Immagini della pagina

• gill.

But may ye flourish like a lily,
Now bonilie!

I'll toast you in my hindmost gillie,"
Tho' owre the sea!

Song.-Farewell to Eliza.1

Tune-" Gilderoy."

FROM thee, Eliza, I must go,
And from my native shore;
The cruel fates between us throw
A boundless ocean's roar:
But boundless oceans, roaring wide,
Between my love and me,
They never, never can divide
My heart and soul from thee.

Farewell, farewell, Eliza dear,
The maid that I adore!
A boding voice is in mine ear,
We part to meet no more!

But the latest throb that leaves my heart,
While Death stands victor by,-

That throb, Eliza, is thy part,

And thine that latest sigh!

A Bard's Epitaph.2

Is there a whim-inspired fool,

Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;

And owre this grassy heap sing dool,a
And drap a tear.

b bashful.

1He had a good many farewells to utter, to a variety of jillets. This one was perhaps a "Mauchline belle," Miss Millar. There is also rumour of a

[blocks in formation]


Is there a bard of rustic song,

Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,

O, pass not by !

But, with a frater-feeling strong,

Here heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
Wild as the wave,

[ocr errors]

Here pause-and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below

Was quick to learn and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,

And softer flame;

But thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stain'd his name!

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.

Epitaph for Robert Aiken, Esq.1

KNOW thou, O stranger to the fame
Of this much lov'd, much honoured name!
(For none that knew him need be told)
A warmer heart death ne'er made cold.

1 To whom the Cotter's Saturday Night is dedicated.

Epitaph for Gavin Hamilton, Esq.1

THE poor man weeps-here Gavin sleeps,
Whom canting wretches blam'd;
But with such as he, where'er he be,
May I be sav'd or d-d!

Epitaph on

"Wee Johnie." 2

Hic Jacet wee Johnie.

WHOE'ER thou art, O, reader, know

That Death has murder'd Johnie ;

An' here his body lies fu' low;
For saul he ne'er had ony.

The Lass o' Ballochmyle.

Tune-"Ettrick Banks."

"TWAS even-the dewy fields were green,
On every blade the pearls hang;
The zephyr wanton'd round the bean,
And bore its fragrant sweets alang:
In ev'ry glen the mavis sang,

All nature list'ning seem'd the while,
Except where greenwood echoes rang,
Amang the braes o' Ballochmyle.

With careless step I onward stray'd,
My heart rejoic'd in nature's joy,
When, musing in a lonely glade,

A maiden fair I chanc'd to spy:

1 Who never was so berhymed since he was a rat in Pythagoras' time, like Rosalind.

2 Said to be the poet's Kilmarnock printer. There is another claimant.

8 Sent to Miss Wilhelmina Alexander

of Ballochmyle, who did not reply, though, when old, she was proud of the tribute. "You will easily see," wrote Burns to Mrs Stewart of Stair, "the impropriety of exposing the song much, even in manuscript."


Her look was like the morning's eye,
Her air like nature's vernal smile:
Perfection whisper'd, passing by,
"Behold the lass o' Ballochmyle! "1

Fair is the morn in flowery May,
And sweet is night in autumn mild;
When roving thro' the garden gay,
Or wand'ring in the lonely wild:
But woman, nature's darling child!
There all her charms she does compile;
Even there her other works are foil'd
By the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.

O had she been a country maid,
And I the happy country swain,
Tho' shelter'd in the lowest shed

That ever rose on Scotland's plain!
Thro' weary winter's wind and rain,
With joy, with rapture, I would toil;
And nightly to my bosom strain
The bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.

Then pride might climb the slipp'ry steep,
Where fame and honours lofty shine;
And thirst of gold might tempt the deep,
Or downward seek the Indian mine:
Give me the cot below the pine,
To tend the flocks or till the soil;
And ev'ry day have joys divine
With the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.

1 In the copy sent to Miss Alexander, these lines read :

"The lily's hue, and rose's dye,

Bespoke the lass of Ballochmyle." The improvement is one of Burns's happiest in some opinions.

Motto Prefixed to the Author's First

THE simple Bard, unbroke by rules of art,
He pours the wild effusions of the heart;
And if inspir'd, 'tis Nature's pow'rs inspire;

Her's all the melting thrill, and her's the kindling fire.

Lines to Mr John Kennedy.2

FAREWELL, dear friend! may guid luck hit you,
And 'mang her favourites admit you:
If e'er Detraction shorea to smit you,
May nane believe him,

And ony deil that thinks to get you,
Good Lord, deceive him!

Lines to an Old Sweetheart.3

ONCE fondly lov'd, and still remember'd dear,
Sweet early object of my youthful vows,
Accept this mark of friendship, warm, sincere,
Friendship! 'tis all cold duty now allows.

And when you read the simple artless rhymes,
One friendly sigh for him-he asks no more,
Who, distant, burns in flaming torrid climes,
Or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar.

a threaten.

1 The motto on the Kilmarnock title

page: published July 30, 1786.

Kennedy, as has been stated, was Lord Dumfries's factor.

8 Peggy Thomson. One of the many farewells.

« IndietroContinua »