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the abuses of a sacred institution ; but the theme a favourite with poets. Nor should his maxinis, was of unsafe approach, and he ought to have which inculcate charity and candour in judging avoided it.

of human frailties, be interpreted as a serious He meets us, in his compositions, undis- defence of them, as when he says, guisedly as a peasant. At the same time, his

Then gently scan your brother man, observations go extensively into life, like those of

Still gentlier sister woman, a man who felt the proper dignity of human Though they may gang a kennin wrang ; nature in the character of a peasant. The writer

To step aside is human. of some of the severest strictures that ever have

“Who made the heart, 'tis He alone been passed upon his poetry* conceives that his

Decidedly can try us; beauties are considerably defaced by a portion of He knows each chord, its various tone, false taste and vulgar sentiment, which adhere to

Each spring, its various bias." him from his low education. That Burns's edu- It is still more surprising, that a critic, capable cation, or rather the want of it, excluded him of so eloquently developing the traits of Burns's from much knowledge, which might have fostered genius, should have found fault with his amatory his inventive ingenuity, seems to be clear ; but strains for want of polish, and of that chival. his circumstances cannot be admitted to have

rous tone of gallantry, which uniformly abases communicated vulgarity to the tone of his senti- itself in the presence of the object of its dero ments. They have not the sordid taste of low

tion,” Every reader must recal abundance of condition. It is objected to him, that he boasts thoughts in his love songs, to which any attempt too much of his own independence ; but, in to superadd a tone of gallantry would not be reality, this boast is neither frequent nor obtru

“ To gild refined gold, to paint the rose, sive ; and it is in itself the expression of a manly

Or add fresh perfume to the violett;" and laudable feeling. So far from calling up disagreeable recollections of rusticity, his senti

but to debase the metal, and to take the odour ments triumph, by their natural energy, over

and colour from the flower. It is exactly this those false and fastidious distinctions which the superiority to “abasement” and polish which is mind is but too apt to form in allotting its sym

the charm that distinguishes Burns from the pathies to the sensibilities of the rich and poor.

herd of erotic songsters, from the days of the He carries us into the humble scenes of life, not

troubadours to the present time. He wrote from to make us dole out your tribute of charitable impulses more sincere than the spirit of chivalry; compassion to paupers and cottagers, but to make

and even Lord Surrey and Sir Philip Sidney are

cold and uninteresting lovers in comparison with us feel with them on equal terms, to make us

the rustic Burns. enter into their passions and interests, and share our hearts with them as with brothers and sisters Tlie praises of his best pieces I have abstained of the human species.

from re-echoing, as there is no epithet of admiraHe is taxed, in the same place, with perpetu

tion which they deserve which has not been be ally affecting to deride the virtues of prudence,

stowed upon them. One point must be conceded regularity, and decency; and with being imbued

to the strictures on his poetry, to which I have with the sentimentality of German novels. Any

already alluded,--that his personal satire 52

fierce and acrimonious. I am not, however, die thing more remote from German sentiment than Burns's poetry could not easily be mentioned.

posed to consider his attacks on Rumble Joba, But is he depraved and licentious in a compre

and Holy Willie, as destitute of wit ; and bis hensive view of the moral character of his poem on the clerical settlements at Kilmarnock pieces? The over-genial freedom of a few assur

blends a good deal of ingenious metaphor with edly ought not to fix this character upon the whole

his accustomed humour. Even viewing him as of them. It is a charge which we should hardly

a satirist, the last and humblest light in which he expect to see preferred against the author of can be regarded as a poet, it may still be said of

him, « The Cotter's Saturday Night.” He is the

“His style was witty, though it had some gall; enemy, indeed, of that selfish and niggardly spirit

Something he might have mended-so may all." which shelters itself under the name of prudence; but that pharisaical disposition has seldom been [t This version by no means improves the original,

which is as follows: * Critique on the character of Burns, in the Edinburgh

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
Review. Article, Cromek's Reliques of Burns. (By Lord
Jeffrey. Mr. Campbell's reply to Lord Jeffrey is thought

To throw a perfume on the violet.
by the Edinburgh Reviewer of these Specimens to be
substantially successful. See Edinburgh Review, vol.

A great poet quoting another should be correct. BVROK, xxxi. p. 492.).

Works, vol. xvi. p 124.)

King John, Act it. Scene is



He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse ;
He draws a bonnie silken purse
As lang's my tail, whare, through the steeks,
The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.

Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling,
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ;
An' though the gentry first are stechin,
Yet ev’n the ha' folk fill their pechan
Wi’ sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie,
That's little short o' downright wastrie.
Our Whipper-in, wee blastit wonner,
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner,
Better than ony tenant man
His Honour has in a' the lan':
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own it's past my comprehension.


