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and Genius of Burns.

II

the way in which Burns met all this. Perhaps no man one could point out, was ever so sorely tried, and so little forgot himself. Tranquil, unastonished; not abashed, not inflated, neither awkwardness nor affectation: he feels that he there is the man Robert Burns; that the “rank is but the guinea-stamp;” that the celebrity is but the candle-light, which will show what man, not in the least make him a better or other man! Alas, it may readily, unless he look to it, make him a worse man; a wretched inflated windbag, -inflated till he burst, and become a dead lion; for whom, as some one has said, “there is no resurrection of the body;" worse than a living dog !—Burns is admirable here.

And yet, alas, as I have observed elsewhere, these Lion-hunters were the ruin and death of Burns. It was they that rendered it impossible for him to live! They gathered round him in his Farm; hindered his industry; no place was remote enough from them. He could not get his Lionism forgotten, honestly as he was disposed to do so. He falls into discontents, into miseries, faults; the world getting ever more desolate for him; health, character, peace of mind, all gone; -solitary enough now. It is tragical to think of! These men came but to see him; it was out of no sympathy with him, nor no hatred to him.

I 2

On the Character and Genius of Burns.

They came to get a little amusement: they got their amusement;—and the Hero's life went for it!

Richter says, in the Island of Sumatra there is a kind of “Lightchafers," large Fire-flies, which people stick upon spits, and illuminate the ways with at night. Persons of condition can thus travel with a pleasant radiance, which they much admire. Great honour to the Fire-flies! But-!

SONGS AND BALLADS

OF

ROBERT BURNS.

FLOW GENTLY, SWEET AFTON.

TUNE—“Afton Water." Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise; My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream, Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds thro’ the

glen, Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den, Thou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbear, I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft as mild evening weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flow'rets she stems thy clear

wave.

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Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays; My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream, Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

TO MARY IN HEAVEN.

TUNE—"Miss Forbes's Farewell to Banff.” Thou ling’ring star, with less'ning ray,

That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usher'st in the day

My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

To Mary in Heaven.

15

That sacred hour can I forget;

Can I forget the hallowed grove Where by the winding Ayr we met,

To live one day of parting love! Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports pastThy image at our last embrace;

Ah! little thought we 'twas our last!

Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbl'd shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thick’ning green; The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twin'd am'rous round the raptur'd scene; The flow'rs sprang wanton to be prest,

The birds sang love on every spray, Till too, too soon, the glowing west

Proclaim'd the speed of winged day.

Still o’er these scenes my mem'ry wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care! Time but th' impression stronger makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary, dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?

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