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plan is, that every air shall in the first place have verses wholly by Scottish poets ; and that those of English writers shall follow as additional songs, for the choice of the singer.

What you say of the Ewe-bughts is just; I ad. mire it, and never meant to supplant it. All I requested was, that you would try your hand on some of the inferior stanzas, which are apparently no part of the original song; but this I do not urge, becanse the song is of sufficient length, though those inferior stanzas be omitted, as they will be by the singer of taste. You must not think I expect all the songs to be of superlative merit; that were an unreasonable expectation. I am sensible that no poet can sit down doggedly to pen verses, and succeed well at all times.

I am highly pleased with your humorous and amorous rhapsody on Bonnie Leslie: it is a thousand times better than the Collier's Lassie. " The deil he cou'd na scaith thee," &c. is an eccentric and happy thought. Do you not think, however, that the names of such old heroes as Alexander, sound rather queer, unless in pompous or mere burlesque verse ? Instead of the line, " And never made ani. ther," I would humbly suggest, " And ne'er made sic anither;" and I would sain have you substitute some other line for “ Return to Caledonie,” in the last verse, because I think this alteration of the orthography, and of the sound of Caledonie, disfi. gures the word, and renders it Hudibrastic.

Of the other song, My wife's a winsome wee thing, I think the first eight lines very good : but I do not admire the other eight, because four of them are a bare repetition of the first verses. I have been trying to spin a stanza, but could make nothing better than the following: do you mend it, or, as Yorick did with the love-letter, whip it up in your own way.

O leeze me on my wee thing.
My bonnie blythsome wee thing;

Sae lang's I hae my wee thing,
I'll think iny lot divine.

Tho' warld's care we share o't,
And may see meikle mair o't,
Wi' her I'll blythly bear it,
And ne'er a word repine.

You perceive, my dear sir, I avail myself of the liberty which you condescend to allow me, by speaking freely what I think. Be assured, it is not my disposition to pick out the faults of any poem or picture I see: my first and chief object is to discover and be delighted with the beauties of the piece. If I sit down to examine critically, and at leisure, what perhaps you have written in haste, I may happen to observe careless lines, the re-perusal of which, might lead you to improve them. The wren will often see what has been overlooked by the eagle.

I remain yours faithfully, &c. P. S. Your verses upon Highland Mary are just come to hand : they breathe the genuine spirit of poetry, and, like the music, will last for ever. Such verses, united to such an air, with the delicate har. mony of Pleyel superadded, might form a treat worthy of being presented to Apollo himself. I have heard the sad story of your Mary; you al. ways seem inspired when you write of her.

No. VIII.

Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON.

Dumfries, 1st Dec. 1792. Your alterations of my Nanie O are perfectly right. So are those of My wife's a wanton wee thing. Your alteration of the second stanza is a positive improvement. Now, my dear sir, with the freedom which characterizes our correspondence, I must not, cannot alter Bonnie Leslie.

You are right, the word "Alexander” makes the line a little uncouth, but I think the thought is pretty. Of Alexander, beyond all other heroes, it may be said, in the sublime language of scripture, that "he went forth conquering and to conquer.”

“For nature made her what she is, And never made anither” (such a person as she is.)

This is in my opinion more poetical than “ Ne'er made sic anither.” However it is immaterial: make it either way*. “ Caledonie," I agree with you, is not so good a word as could be wished, though it is sanctioned in three or four instances by Allan Ramsay ; but I cannot help it. In short, that species of stanza is the most difficult that I have ever tried.

The Lea-rig is as follows. (Here the poet gives the two first stanzas as before, p. 9, with the fol. lowing in addition.)

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The hunter lo'es the morning sun,

To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
At noon the fisher seeks the glen,

Along the burn to steer, my jo:
Gie me the hour o'gloamin grey,

It makes my heart sae cheery, 0,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,

My ain kind dearie, 0.

I am interrupted.

Yours, &c.

Mr. Thomson has decided on Ne'er made sic anit her. E.

No. IX.

Mr. BURNS to Mr. THOMSON.

AULD ROB MORRIS*.

There's auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, He's the king o'gude fellows and wale of auld men; He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine, And ae bonnie lassie, his darling and mine.

She's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May; She's sweet as the ev'ning amang the new hay; As blythe and as artless as the lambs on the lea, And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e.

But oh! she's an heiress, auld Robin's a laird, And my daddie has nought but a cot-house and

yard ; A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed, The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead.

The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane
The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane:
I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist,
And I sigh as my heart it wad burst in my breast.

o had she but been of a lower degree, I then might hae hop'd she wad smild upon me! o, how past descriving had then been my bliss, As now my distraction no words can express !

DUNCAN GRAY,

Duncan Gray cam here to woo,

Ha, ha, the wooing o't,

* The two first lines are taken from an okul ballad-the rest is wholly original. E.

On blythe yule night when we were fu',

Ha, ha, the wooing o't ; Maggie coost her head fu' high, Look d asklent and unco skeigh, Gart poor Duncan stand abiegh ;

Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd ;

Ha, ha, &c.
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig*,

Ha, ha, ớc.
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin”,
Spak o' low pin o'er a linn ;

Ha, ha, &c.

Time and chance are but a tide,

Ha, ha, dc.
Slighted love is sair to bide,

Ha, ha, dc.
Shall 1, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie lie?
She may gae to-France, for me!

Ha, ha, bc.

How it comes let doctors tell,

Ha, ha, &c.
Meg grew sick-as he grew heal;

Ha, ha, doc.
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief, a sigh she brings ;
And O! her een, they spak siç things;

Ha, ha, dc.

Duncan was a lad o' grace,

Ha, ha, O'C.
Maggie's was a piteous case,

Ha, ha, doc.

A well-known rock in the frith of Clyde. E.

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