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'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
That bears the name o' Auld King Coil,
Upon a bonnie day in June,
When wearing through the afternoon,
Twa dogs that were na thrang at hame,
Forgather'd ance upon a time.

The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
Was keepit for his Honour's pleasure :
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Show'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs ;
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Where sailors gang to fish for cod.

His locked, letter’d, braw brass collar Show'd him the gentleman and scholar : But though he was o' high degree, The fient a pride na pride had he ; But wad bae spent an hour caressin, Ev’n with a tinkler-gipsy's messin. At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, Nae tawted tyke, though e'er sae duddie, But he wad stan't, as glad to see him, And stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' him.

The tither was a ploughman's collie,
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie,
Wha for his friend an' comrade had him,
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland sang,
Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang.

He was a gash an' faithful tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,
Ay gat him friends in ilka place.
His breast was white, his towzie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawcie tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung o'er his hurdies wi' a swirl.

Nae doubt but they were fain o'ither,
An' unco pack an' thick thegither ;
Wi' social nose whyles snuff'd and snowkit;
Whyles mice an' moudieworts they howkit ;
Whyles scour'd awa in lang excursion,
An' worry'd ither in diversion ;
Until wi' daffin weary grown,
Upon a knowe they sat them down,
And there began a lang digression,
About the lords o' the creation.

Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough ;
A cottar howkin in a sheugh,
Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke,
Baring a quarry, and sic like,
Himself, a wife, he thus sustains,
A smytrie o' wee duddie weans,
An'nought but his han' darg, to keep
Them right and tight in thack an' rape.

An' when they meet wi' sair disasters,
Like loss o' health, or want o'masters,
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer,
An' they maun starve o' cauld and hunger;
But, how it comes, I never kenn'd it,
They're maistly wonderfu' contented ;
An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies,
Are bred in sic a way as this is.

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But then to see how ye're negleckit,
How huff’d, and cuff’d, and disrespeckit!
L-d, man, our gentry care as little
For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle;
They gang as saucy by poor fo’k,
As I wad by a stinking brock.

I've noticed, on our Laird's court-day,
An' mony a time my heart's been wae,
Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash,
How they maun thole a factor's snash ;
He'll stamp an' threaten, curse, an' swear
He'll apprehend them, poind their gear ;
While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble,
An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble !

I see how folk live that hae riches ; But surely poor folk maun be wretches !

LUATH. They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think; Though constantly on poortith's brink : They're sae accustom’d wi' the sight, The view o't gies them little fright.


I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath,
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have ;
An' when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies lived ava.

Our Laird gets in his racked rents,
His coals, his kain, and a’his stents :
He rises when he likes himsel;
His flunkies answer at the bell ;

An' clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.
For Britain's guid !-for her destruction !
Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.


Then chance an", fortune are sae guided, They're aye in less or mair provided ; An' though fatigued with close employment, A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.

The dearest comfort o' their lives,
Their grushie weans an' faithfu' wives;
The prattling things are just their pride,
That sweetens a' their fire-side.

An' whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy
Can mak the bodies unco happy ;
They lay aside their private cares,
To mind the kirk and state affairs :
They'll talk o' patronage and priests,
Wi' kindling fury in their breasts,
Or tell what new taxation's comin,
An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on.

As bleak-faced Hallowmass returns,
They get the jovial, ranting kirns,
When rural life, o' every station,
Unite in common recreation ;
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth,
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth,

That merry day the year begins,
They bar the door on frosty winds ;
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream,
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ;
The luntin pipe, an' sneeshin mill,
Are handed round wi' right guid will ;
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse,
The young anes ranting through the house,
My heart has been sae fain to see them,
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.

Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Sic game is now owre aften play'd.
There's monie a creditable stock
O' decent, honest, fawsont fo’k,
Are riven out baith root and branch,
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
In favour wi' some gentle master,
Wha aiblins, thrang a parliamentin,
For Britain's guid his saul indentin-

Hech man ! dear sirs ! is that the gate They waste sae mony a braw estate ! Are we sae foughten an' harássid For gear to gang that gate at last !

O would they stay aback frae courts, An' please themselves wi' countra sports, It wad for every ane be better, The Laird, the Tenant, an' the Cotter ! For thae frank, rantin, ramblin billies, Fient haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows; Except for breaking o'er their timmer, Or speakin lightly o’ their limmer, Or shooting o' a hare or moor-cock, The ne'er a bit they're ill to poor folk.

But will ye tell me, Master Casar, Sure great folk's life 's a life o' pleasure ! Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.


L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envý 'em.

