Page images
PDF

Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her, could

bear' her, Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her,

But a' the niest week as I fretted wi' care,

I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock,
And wha but my fine fickle lover was there,

I glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock, a warlock,
I glowr'd as. I'd seen a warlock.

But owre my left shouther I gae him a blink,

Least neebors might say I was saucy; .
My wooer he caper'd as he'd been in drink,

And vow'd I was his dear Jassie, dear lassie,
And vow'd I was his dear lassie.

I spier'd for my cousin fu' couthy and sweet,

Gin she had recover'd her hearin, . And how her new shoon fit her auld shachľ't feet,

But, heavens! how he fell a swearin, a swearin, But, heavens ! how he fell a swearin.

as well as to the word, Dalgarnock in the next verse. Mr Burns replies as follows:

“ Gateslack is the nåme of a particular place, a kind of pas. säge up among the Lawther hills, on the confines of this county. Dalgarnock is also the name of a romantic spot near the Nith, where are still a ruined church and a burial-ground. However, let the first run, He up the lang loan,&c.

It is always a pity to throw out any thing that gives locality to our poet's verses,

He begged, for Gudesake ! I wad be his wife,

Or else. I wad kill him wi' sorrow :
So e'en to preserve the poor body in life,

I think I maun wed him to-morrow, to morrow,
I think I maun wed him to worrow.

FRAGMENT. .

Tune.com" THE CALEDONIAN HUNT'S DELIGHT."

Why, why tell thy lover,

Bliss he never must enjoy ?
Why, why undeceive him,

And give all his hopes the lie?

O why, while fancy, raptur’d, slumbers,

Chloris, Chloris all the theme,
Why, why wouldst thou cruel,
Wake thy lover from his dream ?

..............................

Such is the peculiarity of the rhythm of this air, that I find it impossible to make another stanza to suit it.

I am at present quite occupied with the charming sensations of the tooth-ach, so have not a word to spare.

[merged small][ocr errors]

MY DEAR SIR,

3d June, 1795 Your English verses to Let me in this ae night, are tender and beautiful; and your ballad tơ the " Lothian Lassie,” is a master-piece for its humour. and naïveté. The fragment for the Caledonian Hunt is quite suited to the original measure of the air, and, as it plagues you so, the fragment must content it. I would rather, as I said before, have had Bacchanalian words, had it so pleased the poet; but, nevertheless, for what we have received, Lord make us thankful !

No. LXXXII.
MR THOMSON to MR BURNS.

5th Feb. 1796.
O Robby Burns, are ye sleeping yet ?
Or are ye wauking, I would wit ?

THE pause you have made, my dear Sir, is awful! Am I never to hear from you again ? I know and I lament how much you have been afflicted of late, but I trust that returning health and spirits will now enable you to resume the pen, and delight us with your musings. · I have still about a dozen Scotch and Irish airs that I wish “ married to

VOL. IV.

immortal verse.” We have several true born Irishmen on the Scottish list; but they are now naturalized, and reckoned our own good subjects. Indeed we have none better. I believe I before told you that I have been much urged by some friends to publish a collection of all our favourite airs and songs in octavo, embellished with a number of etchings by our ingenious friend Allan ;-what is your opinion of this ?

No. LXXXIII.
MR BURNS to MR THOMSON.

February, 1796. Many thanks, my dear Sir, for your handsome, elegant present, to Mrs B , and for my remaining vol. of P. Pindar.-Peter is a delightful fellow, and a first favourite of mine. I am much pleased with your idea of publishing a collection of our songs in octavo, with etchings. I am extremely willing to lend every assistance in my power. The Irish airs I shall cheerfully undertake the task of finding verses for.

I have already, you know, equipt three with words, and the other day I strung up a kind of rhapsody to another Hibernian melody, which I admire much.

HEY FOR A LASS WI A TOCHER.

Tune--" BALINAMONA ORA.”

Awa wi' your witchcraft o' beauty's alarms,
The slender bit beauty you grasp in your arms :
0, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms,
0, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms.

CHORUS. Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, then hey for a lass

wi'a tocher, Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, the nice yellow

guineas for me.'

Your beauty's a flower, in the morning that blows,
Ana withers the faster, the faster it grows;
But the rapturous charm o’the bonnie green knowes,
Ilk spring they're new deckit wi' bonnie white yowes.

Then hey, &c.

And e'en when this beauty your bosom has blest, The brightest o’ beauty may cloy, when possest ; But the sweet yellow darlings wi' Geordie imprest, The langer ye hae them—the mair they're carest.

Then hey, &c.

If this will do, you have now four of my Irish engagement. In my by-past songs I dislike one thing; the name of Chloris-I meant it as the fictitious name of a certain lady : but, on second thoughts, it is a high incongruity to have a Greek appellation

« PreviousContinue »