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the style and subjects of his youthful prototype. The resemblance, however, was only temporary and incidental. Burns had a manner of his own, and though he sometimes condescended, like Shakspeare, to work after inferior models, all that was rich and valuable in the composition was original and unborrowed. He had an excessive admiration for the writings of Fergusson, and even preferred them to those of Ramsay, an opinion in which few will concur. The forte of Fergusson lay, as we have stated, in his representations of town-life. The King's Birth-day, The Sitting of the Session, Leith Races, &c., are all excellent. Still better is his feeling description of the importance of Guid Braid Claith, and his Address to the Tron Kirk Bell. In these we have a current of humorous observations, poetical fancy, and genuine idiomatic Scottish expression. The Farmer's Ingle suggested the Cotter's Saturday Night of Burns, and it is as faithful in its descriptions, though of a humbler class, Burns added passion, sentiment, and patriotism to the subject: Fergusson's is a mere sketch, an inventory of a farmhouse, unless we except the concluding stanza, which speaks to the heart:

Peace to the husbandman, and a his tribe, Whase care fells a' our wants frae year to year! Lang may his sock and cou’ter turn the glebe, And banks of corn bend down wi' laded ear! May Scotia's simmers aye look gay and green; Her yellow hairsts frae scowry blasts decreed! May a her tenants sit fu snug and bien, Frae the hard grip o' ails and poortith freedAnd a lang lasting train o' peacefu' hours succeed!

In one department—lyrical poetry-whence Burns draws so much of his glory-Fergusson does not seem, though a singer, to have made any efforts to excel. In English poetry, he utterly failed; and if we consider him in reference to his countrymen, Falconer or Logan—he received the same education as the latter—his inferior rank as a general poet will be apparent.

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The Arno and the Tiber lang Hae run fell clear in Roman sang; But, save the reverence o' schools, They’re baith but lifeless, dowie pools. Dought they compare wi' bonny Tweed, As clear as ony lammer bead? Or are their shores mair sweet and gay Than Fortha's haughs or banks o' Tay? Though there the herds can jink the showers 'Mang thriving vines and myrtle bowers, And blaw the reed to kittle strains, While echo's tongue commends their pains; Like ours, they canna warm the heart Wi’ simple saft bewitching art. On Leader haughs and Yarrow braes, Arcadian herds wad tyne their lays,

To hear the mair melodious sounds
That live on our poetic grounds.
Come, Fancy! come, and let us tread
The simmer's flowery velvet bed,
And a your springs delightful lowse
On Tweeda's bank or Cowdenknowes.
That, ta'en wi' thy enchanting sang,
Our Scottish lads may round ye thrang,
Sae pleased they'll never fash again
To court you on Italian plain;
Soon will they guess ye only wear
The simple garb o' nature here;
Mair comely far, and fair to sight,
When in her easy cleedin dight,
Than in disguise ye was before
On Tiber's or on Arno's shore.
O Bangour !" now the hills and dales
Nae mair gie back thy tender tales!
The birks on Yarrow now deplore,
Thy mournfu muse has left the shore.
Near what bright burn or crystal spring,
Did you your winsome whistle hing?
The Muse shall there, wi' watery e'e,
Gie the dunk swaird a tear for thee;
And Yarrow's genius, dowie dame!
Shall there forget her bluid-stained stream,
On thy sad grave to seek repose,
Who mourned her fate, condoled her woes.

Cauler Water.

When father Adie first pat spade in
The bonny yard o' ancient Eden,
His amry had nae liquor laid in
To fire his mou;
Nor did he thole his wife's upbraidin',
For bein’ fou.

A cauler burn o' siller sheen,
Ran cannily out-owre the green;
And when our gutcher's drouth had been
To bide right sair,
He loutit down, and drank bedeen
A dainty skair.

His bairns had a', before the flood,
A langer tack o' flesh and blood,
And on mair pithy shanks they stood
Than Noah's line,
Wha still hae been a feckless brood,
Wi’ drinkin’ wine.

The fuddlin' bardies, now-a-days,
Rinmaukin-mad in Bacchus' praise;
And limp and stoiter through their lays
While each his sea of wine displays
As big's the Pontic.

My Muse will no gang far frae hame,
Or scoura airths to hound for fame;
In troth, the jillet ye might blame
For thinkin' on't,
When eithly she can find the theme
O’ aquafont.

This is the name that doctors use,
Their patients' noddles to confuse;
Wi’ simples clad in terms abstruse,
They labour still
In kittle words to gar you roose
Their want o' skill.

! Mr Hamilton of Bangour, author of the beautiful ballad The Braes of Yarrow.

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But we’ll hae nae sic clitter-clatter;
And, briefly to expound the matter,
It shall be ca'd guid cauler water;
Than whilk, I trow,
Few drugs in doctors' shops are better
For me or you.

Though joints be stiff as ony rung,
Your pith wi' pain be sairly dung,
Be you in cauler water flung
Out-owre the lugs,
'Twill mak you souple, swack, and young,
Withouten drugs.

Though colic or the heart-scad tease us;
Or ony inward dwaam should seize us;
It masters a sic fell diseases
That would ye spulzie,
And brings them to a canny crisis
Wi’ little tulzie,

Were’t no for it, the bonny lasses
Wad glower nae mair in keekin'-glasses;
And soon tyne dint o' a the graces
That aft conveen
In gleefu' looks, and bonny faces,
To catch our een.

The fairest, then, might die a maid, And Cupid quit his shootin' trade; For wha, through clarty masquerade, Could then discover Whether the features under shade Were worth a lover?

As simmer rains bring simmer flowers,
And leaves to cleed the birken bowers,
Sae beauty gets by cauler showers
Sae rich a bloom,
As for estate, or heavy dowers,
Aft stands in room.

