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The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. - With a New Life of the Poet, and Notices, Critical and Biographical by Allan Cunningham

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875 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence., by Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. With a New Life of the Poet, and Notices, Critical and Biographical by Allan Cunningham Author: Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham Release Date: June 4, 2006 [EBook #18500] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WORKS OF ROBERT BURNS *** Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was made using scans of public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital Libraries.) Transcriber’s Note. 1. The hyphenation and accent of words is not uniform throughout the book. No change has been made in this. 2. The relative indentations of Poems, Epitaphs, and Songs are as printed in the original book. THE COMPLETE WORKS OF R O B E R T B U R N S : CONTAINING HIS POEMS, SONGS, AND CORRESPONDENCE. WITH A NEW LIFE OF THE POET, AND NOTICES, CRITICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL, BY ALLAN CUNNINGHAM. ELEGANTLY ILLUSTRATED.
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Complete Works of Robert Burns:
Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence., by Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence.
With a New Life of the Poet, and Notices, Critical and
Biographical by Allan Cunningham
Author: Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham
Release Date: June 4, 2006 [EBook #18500]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WORKS OF ROBERT BURNS ***
Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Sankar Viswanathan,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net (This file was made using scans of
public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital
Libraries.)
Transcriber’s Note.
1. The hyphenation and accent of words is not uniform
throughout the book. No change has been made in
this.
2. The relative indentations of Poems, Epitaphs, and
Songs are as printed in the original book.
THE
COMPLETE WORKS
OF
R O B E R T
B U R N S :

CONTAINING HIS
POEMS, SONGS, AND CORRESPONDENCE.

WITH
A NEW LIFE OF THE POET,
AND
NOTICES, CRITICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL,


BY ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.

ELEGANTLY ILLUSTRATED.



BOSTON:
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY.
NEW YORK: J.C. DERBY.
1855
TO
ARCHIBALD HASTIE, ESQ.,
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR PAISLEY
THIS
EDITION
OF
THE WORKS AND MEMOIRS OF A GREATPOET,
IN WHOSE SENTIMENTS OF FREEDOM HE SHARES,
AND WHOSE PICTURES OF SOCIAL AND DOMESTIC LIFE
HE LOVES,
IS RESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED

BY

ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.
[vii]DEDICATION.


