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The beautiful estate of Ballochmyle on the Ayr, near Mauchline, had recently been transferred from the Whitefoords to Mr. Claud Alexander, a gentleman well connected in the west of Scotland, who had realized a large fortune as paymaster-general of the East India Company's troops in Bengal. He had lately come to reside at the mansion-house. The steep

banks of the river at this place form a scene of natural loveliness which has few matches, and Burns loved to wander there. In an evening of early summer, Miss Wilhelmina Alexander, the sister of the new laird, walking out along the braes after dinner, encountered a plain-looking man in rustic attire, who appeared to be musing, with his shoulder leaning against a tree. According to her own account: "The grounds being forbidden to unauthorized strangers the evening being far advanced, and the encounter very sudden she was startled, but instantly recovered herself, and passed on." During his walk homeward Burns composed a song descriptive of the scene and the meeting.

'TWAS even the dewy fields were green,

On every blade the pearls hang!1

The Zephyr wantoned round the bean,
And bore its fragrant sweets alang;
1 Hang, Scotticism for hung.

In every glen the mavis sang,

All nature listening seemed the while, Except where greenwood echoes rang, Amang the braes o' Ballochmyle.

With careless step I onward strayed,
My heart rejoiced in Nature's joy,
When, musing in a lonely glade,

A maiden fair I chanced to spy.
Her look was like the morning's eye,
Her air like Nature's vernal smile,
Perfection whispered passing by,
Behold the lass o' Ballochmyle!1

Fair is the morn in flowery May,

And sweet is night in Autumn mild, When roving through the garden gay, Or wandering in the lonely wild : But woman, Nature's darling child!

There all her charms she does compile ; Even there her other works are foiled By the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.

Oh, had she been a country maid,
And I the happy country swain,
Though sheltered in the lowest shed
That ever rose on Scotland's plain,

1 Variation

The lily's hue and rose's dye

Bespoke the lass o' Ballochmyle.

Through weary winter's wind and rain,
With joy, with rapture, I would toil,
And nightly to my bosom strain

The bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.

Then pride might climb the slippery steep, Where fame and honours lofty shine; And thirst of gold might tempt the deep, Or downward seek the Indian mine; Give me the cot below the pine,

To tend the flocks, or till the soil, And every day has joys divine

With the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.


(Between 3d and 16th August, 1786.)

FAREWELL, dear friend! may guid-luck hit you,
And 'mang her favourites admit you.
If e'er Detraction shore to smit you,
May nane believe him,

And ony deil that thinks to get you,

Good L-, deceive him.


R. B.


"The valiant, in himself, what can he suffer?
Or what does he regard his single woes?
But when, alas! he multiplies himself,
To dearer selves, to the loved tender fair,

To those whose bliss, whose being hangs upon him,
To helpless children! — then, oh then! he feels
The point of misery festering in his heart,
And weakly weeps his fortune like a coward.
Such, such am I! undone!"

THOMSON'S Edward and Eleanora.

FAREWELL, old Scotia's bleak domains,
Far dearer than the torrid plains
Where rich ananas blow!
Farewell, a mother's blessing dear!
A brother's sigh! a sister's tear!
My Jean's heart-rending throe!
Farewell, my Bess! though thou'rt bereft
Of my parental care,

A faithful brother I have left,
My part in him thou'lt share!
Adieu too, to you too,

My Smith, my bosom frien';
When kindly you mind me,

Oh then befriend my Jean!


What bursting anguish tears my heart!
From thee, my Jeanie, must I part?

Thou, weeping, answ'rest "No!"
Alas! misfortune stares my face,
And points to ruin and disgrace;
I for thy sake must go!
Thee, Hamilton, and Aiken dear,
A grateful, warm adieu!
I, with a much-indebted tear,
Shall still remember you!

All-hail then, the gale then,

Wafts me from thee, dear shore !

It rustles, and whistles

I'll never see thee more!


WAE worth thy power, thou cursed leaf,
Fell source o' a' my wo and grief:
For lack o' thee I've lost my lass,
For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass;
I see the children of affliction
Unaided, through thy cursed restriction.
I've seen the oppressor's cruel smile
Amid his hapless victim's spoil,

1 "The above verses, in the handwriting of Burns, are copied from a bank-note, in the possession of Mr. James F. Gracie of Dumfries. The note is of the Bank of Scotland, and is dated so far back as 1st March, 1780." — MOTHER


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