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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.
* The bard must have been tipsy indeed, to abuse sweet Ecclefechan at this rate.
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.
Mr. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.
ADDRESS TO THE WOOD-LARK.
Tune-“Where'LL Bonie Ann lie.”
Or, “ LOCHEROCH Sipé.”
O stay, sweet warbling wood-lark stay,
Thy soothing fond complaining.
Again, again that tender part,
Wha kills me wi' disdaining,
Say, was thy little male unkind,
Sic notes o' woe could wauken.
Thou tells o' never-ending care ;
Or my poor heart is broken !
Let me know your very first leisure how you like
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
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: