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tish verses, to the air of I wish my love was in a mire; and poor Erskine's English lines may folIow.
I inclose you a For a' that, and a' that, which was never in print: it is a much superior song to mine. I have been told that it was composed by a lady.
To Mr. CUNNINGHAM.
Now spring has clad the grove
Rejoice in fostering showers;
Their sorrows to forego!
The weary steps of woe!
The trout within yon wimpling burn
Glides swift, a silver dart,
Defies the angler's art.
That wanton trout was I ;
Has scorch'd my fountains dry.
The little flow'ret's peaceful lot,
In yonder cliff that grows,
Nae ruder visit knows,
And blighted a' my bloom,
My youth and joy consume.
The waken'd lav'rock warbling springs
And climbs the early sky,
Winnowing blythe her dewy wings
In morning's rosy eye ;
Until the flowery snare
Made me the thrall o' care.
O had my fate been Greenland snows,
Or Afric's burning zone,
So Peggy ne'er I'd known !
What tongue his woes can tell !
Nae kinder spirits dwell.
bonnie was yon rosy brier,
That blooms sae far frae haunt o man; And bonnie she, and ah, how dear!
It shaded frae the e'enin sun.
Yon rosebuds in the morning dew
How pure, amang the leaves sae green; But purer was the lover's vow
They witness'd in their shade yestreen.
All in its rude and prickly bower,
That crimson rose, how sweet and fair! But love is far a sweeter flower
Amid life's thorny path o' care.
The pathless wild, and wimpling burn,
Wi' Chloris in my arms, be mine ; And I the world, nor wish, nor scorn,
Its joys and griefs alike resign.
Written on the blank leaf of a copy of the last edi
tion of my poems, presented to the lady, whom, in so many fietitious reveries of passion, but with the most ardent sentiments of real friendship, I have so often sung under the name of Chloris.
'Tis friendship's pledge, my young, fair friend,
Nor thou the gift refuse, Nor with unwilling ear attend
The moralizing muse.
Since thou, in all thy youth and charms,
Must bid the world adien
To join the friendly few.
Since, thy gay morn of life o’ercast,
Chill came the tempest's lour ;
Did nip a fairer flower.)
Since life's gay scenes must charm no more,
Still much is left behind;
The comforts of the mind!
Thine is the self-approving glow,
On conscious honour's part ;
Thine friendship's truest heart ;
The joys refin'd of sense and taste,
With every muse to rove :
These joys could he improve.
Une bagatelle de l'amitié,
Mr. THOMSON to Mr. BURNS.
My dear sir,
Edinburgh, 3d Aug. 1795. This will be delivered to you by a Dr. Brianton, who has read your works, and pants for the honour of your acquaintance. I do not know the gentleman, but his friend, who applied to me for this introduction, being an excellent young man, I have no doubt he is worthy of all acceptation.
My eyes have just been gladdened, and my mind feasted, with your last packet-full of pleasant things indeed. What an imagination is yours ! It is superfluous to tell you, that I am delighted with all the three songs, as well as with your elegant and tender verses to Chloris.
I am sorry you should be induced to alter 0 whistle and I'll come to ye, my lad, to the prosaic line, Thy Jeany will venture wi' ye, my lad. I must be permitted to say, that I do not think the latter either reads or sings so well as the former. I wish, therefore, you would in my name petition the charming Jeany, whoever she be, to let the line remain unaltered*.
I should be happy to see Mr. Clarke produce a few airs to be joined to your verses. Every body regrets his writing so very little, as every body acknowledges his ability to write well. Pray was the resolution formed coolly before dinner, or was it a midnight vow made over a bowl of punch with the bard ?
I shall not fail to give Mr. Cunningham what you have sent him.
* The editor, who has heard the heroine of this song sing it herself in the very spirit of arch simplicity that it requires, thinks Mr. Thomson's petition unreasonable. If we mistake not, this is the same lady who produced the lines to the tune of Roy's Wife, p. 135.
P. S. The lady's For a' that and a' that, is sensible enough, but no more to be compared to yours than I to Hercules.
Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON,
Tune-" Let me in this ae night."
At which I most repine, love.
O wert thou, love, but near me,
And mingle sighs with mine, love.
Around me scowls a wintry sky,
O wert, &c.
Cold, alter'd friendship's cruel part,
O wert, bc.
But dreary tho' the moments fleet,
o wert, 6c.