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Without my sweet companion can I live?
The dear reward of every virtuous toil,
For my distracted mind
What succour can I find?
On whom for consolation shall I call?
Support me, every friend;
To bear the weight of this oppressive woe.
My dear departed love, so much was thine,
In every other grief,
Are now with your idea sadden'd all:
My tortur'd memory wounds, and speaks of Lucy
We were the happiest pair of human kind;
Another and another smiling came,
And saw our happiness unchang'd remain :
Harmonious concord did our wishes bind:
That all this pleasing fabric love had rais'd
On which ev'n wanton vice with envy gaz'd,
Yet, O my soul, thy rising murmurs stay;
With impious grief complain,
That all thy full-blown joys at once should fade; Was his most righteous will-and be that will obey'd
BORN 1750.-DIED 1774.
THIS unfortunate young man, who died in a maḍhouse at the age of twenty-four, left some pieces of considerable humour and originality in the Scottish dialect. Burns, who took the hint of his Cotter's Saturday Night from Fergusson's Farmer's Ingle, seems to have esteemed him with an exaggerated partiality, which can only be accounted for by his having perused him in his youth. On his first visit to Edinburgh, Burns traced out the grave of Fergusson,
and placed a monument over it at his own expense, inscribed with verses of appropriate feeling.
Fergusson was born at Edinburgh, where his father held the office of accountant to the British Linenhall. He was educated partly at the high-school of Edinburgh, and partly at the grammar-school of Dundee, after which a bursary, or exhibition, was obtained for him at the university of St. Andrew's, where he soon distinguished himself as a youth of promising genius. His eccentricity was, unfortunately, of equal growth with his talents; and on one occasion, having taken part in an affray among the students, that broke out at the distribution of the prizes, he was selected as one of the leaders, and expelled from college; but was received back again upon promises of future good behaviour. On leaving college he found himself destitute, by the death of his father, and after a fruitless attempt to obtain support from an uncle at Aberdeen, he returned on foot to his mother's house at Edinburgh, half dead with the fatigue of the journey, which brought on an illness that had nearly proved fatal to his delicate frame. On his recovery he was received as a clerk in the commissary clerk's office, where he did not continue long, but exchanged it for the same situation in the office of the sheriff clerk, and there he remained as long as his health and habits admitted of any application to business. Had he possessed ordi nary prudence he might have lived by the drudgery of copying papers; but the appearance of some of his
poems having gained him a flattering notice, he was drawn into dissipated company, and became a wit, a songster, a mimic, and a free liver'; and finally, after fits of penitence and religious despondency, went mad. When committed to the receptacle of the insane, a consciousness of his dreadful fate seemed to come over him. At the moment of his entrance, he uttered a wild cry of despair, which was reechoed by a shout from all the inmates of the dismal mansion, and left an impression of inexpressible horror on the friends who had the task of attending him. His mother, being in extreme poverty, had no other mode of disposing of him. A remittance, which she received a few days after, from a more fortunate son, who was abroad, would have enabled her to support the expense of affording
him attendance in her own house; but the aid did / not arrive till the poor maniac had expired.
THE FARMER'S INGLE.
Et multo imprimis hilaṛans convivia Baccho,
WHAN gloamin grey out owre the welkin keeks1;
Whan Thrasher John, sair dung3, his barn-door.
An' lusty lasses at the dightin' tire ;
Peeps. Oxen.-3 Fatigued.-4 Shuts.-5 Cleansing.
What bangs fu' leal the e'enin's coming cauld,
Nor fley'd3 wi' a' the poortith o' the plain; Begin, my Muse! and chaunt in hamely strain.
Frae the big stack, weel winnow't on the hill,
Sods, peats, and heathery turfs the chimley fill,
That a' his housie looks sae cosh an' clean;
Weel kens the gudewife, that the pleughs require
Sair wark an' poortith downa" weel be join'd. Wi' butter'd bannocks now the girdle 12 reeks; I' the far nook the bowie's briskly reams; The readied kail 14 stands by the chimley cheeks, An' haud the riggin' het wi' welcome streams, Whilk than the daintiest kitchen 15 nicer seems.
What bangs fu' leal-what shuts out most comfortably. Makes. Frightened.-4 Thatched with turf.-5 Chimney.6 Smoke.-7 The inner wall of a cottage.. -8 Comfortable.→→ 9 Meal. 10 Drink.- Should not.-12 A flat iron for toasting cakes.-13 Beer-barrel.-14 Broth with greens.-15 Kitchen bere means what is eat with bread; there is no English word for it; obsonium is the Latin.