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say's tea-table, where the modern song first appeared, the ancient name of the tune, Allan says, is Allan Water, or My love Annie's very bonnie. This last has certainly been a line of the original song ; so I took up the idea, and as you will see, have introduced the line in its place, which I
it formerly occupied; though I likewise give you a chusing line, if it should not hit the cut of your fancy.
By Allan-stream I chanc'd to rove,
While Phæbus sank beyond Benleddi ;* The winds were whispering thro' the grove,
The yellow corn was waving ready: I listen'd to a lover's sang,
And thought on youthfu' pleasures mony; And ay the wild-wood echoes rang
O dearly do I love thee, Annie!t
O happy be the woodbine bower,
Nae nightly bogle make it eerie; Nor ever sorrow stain the hour,
The place and time I met my dearie!
* A mountain west of Strath-Allan, 3,009 feet high. R. B.
+ Or, O my love Annie's very bonnie. ' R. B.
Her head upon my throbbing breast,
She, sinking said, “ I'm thine for ever!" While mony, a kiss the seal imprest,
The sacred vow, we ne'er should sever.
The haunt o' spring's the primrose brae,
The simmer joys the flocks to follow; How cheery thro' her shortening day,
Is autumn in her weeds o' yellow! But can they melt the glowing heart,
Or chain the soul in speechless pleasure, Or thro' each nerve the rapture dart,
Like meeting her, our bosom's treasure ?
Bravo ! say I : it is a good song. Should
you think so too (not else), you can set the music to it, and let the other follow as English verses.
Autumn is my propitious season. more verses in it than all the
MR. BURNS to MR. THOMSON.
August, 1793. Is Whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad, : one of your airs ? I admire it much ; and yesterday I set the following verses to it.
Urbani, whom I have met with here, begged them of me, as he admires the air much; but as I understand that he looks with rather an evil eye on your work, I did not choose to comply. However, if the
song does not suit your taste, I may possibly send it him. The set of the air which I had in my eye is in Johnson's Museum.
O WHISTLE, and I'll come to you, my
* In some of the MSS the four first lines run thus:
O wbistle, and I'll come to thee, my jo,
Tho' father and mither and a' should gae mad, O whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad.
But warily tent, when you come to court me,
O whistle, &c.
At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me,
O whistle, &c.
Ay vow and protest that ye care na for me,
O whistle, &c.
Another favourite air of mine is The muckin o' Geordie's Byre; when sung slow with expression, I have wished that it had had better poetry : that I have endeavoured to supply as follows:
Adown winding Nith I did wander,
To mark the sweet flowers as they spring i
Of Phillis to muse and to sing.
Awa wi' your belles and your beauties,
They never wi' her can compare :
Has met wi” the queen o' the fair.
The daisy amus'd my fond fancy,
So artless, so simple, so wild ;
The rose-bud's the blush o' my charmer,
Her sweet balmy lip when 'tis prest :
Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbour,
They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie: