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The bonie lassie made the bed to me,
I HAD A HORSE AND I HAD NAE MAIR.
This story was founded on fact. A John Hunter, ancestor to a very respectable farming family who live in a place in the parish, I think, of Galston, called Barr-mill, was the luckless hero that had a horse and had nae mair.—For some little youthful follies he found it necessary to make a retreat to the West-Highlands, where he feed himself to a Highland Laird, for that is the expression of all the oral editions of the song I ever heard. The present Mr. Hunter, who told me the anecdote, is the great grand-child to our hero.
I had a horse, and I had nae mair,
I gat him frae my daddy;
But my wit it was fu' ready.
And sae I thought me on a time,
Outwittens of my daddy,
Wha had a bonny lady.
I wrote a letter, and thus began,
“Madam, be not offended, I'm o'er the lugs in love wi’ you, And care not tho'
And far less frae my daddy,
Would strive to please my lady."
She read my letter, and she leugh,
“ Ye needna been sae blate, man;
And tauld me o' your state, man:
Outwittens o' ony body,
And kiss'd his bonny lady."
* To make John Gowkston of a laird, is, I fear, an unintelligible phrase to a mere English reader: when he is told that the word Gowk is Scotch for Cuckoo, a very familiar association will supply him with the rest.-Ed.
Then she pat siller in my purse,
We drank wine in a coggie;
And wow! but I was vogie.
Since I came frae my daddy,
When I was wi' his lady.
Then she pat me below a chair,
And happ'd me wi' a plaidie ;
And wish'd me wi' my daddy.
I went when I was ready:
To kiss his bonny lady.
A ROSE-BUD BY MY EARLY WALK.
This song I composed on Miss Jenny Cruikshank, only child to my worthy friend Mr. Wm. Cruikshank, of the High-School, Edinburgh. The air is by a David Sillar, quondam Merchant, and
Now Schoolmaster in Irvine. He is the Davie to whom I address my printed poetical epistle in the measure of the Cherry and the Slae.*
The Cherry and the Slae was written by Capt. Alexander Montgomery (See “The Evergreen,” 1724). He died 1591. To the admirers of this Allegory the following excerpt from an unpublished work by the late Mr. Ritson will be interesting.
" That this poem was written before 1584 is evident from its being repeatedly quoted by K. James VI. in his · Rewlis and Cautells of Scottis Poesie,' printed in that year. Ramsay tells us, that his edition is taken from two curious old ones, the first printed by Robert Walgrave, the King's printer, in 1597, according to a copy corrected by the author himself; the other by Andro Hart, printed 1615, said on the title-page to be vewly altered, perfyted, and divided into 114 quatuorzeims, not long before the author's death.”
“ The first of these editions, however, so far from having been corrected by the author, is both grossly inaccurate and manifestly surreptitious, not containing above half the Poem, and breaking off abruptly the middle of a stanza. The other has not been met with, which is one reason why the entire Poem was not reprinted. Captain Montgomery was not, as is generally supposed, the inventor of this sort of stanza. He only imitated a more ancient piece, intitled, The BANKS OF HELICON, which is still extant; and the tune, to which both Poems appear to have been originally sung, is still known in Wales by the name of Glyn Helicon. The Allegory of this Poem (according to Dempster, who translated it into Latin) is the conflict of the Virtues and Vices, or the choice of a state in Youth."
AULD ROBIN GRAY,
This air was formerly called The Bridegroom greets when the sun gangs down. The words are by Lady Ann Lindsay.
When the sheep are in the fauld, and the ky at hame,
And a' the warld to sleep are gane;
heart fa’ in show’rs frae my ee, When my gudeman lyes sound by me.
Young Jamie loo'd me weel, and he sought me for
his bride, But saving a crown he had naething beside ; To make that crown a pound, my Jamie gade to sea,
And the crown and the pound were baith for me.
He had nae been awa a week but only twa,
stown awa; My father brak his
Jamie at the sea, And auld Robin Gray came a courting me.
My father coudna work, and my mother coudna
spin, I toild day and night, but their bread I coudna