TO THE
NOBLEMEN AND GENTLEMEN
OF THE
CALEDONIAN HUNT.
[On the title-page of the second or Edinburgh edition, were these words:
“Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by Robert Burns, printed for the Author,
and sold by William Creech, 1787.” The motto of the Kilmarnock edition was
omitted; a very numerous list of subscribers followed: the volume was printed
by the celebrated Smellie.]
My Lords and Gentlemen:
A Scottish Bard, proud of the name, and whose highest ambition is to sing in
his country’s service, where shall he so properly look for patronage as to the
illustrious names of his native land: those who bear the honours and inherit the
virtues of their ancestors? The poetic genius of my country found me, as the
prophetic bard Elijah did Elisha—at the plough, and threw her inspiring mantle
over me. She bade me sing the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural
pleasures of my native soil, in my native tongue; I tuned my wild, artless notes
as she inspired. She whispered me to come to this ancient metropolis of
Caledonia, and lay my songs under your honoured protection: I now obey her
dictates.
Though much indebted to your goodness, I do not approach you, my Lords and
Gentlemen, in the usual style of dedication, to thank you for past favours: that
path is so hackneyed by prostituted learning that honest rusticity is ashamed of
it. Nor do I present this address with the venal soul of a servile author, lookingfor a continuation of those favours: I was bred to the plough, and am
independent. I come to claim the common Scottish name with you, my
illustrious countrymen; and to tell the world that I glory in the title. I come to
congratulate my country that the blood of her ancient heroes still runs
[viii]uncontaminated, and that from your courage, knowledge, and public spirit, she
may expect protection, wealth, and liberty. In the last place, I come to proffer my
warmest wishes to the great fountain of honour, the Monarch of the universe, for
your welfare and happiness.
When you go forth to waken the echoes, in the ancient and favourite
amusement of your forefathers, may Pleasure ever be of your party: and may
social joy await your return! When harassed in courts or camps with the
jostlings of bad men and bad measures, may the honest consciousness of
injured worth attend your return to your native seats; and may domestic
happiness, with a smiling welcome, meet you at your gates! May corruption
shrink at your kindling indignant glance; and may tyranny in the ruler, and
licentiousness in the people, equally find you an inexorable foe!
I have the honour to be,
With the sincerest gratitude and highest
respect,
My Lords and Gentlemen,
Your most devoted humble
servant,
ROBERT BURNS.
Edinburgh, April 4, 1787.
[ix]PREFACE.
I cannot give to my country this edition of one of its favourite poets, without
stating that I have deliberately omitted several pieces of verse ascribed to
Burns by other editors, who too hastily, and I think on insufficient testimony,
admitted them among his works. If I am unable to share in the hesitation
expressed by one of them on the authorship of the stanzas on “Pastoral Poetry,”
I can as little share in the feelings with which they have intruded into the
charmed circle of his poetry such compositions as “Lines on the Ruins of
Lincluden College,” “Verses on the Destruction of the Woods of Drumlanrig,”
“Verses written on a Marble Slab in the Woods of Aberfeldy,” and those entitled
“The Tree of Liberty.” These productions, with the exception of the last, were
never seen by any one even in the handwriting of Burns, and are one and all
wanting in that original vigour of language and manliness of sentiment which
distinguish his poetry. With respect to “The Tree of Liberty” in particular, a
subject dear to the heart of the Bard, can any one conversant with his genius
imagine that he welcomed its growth or celebrated its fruit with such “capon
craws” as these?
“Upo’ this tree there grows sic fruit,
Its virtues a’ can tell, man;
It raises man aboon the brute,
It mak’s him ken himsel’, man.
Gif ance the peasant taste a bit,
He’s greater than a lord, man,
An’ wi’ a beggar shares a mite
O’ a’ he can afford, man.”
There are eleven stanzas, of which the best, compared with the “A man’s a man
for a’ that” of Burns, sounds like a cracked pipkin against the “heroic clang” of a
Damascus blade. That it is extant in the handwriting of the poet cannot be taken
as a proof that it is his own composition, against the internal testimony of utterwant of all the marks by which we know him—the Burns-stamp, so to speak,
which is visible on all that ever came from his pen. Misled by his handwriting, I
inserted in my former edition of his works an epitaph, beginning
“Here lies a rose, a budding rose,”
[x]
the composition of Shenstone, and which is to be found in the church-yard of
Hales-Owen: as it is not included in every edition of that poet’s acknowledged
works, Burns, who was an admirer of his genius, had, it seems, copied it with
his own hand, and hence my error. If I hesitated about the exclusion of “The
Tree of Liberty,” and its three false brethren, I could have no scruples regarding
the fine song of “Evan Banks,” claimed and justly for Miss Williams by Sir
Walter Scott, or the humorous song called “Shelah O’Neal,” composed by the
