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My most respectful compliments to the honourable gentleman who favoured me with a postscript in your last. He shall hear from me and receive his MSS. soon.
Who comes with woe at this drear night
A pilgrim of the gloom?
My cot shall yield her room.
Alas! thou heard'st a pilgrim mourn,
That once was priz'd by thee :
Thou gav'st to love and me.
But should'st thou not poor Marian know,
I'll turn my feet and part:
Far kinder than thy heart.
It is but doing justice to Dr. Walcott to mention, that his song is the original. Mr. Burns saw it, liked it, and immediately wrote the other on the same subject, which is derived from the old Scottish ballad of uncertain origin.
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
20th March, 1793.
Tune-" BIDE YE YET."
O MARY, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour! Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor: How blithly wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun; Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.
Yestreen when to the trembling string,
The dance gaed thro' the lighted' ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard or saw.
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw,
the toast of a' the town,
O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
Whase only faut is loving thee?
At least be pity to me shown;
The thought o' Mary Morison.
MY DEAR SIR,
HE song prefixed is one of my juvenile works. I leave it in your hands. I do not think it very remarkable, either for its merits or demerits. It is impossible (at least I feel it so in my stinted powers) to be always original, entertaining, and witty.
What is become of the list, &c. of your songs ? I shall be out of all temper with you by-and-by. I have always looked upon myself as the prince of indolent correspondents, and valued myself accordingly; and I will not, cannot bear rivalship from you, nor any body else.
MR. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON.
awa, there awa, wandering Willie, Now tired with wandering, haud awa hame; Come to my bosom my ae only dearie, And tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the
Loud blew the cauld winter winds at our parting;
It was nae the blast brought the tear in my Now welcome the simmer, and welcome my
Ye hurricanes, rest in the cave o' your slumbers !
O how your wild horrors a lover alarms! Awaken ye breezes, row gently ye billows,
And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.
But if he's forgotten his faithfullest Nanie,
O still flow between us, thou wide roaring main; May I never see it, may I never trow it,
But dying believe that my Willie's my ain! !
I leave it to you, my dear Sir, to determine whether the above, or the old Thro' the lang muir, be the best.
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
Open the door to me, Oh!
open the door, some pity to shew, Oh, open the door to me, Oh!* Tho' thou hast been false, I'll ever prove true, Oh, open the door to me, Oh!
* This second line was originally,
If love it may na be! Oh!