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November hirples o'er the lea,
Chill, on thy lovely form ;
And gane, alas! the shelt'ring tree,
Should shield thee frae the storm.

May He who gives the rain to pour,
And wings the blast to blaw,
Protect thee frae the driving show'r,
The bitter frost and snaw.

May He, the friend of woe and want,
Who heals life's various stounds,
Protect and guard the mother plant,
And heal her cruel wounds.


1791, he says, "I am truly happy to hear that the 'little Floweret' is blooming so fresh and fair, and that the 'mother plant' is rather recovering her drooping head. Soon and well may her cruel wounds' be healed!"-In April following, he begs that she will let him hear by first post how cher petit Monsieur comes on with his small-pox. May Almighty Goodness preserve and restore him!"- On the 17th of December, in the same year, he says, "Many thanks to you, madam, for your good news respecting the 'little floweret' and the mother plant.' I hope my poetic prayers have been heard, and will be answered up to the warmest sincerity of their fullest extent; and then Mrs. Henri will end her little darling the representative of his late parent in every thing but his abridged existence."

In the autumn of 1792, Mrs. Henri and her infant went to the south of France, where she soon afterwards died. Burns thus feelingly adverted to her departure and death, in a letter to Mrs. Dunlop, dated Dumfries, 24th Sept. 1792. "I have this moment, my dear madam, yours of the twentythird. All your other kind reproaches, your news, &c. are out of my head when I read and think on Mrs. H— -'s situation. Good God! a heart-wounded helpless young woman-in a strange, foreign land, and that land convulsed with every horror that can harrow the human feelingssick--looking, longing for a comforter, but finding none— a mother's feelings, too-but it is too much he who

But late she flourish'd, rooted fast,

Fair on the summer morn :

Now, feebly bends she, in the blast,
Unshelter'd and forlorn.

Blest be thy bloom, thou lovely gem,
Unscath'd by ruffian hand!
And from thee many a parent stem
Arise to deck our land.



AMONG the heathy hills and ragged woods
The roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods;
Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds,
Where, thro'a shapeless breach, his stream resounds.
As high in air the bursting torrents flow,
As deep recoiling surges foam below,

wounded (he only can) may He heal! I had been from home, and did not receive your letter until my return the other day. What shall I say to comfort you, my much valued, much afflicted friend? I can but grieve with you; consolation I have none to offer, except that which religion holds out to the children of affliction-children of affliction! -how just the expression! and like every other family, they have matters among them which they hear, see, and feel in a serious, all-important manner, of which the world has not, nor cares to have, any idea. The world looks indifferently on, makes the passing remark, and proceeds to the next novel occurrence. Alas, madam! who would wish for many years! What is it but to drag existence until our joys gradually expire, and leave us in a night of misery; like the gloom which bolts out the stars one by one from the face of night, and leaves us without a ray of comfort, in the howling waste!"

Prone down the rock the whitening sheet descends,
And viewless Echo's ear, astonished, rends.
Dim-seen, thro' rising mists and ceaseless show'rs,
The hoary cavern, wide-surrounding, low'rs.
Still, thro' the gap the struggling river toils,
And still, below, the horrid cauldron boils-




I'm three times doubly o'er your debtor,
For your auld-farrent, frien'ly letter;
Tho' I maun say't, I doubt ye flatter,

Ye speak sae fair,

For my puir, silly, rhymin clatter

Some less maun sair.

Hale be your heart, hale be



The fate of the "little Floweret" has not been ascertained. Allan Cunningham merely observes on these touching verses, that "A father was carried to his grave on the day his only daughter was born,—a type of what happened at no distant date in the Poet's own household." It is evident, however, from the above extracts that the child addressed by Burns was a son.

*This Epistle was prefixed to the edition of Sillar's Poems published at Kilmarnock in 1789. Burns' "First Epistle" to David Sillar produced the answer which will be found in the Appendix, and which he here calls Davie's

"auld-farrent, frien❜ly letter."

The text is taken from the copy printed with other of Burns' pieces at Glasgow, in 1801, from the Poet's own manuscript.

Lang may your elbuck jink and diddle,
To cheer you thro' the weary widdle

O' war❜ly cares,

Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle

Your auld gray


But Davie, lad, I'm red ye're glaikit;
I'm tauld the Muse ye hae negleckit;
An' gif it's sae, ye sud be licket

Until ye fyke;

Sic hauns as you sud ne'er be faikit,
Be hain't wha like.

For me,

I'm on Parnassus' brink,

Rivin' the words to gar them clink;

Whyles daez't wi' love, whyles daez't wi' drink, Wi' jads or masons;

An' whyles, but aye owre late, I think

Braw sober lessons.

Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man,
Commend me to the Bardie clan ;
Except it be some idle plan

O' rhymin clink,

The devil-haet, that I sud ban,

They ever think.

Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin',

Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin' ;

But just the pouchie put the nieve in,

An' while ought's there,

Then hiltie skiltie, we gae


An' fash nae mair.

Leeze me on rhyme! it's aye a treasure,
My chief, amaist my only pleasure,
At hame, a-fiel', at wark, or leisure,

The Muse, poor hizzie!

Tho' rough an' raploch be her measure,
She's seldom lazy.

Haud to the Muse, my dainty Davie :
The warl' may play you monie a shavie ;
But for the Muse, she'll never leave ye,

Tho' e'er sae puir,

Na, even tho' limpin' wi' the spavie

Frae door tae door.


This characteristic production was not included in any edition of Burns' works prepared by himself. It was printed in the Liverpool edition, and again in the Glasgow Collection in 1801, with many additions, and it is here given from a copy in the Poet's own writing.

SIR, as your mandate did request,
I send you here a faithfu' list,
O' gudes an' gear, an' a' my graith,
To which I'm clear to gi'e my aith.

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