The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

X. Burns

§ 23. John Mayne

John Mayne, born in Dumfries the same year as Burns, contributed to The Dumfries Journal, in the office of which he was a printer, twelve stanzas of The Siller Gun, published, in 1779, in an expanded form in two cantos. Written in the six-line stave in rime couée, it gives a spirited vernacular account of the annual shooting-match at Dumfries for the silver gun presented by James VI. From his Halloween, published in Ruddiman’s Magazine, in 1780, Burns got some hints for his poem of that name. In 1787, Mayne became editor of The London Star, where, in 1789, appeared his version of Logan Water—founded on an older song—which, in popular esteem, has justly superseded the semi-political version by Burns, composed, he tells Thomson, “in my elbow chair, in three quarters of an hour’s lucubrations.”