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THE

BEAUTIES

OF

BURNS,

CONSISTING OF

SELECTIONS FROM HIS POEMS AND LETTERS.

BY ALFRED HOWARD, ESQ.

LONDON:

PRINTED BY T. DAVISON,
FOR THOMAS TEGG, NO. 73, CHEAPSIDE;
R. GRIFFIN AND CO. GLASGOW;

AND
J. CUMMING, DUBLIN.

NARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY

hou 10.193%

BURNS.

A BARD'S EPITAPH.
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,

Let him draw near ;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,

And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,

0, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,

Here heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,

Wild as the wave ;
Here pause-and, through the starting tear,

Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn and wise to know,

B

And keenly felt the friendly glow,

And softer flame,
But thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stain'd his name !
Reader, attend—whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,

In low pursuit ;
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control,

Is wisdom's root.

THE BRIGS OF AYR.

The simple bard, rough at the rustic plough,
Learning his tuneful trade from every bough ;
The chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush, [bush;
Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the green thorn
The soaring lark, the perching red-breast shrill,
Or deep-toned plovers, grey, wild-whistling o'er the
Shall he, nurst in the Peasant's lowly shed, [hill;
To hardy Independence bravely bred,
By Jarly Poverty to hardship steeld,
And wain'd to arms in stern Misfortune's field ;
Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes,
The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes ?
Or labour hard the panegyric close,
With all the venal soul of dedicating Prose ?
No! though his artless strains he rudely sings,
And throws his hand uncouthly o'er the strings,
He glows with all the spirit of the bard,
Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear reward.
Still, if some Patron's generous care he trace,
Skill'd in the secret, to bestow with grace ;
When B********* befriends his humble name,
And hands the rustic stranger up to fame,

With heart-felt throes his grateful bosom swells,
The godlike bliss, to give, alone excels.

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'Twas when the stacks gat on their winter hap, And thack and rape secure the toil-won crap ; Potatoe-bings are snugged up fra skaith Of coming Winter's biting, frosty breath ; The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils, Unnumber'd buds an’ flowers' delicious spoils, Scal'd up wi' frugal care in massive waxen piles, Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, The death o' devils smoor'd wi' brimstone reek : The thundering guns are heard on every side, The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide; The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's tie, Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie: (What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, And execrates man’s savage, ruthless deeds !) Nae mair the flower in field or meadow springs ; Nae mair the grove wi' airy concert rings, Except perhaps the Robin's whistling glee, Proud o' the height o' some bit half-lang tree : The hoary morns precede the sunny days, Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide blaze, While thick the gossamour waves wanton in the rays. 'Twas in that season, when a simple bard, Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward, Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr, By whim inspired, or haply prest wi’ care, He left his bed, and took his wayward route, And down by Simpson's* wheel'd the left about : (Whether impell’d by all-directing Fate, To witness what I after shall narrate;

* A noted tavern at the Auld Brig end.

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