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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
But what can give pleasure, or what can seem
While the lingering moments are numbered by care?
No flowers gaily springing, nor birds sweetly
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.
The deed that I dared, could it merit their
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
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
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;
Where words ne'er crost the Muse's heckles,1 Nor limpet in poetic shackles ;
A land that Prose did never view it,
Except when drunk he stacher't through it; staggered Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek,
1 Hackles —an instrument for dressing flax.
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk,
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 Was it for this, wi' canny care,
Thou bure the Bard through many a shire?
At howes or hillocks never stumbled,
And late or early never grumbled?
Oh, had I power like inclination,
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
Wi' a' this care and a' this grief,
Ye'll find me in a better tune;
But till we meet and weet our whistle,
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
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonny lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill between ; 1
Is ever wi' my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers,
I hear her charm the air:
1 The commencement of this stanza is given in Johnson's Museum
"There wild woods grow," etc.,
as implying the nature of the scenery in the west. In Wood's Songs of Scotland, the reading is
"Though wild woods grow, and rivers row,
Wi' monie a hill between,
Baith day and night," etc.,
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:
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
Ουρεά τε σκιόεντα, θάλασσά τε ἠχήεσσα.”
Iliad, i. 156.