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When straight he came with hat and wig;
A hat not much the worse for wear,
He held them up, and in his turn
"But let me scrape the dirt away,
Said John, "It is my wedding-day,
So turning to his horse, he said, "I am in haste to dine;
'Twas for your pleasure you came here, You shall go back for mine."
Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast!
Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig;
Now Mrs. Gilpin, when she saw
She pulled out half a crown;
And thus unto the youth she said,
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
But not performing what he meant,
Away went Gilpin, and away
Six gentlemen upon the road,
With post-boy scampering in the rear,
"Stop thief!-stop thief!—a highwayman!" Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way,
And now the turnpike gates again
And so he did, and won it too;
Nor stopped till where he had got up,
Now let us sing-Long live the king!
BORN at Bristol, where his father was a schoolmaster. Educated at the Colston School in that city, and apprenticed to an attorney when fourteen years of age. He pretended to have discovered in the muniment room of St. Mary de Redcliffe's church (Bristol) fragments of ancient poems and descriptions of the city churches, and published them as the writings of a priest named Rowley who flourished in the fifteenth century. It was subsequently proved that these were all written by himself. When seventeen years old he left Bristol for London, in the hope of winning bread and fame by his pen. All his hopes, however, were frustrated, and in the bitterness of his disappointment he committed suicide by taking poison (1770) when not quite eighteen years of age.
O GOD, whose thunder shakes the sky,
The mystic mazes of Thy will,
The shadows of celestial light,
O teach me in the trying hour,
If in this bosom aught but Thee,
Encroaching sought a boundless sway, Omniscience could the danger see, And mercy look the cause away.
Then why, my soul, dost thou complain? Why drooping seek the dark recess? Shake off the melancholy chain,
For God created all to bless.
But, ah! my breast is human still;
The sickness of my soul declare.
But yet, with fortitude resigned,
I'll thank the infliction of the blow, Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,
Nor let the gush of misery flow.
The gloomy mantle of the night,
Which on my sinking spirit steals, Will vanish at the morning light,
Which God, my East, my Sun, reveals.
BORN near the Bridge of Doon, in the parish of Alloway, Ayrshire. His parents were in humble circumstances, and when only eleven years of age, Robert was taken from school to help on his father's farm. In early youth had to contend much with adverse circumstances; and as he grew up he contracted habits of improvidence and dissipation. His first volume of poems, published in 1786, established his fame as a poet. In 1788 he took a farm near Dumfries, and soon after settling upon it obtained the post of exciseman. The farm proved a failure, and Burns went to live at Dumfries on his salary of £70 a yearhis salary as a revenue officer. Here sickness and debt severely harassed him, and he died at Dumfries on the 21st of July 1796.
Burns is celebrated chiefly for his Lines to a Mountain Daisy; Elegy on Captain Matthew Henderson; The Cottar's Saturday Night; Tam o' Shanter, Lament for James Earl of Glencairn, and his Songs, among which may be mentioned his Highland Mary; To Mary in Heaven; Scots wha hae, etc.
HIGHLAND MARY. *
YE banks, and braes, and streams around
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
There simmer first unfaulds her robes,
And there they langest tarry ;
How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,
* Mary Campbell, a dairymaid. + Muddy.