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grand-child will hold up your volumes, and say with honest pride, “ This so much admired se" lection was the work of my ancestor."

No. XXIX.

MR. THOMSON to MR. BURNS.

1

Edinburgh, 1st August, 1793. DEAR SIR,

I had the pleasure of receiving your last two letters, and am happy to find you are quite pleased with the appearance of the first book. When you come to hear the songs sung and accompanied, you will be charmed with them."

The bonnie brucket Lassie, certainly deserves better verses, and I hope you will match her. Cauld Kail in Aberdeen-Let me in this ae night, and several of the livelier airs, wait the muse's Leisure: these are peculiarly worthy of her choice gifts: besides, you'll notice, that in airs of this sort, the singer can always do greater justice to the poet, than in the slower airs of The Bush aboon Traquair, Lord Gregory, and the like; for in the manner the latter were frequently sung, you must be contented with the sound, without the sense. Indeed both the airs and words are disguised by the very slow, languid, psalm-singing style in which they are too often performed: they lose animation and expression altogether, and instead of speaking to the mind, or touching the heart, they cloy upon the ear, and set us a yawning!

sort,

AUT: Your ballad, There was a lass and she was fair, is simple and beautiful, and shall undoubtedly grace my collection.

[graphic]

No. XXX.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON,

August, 1793. MY DEAR THOMSON,

HOLD the pen for our friend Clarke, who at present is studying the music of the spheres

at

at my elbow. The Georgium Sidus he thinks is rather out of tune; so until he rectify that matter, he cannot stoop to terrestrial affairs.

He sends you six of the Rondeau subjects, and if more are wanted, he says you shall have them.

Confound your long stairs !

S. CLARKE

No. XXXI.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

August, 1793. Your objection, my dear Sir, to the passages in my song of Logan Water, is right in one instance; but it is difficult to mend it: if I can I will. The other passage you object to does not appear in the same light to me.

I have tried my hand on Robin Adair, and you will probably think, with little success; but it is such a cursed, cramp, out-of-the-way measure, that I despair of doing any thing better to it.

PHILLIS THE FAIR.

Tune--" ROBIN ADAIR."

WHILE larks with little wing,

Fann'd the pure air,
Tasting the breathing spring,

Forth I did fare
Gay the sun's golden eye,
Peep'd o'er the mountains high;
Such thy morn! did I cry,

Phillis the fair.

In each bird's careless song,

Glad did I share;
While yon wild flowers among,

Chance led me there :
Sweet to the opening day,
Rosebuds bent the dewy spray;
Such thy bloom! did I say,

Phillis the fair.

Down

Down in a shady walk,

Doves cooing were ;
I mark'd the cruel hawk

Caught in a snare;
So kind may fortune be,
Such make his destiny,
He who would injure thee,

Phillis the fair.

So much for namby-pamby. I may,

after all, try my hand on it in Scots verse. There I always find myself most at home.

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I have just put the last hand to the song I meant for Cauld Kail in Aberdeen. If it suits you to insert it, I shall be pleased, as the heroine is a favourite of mine; if not, I shall also be pleased; because I wish, and will be glad, to see

you act decidedly on the business.*

'Tis a tribute as a man of taste, and as an editor, which you owe yourself.

No.

* The song herewith sent, is that in p. 29 of this volume.

E.

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