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"To those who love us! second fill;
But not to those whom we love; Lest we love those who love not us!
A third" To thee and me, love!"
THE CHEVALIER'S LAMENT.
THE small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning,
The murmuring streamlet winds clear through the vale;
The hawthorn-trees blow in the dew of the
And wild scattered cowslips bedeck the green dale:
But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair,
While the lingering moments are numbered by care?
No flowers gaily springing, nor birds sweetly singing,
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.
The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice,
A king and a father to place on his throne? His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys,
Where the wild beasts find shelter, but I can find none.
But 'tis not my sufferings thus wretched, forlorn My brave gallant friends! 'tis your ruin I mourn ; Your deeds proved so loyal in hot bloody trial
Alas! I can make you no sweeter return!
EPISTLE TO HUGH PARKER.
Written from the farm of Ellisland, upon which Burns entered in June, 1788.
In this strange land, this uncouth clime,
A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
Nor limpet in poetic shackles ;
A land that Prose did never view it,
1 Hackles —an instrument for dressing flax.
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk,
I hear it for in vain I leuk.
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
Dowie she saunters down Nithside,
And aye a westlin leuk she throws,
While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose! cover
Down the zodiac urge the race,
And cast dirt on his godship's face:
1 Ellisland is near the borders of the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, a portion of the district popularly called Galloway.
2 His mare.
For I could lay my bread and kail
I LOVE MY JEAN.
TUNE- Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey.
In the spring of 1788 Burns resolved to acknowledge Jean Armour as his wife. Until a proper house should be built at Ellisland she was to remain at Mauchline, with her only surviving child, Burns living in a mere hovel alone on his farm.
Or a' the airts the wind can blaw, quarters
For there the bonny lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
I see her in the dewy flowers,
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
1 The commencement of this stanza is given in Johnson's Museum
"Though wild woods grow, and rivers row,
Baith day and night," etc.,
"There wild woods grow," etc.,
as implying the nature of the scenery in the west. In Wood's Songs of Scotland, the reading is
By Auchtertyre grows the aik,
On Yarrow banks the birken shaw;
Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw.
I have been reminded that the idea is not new in verse:
“ ἐπειὴ μάλα πολλὰ μεταξὺ
Οὐρεά τε σκιόεντα, θάλασσά τε ήχήεσσα.”
Iliad, i. 156.
evidently an alteration designed to improve the logic of the verse. It appears that both readings are wrong, for in the original manuscript of Burns's contributions to Johnson, in the possession of Archibald Hastie, Esq., the line is written: "There wild woods grow," etc., as in our text. Another example will serve to bring this peculiarity of composition more distinctly before the mind of the reader: