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There's not a bonny flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There's not a bonny bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.1

1 The first of these stanzas appeared in the third volume of Johnson's Museum. Burns's note upon it afterwards was: "This song I composed out of compliment to Mrs. Burns. N. B.-It was in the honeymoon." Two additional stanzas were some years afterwards produced by John Hamilton, music-seller in Edinburgh:

O blaw, ye westlin' winds, blaw saft,
Amang the leafy trees,

Wi' balmy gale, frae hill and dale
Bring hame the laden bees;
And bring the lassie back to me

That's aye sae neat and clean;

Ae smile o' her wad banish care,
Sae charming is my Jean.

What sighs and vows amang the knowes

Hae passed atween us twa!

How fond to meet, how wae to part,

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TUNE- My Love is lost to me.

We have to suppose the poet in his solitary life at Ellisland, gazing towards the hill of Corsincon, at the head of Nithsdale, beyond which, though at many miles' distance, was the valley in which his heart's idol lived.

Он, were I on Parnassus' hill,
Or had of Helicon my fill!
That I might catch poetic skill,

To sing how dear I love thee.
But Nith maun be my Muse's well,
My Muse maun be thy bonny sel';1
On Corsincon I'll glower and spell, stare-discourse
And write how dear I love thee.

Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day

I couldna sing, I couldna say,

How much, how dear I love thee.

1 An anonymous writer in the Notes and Queries points out

a similar idea to this in Propertius (II. i. 3):

"Non hæc Calliope, non hæc mihi cantat Apollo,

Ingenium nobis ipsa puella facit."

I see thee dancing o'er the green,
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean,1 slender
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een-

By heaven and earth I love thee!

By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
The thoughts of thee my breast inflame;
And aye I muse and sing thy name
I only live to love thee.

Though I were doomed to wander on
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun,
Till my last weary sand was run;
Till then and then I love thee.2


One piece of special good-fortune in Burns's situation at Ellisland was his having for his next neighbor, at less than a mile's distance along the bank of the Nith, Captain Riddell of Glenriddell, a man of literary and antiquarian spirit, and of kindly social nature. Captain Riddell had given Burns a key

1 Clean in this relation means well-shaped


2 It is but four or five months since he said: "I admire you,

I love you as a woman beyond any one in all the circle of creation.

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I am yours, Clarinda, for life!"

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admitting him to the grounds. On the 28th of June he composed, under the character of a bedesman, or alms-fed recluse, the following verses.

THOU whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,

Be thou decked in silken stole,
Grave these maxims on thy soul.
Life is but a day at most,

Sprung from night, in darkness lost;
Day, how rapid in its flight;
Day, how few must see the night.
Hope not sunshine every hour,
Fear not clouds will always lower.
Happiness is but a name,

Make content and ease thy aim.
Ambition is a meteor gleam;

Fame a restless, idle dream ;
Pleasures, insects on the wing

Round Peace, the tenderest flower of Spring;

Those that sip the dew alone,

Make the butterflies thy own;

Those that would the bloom devour,

Crush the locusts save the flower.

For the future be prepared,

Guard wherever thou canst guard;

But, thy utmost duly done,

Welcome what thou canst not shun.

Follies past, give thou to air,

Make their consequence thy care:

Keep the name of man in mind,
And dishonour not thy kind.
Reverence, with lowly heart,

Him whose wondrous work thou art;
Keep His goodness still in view,
Thy trust and thy example too.

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quod the Bedesman on Nithside.


TUNE- Killiecrankie.

According to the recital of Gilbert Burns: "When Mr. Cunninghame, of Enterkin, came to his estate, two mansion-houses on it, Enterkin and Anbank, were both in a ruinous state. Wishing to introduce himself with some éclat to the county, he got temporary erections made on the banks of Ayr, tastefully decorated with shrubs and flowers, for a supper and ball, to which most of the respectable families in the county were invited. It was a novelty, and attracted much notice. A dissolution of Parliament was soon expected, and this festivity was thought to be an introduction to a canvass for representing the county. Several other candidates were spoken of

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