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The Burns Encyclopedia
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McLeod of Raasay, Isabella

Daughter of the Laird of Raasay who entertained Dr Johnson and died in Edinburgh in 1786, and sister of John McLeod, whose death the following year was commemorated by Burns in 'On Reading in a Newspaper an Account of the Death of John McLeod, Esq.' The poet had probably originally been introduced to the family by Gavin Hamilton. He wrote two poems for Isabella. The first, 'Raving winds around her Blowing', refers to her grief at the loss of her sister, Flora, and her brother-in-law. Burns said of this poem: 'I composed these verses on Miss Isabella McLeod of Raasay, alluding to her feelings on the death of her sister and the still more melancholy death of her sister's husband, the late Earl of Loudoun, who shot himself out of sheer heart-break at some mortifications he suffered owing to the deranged state of his finances.'

Burns's other poem 'To Miss Isabella McLeod', was dated Edinburgh, 16th March 1787:

"The crimson blossom charms the bee,
The summer sun the swallow:
So dear this tuneful gift to me
From lovely Isabella."
We do not now know what the 'tuneful gift' was.
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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

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