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384 A FRAGMENT.
And Caledon threw by the drone, And did her whittle draw, man ;
And swoor fu' rude, through dirt and blood, To make it guid in law, man.
1 A Fragment. This ballad was adapted to the tune Killiecranhie, a Gaelic air, composed, it is said, by the pipe-major of the old Highland regiment, known to the world by the title of " The XLIL Regiment of Royal Highlanders," or as Cook, the celebrated actor, used to style it, " the brave forty-twa."
Burns, at the time he wrote these verses, says Chambers, was in " in a raw and unenlightened state as a politician." In a letter to the Hon. Henry Erskine, in reference to this ballad, Burns says, " I showed the enclosed political ballad to my Lord Glencairn, to have his opinion whether I should publish it; as I suspect my political tenets, such as they are, may be rather heretical in the opinion of some of my best friends. I have a few first principles in religion and politics, which, I believe, I would not easily part with; but for all the etiquette of, by whom, in what manner, &c, I would not have a dissocial word about it with any one of God's creatures, particularly an honored patron or a respected friend. His lordship seems to think the piece may appear in print, but desired me to send you a copy for your suffrage."