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There's not a bonny flower that springs
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,
Wi' balmy gale, frae hill and dale
That's aye sae neat and clean;
Ae smile o' her wad banish care,
What sighs and vows amang the knowes
Hae passed atween us twa!
How fond to meet, how wae to part,
OH, WERE I ON PARNASSUS' HILL !
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,
To sing how dear I love thee.
Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
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,
By heaven and earth I love thee!
By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
Though I were doomed to wander on
VERSES IN FRIARS' CARSE HERMITAGE.
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.
I am yours, Clarinda, for life!"
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 decked in silken stole,
Sprung from night, in darkness lost;
Make content and ease thy aim.
Fame a restless, idle dream ;
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,
Him whose wondrous work thou art;
Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
THE FÊTE CHAMPÊTRE.
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