Page images
PDF
EPUB

air was taken down from Mrs. Burns's voice. * It is well known in the West Country, but the old words are trash. By the by, take a look at the tune again, and tell me if you do not think it is the original from which Roslin Castle is composed. The second part, in particular, for the first two or three bars, is exactly the old air. Strathallan's Lament is mine; the music is by our right trusty and deservedly well-beloved Allan Masterton. Donocht-Head is not mine

; I would give ten pounds it were. It appeared first in the Edinburgh Herald ; and came to the editor of that paper with the Newcastle postmark on it.t Whistle o'er the lave o't is mine :

the

* The Posie will be found afterwards. This, and the other poems of which he speaks, had appeared in Johnson's Museum, and Mr. T. had inquired whether they were our bard's.

E.

* The reader will be curious to see this poem, so highly praised by Burns. Here it is.

Keen blaws the wind o'er Donocht-Head, (a)

The snaw drives snelly thro' the dale,
The Gaber-luvzie tirls my sneck,
And shivering tells his waefu' tale.

« Cauld

(a) A mountain in the North,

E.

the music said to be by a John Bruce, a celebrated violin player in Dumfries, about the beginning of this century. This I know, Bruce, who was an honest man, though a red-wud Highlandman, constantly claimed it; and by

all

« Cauld is the night, O let me in,

" And dinna let your minstrel fa', " And dinna let his winding sheet

“ Be naething but a wreath o' snaw.

« Full ninety winters hae I seen,

« And pip'd where gor-cocks whirring few, “ And mony a day I've danc'd, I ween,

“ To lilts which from my drone I blew." My Eppie wak'd, and soon she cry'd,

• Get up guidman, and let him in; • For weel ye ken the winter night

" Was short when he began his din.'

My Eppie's voice, O wow it's sweet,

Even tho' she bans and scaulds a wee;
But when it's tun'd to sorrow's tale,

O, haith, its doubly dear to me!
Come in, auld carl, I'll steer my fire,

I'll make it bleeze a bonnie flame;
Your bluid is thin, ye've tint the gate,

Ye should nae stray sae far frae hame.

[ocr errors]

all the old musical people here, is believed to be the author of it.

Andrew and his cutty Gun. The song to which this is set in the Museum is mine, and was composed on Miss Euphemia Murray, of Lintrose, commonly and deservedly called the Flower of Strathmore.

How long and dreary is the Night! I met with some such words in a collection of

songs somewhere, which I altered and enlarged ; and to please you, and to suit your favourite air, I have taken a stride or two across my room, and have arranged it anew, as you will find on the

other page.

Tune

“ Nae hame have I," the minstrel said,

“ Sad party-strife o'erturned my ha'; “ And, weeping at the eve of life,

“ Į wander thro' a wreeth o' snaw."

This affecting poem is apparently incomplete. The author need not be ashamed to own himself. It is worthy of Burns, or of Macneill.

E. VOL. IV.

N

Tune-" CAULD KAIL IN. ABERDEEN."

How long and dreary is the night,

When I am frae my dearie ! I restless lie frae e'en to morn,

Tho' I were ne'er sae weary.

CHORUS.

For oh, her lanely nights are lang;

And oh, her dreams are eerie ; And oh, her widow'd heart is sair,

That's absent frae her dearie.

When I think on the lightsome days

I spent wi’ thee, my dearie;
And now what seas between us roar,
How can I be but eerie ?

For oh, &c.

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours;

The joyless day how dreary ! It was nae sae ye glinted by, When I was wi'

my

dearie. For oh, 8c.

Tell

Tell me how you like this. : I differ from your idea of the expression of the tune. There is, to me, a great deal of tenderness in it. You cannot, in my opinion, dispense with a bass to your addenda airs. A lady of my acquaintance, a noted performer, plays and 'sings at the same time so charmingly, that I shall never bear to see any of her songs sent into the world, as naked as Mr. What-d'ye-call-um has done in his London collection.*

These English songs gravel me to death. I have not that command of the language that I have of my native tongue. I have been at Duncan Gray, to dress it in English, but all I can do is deplorably stupid. For instance :

Tune-" DUNCAN GRAY."

LET not woman e'er complain

Of inconstancy in love;
Let not woman e'er complain
Fickle man is apt to rove:

N 2

Look

* Mr. Ritson.

E.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »