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The warld's wrack we share o't,
I have just been looking over the Collier's bonny Dochter ; and if the following rhapsody, which I composed the other day, on a charming Ayrshire girl, Miss , as she passed through this place to England, will suit your taste better than the Collier Lassie, fall on and welcome.
O saw ye
As she gaed o'er the border?
To spread her conquests farther.
To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever;
And never made anither!
Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee:
The hearts o' men adore thee.
The Deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee
say, “I canna wrang thee."
The powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha'na steer thee;
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.
Return again, fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie!
There's nane again sae bonnie.
I have hitherto deferred the sublimer, more pathetic airs, until more leisure, as they will take, and deserve, a greater effort. However, they are all put into your hands, as clay into the hands of the potter, to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour. Farewell, &c.
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
“ KATHARINE OGIE."
Ye banks, and braes, and streams around,
The castle o' Montgomery, Green be your woods, and fair
woods, and fair your flowers, Your waters never drumlie ! There simmer first unfald her robes,
And there the langest tarry : For there I took the last fareweel
O’my sweet Highland Mary. .
How sweetly bloom’d the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom !
I clasp'd her to my bosom!
Flew o'er me and my dearie;
my sweet Highland Mary.
Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender;
We tore oursels asunder;
That nipt my flower sae early !
That wraps my Highland Mary!
O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly !
That dwelt on me sae kindly;
That heart that lo'ed me dearly ! But still within my bosom's core,
Shall live my Highland Mary.
14th November, 1792.
MY DEAR SIR,
I AGREE with you that the song, Katharine Ogie, is very poor stuff, and unworthy, altogether unworthy, of so beautiful an air. I tried to mend it, but the awkward sound Ogie recurring so often in the rhyme, spoils every attempt at introducing sentiment into the piece.
The foregoing song pleases myself; I think it is in my happiest manner; you will see at first glance that it suits the air. The subject of the song is one of the most interesting passages of my youthful days; and I own that I should be much flattered to see the verses set to an air which would ensure celebrity. Perhaps, after all, 'tis the still glowing prejudice of my heart, that throws a borrowed lustre over the merits of the composition.
I have partly taken your idea of Auld Rob Morris. I have adopted the two first verses, and am going on with the song on a new plan, which promises pretty well. I take up one or another, just as the bee of the moment buzzes in my bonnet-lug; and do you, sans ceremonie, make what use you choose of the productions. Adieu ! &c.
MR. THOMSON to MR. BURNS.
Edinburgh, Nov. 1792. DEAR SIR,
I was just going to write to you, that on meeting with your Nanie I had fallen violently in love with her. I thank you, therefore, for C 2