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My mither tint heart when she look'd on us a', And we thought upon them that were farest awa! 0! were they but here that are farest awa! 0! were they but here that are dear to us a'! Our cares wou'd seem light, and our sorrows but sma', If they were but here that are far frae us a'!
My mither, o'erjoy'd at this change in her state,
NEVER BE PEACE TILL JAMIE COMES HAME. By yon castle wa', at the close of the day, I heard a man sing, tho’ his head it was grey;
. This is another of the productions of Mr. John Mayne, and certainly adds not a little to the fame he has already acquired as a writer of Scottish Song. As the Editor is uncertain whether it has been set to original music, he has refrained from naming a tune for it.
And as he was singing, the tears fast down came
My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword,
• Burns thought that " when political combustion ceased to be the object of princes and patriots, it then became the lawful prey of historians and poets.” The propriety of the sentiment cannot be questioned. He has accordingly given many of his pieces a political tinge, that would have been attended with serious consequences to himself, had they been written half a century ago. In this respect, the piece here given is not the least remarkable of his productions. The allusions are too palpable to be mistaken ; but, on this account, it would be unjust in the extreme, to challenge, as has too often been done, either the rectitude or the loyalty of the Bard's principles. The recollection of fallen greatness is calculated to inspire generous feelings even in the most common minds. BURNS, it is well known, was keenly alive to these feelings. Without supposing, therefore, that he was unfriendly to the Protestant Succession, or that he seriously wished to see the return of our exiled kings, we can easily account for those pieces in which he has attempted to commemorate the heroic valour of those who strove to support the tottering hopes of the latter--valour worthy of a nobler cause, and of a happier fortune.
THE PLAID AMANG THE HEATHER.
TUNE- Old Highland Laddie.”
And dark and storiny grew the weather;
O my bonnie Highland lad.
Sae weel row'd in his tartan plaidie?
O my bonnie, fc.
My lightsome heart grew like a feather ;
O my bonnie, &c.
I hameward ran and tauld my mither;
O my bonnie, &c.
Whare Will and I fresh flowers will gather;
O my bonnie Highland lad,
SONG OF DEATH.
Now gay with the bright setting sun!
Our race of existence is run.
Go frighten the coward and slave!
No terrors hast thou to the brave.
Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name:
He falls in the blaze of his fame.'
Our King and our Country to save; While victory shines on life's last ebbing sands, 0, who would not die with the brave ! *
And leave auld Scotia's shore ?
Across th’ Atlantic's roar ? * We are told in one of Burns's letters, that the circumstance which gave rise to this beautiful song, was looking over, with a musical friend, M.Donald's collection of Highland Airs, with one of which, an Isle of Skye tune, entitled Oran an Aoig, or, The Song of Death, he was so much struck as to think of adapting stanzas to it. “ This poem was accordingly written in 1791. It was printed in Johnson's Musical Museum. The poet had an intention, in the latter part of his life, of printing it separately, set to music, but was advised against it. The martial ardour which rose so high afterwards, on the threatened invasion, had not then acquired the tone necessary to give popularity to this noble poem; which seems more calculated to invigorate the spirit of defence, in a season of real and pressing danger, than any pro
tion of modern times. It is here printed with his last corrections."
O sweet grows the lime and the orange,
And the apple upon the pine,
Can never equal thine.
I hae sworn by the Heavens to be true;
When I forget my vow !
And plight me your lily-white hand;
Before I leave Scotia's strand.
In mutual affection to join,
The hour and the moment o'time! * * It may be interesting to know Burns's own opinion of this song, which seems to have been one of his youthful productions. In a letter to a correspondent he thus expresses it. “ In my very early years, when I was thinking of going to the West Indies, I took the following farewell of a dear girl. It is quite trifling, and has nothing of the merits of Ewe-bughts ; but it will fill up this page. You must know, that all my earlier love-songs were the breathings of ardent passion; and though it might have been easy in after-times to have given them a polish, yet that polish, to me, whose they were, and who perhaps alone cared for them, would have defaced the legend of my heart, which was so faithfully inscribed on them. Their uncouth simplicity was, as they say of wines, their race.” In the above passage he certainly rates the merits of the piece much too low. Had he given it the “ polish” of which he speaks, it might indeed have pleased the fastidious critic better; but it may be questioned if, in this case, he would have been forgiven by the admirers of his songs in general; for, if we mistake not, his songs are chiefly admired, not because they appear to be the offspring of a critical head, but because they bear the impression of a warm and feeling heart.