What maks Auld Reekie's dames sae fair?
It canna be the halesome air;
But cauler burn, beyond compare,
The best o' ony,
That gars them a sic graces skair,
And blink sae bonny.

On May-day, in a fairy ring,
We’ve seen them round St Anthon's spring,"
Frae grass the cauler dew-draps wring
To weet their een,
And water, clear as crystal spring,
To synd them clean.

O may they still pursue the way
To look sae feat, sae clean, sae gay!
Then shall their beauties glance like May;
And, like her, be
The goddess of the vocal spray,
The Muse and me.

[A Sunday in Edinburgh.] [From Auld Reckie.]

On Sunday, here, an altered scene O' men and manners meets our een. Ane wad maist trow, some people chose To change their faces wi' their clo'es,

1 St Anthony's Well, a beautiful small spring, on Arthur's Seat, near Edinburgh. Thither it is still the practice of young Edinburgh maidens to resort on May-day. Arthur's Seat, a hill somewhat resembling a lion, is represented in the adjoining ": of Edinburgh. *

And fain wad gar ilk neibour think
They thirst for guidness as for drink;
But there’s an unco dearth o' grace,
That has nae mansion but the face,
And never can obtain a part
In benmost corner o' the heart.
Why should religion mak us sad,
If good frae virtue’s to be had?
Na: rather gleefu' turn your face,
Forsake hypocrisy, grimace;
And never hae it understood
You fleg mankind frae being good.
In afternoon, a brawly buskit,
The joes and lasses lo'e to frisk it.
Some tak a great delight to place
The modest bon-grace owre the face;
Though you may see, if so inclined,
The turning o' the leg behind.
Now, Comely-Garden and the Park
Refresh them, after forenoon's wark:
Newhaven, Leith, or Canonmills,
Supply them in their Sunday's gills;
Where writers aften spend their pence,
To stock their heads wi' drink and sense.
While danderin cits delight to stray
To Castle-hill or public way,
Where they nae other purpose mean,
Than that fool cause o' being seen,
Let me to Arthur's Seat pursue,
Where bonny pastures meet the view,
And mony a wild-lorn scene accrues,
Befitting Willie Shakspeare's muse.
If Fancy there would join the thrang,
The desert rocks and hills amang,
To echoes we should lilt and play,
And gie to mirth the live-lang day.
Or should some cankered biting shower
The day and a her sweets deflower,
To Holyroodhouse let me stray,
And gie to musing a the day;
Lamenting what auld Scotland knew,
Bein days for ever frae her view.
O Hamilton, for shame! the Muse
Would pay to thee her couthy vows,
Gin ye wad tent the humble strain,
And gie's our dignity again!
For, oh, wae's me! the thistle springs
In domicile o ancient kings,
Without a patriot to regret
Our palace and our ancient state.


After the publication of Fergusson's poems, in a collected shape, in 1773, there was an interval of about thirteen years, during which no writer of eminence arose in Scotland who attempted to excel in the native language of the country. The intellectual taste of the capital ran strongly in favour of metaphysical and critical studies; but the Doric muse was still heard in the rural districts linked to some popular air, some local occurrence or favourite spot, and was much cherished by the lower and middling classes of the people. In the summer of 1786, RoRERT BURNs, the Shakspeare of Scotland, issued his first volume from the obscure press of Kilmarnock, and its influence was immediately felt, and is still operating on the whole imaginative literature of the kingdom.” Burns was then in his

* The edition consisted of 600 copies. A second was published in Edinburgh in April 1787, no less than 2800 copies being subscribed for by 1500 individuals. After his unexampled popularity in Edinburgh, Burns took the farm of Ellisland, near Dumfries, married his “bonny Jean, and entered

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fortnight's French, and was one summer-quarter at land-surveying. He had a few books, among which

upon his new occupation at Whitsunday 1788. He had obtained —what he anxiously desired as an addition to his means as a farmer—an appointment in the Excise; but the duties of this office, and his own convivial habits, interfered with his management of the farm, and he was glad to abandon it. In 1791 he removed to the town of Dumfries, subsisting entirely on his situation in the Excise, which yielded £70 per annum. Here he published, in 1793, a third edition of his poems, with the addition of Tam o'Shanter, and other pieces composed at Ellisland. He died at Dumfries on the 21st of July 1796, aged thirty-seven years and about six months. The story of his life is so well known, that even this brief statement of dates seems unnecessary. In 1798 a fourth edition of his works was published in Edinburgh. Two years afterwards, in 1800, appeared the valuable and complete edition of Dr Currie, in four volumes, containing the correspondence of the poet, and a number of songs, contributed to Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, and Thomson's Select Scottish Melodies. The editions of Burns since 1800 could with difficulty be ascertained; they were reckoned a few years ago at about a hundred. His poems circulate in every shape, and have not yet "gathered all their fame."

were the Spectator, £ works, Allan Ramsay, and a collection of English songs. Subsequentlyabout his twenty-third year—his reading was enlarged with the important addition of Thomson, Shenstone, Sterne, and Mackenzie. Other standard works soon followed. As the advantages of a liberal education were not within his reach, it is scarcely to be regretted that his library was at first so small. What books he had, he read and studied thoroughly —his attention was not distracted by a multitude of volumes—and his mind grew up with original and robust vigour. It is impossible to contemplate the life of Burns at this time, without a strong feeling of affectionate admiration and respect. His manly integrity of character—which, as a peasant, he guarded with jealous dignity—and his warm and true heart, elevate him, in our conceptions, almost as much as the native force and beauty of his poetry. We see him in the veriest shades of obscurity toiling, when a mere youth, ‘like a galley-slave, to support his virtuous parents and their household, yet grasping at every opportunity of acquiring knowledge from men and books-familiar with the – 95

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