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OPEN THE DOOR TO ME, OH!
Oh! open the door, some pity to shew,
Oh! open the door to me, Oh!*
Oh! open the door to me, Oh!
Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek,
But caulder thy love for me, Ob!
Is nought to my pains frae thee, Oh!
The wan moon is setting behind the white wave,
And time is setting with me, Oh! ..
I'll ne'er trouble them, nor thee, Oh!
Che has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide;
true love she cried, and sank down by his side. Never to rise again, Oh !
My true love
o not know whether this song be really mended.
do not know
a second line was originally,
If love it may na be ! Ok!
TRUE hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow,
And fair are the maids on the banks o' the Ayt; But by the sweet side of the Nith's winding river,
Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair.
To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain :
And maidenly modesty fixes the chain.
O, fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning,
And sweet is the lily at evening close ;
Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose !
Enthron'd in her een he delivers his law : And still to her charms she alone is a stranger!
Her modest demeanour's the jewel of a'.
Edinburgh, 2d April, 1793. I will not recognize the title you give yourself, “ the prince of indolent correspondents ;” but if the adjective were taken away, I think the title would then fit you exactly. It gives me pleasure to find you can furnish anecdotes with respect to most of the songs : these will be a literary curiosity.
I now send you my list of the songs, which I believe will be found nearly complete. I have put down the first lines of all the English songs which I propose giving in addition to the Scotch verses. If any others occur to you, better adapted to the character of the airs, pray inention them, when you favour me with your strictures upon every thing else relating to the work.
Pleyel has lately sent me a number of the songs, with his symphonies and accompaniments added to them. I wish you were here, that I might serve up some of them to you with your own verses, by way of desert after dinner. There is so much delightful fancy in the symphonies, and such a delicate sim. plicity in the accompaniments. they are indeed beyond all praise.
I am very much pleased with the several last productions of your muse : your Lord Gregory, in my estimation, is more interesting than Peter's, beau- . tiful as his is ! Your Here awa Willie must undergo some alterations to suit the air. Mr Erskine and I
have been conning it over ; he will suggest what is necessary to make them a fit match.*
* WANDERING WILLIE,
As altered by Mr Erskine and Mr Thomsoria
Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame;
Tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.
Winter-winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,
Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e ;
As simmer to nature, so Willie to me.
Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave o' your slumbers,
How your dread howling a lover alarms !
And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms!
But, oh! if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie,
Flow still between us thou dark-heaving main !
While, dying, I think that my Willie's my ain !
Our poet, with his usual judgment, adopted some of these alterations, and rejected others. The last edition is as follows:
Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
Winter-winds blew lond and cauld at our parting,
The gentleman I have mentioned, whose fine taste you are no stranger to, is so well pleased both with the musical and poetical part of our work, that he has volunteered his assistance, and has already writ. ten four songs for it, which, by his own desire, I send for your perusal.
MR BURNS to Mr THOMSON.
WHEN WILD WAR'S DEADLY BLAST WAS BLAWN.
When wild war's deadly blast was blawn,
And gentle peace returning,
Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers,
But, oh if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie,
Several of the alterations seem to be of little importance in themselves, and were adopted, it may be presumed, for the sake of suiting the words better to the music. The Homeric epithet for the sea, dark-heaving, suggested by Mr Erskine, is in itself more beautiful, as well perhaps as more sublime, than wide-roaring, which he has retained; but as it is only applicable to a placid state of the sea, or at most to the swell left