

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No. LXXII.

Mr. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.

May, 1795.

ADDRESS TO THE WOOD-LARK.

Tune-“Where'LL Bonie Ann lie.”

Or, “ LOCHEROCH Sipé.”

ST

O stay, sweet warbling wood-lark stay,
Nor quit for me the trembling spray,
A hapless lover courts thy lay,

Thy soothing fond complaining.

Again, again that tender part,
That I may catch thy melting art;
For surely that wad touch her heart,

Wha kills me wi' disdaining,

Say, was thy little male unkind,
And heard thee as the careless wind ?
Oh, nocht but love and sorrow join'd,

Sic notes o' woe could wauken.

Thou

Thou tells o' never-ending care ;
O'speechless grief, and dark despair :
For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair !

Or my poor heart is broken !

Let me know your very first leisure how you like

this song.

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How do you like the foregoing? The Irish air, Humours of Glen, is a great favorite of mine, and as, except the silly stuff in the Poor Soldier, there are not any decent verses for it, I have written for it as

follows.

SONG.

Tune--- HUMOURS OF Glen."

Their groves o’ sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon,

Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume, Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckan, Wi’ the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom:

Far

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