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The Miller was strappin, the Miller was ruddy;
The Miller he hecht her a heart leal and loving :
O wae on the siller, it is sae prevailing;
peaRUE hearted was he, the sad swain o'
And fair are the maids on the banks W t
o the Ayr, But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding river,
Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair : To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over ;
To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain ;
* The “Jessie” of this song was Miss Jessie Staig, of Dumfries, who married Major Miller, second son of the Laird of Dalswinton, and died in early life.
Grace, beauty, and elegance, fetter her lover,
And maidenly modesty fixes the chain.
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'.
In March, 1793, Burns sent the following copy of this song to Thomson, saying: “I leave it to you, my dear sir, to determine whether the above or the old Thro' the lang Muir' be the best.” Thomson replied in April following: “ 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.” With a few exceptions, the copy in the text agrees with the one proposed by Erskine; and Burns says in a subsequent letter, “My song, “Here awa, there awa,' as amended by Mr. Erskine, I entirely approve of and return to you.” Allan Cunningham observes that the heroine of this song is said to have been the lovely and accomplished Mrs. Riddel.
T ERE awa, there awa, wandering Willie, WYN Here awa, there awa, haud awa
Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie, 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 ee; Welcome now simmer, and welcome my Willie,
The simmer to nature, my Willie to me!!
Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers ;
How your dread howling a lover alarms ! Wauken, ye breezes, row gently, ye billows,
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 wide-roaring main; May I never see it, may I never trow it,
But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain.
LOGAN, sweetly didst thou glide
VAR. ' Erskine suggested,
“As simmer to nature, so Willie to me."
• While dying, I think, &c. Erskine. Burns observes, about March, 1793, “I do not know whether this song be really mended.”.
· In a letter from Burns to Mr. Thomson, January 25th, 1793, he says, “ Have you ever, my dear sir, felt your bosom
But now thy flow'ry banks appear
Again the merry month o’May,
Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,
ready to burst with indignation on reading of those mighty villains who divide kingdom against kingdom, desolate provinces, and lay nations waste out of the wantonness of ambition, or often from still more ignoble passions? In a mood of this kind to-day, I recollected the air of 'Logan Water;' and it occurred to me that its querulous melody probably had its origin from the plaintive indignation of some swelling suffering heart, fired at the tyrannic strides of some public destroyer; and overwhelmed with private distress, the consequence of a country's ruin. If I have done any thing at all like justice to my feelings, the following song, composed in three quarters of an hour's medi. tation in my elbow-chair, ought to have some merit."
O wae upon you, men o' state,
HERE was a lass, and she was fair,
At kirk and market to be seen, When a’ the fairest maids were met,
The fairest maid was bonie Jean.
VAR. ' Originally:
*Ye mind na, 'mid your cruel joys,
The widow's tears, the orphan's cries.' * On the 2nd July, 1793, Burns wrote to Thomson: “I have just finished the following ballad, and, as I do think it in my best style, I send it you. Mr. Clarke, who wrote down the air from Mrs. Burns' wood-note wild, is very fond of it; and has given it a celebrity by teaching it to some young ladies of the first fashion here.” “The heroine of the foregoing is Miss M. daughter of Mr. M. of D. one of your subscribers.” The lady in question was Jean, eldest daughter of John M.Murdo, Esq. of Drumlanrig. She married Mr. Crawford. “I have not,” said the Poet," painted her in the rank which she holds in life, but in the dress and character of a cottager."