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THE FIRST SIX VERSES OF THE NINETIETH PSALM.
O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race !
Their stay and dwelling-place !
Beneath Thy forming hand,
Arose at Thy command ;
This universal frame,
Was ever still the same.
Which seem to us so vast
Than yesterday that's past.
Is to existence brought ;
Return ye into nought !”
In everlasting sleep ;
With overwhelming sweep.
In beauty's pride array'd ;
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,
Nae mair shall fear him;
E’er mair come near him.
Though e'er sae short,
And thought it sport.
Though he was tred to kintra wark,
To mak a man;
Ye roosed him than!
Ye're safer at your spinning-wheel ;
For rakish rooks like Rob Mossgiel.*
They make your youthful fancies reel;
And then ye're prey for Rob Mossgiel.
A heart that warmly seems to feel;
'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.
Are worse than poison'd darts of steel ;
Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.
DEATH AND DR. HORNBOOK.
A TRUE STORY.
"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.
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,
In holy rapture,
And nail't wi' Scripture.
Or Dublin city :
'S a muckle pity.
To free the ditches;
Frae ghaists and witches.
I set mysel;
I couldna tell.
I was come round about the hill,
To keep me sicker :4
I took a bicker.
Clear-dangling, hang ;
Lay large and lang.
6 Fearful uncertainty.
* Torbolton Mill, then occupied by William Muir-hence called Willie's mill.