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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 :
That slight the lovely dears ;
For you, no bred to barn and byre,
line : The marled plaid ye kindly spare, By me should gratefully be ware ;
'Twad please me to the nine. I'd be mair vauntie o' my hap,
Douce hingin' owre my curple,
An' plenty be your fa'
Ne'er at your hallan ca'.
This beautiful little poem is now given entire.-"Oh! that he, the prevailing Poet,” says Wilson, speaking of the aspirations of his youth, “could have seen this light breaking in upon the darkness that did too long and too deeply overshadow his living lot! Some glorious glimpses of it his prophetic soul did seem
-witness “The Vision,' or that somewhat humbler but yet high strain—in which, bethinking him of the undefined aspirations of his boyish genius that had bestirred itself in the darkness, as if the touch of an angel's hand were to awaken a sleeper in his cell-he said to himself :
• Even then a wish, I mind its power,
Shall strongly heave my breast,
Or sing a sang at least.' “ Such hopes were in him, in his bright and shining youth,' surrounded as it was with toil and trouble, that could not bend down the brow of Burns from its natural upright inclination to the sky: and such hopes, let us doubt it not, were with him in his dark and faded prime, when life's lamp burned low indeed, and he was willing at last, early as it was, to shut his eyes on this dearly beloved, but sorely distracting world.”
The lady to whom the Epistle is addressed, was a painter and poetess : her sketches with the pencil were very beautiful; of her skill in verse, the reader may judge from her letter to the bard :
“My cantie, witty, rhyming ploughman,
I hafflins doubt it is na' true, man,
Whaever heard the ploughman speak,
A' honest Scotsmen lo'e the maud."
EPISTLE TO WILLIAM CREECH.
WRITTEN AT SELKIRK.
Auld chuckie Reekie's * sair distrest,
Can yield ava,
O Willie was a witty wight,
An' trig an' braw :
The stiffest o' them a' he bow'd ;
That was a law :
Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks, and fools,
In glen or shaw;
The brethren o' the Commerce-Chaumer *
Amang them a';
Nae mair we see his levee door
In bloody raw !
Now worthy Gregory's latin face,
As Rome ne'er saw ;
• The Chamber of Commerce at Edinburgh, of which Creech was Secretary.
+ Many literary gentlemen were accustomed to meet at Mr. Creech's house at breakfast.