Page images

trouble to you in the present state of your health, some literary friend might be found here, who would select and arrange from your manuscripts, and take upon him the task of Editor. In the mean time it could be advertised to be published by subscription. Do not shun this mode of obtaining the value of your labour : remem

: ber Pope published the Iliad by subscription. Think of this, my dear Burns, and do not reckon me intrusive with my advice. You are too well convinced of the respect and friendship I bear you, to impute any thing I say to an unworthy motive. Yours faithfully.

The verses to Rothemurche will answer finely. I am happy to see you can still tune your lyre.


In the beginning of the year 1787, another work had commenced at Edinburgh, entitled, The Scots Musical Museum, conducted by Mr. James Johnson; the object of which was to unite the songs and the music of Scotland in one general collection. The first volume of this work appeared in May, 1787, when our poet was in Edinburgh ; and in it appeared one of his printed songs, to the tune of Green grow the Rashes, beginning, “ There's nought but care on every hand.” He appears also to have furnished from his MSS. the last song in that volume, which was an early production, and not thought by himself worthy of a place in his works. The second volume appeared in the spring of 1788, and, contained several original songs of Burns; who also contributed liberally to the third, fourth, and fifth volumes, the last of which did not appear till after his death. In his communications to Mr. Johnson, to which his name was not in general affixed, our Bard was less careful than in his compositions for the greater work of Mr. Thomson. Several of them he never intended to acknowledge ; and others, printed in the Museum, were found somewhat altered afterwards among his manuscripts. In the selection which follows, attention has been paid to the wishes of the author, as far as they are known. The printed songs have been compared with the MSS., and the last corrections have been uniformly inserted. The reader will probably think many of the songs which follow, among the finest productions of his muse.


Bonnie lassie, will ye go, will ye go, will ye go, Bonnie lassie, will ye go to the Birks of Aberfeldy ?

Now simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays,
Come let us spend the lightsome days
In the Birks of Aberfeldy.

Bonnie lassie, &c.

While o'er their heads the hazels hing,
The little birdies blithly sing,
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the Birks of Aberfeldy.

Bonnie lassie, &c.

The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's,
O'er-hung wi' fragrant spreading shaws,
The Birks of Aberfeldy.

Bonnie lassie, &c.


The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
White o'er the linns the burnie pours,
And rising weets wi' misty showers
The Birks of Aberfeldy.

Bonnie lassie, &c.

Let fortune's gifts at random flee,
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me,
Supremely blest wi' love and thee,
In the Birks of Aberfeldy.

Bonnie lassie, &c.


This is written in the same measure as the Birks of Abergeldie, an old Scottish song, from which nothing is borrowed but the chorus.



STAY, my charmer, can you leave me?
Cruel, cruel to deceive me!

know how much you grieve me;
Cruel charmer, can you go?
Cruel charmer, can you go?

By my love so ill requited;
By the faith you fondly plighted;
By the pangs of lovers slighted;

Do not, do not leave me so !
Do not, do not leave me so!


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »