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While with boundless joy I rove
Thro' the fairy land of love :
Let me wander where I will,
Laura haunts my fancy still.

The rest of your letter I shall answer at some other opportunity.



My good sir,

7th Nov. 1793. After so long a silence it gave me peculiar pleasure to recognise your well-known hand, for I had begun to be apprehensive that all was not well with you. I am happy to find, however, that your silence did not proceed from that cause, and that you have got among the ballads once more.

I have to thank you for your English song to Leiger m' choss, which I think extremely good, although the colouring is warm. Your friend Mr. Turnbull's songs have doubtless considerable merit; and as you have the command of his manuscripts, I hope you may find out some that will answer as English songs, to the airs yet unprovided.



December, 1793. Tell me how you like the following verses to the tune of Jo Janet.

Husband, husband, cease your strife,

Nor longer idly rave, sir ; Tho' I am your wedded wife,

Yet I am not your slave, sir.

“ One of two must still obey,

Nancy, Nancy ;
Is it man or woman, say,

My spouse Nancy?”

If 'tis still the lordly word,

Service and obedience ; I'll desert my soy'reign lord,

And so, good b’ye allegiance!

“ Sad will I be, so bereft,

Nancy, Nancy,
Yet I'll try to make a shift,

My spouse Nancy."

My poor heart then break it must,

My last hour I'm near it ; When you lay me in the dust,

Think, think how you will bear it,

“ I will hope and trust in heaven,

Nancy, Nancy ;
Strength to bear it will be given,

My spouse Nancy."

Well, sir, from the silent dead,

Still I'll try to daunt you ; Ever round your midnight bed

Horrid sprites shall haunt you.

“ I'll wed another, like my dear,

Nancy, Nancy;
Then all hell will fly for fear,
My spouse Nancy,"

Air-" The Sutor's Dochter."

Wilt thou be my dearie ?
When sorrow wrings thy gentle heart,
Wilt thou let me cheer thee?
By the treasure of my soul,
That's the love I bear thee!
I swear and vow that only thou
Shall ever be my dearie.
Only thou, I swear and vow,
Shall ever be my dearie.

Lassie, say thou lo’es me;
Or if thou wilt na be my ain,
Say na thou’lt refuse me :
If it winna, canna be,
Thou for thine may chuse me,
Let me, lassie, quickly die,
Trusting that thou lo’es me.
Lassie, let me quickly die,
Trusting that thou lo'es me.

No. L.



My dear sir, Edinburgh, 17th April, 1794.

Owing to the distress of our friend for the loss of his child, at the time of his receiving your admirable but melancholy letter, I had not an opportunity till lately of perusing it*. How sorry I am to find Burns saying " canst thou not minister to a mind diseased ?" while he is delighting others from one end of the island to the other. Like the hypochondriac who went to consult a pbysician upon his case. Go, says the doctor, and

* A letter to Mr. Cunningham.

Vol. II.


see the famous Carlini, who keeps all Paris in good humour. Alas, sir, replied the patient, I am that unhappy Carlini !

Your plan for our meeting together plea ses me greatly, and I trust that by some means or other it will soon take place ; but your Bacchanalian challenge almost frightens me, for I am a miserable weak drinker !

Allan is much gratified by your good opinion of his talents. He has just begun a sketch from your Cotter's Saturday Night, and, if it pleases himself in the design, he will probably etch or engrave it. In subjects of the pastoral and humorous kind, he is perhaps unrivalled by any artist living. He fails a little in giving beauty and grace to his females, and his colouring is sombre, otherwise his paintings and drawings would be in greater request.

I like the music of the Sutor's dochter, and will consider whether it shall be added to the last volume ; your verses to it are pretty ; but your hu. morous English song to suit Jo Janet, is inimitable. What think you of the air, Within a mile of Euinburgh? It has always struck me as a modern English imitation, but it is said to be Oswald's, and is so much liked, that I believe I must include it.

The verses are little better than namby pamby. Do you consider it worth a stanza or two.

No, LI.


My dear sir,

May, 1794 I return you the plates, with which I am highly pleased; I would humbly propose, instead of the younker knitting stockings, to put a stock and horn into bis hands. A friend of mine, who is positively the ablest judge on the subject I have ever met with, and though an unknown, is yet a superior artist with the burin, is quite charmed with Allan's manner. I got him a peep of the Gentle Shepherd ; and he pronounces Allan a most original artist of great excellence.

For my part, I look on Mr. Allan's chusing my favourite poem for his subject, to be one of the highest compliments I have ever received.

I am quite vexed at Pleyel's being cooped up in France, as it will put an entire stop to our work. Now, and for six or seven months, I shall be quite in song, as you shall see by and bye. I got an air, pretty enough, composed by lady Elizabeth Heron, of Heron, which she calls The banks

Cree is a beautiful romantic stream; and as her ladyship is a particular friend of mine, I have written the following song to it.

of Cree.


Here is the glen, aud here the bower,

All underneath the birchen shade; The village-bell has told the hour,

O what can stay my lovely maid ?

'Tis not Maria's whispering call ;

'Tis but the balmy-breathing gale, Mixt with some warbler's dying fall,

The dewy star of eve to hail.

It is Maria's voice I hear !

So calls the woodlark in the grove, His little, faithful mate to cheer,

At once 'tis music and 'tis love.

And art thou come and art thou true ?
Ow com

dear to and me! And let us all our vows renew,

Along the flowery banks of Cree.


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