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Farewell, thou fair day, thou green carth, and ye skies
Now gay with the bright setting sun; Farewell, loves and friendships, ye dear tender ties,
Our race of existence is run!
Thou grim king of terrors, thou life's gloomy foe,
Go frighten the coward and slave ;
No terror hast thou to the brave !
Thou strik'st the dull peasant, he sinks in the dark,
Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name ;
He falls in the blaze of his fame!
In the field of proud honour, our swords in our hands,
Our king and our country to save,'
O! who would not rest with the brave?
The last of these specimens is sufficient to evince that Burns could employ the English language with considerable efficacy: but the advice which he received from Dr Moore can hardly be considered as altogether judicious. “ It is evident,” says his correspondent, “ that you already possess a great variety of expression and command of the English language; you ought therefore to deal more sparingly for the future in the provincial dialect: why should you, by using that, limit the number of your admirers to those who understand the Scottish, when you can extend it to all persons of taste who understand the English language.” The situation and studies of Burns had prepared him for excelling in Scotish poetry; but it is far from being evident that he was qualified to contend with the mighty masters of the English lyre. It was therefore with sufficient prudence that he chiefly confined himself to a department in which he was without a rival. His superiority to Ramsay and Fergusson is manifest; he possesses, in an infinitely higher degree the power of captivating the heart, and of arresting the understanding.
Abernethy, Dr John, ii. 302.
103. ii. 143. 222.
Barclay, William, M.D. i. 103.
ii. 346. 433.
i. 74. 103.
Baillie, i. 119. 143. 145.
Balfour, Sir James, ii. 300.
Brown, Walter, i. 449.
Dickson, i. 146.
Echlin, i. 103.
Calderwood, i. 127.
Fairley, (Farleus) ü. 293.
Danskin, i. 103.
176. 221. įi. 191.
G. G. of S. . 184.