Page images
PDF
EPUB

o't is mine : the music is 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 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 Migs 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 1t anew, as you will find on the other page.

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.

ha'

“Nae hame have I,” the minstrel said,

“ Sad party-strife o'erturn’d my i And, weeping at the eve of life,

I wander thro' a wreath 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.

Tune-" Cauld kail in Aberdeen."

How lang and dreary is the night,

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

Though 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 ok, c.

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours !

The joyless day how dreary!
It was na sae ye glinted by,
When I was wi' my dearie.

For oh, &C.

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.

* Mr. Ritson. E.

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;

Look abroad through nature's range,
Nature's mighty law is change ;
Ladies, would it not be strange,

Man should then a monster prove?

Mark the winds, and mark the skies;

Ocean's ebb, and ocean's flow :
Sun and moon but set to rise,

Round and round the seasons go :

Why then ask of silly man,
To oppose great nature's plan?
We'll be constant while we can-

You can be no more, you know,

Since the above, I have been out in the country taking a dinner with a friend, where I met with the lady whom I mentioned in the second page of this odds-and-ends of a letter. As usual, I got into song ; and returning home, I composed the following:

The Lover's morning salute to his Mistress.

Tune" Deil tak the wars."

Sleep'st thou, or wak'st thou, fairest creature;

Rosy morn now lifts his eye,
Numbering ilka bud which nature

Waters wi' the tears o' joy :
Now through the leafy woods,

And by the reeking floods,
Wild nature's tenants, freely, gladly stray ;

The lintwhite in his bower
Chants, o'er the breathing flower ;
The lav'rock to the sky

Ascends wi' sangs o' joy,
While the sun and thou arise to bless the day*.

Phoebus, gilding the brow o' morning,

Banishes ilk darksome shade,
Nature gladdening and adorning ;

Such to me my lovely maid.
When absent frae my fair,

The murky shades o' care
With starless gloom o'ercast my sullen sky;

But when in beauty's light,
She meets my ravish'd sight,
When through my very heart

Her beaming glories dart;
'Tis then I wake to life, to light and joyt.

* Variation. Now to the streaming fountain,

Or up the heathy mountain,
The hart, hind, and roe freely, wildly-wan-

ton stray ;
In twining hazel bowers
His lay the linnet pours ;
The lav'rock, &c. E.

Variatton. When frae my Chloris parted,

Sad, cheerless, broken-hearted,

If you honour my verses by setting the air to them, I will vamp up the old song, and make it English enough to be understood.

I inclose you a musical curiosity, an East Indian air which you would swear was a Scottish one. I know the authenticity of it, as the gentleman who brought it over is a particular acquaintance of mine. Do preserve me the copy I send you, as it is the only one I have. Clarke has set a bass to it, and I intend putting it into the Musi. eal Museum. Here follow the verses I intend for it.

THE AULD MAN.

But lately seen in gladsome green

The woods rejoic'd the day,
Thro' gentle showers the laughing flowers

In double pride were gay:
But now our joys are fled,

On winter blasts awa!
Yet maiden May, in rich array,

Again shall bring them a'.

But my white pow, nae kindly thowe

Shall melt the snaws of age ;
My trunk of eild, but buss or beild,

Sinks in time's wintry rage.
Oh, age has weary days,

And nights of sleepless pain !
Thou golden time o' youthful prime,
Why com’st thou not again!
Then night's gloomy shades, cloudy, dark,

o'ercast my sky;
But when she charms my sight,
In pride of beauty's light;
When thro' my very heart

Her beaming glories dart;
'Tis then, 'tis then I wake to life and joy.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »