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O Thou, the first, the greatest friend

Of all the human race !
Whose strong right hand has ever been

Their stay and dwelling-place !
Before the mountains heaved their heads

Beneath Thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself

Arose at Thy command ;
That Power which raised and still upholds

This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time

Was ever still the same.
Those mighty periods of years

Which seem to us so vast
Appear no more before thy sight

Than yesterday that's past.
Thou givest the word : Thy creature, man,

Is to existence brought ;
Again Thou say’st, “Ye sons of men,

Return ye into nought !”
Thou layest them with all their cares,

In everlasting sleep ;
As with a flood Thou takest them off

With overwhelming sweep.
They flourish like the morning flower,

In beauty's pride array'd ;
But long ere night cut down, it lies

All wither'd and decay'd.

ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT RUISSEAUX. CROMEK found the following among the poet's papers after his death :- Ruisseaux-a translation of his own name-is French for rivulets.

Now Robin lies in his last lair,
He'll gabble rhyme nor sing nae mair,
Cauld poverty, wi' hungry stare,

Nae mair shall fear him;
Nor anxious fear, nor cankert care

E’er mair come near him.
To tell the truth, they seldom fasht him,
Except the moment that they crusht him :
For sune as chance or fate had husht 'em,

Though e'er sae short,
Then wi' a rhyme or song he lasht 'em,

And thought it sport.

Though he was tred to kintra wark,
And counted was baith wight and stark,
Yet that was never Robin's mark

To mak a man;
But tell him he was leam'd and clark,

Ye roosed him than!

On leave novels, ye Mauchline belles !

Ye're safer at your spinning-wheel ;
Such witching books are baited hooks

For rakish rooks like Rob Mossgiel.*
Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisons,

They make your youthful fancies reel;
They heat your veins, and fire your brains,

And then ye're prey for Rob Mossgiel.
Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung,

A heart that warmly seems to feel;
That feeling heart but acts a part-

'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.
The frank address, the soft caress,

Are worse than poison'd darts of steel ;
The frank address and politesse

Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.



"Death and Dr. Hornbook," says Gilbert Burns, “though not published in the Kilmarnock edition, was produced early in the year 1785. The schoolmaster of Torbolton parish, to eke out the scanty subsistence allowed to that useful class of men, set up a shop of grocery goods. Having accidentally fallen in with some medical books, and become most hobby-horsically attached to the study of medicine, he had added the sale of a few medicines to his little trade. He had got a shop-bill printed, at the bottom of which, overlooking his own incapacity, he had advertised that advice would be given, in common disorders, at the shop gratis. Robert was at a mason-meeting in Torbolton, when the dominie made too ostentatious a display of his medical skill. As he parted in the evening from this mixture of pedantry and physic, at the place where he describes his meeting with Death, one of those floating ideas of apparitions mentioned in his letter to Dr. Moore crossed his mind; this set him to work for the rest of his way home. These circumstances he related when he repeated the verses to me the next afternoon, as !, was holding the plough, and

Cromek says of the hero of this poem :-“At Glasgow I heard that the hero of this exquisite satire was living ; Hamilton managed to introduce me to him --we talked of almost all subjects save the poems of Burns. Dr. Hornbook is above the middle size, stout made, and inclining to corpulency. His complexion is swarthy, his eye black and expressive : he wears a brown wig, and dresses in black. There is little or nothing of the pedant about him: I think a man who had never read the poem would scarcely discover any. Burns, I am told, had no personal enmity to Wilson."

* Rob Mossgicl- Robert Burns of Mossgiel—the name of his farm.

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The mirth and ridicule which this exquisite piece of satire excited drove Wilson out of the district. He got the appointment of session-clerk of the parish of Gorbals, in Glasgow, and died there in 1829.

SOME books are lies fra end to end,
And some great lies were never penn'd:
E'en ministers, they hae been kenn'd,

In holy rapture,
A rousing whid? at times to vend,

And nail't wi' Scripture.
But this that I am gaun to tell,
Which lately on a night befell,
Is just as true's the deil's in hell

Or Dublin city :
That e'er he nearer comes oursel

'S a muckle pity.
The clachan yilla had made me canty,
I wasna fou, but just had plenty;
I stacher'd whyles, but yet took tent aye

To free the ditches;
And hillocks, stanes, and bushes kenn'd aye

Frae ghaists and witches.
The rising moon began to glower
The distant Cumnock hills out-owre :
To count her horns, wi' a' my power,

I set mysel;
But whether she had three or four,

I couldna tell.

I was come round about the hill,
And toddlin' down on Willie's mill, *
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill,

To keep me sicker :4
Though leeward whiles, against my will,

I took a bicker.
I there wi' something did forgather,
That put me in an eerie swither ;6
An awfu’ scythe, out-owre ae shouther,

Clear-dangling, hang ;
A three-taed leister? on the ither

Lay large and lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
The queerest shape that e'er I saw,

1 Lie.
2 Village ale.
3 Sometimes.

4 Steady.
5 A staggering run.

6 Fearful uncertainty.
7 A fish-spear.

* Torbolton Mill, then occupied by William Muir-hence called Willie's mill.

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