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has stirred the hearts of all classes and degrees among men; but especially for the sons of Scotia has he enshrined in his verse the sentiments, tastes, and feelings, as well as the old heroic traditions of her glory, in strains "so simple, yet so sublime, that the world stood still to listen." That such a gifted one should have arisen from the ploughshare to become a great national poet, may well provoke astonishment; but that his personal career should have proved so inauspicious, no less stirs our sympathy and regret. A strange and significant contrast is exhibited between the lowly birthplace of Burns and his costly mausoleum.'

Scott, when young, met Burns; and he tells us the poet's eye, "which indicated the poetic temperament and character, was large, and of a dark cast; it glowed-I say, literally glowed-when he spoke with feeling or interest: I never saw such another eye in a human head, though I have seen the most distinguished men of my time." A brother poet thus tenders a loving tribute :

"The simple bard, unbroke by rules of art,
pours the wild effusions of his heart;


And if inspired,-'tis Nature's powers inspire,

Hers all the melting thrill, and hers the kindling fire!"

True, "thoughtless follies laid him low, and stained his name;" but here draw the mantle of charity, and let pity drop the tributary tear over his sorrows and sufferings; for he was bereft of sympathy and succour when most he needed their aid. Need we then wonder that he sang thus plaintively:

Pleasures are, like poppies, spread-
You seize the flower, its bloom is fled:
Or, like the snow-falls on the river,
A moment white, then melts forever:

It is in the form of a Grecian temple: in the basement story are placed the bust of the poet, and the Bible he gave to his Highland Mary, fastened to one of the covers of which is a lock of her golden hair.

Or like the borealis race,

That flit ere you can point their place:
Or like the rainbow's lovely form,
Evanishing amid the storm.

What a beautiful homily on that queenliest of graces, Charity, does he here offer us :

Then gently scan your brother man; still gentler, sister woman; Though they may gang a kennin wrang, to step aside is human. One point must still be greatly dark, the moving why they do it; But just as tamely can we mark how far, perhaps, they rue it.

Wha made the heart, 'tis He alone decidedly can try us;
He knows each chord, its various tone; each spring, its various bias.
Then at the balance let's be mute, we never can adjust it;
What's done, we partly may compute, but know not what's resisted.

Burns was little more than sixteen when he wrote some of his most remarkable effusions; and the brief limit of thirty-seven years made up the poet's short span of life-a life so prolific of pleasure to the world; so checkered and unpropitious to himself.

"Of his humorous pieces, the Tam 'Shanter is his best; though there are traits of infinite merit in Scotch Drink, the Holy Fair, the Hallow E'en, and several of the songs; in all of which, it is very remarkable that he rises occasionally into a strain of beautiful description or lofty sentiment, far above the pitch of his original conception. The poems of observation on life and characters are the Twa Dogs, and the various epistles-all of which show very extraordinary sagacity and powers of expression.' The exquisite description of The Cotter's Saturday Night affords, perhaps, the finest example of pathos and humour combined. Independent of its admirable fidelity to details of Scottish peasant-life of his day, Burns has cast


1 Edinburgh Review.

over the poem a feeling of such gushing tenderness and peaceful sunshine, that, in spite of the occasional obscurity of its language, it is impossible for any one to read it unmoved :

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;

The short'ning winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose.


The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end,

Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,

Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,

And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin', stacher through
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise an' glee.
His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary kiaugh and care beguile,
An' maks him quite forget his labour an' his toil.



With joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's welfare kindly spiers;
The social hours, swift-winged, unnoticed fleet,
Each tells the unco's that he sees or hears;
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;

The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.




Observe how delicately he approaches the dainty little Daisy :

Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flower,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour,

For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem;

spare thee now is past my power,
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.

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

Scarce reared above the parent earth
Thy tender form.

The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,

High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield;

But thou, beneath the random bield

O' clod or stane,

Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane.



Scott was so charmed with Burns's song, Ae fond kiss, and then we sever, that he said on one occasion, it was worth a thousand Here are the first and last stanzas :—


Ae fond kiss-and then we sever!
Ae farewell-alas, forever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee;
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.




Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Burns's beautiful lines addressed to Mary in Heaven, were composed under the following circumstances:-"My Highland lassie," he writes, CC was a warm-hearted, charming young creature as ever blessed a man with generous love. After a pretty long trial of the most ardent reciprocal attachment, we met by appointment, on the second Sunday of May, in a sequestered spot by the banks of Ayr, where we spent the day in taking a farewell, before she should

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