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No. LXIX.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

February, 1795. Here is another trial at your favourite air.

Tune-“ LET ME IN THIS AE NIGHT."

"

O LASSIE, art thou sleeping yet?
Or art thou wakin, I would wit?
For love has bound me hand and foot,

And I would fain be in, jo.

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Thou hear'st the winter wind and weet,
Nae star blinks thro' the driving sleet;
Tak pity on my weary feet,
And shield me frae the rain, jo.

O let me in, &c.

The

The bitter blast that round me blaws
Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's;
The cauldness o' thy heart's the cause
Of a' my grief and pain, jo.

O let me in, &c.

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O tell na me o' wind and rain,
Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain !
Gae back the gait ye cam again,

I winna let you in, jo.

CHORUS

I tell you now this ae night,

This ae, ae, ae night,
And ance for a' this ae night,

I winna let you in, jo.

The snellest blast, at mirkest hours,
That round the pathless wand'rer pours,
Is nocht to what poor she endures,
That's trusted faithless man, jo.

I tell you now, &c.

The

The sweetest flower that deck'd the mead,
Now trodden like the vilest weed;
Let simple maid the lesson read,
The weird may be her ain, jo.

I tell you now, 8c.

The bird that charm'd his summer-day,
Is now the cruel fowler's prey;
Let witless, trusting, woman say
How aft her fate's the same, jo.

I tell you now, 8c.

I do not know whether it will do.

No. No. LXX.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

Ecclefechan, 7th Feb. 1795.

MY DEAR THOMSON,

You cannot have any idea of the predicament in which I write to you.

In the course of my duty as Supervisor (in which capacity I have acted of late), I came yesternight to this unfortunate, wicked, little village. I have gone forward, but snows of ten feet deep have impeded my progress; I have tried to “

gae

back the gait I cam again,” but the same obstacle has shut me up within insuperable bars. To add to my misfortune, since dinner, a scraper has been torturing catgut, in sounds that would have insulted the dying agonies of a sow under the hands of a butcher, and thinks himself, on that very account, exceeding good company. In fact, I have been in a dilemma, either to get drunk, to

forget forget these miseries ; or to hang myself, to get rid of them; like a prudent man (a character congenial to my every thought, word, and deed), I, of two evils, have chosen the least, and am, very drunk, at your service ! *

I wrote to you yesterday from Dumfries. I had not time then to tell you all I wanted to say; and heaven knows, at present I have not capacity.

Do
you

know an air-I am sure you must know it, We'll gang nae mair to yon town? I think, in slowish time, it would make an excellent song. I am highly delighted with it; and if you should think it worthy of your attention, I have a fair dame in my eye to whom I would consecrate it.

As I am just going to bed, I wish you a good night.

No.

The bard must have been tipsy indeed, to abuse sweet Ecclefechan at this rate.

E.

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