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May ne'er his generous, honest heart
INVITATION TO A MEDICAL GENTLEMAN
TO ATTEND A MASONIC ANNIVERSARY MEETING. The meetings of the members of St. James's Masonic Lodge were held in a small room in a public-house in Mauchline, kept by a man of the name of Manson. On the approach of St. John's day, Burns sent the following rhymed invitation to his friend Mr. Mackenzie :
FRIDAY first's the day appointed,
To hold our grand procession ;
I'the way of our profession.
Wad a' be glad to see you ;
Some mortal heart is hechtin', 2
THE FAREWELL. "The following touching stanzas,” says Cunningham, “were composed in the autumn of 1786, when the prospects of the poet darkened, and he looked towards the West Indies as a place of refuge, and perhaps of hope. All who shared his affections are mentioned-his mother- his brother Gilbert-his illegitimate child, Elizabeth, --- whom he consigned to his brother's care, and for whose support he had appropriated the copyright of his poems,--and his friends Smith, Hamilton, and Aiken ; but in nothing he ever wrote was his affection for Jean Armour more tenderly or more naturally displayed.”
“ The valiant in himself, what can he suffer?
Or what does he regard his single woes ?
-THOMSON's Edward and Eleanora.
Where rich ananas blow!
My Jean's heart-rending throe !
Of my parental care ;
My Smith, my bosom frien’;
Oh, then befriend my Jean !
Thou, weeping, answerest, No!"
I, for thy sake, must go !
A grateful, warm, adieu !
Wafts me from thee, dear shore !
I'll never see thee more !
LINES WRITTEN ON A BANK-NOTE.
VERSES TO AN OLD SWEETHEART AFTER HER MARRIAGE.
PRESENTED TO THE LADY.
ONCE fondly loved, and still remember'd dear ;
Sweet early object of my youthful vows !
Friendship ! 'tis all cold duty now allows.
One friendly sigh for him, he asks no more,—
Or laply lies beneath th' Atlantic's roar.
VERSES WRITTEN UNDER VIOLENT GRIEF. The following lines, which first appeared in the Sun newspaper, April 1823 were originally written on the fly-leaf of a copy of the poet's works presented to a friend.
ACCEPT the gift a friend sincere
Wad on thy worth be pressin';
My morning raise sae clear and fair,
I thought sair storms wad never
My peace, my hope, for ever
My deeply-ranklin' sorrow.
A sigh may whiles awaken;
Now hopeless, comfortless, forsaken!
TO THE REV, MR. JAMES STEVEN. The Rev. James Steven was afterwards one of the Scottish clergy in London, and ultimately minister of Kilwinning in Ayrshire. He was no favourite of the poet's, and the following lines were written on hearing him preach from the textMALACHI IV. 2.—"And they shall go forth, and grow up,
like CALVES of the stall."
Right, sir ! your text I'll prove it true,
Though heretics may laugh ;
God knows, an unco calf !
As bless you wi' a kirk,
Ye're still as great a stirk.
Shall ever be your lot,
You e'er should be a stot !2
Your but-and-ben: adorns,
A noble head of horns.
To hear you roar and rowte, o
To rank amang the nowte.
1 A year-oid builock.
3 Kitchen and parlour.
And when ye're number'd wi' the dead,
Below a grassy hillock,
“Here lies a famous bullock !”
WILLIE CHALMERS. MR. W. CHALMERS, a gentleman in Ayrshire, a particular friend of mine, asked me to write a poetic epistle to a young lady, his Dulcinea. I had seen her, but was scarcely acquainted with her, and wrote as follows :-R. B.
And eke? a braw new brechan,
And up Parnassus pechin;4
The doited beasties stammers ;
For sake o' Willie Chalmers.
May cost a pair o' blushes ;
Nor his warm-urgèd wishes.
His honest heart enamours,
Though waired 6 on Willie Chalmers.
And Honour safely back her,
And ne'er a ane mistak' her :
Might fire even holy palmers ;
To honest Willie Chalmers.
And band upon his breastie:
His lexicons and grammars :
And that's wi' Willie Chalmers.
May warsleo for your favour ;