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THE FLOWER OF CALEDONIA.
* This song, written by a young man, a native of the place where the scene is laid, was obtained from him for insertion, along with some others, in consequence of a special request to that purpose.
Glaizart is a beautiful winding streamlet in the parish of Campsie: it rises in the northern part of the lofty ridge of mountains called the Campsie Fells, meanders through the romantic glens of Glen-Dawin and the Clachan, and runs through the most fertile haughs and meadows in that part of the parish, till it joins the Kelvin near the borough of Kirkintilloch.-The Clachan Glen, alluded to in the 4th verse, lies at the back of the romantic village of the Clachan, between two ridges of the Fells.—These verses were written in summer, (1815) when, enrob’d in Nature's richest mantle, it formed one of the most beautiful and picturesque scenes in the west of Scotland.
Weel mind I, in my youthfu' days,
THE YELLOW HAIR'D LADDIE.
And ay as she milked, fc.
They winna bught, 8c.
THE BONNIE BANKS OF AYR.
TUNE— Roslin Castle.”
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave,
'Tis not the surging billow's roar,
Farewell, old Coila’s hills and dales,
• Poor Burns! He “ composed this song as he convoyed his chest so far on the road to Greenock, where he was to embark in a few days for Jamaica.” He thought it was to be the last he should ever measure in Caledonia.” He had taken the last farewell of his few friends,” and he meant it “ as a farewell dirge to his native land.” This was at a period of his life when he was known only to a few. He had not as yet been raised to that pinnacle of celebrity he afterwards occupied. The fame of his genius had not yet been so widely spread as to break down those barriers which custom generally interposes to preclude freedom of intercourse betwixt men of different ranks in life. He had thus been prevented from entering those circles of society so congenial to his soul, and in which he was so well qualified to shine. But he had long struggled with severe labour and relent
Wad thrive, should be kindly and free,
To rise aboon poverty:
And burden'd, will tumble down faint;
And rackers aft tine their rent.
less poverty; and, to add to his distress, the fruits of a connexion he had formed with JEAN ARMOUR (afterwards Mrs. BURNS) became so apparent, that he was obliged to take immediate steps to prevent the disgrace which was likely to ensue. He proposed two honourable expedients to her parents. The first was to make confession of an irregular marriage, then embark for Jamaica, and there endeavour to provide the means of maintaining his wife. The other was to remain at home, if more agreeable to them, and by his labours preserve her from want till circumstances became more favourable. They were pleased, however, with neither of these propositions; but judged it more proper that the marriage papers should be cancelled. Miss ARMOUR yielded, though reluctantly; and the Bard was obliged to acquiesce in a sentence which he knew to be unjust, but which he had no power to control. Still, however, he was bent on doing her justice; and as his prospects were so gloomy in his own country, he determined on seeking in Jamaica that competence without which he well knew he could never expect the consent of her parents to their union. It is known that he was at length deterred from his purpose by the hopes some of his friends had excited of the success that might attend the publication of his Poems in Edinburgh, whither he shortly afterwards repaired, and met with a reception equal to his bighest wishes.