« ForrigeFortsæt »
particularly Sir John Whitefoord, then residing at Cloncaird, commonly pronounced Glencaird, and Mr. Boswell, the well-known biographer of Dr. Johnson. The political views of this festive assemblage, which are alluded to in the ballad, if they ever existed, were, however, laid aside, as Mr. Cunninghame did not canvass the county." By the favor of W. Allasone Cunninghame, Esq., son of Mr. Cunninghame of Enterkin, I learn that this affair must have taken place in the summer of 1788.
Он wha will to Saint Stephen's House,
Come, will ye court a noble lord,
For worth and honour pawn their word,
Their vote shall be Glencaird's, man.
Anbank, wha guessed the ladies' taste,
1 An allusion to the well-known joke of the elder Boswell, who, hearing his son speak of Johnson as a great luminary, quite a constellation, said: "Yes, Ursa Major."
When Love and Beauty heard the news,
They heard the blackbird's sang, man,
Sir Politics to fetter,
As theirs alone the patent-bliss
To hold a Fête Champêtre.
Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing,
Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring, meandering
Cauld Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew,
And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu',
Clamb up the starry sky, man :
The western breeze steals through the trees
How many a robe sae gaily floats,
To Harmony's enchanting notes
As moves the mazy dance, man.
When Politics came there, to mix
But entrance found he nane, man:
He blushed for shame, he quat his name,
Wi' humble prayer to join and share
This festive Fête Champêtre.
THE DAY RETURNS.
TUNE-Seventh of November.
"Johnson's collection of Scots songs is going on in the third volume; and, of consequence, finds me a
1 Alluding to a superstition, which represents adders as forming annually from their slough certain little annular stones of streaked coloring, which are occasionally found, and which are in reality beads fashioned and used by our early ancestors.
consumpt for a great deal of idle metre. One of the most tolerable things I have done in that way is two stanzas I made to an air a musical gentleman of my acquaintance [Captain Riddell, of Glenriddell] composed for the anniversary of his wedding-day, which happens on the 7th of November.” — Burns to Miss Chalmers, Sept. 16, 1788.
THE day returns, my bosom burns,
The blissful day we twa did meet; Though winter wild in tempest toiled, Ne'er summer sun was half sae sweet. Than a' the pride that loads the tide, And crosses o'er the sultry line,
Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes, Heaven gave me more—it made thee mine!
While day and night can bring delight,
Comes in between to make us part,
It breaks my bliss-it breaks my heart!
FIRST EPISTLE TO MR. GRAHAM OF FINTRY.
Burns had been told by some of his literary friends, that it was a great error to write in Scotch, seeing that thereby he was cut off from the appreciation of the English public. He was disposed to give way to this hint, and henceforth to compose chiefly in English, or at least to try his hand upon the soft lyres of Twickenham and Richmond, in the hope of succeeding equally well as he had hitherto done upon the rustic reed of Scotland. It seems to have been a great mistake. The flow of versification and the felicity of diction, for which Burns's Scottish poems and songs are remarkable, vanish when he attempts the southern strain. We see this well exemplified in a poem of the present summer, in which he aimed at the style of Pope's Moral Epistles, while at the same time he sought to advance his personal fortunes through the medium of a patron.
WHEN Nature her great master-piece designed,
Then first she calls the useful many forth,