late Sir Alexander Boswell. When I have stated that I have arranged the
Poems, the Songs, and the Letters of Burns, as nearly as possible in the order
in which they were written; that I have omitted no piece of either verse or prose
which bore the impress of his hand, nor included any by which his high
reputation would likely be impaired, I have said all that seems necessary to be
said, save that the following letter came too late for insertion in its proper place:
it is characteristic and worth a place anywhere.
ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.
TO DR. ARCHIBALD LAURIE.
Mossgiel, 13th Nov. 1786.
Dear Sir,
I have along with this sent the two volumes of Ossian, with the remaining
volume of the Songs. Ossian I am not in such a hurry about; but I wish the
Songs, with the volume of the Scotch Poets, returned as soon as they can
conveniently be dispatched. If they are left at Mr. Wilson, the bookseller’s shop,
Kilmarnock, they will easily reach me.
My most respectful compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Laurie; and a Poet’s warmest
wishes for their happiness to the young ladies; particularly the fair musician,
whom I think much better qualified than ever David was, or could be, to charm
an evil spirit out of a Saul.
Indeed, it needs not the Feelings of a poet to be interested in the welfare of one
of the sweetest scenes of domestic peace and kindred love that ever I saw; as I
think the peaceful unity of St. Margaret’s Hill can only be excelled by the
harmonious concord of the Apocalyptic Zion.
I am, dear Sir, yours
sincerely,
Robert Burns.
[xi]TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PAGE
The Life of Robert Burns xxiii
Preface to the Kilmarnock Edition of 1786 lix
Dedication to the Edinburgh Edition of 1787 viiPOEMS.
PAGE
Winter. A Dirge 61
The Death and dying Words of poor Mailie 61
Poor Mailie’s Elegy 62
First Epistle to Davie, a brother Poet 63
Second 65
Address to the Deil 65
The auld Farmer’s New-year Morning Salutation to his
auld Mare Maggie 67
To a Haggis 68
A Prayer under the pressure of violent Anguish 69
A Prayer in the prospect of Death 69
Stanzas on the same occasion 69
A Winter Night 70
Remorse. A Fragment 71
The Jolly Beggars. A Cantata 71
Death and Dr. Hornbook. A True Story 76
The Twa Herds; or, the Holy Tulzie 78
Holy Willie’s Prayer 79
Epitaph to Holy Willie 80
The Inventory; in answer to a mandate by the surveyor of
taxes 81
The Holy Fair 82
The Ordination 84
The Calf 86
To James Smith 86
The Vision 88
Halloween 92
Man was made to Mourn. A Dirge 95
To Ruin 96
To John Goudie of Kilmarnock, on the publication of his
Essays 97
To J. Lapraik, an old Scottish Bard. First Epistle 97
To J. Lapraik. Second Epistle 99
To J. Lapraik. Third Epistle 100
To William Simpson, Ochiltree 101
Address to an illegitimate Child 103
Nature’s Law. A Poem humbly inscribed to G.H., Esq. 103
To the Rev. John M’Math 104
To a Mouse 105
Scotch Drink 106
The Author’s earnest Cry and Prayer to the Scotch
Representatives of the House of Commons 107
Address to the unco Guid, or the rigidly Righteous 110
Tam Samson’s Elegy 111
Lament, occasioned by the unfortunate issue of a
Friend’s Amour 112
Despondency. An Ode 113
The Cotter’s Saturday Night 114
The first Psalm 117
The first six Verses of the ninetieth Psalm 118To a Mountain Daisy 118
Epistle to a young Friend 119
To a Louse, on seeing one on a Lady’s Bonnet at
Church 120
Epistle to J. Rankine, enclosing some Poems 121
On a Scotch Bard, gone to the West Indies 122
The Farewell 123
Written on the blank leaf of my Poems, presented to an
old Sweetheart then married 123
A Dedication to Gavin Hamilton, Esq. 123
Elegy on the Death of Robert Ruisseaux 125
Letter to James Tennant of Glenconner 125
On the Birth of a posthumous Child 126
To Miss Cruikshank 126
Willie Chalmers 127
Verses left in the room where he slept 128
To Gavin Hamilton, Esq., recommending a boy 128
To Mr. M’Adam, of Craigen-gillan 129
Answer to a Poetical Epistle sent to the Author by a
Tailor 129
To J. Rankine. “I am a keeper of the law.” 130
Lines written on a Bank-note 130
A Dream 130
A Bard’s Epitaph 132
The Twa Dogs. A Tale 132
Lines on meeting with Lord Daer 135
Address to Edinburgh 136
Epistle to Major Logan 137
The Brigs of Ayr 138
On the Death of Robert Dundas, Esq., of Arniston, late
Lord President of the Court of Session 141
On reading in a Newspaper the Death of John M’Leod,
Esq. 141
To Miss Logan, with Beattie’s Poems 142
The American War, A fragment 142
The Dean of Faculty. A new Ballad 143
To a Lady, with a Present of a Pair of Drinking-glasses 144
To Clarinda 144
Verses written under the Portrait of the Poet Fergusson 144
Prologue spoken by Mr. Woods, on his Benefit-night,
Monday, April 16, 1787 145
Sketch. A Character 145
To Mr. Scott, of Wauchope 145
Epistle to William Creech 146
The humble Petition of Bruar-Water, to the noble Duke of
Athole 147
On scaring some Water-fowl in Loch Turit 148
Written with a pencil, over the chimney-piece, in the
parlour of the Inn at Kenmore, Taymouth 149
Written with a pencil, standing by the Fall of Fyers, near
Loch Ness 149
To Mr. William Tytler, with the present of the Bard’s
picture 150
Written in Friars-Carse Hermitage, on the banks of Nith,
June, 1780. First Copy 150The same. December, 1788. Second Copy 151
