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And her two eyes like stars in skies,
Would keep a sinking ship frae wreck.
Mally's modest and discreet,
Mally's every way complete.
Tune—“It was a' for our rightfu' king."
It was a' for our rightfu' king,
We left fair Scotland's strand;
We e'er saw Irish land, my dear ;
* The above song is published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum,' Vol. 5, but without any allusion to its being altered or improved by Burns, though Mr Cunningham, in his recent edition of the Poet's Works, assumes as much, and publishes it accordingly. In his notes to the Jacobite Reliques, the Ettrick Shepherd says, this song was written by Captain Ogilvie, who was killed on the banks of the Rhine in the year 1695. Sir Walter Scott, in his notes to Rokeby, Canto 3, acknowledges that it suggested to him the idea of his own beautiful lyric, “A weary lot is thine." We give the old song, such as it occurs in stall ballads, which was the prototype of the above.
The cold winter it is past and gone,
And now comes on the spring,
And I must go fight for my king, my dear;
Now since to the wars you must go,
One thing I pray grant me,
And I'll travel along with thee, my dear,
Now a' is done that men can do,
And a’ is done in vain ;
For I maun cross the main, my dear;
I would not for ten thousand worlds
That my love endangered were so ;
Will cause great sorrow and wo, my dear,
I will do the thing for my true love,
That she will not do for me;
And mourn till the day I die, my dear,
I will do more for my true love,
Than he will do for me;
So farewell mother and father dear,
My kith and kin also,
When we came to bonny Stirling town,
As we lay all in tent, By the King's orders we were all taken, And to Germany we were all sent, my dear, And to Germany we were all sent.
So farewell bonny Stirling town,
And the maids therein also;
You're the cause of all my wo, my dear,
She took the slippers off her feet,
He turned him right, and round about
Upon the Irish shore; And gae
his bridle-reins a shake, With adieu for evermore, my
dear With adieu for evermore.
The sodger from the wars returns,
The sailor frae the main ;
Never to meet again, my dear;
When day is gane, and night is come,
And a' folk bound to sleep ;
The lee-lang night, and weep, my dear;
And she has ta'en a long journey,
For seven lang years and mair, my dear,
Sometimes she rade, sometimes she gaed,
Sometimes sat down to mouin,
Shall I e'er see my bonny laddie return, my dear,
The trooper turned himself round about,
All on the Irish shore;
Saying adieu for evermore, my dear,
LADY MARY ANN.*
Tune—" Craigton's Growing."
0, Lady Mary Ann
Looks o'er the castle wa',
Playing at the ba’;
youngest he was
But he's growin' yet.
Burns noted the song and the air from a lady in the north country when upon his tour in that district, and communicated it to Johnson; and it must be confessed that, in so much of it as is his own, he has displayed all his accustomed taste and fine feeling. From the “Museum” Mr Finlay transplanted it into his collection of ballads, but apparently without the slightest notion of the master mind which had been at work upon it. In “ The North Countrie Garland, Edinburgh, 1824," edited by Mr Maidment, advocate, we are furnished with the first version of the old ballad, accompanied with the following historical note :“ The estate of Craigstoun was acquired by John Urquhart, better known by the name of the tutor of Cromarty. It would appear that the ballad refers to his grandson, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Innes of that ilk, and by her had one son. This John Urquhart died 30th November, 1634.-Spalding, (vol. i. p. 36,) after mentioning the great mortality in the Craigstoun family, says, “thus in three years space, the good sire, son, and oy, died. He adds, that “the Laird of Innes, whose sister was married to this Urquhart of Leathers, (the father,) and not without her consent, as was thought, gets the guiding of this young boy, and without advice of friends, shortly and quietly marries him, upon his own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes.' He mentions that young Craigstoun's death was generally attributed to melancholy, in consequence of Sir Robert Innes refusing to pay old Craigstoun's debts. The creditors bestowing many maledictions which touched the young man's conscience, albeit he could not mend it.'. The father died in December, 1631, and the son in 1634. The marriage consequently must have been of short duration.”
We subjoin a copy of it as traditionally preserved in the west of Scotland :
O father! O father!
An ye think it fit,
To the college yet :
Round about his hat,
He's to marry yet.
MY BONNIE LADDIE'S LANG O' GROWING.
For my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing,
O father dear, you have done me great wrong,
And my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing.
O daughter dear, I have done you no wrong,
And your bonnie laddie's daily growing.
O father dear, if you think it fit,
And that will be a token that he's married.
And O father dear, if this pleaseth you,
And I to the college will go wi' him.
She's made him shirts o' the Holland sae fine,
Saying, my bonnie laddie's lang o' growing.
In his twelfth year he was a married man,
Sae that put an end to his growing,