Слике страница
PDF
ePub

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.

Tune

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.

4

E.

Tune" LIGGERAM Cosh.”

BLYTHE hae I been on yon hill,

As the lambs before me;
Careless ilka thought and free,

As the breeze flew o'er me:
Now nae longer sport and play,

Mirth or sang can please me;
Lesley is sae fair and coy,

Care and anguish seize me.

Heavy, heavy, is the task,

Hopeless love declaring:
Trembling, I dow nocht but glow'r,

Sighing, dumb, despairing !
If she winna ease the thraws
In
my

bosom swelling;
Underneath the grass-green sod,

Soon maun be my dwelling.

I should wish to hear how this pleases you.

[ocr errors][merged small]

No. XXV.

MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.

25th June, 1793.

Have

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

some merit.

Tune

[ocr errors][merged small]

O LOGAN, sweetly didst thou glide,
That day I was my Willie's bride;
And years sinsyne hae o'er us run,
Like Logan to the simmer sun.
But now thy flow'ry banks

appear
Like drumlie winter, dark and drear,
While my dear lad maun face his faes,
Far, far frae me and Logan braes.

Again the merry month o' May
Has made our hills and vallies gay;
The birds rejoice in leafy bowers,
The bees hum round the breathing flowers:
Blythe morning lifts his rosy eye,
And evening's tears are tears of joy:
My soul, delightless, a' surveys,
While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

[ocr errors]

Within

yon

milk-white hawthorn bush,
Amang her nestlings sits the thrush;
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil,
Or wi' his song her cares beguile:
But I wi' my sweet nurslings here,
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer,
Pass widow'd nights and joyless days,
While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

O wae

O wae upon you, men o'state,
That brethren rouse to deadly hate !
As ye make mony a fond heart mourn,
Sae may it on your

heads return!
How can your flinty hearts enjoy
The widow's tears, the orphan's cry ?*
But soon may peace bring happy days,
And Willie hame to Logan braes !

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'!

Oh,

* Originally,
“ Ye mind na, 'mid your cruel joys,

The widow's tears, the orphan's cries."

E.

« ПретходнаНастави »