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But why of that epocha make such a fuss,
If bringing them over was lucky for us,
But loyalty truce! we're on dangerous ground!
I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,
Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye, And ushers the long dreary night;
But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky, Your course to the latest is bright.
ON A YOUNG LADY
RESIDING ON THE BANKS OF THE SMALL RIVER DEVON, IN CLACKMANNANSHIRE, BUT WHOSE INFANT YEARS WERE SPENT IN AYRSHIRE.
Addressed to Miss Charlotte Hamilton, and intended for publication in Johnson's Museum. The
tune was a beautiful Highland air, entitled Bhanarach dhonn a chruidh, or the Pretty Milkmaid.
How pleasant the banks of the clear winding Devon,
With green-spreading bushes, and flowers blooming fair!
But the bonniest flower on the banks of the
Was once a sweet bud on the braes of the
Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower, In the gay rosy morn as it bathes in the dew,
And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower, That steals on the evening each leaf to renew !
Oh spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes,
With chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn! And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes The verdure and pride of the garden and lawn!
Let Bourbon exult in his gay-gilded lilies,
A fairer than either adorns the green valleys Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF LORD PRESIDENT DUNDAS.
The Lord President of the Court of Session (Dundas) died on the 13th December, and it seems to have been suggested to Burns by Mr. Charles Hay, advocate, that he should bring his Muse into play for the celebration of the event. There must have been some reason beyond the merits of the President for Hay having advised this step, and for the proud soul of Burns having stooped to adopt it. He set to bewailing the decease of the great man in the usual style of the venal bards of the age of patronage, and, as might be expected, with no great success.
LONE on the bleaky hills the straying flocks Shun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;
Down from the rivulets, red with dashing rains, The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains; Beneath the blasts the leafless forests groan ; The hollow caves return a sullen moan.
Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye caves,
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore.
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God, Her doubtful balance eyed, and swayed her rod;
Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow
Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den,
Mark ruffian Violence, distained with crimes,
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way:
Ye dark waste hills, and brown unsightly plains,
Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul.
A FAREWELL TO CLARINDA,
ON LEAVING EDINBURGH.
CLARINDA, mistress of my soul,
To what dark cave of frozen night
We part-but, by these precious drops
No other light shall guide my steps
She, the fair sun of all her sex,