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25th February, 1795. I HAVE to thank you, my dear Sir, for two epistles, one containing Let me in this ae night; and the other from Ecclefechan, proving, that drunk or sober, your “ mind is never muddy." You have displayed great address in the above song. Her answer is excellent, and at the same time takes away the indelicacy that otherwise would have attached to his entreaties. I like the song as it now stands very much.
I had hopes you would be arrested some days at Ecclefechan, and be obliged to beguile the tedious forenoons by song-making. It will give me pleasure to receive the verses you intend for O wat ye wha's in yon town?
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
May, 1795. ADDRESS TO THE WOOD-LARK.
Tune-" WHERE'LL BONNIE ANN LIE."
Or, “ Loch-EROCH SIDE.”
O stay, sweet warbling wood-lark stay,
Thy soothing fond complaining.
Again, again that tender part,
Wha' kills me wi' disdaining.
Say, was thy little mate unkind,
Sic notes o' woe could wauken.
Thou tells o' never-ending care ;
my poor heart is broken!
Let me know, your very first leisure, how you like this song.
How do you like the foregoing? The Irish air, Humours of Glen, is a great favourite of mine, and as, except the silly stuff in the Poor Soldier, there are not any decent verses for it, I have written for it as follows:
Tune--" HUMOURS OF GLEN."
Their groves o'sweet myrtle let foreign lands
reckon, Where bright-beaming summers exalt the per
fume, Far dearer to 'me yon lone glen o'green breckan, Wi' the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom,
Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers,
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly
For there, lightly tripping amang the wild flowers, A listening the linnet, aft wanders
Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay sunny valleys,
And cauld, CALEDONIA's blast on the wave; Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the
proud palace, What are they? The haunt of the tyrant and
The slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubbling
fountains, The brave Caledonian views wi' disdain ; He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains,
Save love's willing fetters, the chains o' his Jean.
Tune" LADDIE, LIE NEAR ME."
'Twas na her bonnie blue e'e was my ruin; Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my undoing : 'Twas the dear smile when naebody did mind us, 'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance o' kindness.