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No. LXXXV.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

April, 1796. ALAS, my dear Thomson, I fear it will be some time ere I tune my lyre again! “ By Babel streams I have sat and wept,” almost ever since I wrote you last : I have only known existence by the pressure of the heavy hand of sickness, and have counted time by the repercussions of pain! Rheumatism, cold, and fever, have formed to me a terrible combination. I close

my eyes in misery, and open them without hope. I look on the vernal day, and poor Fergusson

say, with

“ Say wherefore has an all-indulgent Heaven

Light to the comfortless and wretched given ?"

This will be delivered to you by a Mrs. Hyslop, landlady of the Globe Tavern here, which for these many years has been my horoff, and where our friend Clarke and I have had many a merry squeeze. I am highly delighted with Mr. Allan's etchings. Woo'd and married an'a', is admirable. The grouping is beyond all praise. The expression of the figures, conformable to the story in the ballad, is absolutely faultless perfection. I next admire, Turnim-spike. What I like least is, Jenny said to Jocky. Besides the female being in her appearance take her stooping into the account, she is at least two inches taller than her lover. Poor Cleghorn! I sincerely sympathize with him! Happy I am to think that he yet has a wellgrounded hope of health and enjoyment in this world. As for me but that is a * * * * * subject!

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No. LXXXVI.

MR. THOMSON to MR. BURNS.

4th May, 1796. I

NEED not tell you, my good Sir, what concern the receipt of your last gave me, and how much I sympathize in your sufferings. But do not, I beseech you, give yourself up to despondency, nor speak the language of despair. The vigour of your constitution, I trust, will soon set you on your feet again ; and then it is to be hoped you will see the wisdom and the necessity of taking due care of a life so valuable to your family, to your friends, and to the world.

Trusting that your next will bring agreeable accounts of your convalescence, and returning good spirits, I remain with sincere regard yours.

P.S. Mrs. Hyslop, I doubt not, delivered the gold seal to you in good condition.

No.

No. LXXXVII.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

MY DEAR SIR,

I ONCE mentioned to you an air which I have long admired-Here's a health to them that's awa, hiney, but I forget if you took any notice of it. I have just been trying to suit it with verses; and I beg leave to recommend the air to your attention once more. I have only begun it.

CHORUS

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear,
Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear;
Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet,
And soft as their parting tear-Jessy !

Altho'

Altho' thou maun never be mine,

Altho' even hope is denied ; 'Tis sweeter for thee despairing, Than aught in the world beside-Jessy !

Here's a health, &c.

I mourn thro’ the gay, gaudy day;:

As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms; But welcome the dream o'sweet slumber, For then I am lockt in thy arms—Jessy !

Here's a health, &c.

1
guess by the dear angel smile,

I guess by the love-rolling e'e;
But why urge the tender confession
'Gainst fortune's fell cruel decree-Jessy !

Here's a health, &c.*

No.

In the letter to Mr. Thomson, the three first stanzas only are given, and Mr. Thomson supposed our poet

had never gone farther. Among his MSS. was, however, found the fourth stanza, which completes this exquisite song, the last finished offspring of his muse.

E.

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