To Captain Riddel, of Glenriddel. Extempore lines on
returning a Newspaper 152
A Mother’s Lament for the Death of her Son 152
First Epistle to Robert Graham, Esq., of Fintray 152
On the Death of Sir James Hunter Blair 153
Epistle to Hugh Parker 154
Lines, intended to be written under a Noble Earl’s
Picture 155
Elegy on the year 1788. A Sketch 155
Address to the Toothache 155
Ode. Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Oswald, of
Auchencruive 156
Fragment inscribed to the Right Hon. C.J. Fox 156
On seeing a wounded Hare limp by me, which a Fellow
had just shot 157
To Dr. Blacklock. In answer to a Letter 158
Delia. An Ode 159
To John M’Murdo, Esq. 159
Prologue, spoken at the Theatre, Dumfries, 1st January,
1790 159
Scots Prologue, for Mr. Sutherland’s Benefit-night,
Dumfries 160
Sketch. New-year’s Day. To Mrs. Dunlop 160
To a Gentleman who had sent him a Newspaper, and
offered to continue it free of expense 161
The Kirk’s Alarm. A Satire. First Version 162
The Kirk’s Alarm. A Ballad. Second Version 163
Peg Nicholson 165
On Captain Matthew Henderson, a gentleman who held
the patent for his honours immediately from Almighty
God 165
The Five Carlins. A Scots Ballad 167
The Laddies by the Banks o’ Nith 168
Epistle to Robert Graham, Esq., of Fintray, on the close
of the disputed Election between Sir James Johnstone,
and Captain Miller, for the Dumfries district of Boroughs 169
On Captain Grose’s Peregrination through Scotland,
collecting the Antiquities of that kingdom 170
Written in a wrapper, enclosing a letter to Captain Grose 171
Tam O’ Shanter. A Tale 171
Address of Beelzebub to the President of the Highland
Society 174
To John Taylor 175
Lament of Mary Queen of Scots, on the approach of
Spring 175
The Whistle 176
Elegy on Miss Burnet of Monboddo 178
Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn 178
Lines sent to Sir John Whitefoord, Bart., of Whitefoord,
with the foregoing Poem 179
Address to the Shade of Thomson, on crowning his Bust
at Ednam with bays 179
To Robert Graham, Esq., of Fintray 180
To Robert Graham, Esq., of Fintray, on receiving a
favour 181A Vision 181
To John Maxwell, of Terraughty, on his birthday 182
The Rights of Women, an occasional Address spoken by
Miss Fontenelle, on her benefit-night, Nov. 26, 1792 182
Monody on a Lady famed for her caprice 183
Epistle from Esopus to Maria 184
Poem on Pastoral Poetry 185
Sonnet, written on the 25th January, 1793, the birthday
of the Author, on hearing a thrush sing in a morning walk 185
Sonnet on the death of Robert Riddel, Esq., of
Glenriddel, April, 1794 186
Impromptu on Mrs. Riddel’s birthday 186
Liberty. A Fragment 186
Verses to a young Lady 186
The Vowels. A Tale 187
Verses to John Rankine 187
On Sensibility. To my dear and much-honoured friend,
Mrs. Dunlop, of Dunlop 188
Lines sent to a Gentleman whom he had offended 188
Address spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her Benefit-night 188
On seeing Miss Fontenelle in a favourite character 189
To Chloris 189
Poetical Inscription for an Altar to Independence 189
The Heron Ballads. Balled First 190
The Heron Ballads. Ballad Second 190
The Heron Ballads. Ballad Third 192
Poem addressed to Mr. Mitchell, Collector of Excise,
Dumfries, 1796 193
To Miss Jessy Lewars, Dumfries, with Johnson’s
Musical Museum 193
Poem on Life, addressed to Colonel de Peyster,
Dumfries, 1796 193
EPITAPHS, EPIGRAMS, FRAGMENTS, &c.
[xiv]On the Author’s Father 194
On R.A., Esq. 194
On a Friend 194
For Gavin Hamilton 194
On wee Johnny 195
On John Dove, Innkeeper, Mauchline 195
On a Wag in Mauchline 195
On a celebrated ruling Elder 195
On a noisy Polemic 195
On Miss Jean Scott 195
On a henpecked Country Squire 195
On the same 196
On the same 196
The Highland Welcome 196
On William Smellie 196
Written on a window of the Inn at Carron 196
The Book-worms 196Lines on Stirling 197
The Reproof 197
The Reply 197
Lines written under the Picture of the celebrated Miss
Burns 197
Extempore in the Court of Session 197
The henpecked Husband 197
Written at Inverary 198
On Elphinston’s Translation of Martial’s Epigrams 198
Inscription on the Head-stone of Fergusson 198
On a Schoolmaster 198
A Grace before Dinner 198
A Grace before Meat 198
On Wat 198
On Captain Francis Grose 199
Impromptu to Miss Ainslie 199
The Kirk of Lamington 199
The League and Covenant 199
Written on a pane of glass in the Inn at Moffat 199
Spoken on being appointed to the Excise 199
Lines on Mrs. Kemble 199
To Mr. Syme 200
To Mr. Syme, with a present of a dozen of porter 200
A Grace 200
Inscription on a goblet 200
The Invitation 200
The Creed of Poverty 200
Written in a Lady’s pocket-book 200
The Parson’s Looks 200
The Toad-eater 201
On Robert Riddel 201
The Toast 201
On a Person nicknamed the Marquis 201
Lines written on a window 201
Lines written on a window of the Globe Tavern, Dumfries 201
The Selkirk Grace 202
To Dr. Maxwell, on Jessie Staig’s recovery 202
Epitaph 202
Epitaph on William Nicol 202
On the Death of a Lapdog, named Echo 202
On a noted Coxcomb 202
On seeing the beautiful Seat of Lord Galloway 202
On the same 203
On the same 203
To the same, on the Author being threatened with his
resentment 203
On a Country Laird 203
On John Bushby 203
The true loyal Natives 203
On a Suicide 203
Extempore, pinned on a Lady’s coach 203
Lines to John Rankine 204
Jessy Lewars 204