Communicated by Miss Beslee

From a Gentleman in a Government Office to one in Edinburgh, in Imitation of Burns

Dear C----, your letters came on time
 (And the receipt within it)
To draw an answer to’t in rhyme
 Sir I’ve a leisure minute:
I muckle am rejoiced to find
 Ye ha’nt forgot your duty,
But that ye stile do bear in mind
 The charms of female beauty
    which bless mankind.

But yet no thanks the Glasgow dames
 Do owe your penetration;
Edina’s lassie only claims
 Your lavish commendation.
I dinna ken that one alone
 O! bonnie Scotland’s cities
Held undisputed, beauty’s throne
 Tho’ such it seems your fit is
    To give’t to one.

I love the lovely blossoms a’
 In England or in Scotland,
An’ evil may the wretch begla’
 I dinna care in what land,
Who would not, wi’ his hearts best bluid,
 Protect the pretty creatures,
Whom heaven has made our choicest guid
 Wh’are dearer to our natures
    Than life or food.

Sir ye have gain’d a longer leave
 From Mister Secretary,
Believe me I’maun muckle grieve
 Unless your plan you vary,
And, ’stead of resting a’ your time
 A’n Edinburgh billie,
Go penetrate the highland clime
 My honest, winsome, Willie,
    Now in your prime.

Oh, were I wi’ you C---- I trove
 We would, I tell you fairly,
O’er lofty hill, thro valley low
 E’en scour the country rarely;
We’d trace the scenes where Wallace fought
 O’ liberty the martyr,
When he his proud invaders taught
 How dear he held the charter
    Which freedom brought.

How say ye — does the bride bespeak
 O’ bairns but half a dozen?
Weel, deil may care, she’ll not be weak
 When sic a number’s risen,
If that her girls are good an’ fair
 If that her boys have honor,
Oh, how a mother’s heart must fare
 When bliss so smiles upon her
    Soul’s dearest care!

Then choose a wife for yoursel’
 If life’s best joys you cherish
For joys like these (but choose her well)
 Wi’ life alone will perish.
Ye’ll find in E’nburgh town, I ween,
 Some lassie sweet an’ sonsie,
An’ fit to be your bosom’s queen,
 Or ye are unco donsie,
    Where ye have been.

Ye talk of bacon, ham, and tongue
 Of Scottish ale and whisky;
Deil man, they’ll mak the old one[8] young
 And Jem[9] and Harry[10] frisky
But soothe we’ll play a noble part
 In honor o’ your giftie[11],
An’ drink to that same oprn heart
 That scorns to be too thrifty
    I’th giving art.

Our friend, Bob Ham, is gone to tak
 His pleasure down at Lincoln,
And may he no enjoyment lack
 That fancy loves to think on
Jack Battey, I maun grieve to say
 Wi’ sickness still is striving
But soon I hope will come the day
 When he’ll again be thriving
    In health’s fair way.

Now fare ye weil until once more
 We meet in Lunna town, man
Come not by sea, but keep on shore
 For fear that you should drown man
Ye’ll think perhaps I write full oft
 But this won’t mak ye sair man
Here’s twenty pounds from Billy Croft
 Which sure will keep wi’ care man
    Your head aloft.