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differ. I shall now, with as much alacrity as I can muster, go on with your commands.
You know Frazer, the hautboy-player in Edinburgh—he is here, instructing a band of music for a fencible corps quartered in this country. Among many of his airs that please me, there is one, well known as a reel by the name of The Quaker's Wife; and which I remember a grand aunt of mine used to sing, by the name of Liggeram Cosh, my bonnie wee lass. Mr. Fraser plays it slow, and with an expression that quite charms me.
I became such an enthusiast about it, that I made a song for it, which I here subjoin; and inclose Fraser's set of the tune. If they hit your fancy, they are at your service; if not, return me the tune, and I will put it in Johnson's Museum. I think the song is not in my worst manner.
number of Mr. Thomson's Musical Work was in the press, this gentleman ventured, by Mr. Erskine's advice, to substitute for them in that publication,
“ And eyes again with pleasure beam'd
That had been blear’d with mourning.”
Though better suited to the music, these lines are inferior to the original. This is the only alteration adopted by Mr. Thomson, which Burns did not approve, or at least assent to.
Tune" LIGGERAM Cosh.”
BLYTHE hae I been on yon hill,
As the lambs before me;
As the breeze flew o'er me:
Mirth or sang can please me;
Care and anguish seize me.
Heavy, heavy, is the task,
Hopeless love declaring:
Sighing, dumb, despairing !
Soon maun be my dwelling.
I should wish to hear how this pleases you.
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
• 25th June, 1793.
you ever, my dear Sir, felt your bosom 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 meditation in my elbow-chair, ought to have
O LOGAN, sweetly didst thou glide,
Again the merry month o' May
milk-white hawthorn bush,
O wae upon you, men o'state,
Do you know the following beautiful little fragment, in Witherspoon's collection of Scots songs?
Air-" HUGHIE GRAHAM."
“O gin '
my love were yon red rose, , That grows upon the castle wa', And I mysel a drap o' dew,
Into her bonnie breast to fa'!
The widow's tears, the orphan's cries."