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There, watching high the least alarms,

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;
Like some bold vet'ran, gray in arms,

And mark'd with many a seamy scar:
The pond'rous wall and massy bar,
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock;
Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell'd th' invader's shock.


With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately dome,
Where Scotia's kings of other years,
Fam'd heroes! had their royal home:
Alas, how chang'd the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust!
Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam,
Tho' rigid law cries out, 'twas just!


Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
Old Scotia's bloody lion bore:

Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,

Haply, my sires have left their shed, And fac'd grim danger's loudest roar, Bold-following where your fathers led!

B 2


Edina! Scotia's darling seat!

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once beneath a monarch's feet

Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs!
From marking wildly-scatter'd flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,

I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

"I enclose you two poems," says Burns to Chalmers, “I have carded and spun since I past Glenbuck. One blank in the Address to Edinburgh, Fair B—,' is the heavenly Miss Burnet, daughter to Lord Monboddo, at whose house I have had the honour to be more than once. There has not been any thing nearly like her in all the combinations of beauty, grace, and goodness, the great Creator has formed since Milton's Eve on the first day of her existence." His admiration both of the young lady's loveliness and the grandeur of Edinburgh in verse is as elegant as it is vigorous.

I have heard the second verse quoted as a noble one by an eminent English poet, and the fifth verse repeated with a glowing brow by Sir Walter Scott, who added, "The description is vivid and happy." His own striking lines on the same splendid scene in Marmion came to my mind as he spoke :—

"When sated with the martial show

That peopled all the plain below,

The wandering eye could o'er it go
And mark the distant city glow
With gloomy splendour red:

For on the smoke-wreaths huge and slow,
That round her sable turrets flow,

The morning beams were shed,

And tinged them with a lustre proud
Like that which streaks a thunder cloud.
Such dusky grandeur clothed the height
Where the huge castle holds its state,

And all the steep slope down,

Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky,
Piled deep and massy, close and high-
Mine own romantic town!

Yonder the shores of Fife you saw,
Here Preston bay and Berwick law,
And broad between them rolled

The gallant Firth the eye might note,
Whose islands on its bosom float

Like emeralds chased in gold."

Burns loved to wander on the hills of Braid, and it was frequently his pleasure to climb Arthur's Seat, and throwing himself down on the green sward on its summit, give way to such rapturous expressions as those which Scott gives to Fitz-Eustace :


"Fitz-Eustace' heart felt closely pent;

As if to give his rapture vent
The spur he to his charger lent,

And raised his bridle-hand;

And making demi-volte in air,

Cried, Where's the coward that would not dare
To fight for such a land!'"

Other points of the landscape attracted the Poet's notice.- -"He was passionately fond,” says Dugald Stewart, "of the beauties of nature; and I recollect once he told me, when I was admiring a distant prospect in one of our morning walks, that the sight of so many smoking cottages gave a pleasure to his mind which none could understand who had not witnessed, like himself, the happiness and the worth which they contained."




THIS Wot ye all whom it concerns,

I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,

October twenty-third,

A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,

Sae far I sprachled up the brae,

I dinner'd wi' a Lord.

I've been at druken writers' feasts,
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests,
Wi' rev'rence be it spoken;

I've even join'd the honour'd jorum,

When mighty Squireships of the quorum,

Their hydra drouth did sloken.

But wi' a Lord-stand out my shin,

A Lord-a Peer-an Earl's son,

Up higher yet my bonnet!

And sic a Lord!-lang Scotch ells twa,

Our Peerage he o'erlooks them a',

As I look o'er my sonnet.

But, oh! for Hogarth's magic pow'r!
To show Sir Bardie's willyart glow'r,

And how he star'd and stammer'd,

When goavan, as if led wi' branks,
An' stumpan on his ploughman shanks,
He in the parlour hammer'd.

I sidling shelter'd in a nook,
An' at his lordship steal't a look,

Like some portentous omen;
Except good sense and social glee,
An' (what surpris'd me) modesty,

I marked nought uncommon.

I watch'd the symptoms o' the great,
The gentle pride, the lordly state,

The arrogant assuming;

The feint a pride, nae pride had he,
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see,

Mair than an honest ploughman.

Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
Henceforth to meet with unconcern

One rank as weel's another;

Nae honest worthy man need care
To meet with noble youthful Daer,

For he but meets a brother.

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