It's true, they need na starve or sweat, Thro’ winter's cauld, or simmer's heat; They've nae sair wark to craze their banes, An' fill auld age with grips an' granes : But human bodies are sic fools, For a’ their colleges and schools, That when nae real ills perplex them, They mak enow themsels to vex them; An'ay the less they hae to sturt them; In like proportion less will hurt them; A country fellow at the pleugh, His acres tillid, he's right enough ; A country girl at her wheel, Her dizzens done, she's unco weel : But gentlemen, an' ladies warst, Wi' ev'ndown want o' wark are curst. They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy; Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy ; Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless : Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless ; An'ev’n their sports, their balls, an' races, Their galloping through public places. There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art, The joy can scarcely reach the heart. The men cast out in party matches, Then sowther a' in deep debauches : Ae night they're mad wi' drink an' Neist day their life is past enduring. The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters, As great and gracious a' as sisters; But hear their absent thoughts o'ither, They're a' run deils an' jads thegither. Whyles, o'er the wee bit cup an' platie, They sip the scandal potion pretty ; Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks Pore owre the devil's pictured beuks;


Haith, lad, ye little ken about it :
For Britain's guid !-guid faith, I doubt it !
Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him,
An' saying ay or no 's they' bid him :
At operas an' plays parading,
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading;
Or may be, in a frolic daft,
To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
To make a tour, and tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton an' see the worl'.

There, at Vienna or Versailles,
He rives his father's auld entails !
Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt;
Or down Italian vista startles,

* hunting among groves o' myrtles :
Then bouses drumly German water,
To mak himsel look fair and fatter,

The cudgel in my nieve did shake,
Each bristled hair stood like a stake,
When wi' an eldritch stour, qnaick-quaick-

Amang the springs,
Awa ye squatter'd, like a drake,

On whistling wings.

Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard,
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard.

There's some exception, man an' woman; But this is Gentry's life in common.

By this, the sun was out o' sight,
An' darker gloaming brought the night :
The bum-clock humm'd wi’ lazy drone ;
The kye stood rowtin i' the loan ;
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoic'd they were na men but dogs;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolved to meet some ither day.

Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags, Tell how wi’ you on ragweed nags, They skim the muirs, an' dizzy crags,

Wi' wicked speed; And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,

Owre howkit dead.


Thence countra wives, wi' toil an' pain, May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain ; For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen

By witching skill ; An dawtit, twal-pint Hawkie's gaen

As yell's the Bill.


Thence mystic knots mak great abuse,
On young Guidman, fond, keen, an' crouse ;
When the best wark-lume i' the house,

By cantrip wit,
Is instant made no worth a louse,

Just at the bit.

O THOU ! whatever title suit thee,
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie,
Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie,

Closed under hatches,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie,

To scaud poor wretches !
Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
An' let poor damned bodies be ;
I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,

E'еp to a deil,
To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me,

An' hear us squeel !
Great is thy power, an' great thy fame ;
Far kend and noted is thy name ;
An' tho' yon lowin heugh's thy hame,

Thou travels far ;
An' faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,

Nor blate nor scaur.
Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion,
For prey, a' holes an' corners tryin ;
Whyles on the strong-wing'd tempest flyin,

Tirling the kirks; Whyles, in the human bosom pryin,

Unseen thou lurks.

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I've heard my reverend Graunie say,
In lanely glens ye like to stray ;
Or where auld-ruin'd castles, gray,

Nod to the moon, Ye fright the nightly wanderer's way,

Wi' eldritch croon.

When Masons' mystic word an' grip, In storms an' tempests raise you up, Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,

Or, strange to tell ! The youngest Brother ye wad whip

Aff straught to hell !

Lang syne, in Eden's bonnie yard, When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd, An' all the soul of love they shared,

The raptured hour, Sweet on the fragrant, flow'ry swaird ;

In shady bow'r :

When twilight did my Graunie summon,
To say her prayers, douce, honest woman !
Aft yont the dyke she's heard you bummin,

Wi' eerie drone ;
Or, rustlin' thro' the boortries comin,

Wi’ heavy groan.
Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
The stars shot down wi’ sklentin light,
Wi' you, mysel, I gat a fright,

Ayont the lough ;
Ye, like a rash-bush stood in sight,

Wi' waving sugh.

Then you, ye auld, snick-drawing dog!
Ye came to Paradise incog.
An' play'd on man a cursed brogue,

(Black be your fa!) An' gied the infant warld a shog,

Maist ruin'd a'.

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Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour ;
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem ; To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonnie gem.


Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie Lark, companion meet !
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet !

Wi' spreckled breast, When upward-springing, blithe, to greet

The purpling east.

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors, neebors meet,
As market-days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate ;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' gettin fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonny lasses.)

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth ;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm, Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.

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