THE following anecdote regarding Hew Ainslie and Burns’ Poems is recorded by Ainslie’s biographer, Latto. He says – “A copy of Burns’ Poems was on the table open at the page containing “Lines to a Mountain Daisy.”
“Look there, noo,” remarked Hew, “Mountain Daisy! – Mountain Daisy! Hech, wow! but the callant was in a creel to ca’ it by siccan a term, and that after he had already to ca’ it by siccan term, and that after he had already kirsened it by its ain name, ‘a gowan!’ What Scotsman or Scotswoman or Scots bairn ever heard o’t or kent it by sic a title? Mountain daisy! poof! That was ane o’ the whimwhams o’ Doctor Gregory. I wonder the Doctor didna persuade him to ca’ his ‘mousie’ a rodent! Let’s see how that wad hitch in rhyme:-
‘But rodent, thou art no alane.’
‘The best laid schemes o’ rodents an’ rogues
Gang aft agley.’ ”
Here a series of hearty guffaws followed his quizzical commentary.