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The Battle of Sheriff-Muir.

III

But, cursed lot! the gates were shut;
An'
mony a huntit

poor
For fear amaist did swarf, man !"

red coat,

“ My sister Kate cam' up the gate

Wi' crowdie unto me, man;
She swore she saw some rebels run

Frae Perth unto Dundee, man:
Their left-hand general had nae skill,
The Angus lads had nae good-will
That day their neibors' blude to spill;
For fear, by foes, that they should lose
Their cogs o' brose—all crying woes;

An' so it goes you see, man.

“They've lost some gallant gentlemen,

Amang the Highland clans, man:
I fear my

Lord Panmure is slain,
Or fallen in Whiggish hands, man:
Now wad ye sing this double fight,
Some fell for wrang an’ some for right;
But mony bade the world gude-night;
Then ye may tell how pell an’ mell,
By red claymores, an' muskets' knell,
Wi' dying yell, the Tories fell,

An' Whigs to hell did flee, man."

SONG COMPOSED IN AUGUST.

TUNE—“I had a horse, I had nae mair,” or “O poortith cauld.” Now westlin' winds an' slaughtring guns

Bring autumn's pleasant weather;
The moorcock springs, on whirring wings,

Amang the blooming heather:
Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain,

Delights the weary farmer;
And the moon shines bright when I rove at night

To muse upon my charmer.

The partridge loves the fruitful fells:

The plover loves the mountains;
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells;

The soaring hern the fountains:
Thro’ lofty groves the cushat roves,

The path of man to shun it;
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush,

The spreading thorn the linnet.

Thus every kind their pleasure find,
The
savage

and the tender;
Some social join, the leagues combine;

Some solitary wander:
Avaunt, away! the cruel sway,

Tyrannic man's dominion;
The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring cry,

The flutt'ring gory pinion.

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But Peggy, dear, the ev'ning's clear,

Thick flies the skimming swallow;
The sky is blue, the fields in view,

All fading green and yellow:
Come, let us stray our gladsome way,

An' view the charms of Nature;
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn,

An' every happy creature.

We'll gently walk, an' sweetly talk,

Till the silent moon shine clearly;
I'll grasp thy waist, and, fondly prest,

Swear how I love thee dearly:
Not vernal show'rs to budding flow’rs,

Not autumn to the farmer,
So dear can be as thou to me,
My fair, my lovely charmer.

YOUNG PEGGY.

Tune—“The last time I cam' o'er the muir,” or “Peggy, I must

love thee.”

[“This is one of the Poet's earliest compositions. It is copied from MS. book which he had before his first publication.”—Cromek.)

YOUNG Peggy blooms our bonniest lass,

Her blush is like the morning,

The rosy dawn, the springing grass,

With early gems adorning: Her eyes outshine the radiant beams

That gild the passing shower, And glitter o'er the crystal streams,

And cheer each fresh'ning flower.

Her lips, more than the cherries bright,

A richer dye has graced them; They charm th' admiring gazer's sight,

And sweetly tempt to taste them: Her smile is, as the evening, mild,

When feather'd tribes are courting, And little lambkins wanton wild,

In playful bands disporting.

Were fortune lovely Peggy's foe,

Such sweetness would relent her, As blooming spring unbends the brow

Of surly, savage winter. Detraction's eye no aim can gain,

Her winning powers to lessen; And fretful envy grins in vain

The poison'd tooth to fasten.

Ye powers of honour, love, and truth, From every

ill defend her; Inspire the highly-favour'd youth

The destinies intend her:

The gloomy Night is gathering fast.

115

Still fan the sweet connubial flame

Responsive in each bosom,
And bless the dear parental name

With many a filial blossom.

THE GLOOMY NIGHT IS GATHERING

FAST.

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TUNE—“Roslin Castle,” or “Hughie Graham.”

“I composed this song as I convoyed my chest so far on the road to Greenock, where I was to embark in a few days for Jamaica (November, 1786). I meant it as my farewell dirge to my native land.”—Burns. “I requested him to communicate some of his unpublished poems, and he recited his farewell song to the banks of Ayr, introducing it with a description of the circumstances in which it was composed, more striking than the poem itself. He had left Dr. Lawrie's family, after a visit, which he expected to be the last, and on his way home had to cross a wide stretch of solitary moor. His mind was strongly affected by parting for ever with a scene where he had tasted so much elegant and social pleasure; and, depressed by the contrasted gloom of his prospects, the aspect of nature harmonized with his feelings: it was a lowering and heavy evening in the end of autumn. The wind was up, and whistled through the rushes and long spear-grass which bent before it. The clouds were driving across the sky; and cold pelting showers at intervals added discomfort of body to cheerlessness of mind. Under these circumstances, and in this frame, Burns composed his poem.”Professor Walker.]

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The gloomy night is gath’ring fast,
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast;
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain,
I see it driving o'er the plain;

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