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Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON.
Altered from an old English song.
How cruel are the parents
Who riches only prize,
Poor woman sacrifice.
Has but a choice of strife;
Become a wretched wife.
The ravening hawk pursuing,
The trembling dove thus flies,
Awhile her pinions tries ;
No shelter or retreat,
And drops beneath his feet.
Tune" Deil tak the wars."
Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion,
Round the wealthy, titled bride :
Poor is all that princely pride.
What are their noisy pleasures ? The gay, gaudy glare of vanity and art :
The polish'd jewel's blaze,
The fancy may delight,
But did you see my dearest Chloris,
In simplicity's array ;
Shrinking from the gaze of day.
And all resistless charming,
His worshipp'd deity,
Well! this is not amiss. You see how I answer your orders : your tailor could not be more punctual. I am just now in a high fit of poetizing, provided that the strait-jacket of criticism don't cure me. If you can in a post or two administer a little of the intoxicating potion of your applause, it will raise your humble servant's phrenzy to any height you want. I am at this moment “holding bigh converse” with the muses, and have not a word to throw away on such a prosaic dog as
Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON.
May, 1795, Ten thousand thanks for your elegant present ; though I am ashamed of the value of it, being bestowed on a man who has not by any means merited such an instance of kindness. I have shown it to two or three judges of the first abilities here, and they all agree with me in classing it as a first-rate production. My phiz is see kenspeckle, that the very joiner's apprentice hom Mrs. Burns employed to break up the parcele
was out of town that day) knew it at once. My most grateful compliments to Allan, who has honoured my rustic muse so much with his masterly pencil. One strange coincidence is, that the little one who is making the felonious attempt on the cat's tail, is the most striking likeness of an illdeedie, d-mn'e, wee, rumble-gairie, urchin of mine, whom, from that propensity to witty wickedness and manfu' mischief, which, even at twa days auld, I foresaw would form the striking features of his disposition, I named Willie Nicol, after a certain friend of mine, who is one of the masters of a grammar-school in a city which shall be pameless.
Give the inclosed epigram to my much-valued friend Cunningham, and tell him that on Wednesday I go to visit a friend of his, to whom his friendly partiality in speaking of me, in a manner introduced me I mean a well-known military and literary character, colonel Dirom.
You do not tell me how you liked my two last songs. Are they condemned ?
Mr. THOMSON to Mr. BURNS,
13th May, 1795. It gives me great pleasure to find that you are all so well satisfied with Mr. Allan's production. The chance resemblance of your little fellow, whose promising disposition appeared so very early, and suggested whom he should be named after, is curious enough. I am acquainted with that person, who is a prodigy of learning and ge. nius, and a pleasant fellow, though no saint.
You really make me blush when you tell me you have not merited the drawing from me. I do not think I can ever repay you, or sufficiently esteem and respect you for the liberal and kind
manner in which you have entered into the spirit of my undertaking, which could not have been perfected without you. So I beg you would not make a fool of me again, by speaking of obligation.
I like your two last songs very much, and am happy to find you are in such a high fit of poetizing. Long may it last. Clarke has made a fine pathetic air to Mallet's superlative ballad of William and Margaret, and is to give it to me, to be enrolled among thc eleet.
Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON,
In Whistle and I'll come to ye, my lad, the iteration of that line is tiresome to my ear, Here goes what I think is an improvement.
O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad ;
In fact, a fair dame, at whose shrine I, the priest of the nine, offer up the incense of Parnassus ; a dame whom the graces have attired in witchcraft, and whom the loves have armed with lightning; a fair one, herself the fieroine of the song, insists on the amendment; and dispute her comniands if you dare !
Tune-" This is no my ain house."
CHORUS. this is no iny ain lassie, Fair tho' the lassie be;
O weel ken I my ain lassie,
Kind love is in her e'e.
I see a form, I see a face,
O this is no, 6c.
she's bonie, blooming, straight, and tall,
O this is no, doc.
A thief sae pawkie is my Jean,
O this is no, dc.
It may escape the courtly sparks,
O this is no, &c.
Do you know that you have roused the torpidity of Clarke at last? He has requested me to write three or four songs for him, which he is to set to music himself The inclosed sheet contains two songs for him, which please to present to my valued friend Cunningham.
I inclose the sheet open, both for your inspec. tion, and that ! ou may copy the song, o bonnie was yon rosy brier. I do not know whether I am right; but that song pleases me, and as it is ex
nely probable that Clarke's newly roused ceJestial spark will be soon smothered in the fogs of indolence, if you like the song, it may go as Seot