THE QUEEN'S MARIE
Little did my mother think
That day she cradled me
What land I was to travel in,
Or what death I should die.
WRITING to Mrs. Dunlop on January 25, 1790, Burns quoted these lines, 'in an old Scottish ballad, which, notwithstanding its rude simplicity, speaks feelingly to the heart.' Mr. Carlyle is said, when young, to have written them on a pane of glass in a window, with a diamond, adding, characteristically, 'Oh foolish Thee!' In 1802, in the first edition of 'The Border Minstrelsy,' Scott cited only three stanzas from the same ballad, not including Burns's verse, but giving--
Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The night she'll hae but three,
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael and me.
In later editions Sir Walter offered a made-up copy of the ballad, most of it from a version collected by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe.
It now appeared that Mary Hamilton was the