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Young Peggy.

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.

113

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.

Still fan the sweet connubial flame
Responsive in each bosom,
And bless the dear parental name
With many a filial blossom.

115

THE GLOOMY NIGHT IS GATHERING FAST.

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 "I requested him to communicate some of his unpublished poems, and he recited his farewell song to the banks of Ayr, introducing it with a description of the circumstances in which it was composed, more striking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.]

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;

The hunter now has left the moor,
The scatter'd coveys meet secure;
While here I wander, prest wi' care,
Along the lonely banks of Ayr.

The autumn mourns her rip'ning corn,
By early winter's ravage torn;
Across her placid azure sky
She sees the scowling tempest fly:
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave—
I think upon the stormy wave,
Where many a danger I must dare,
Far from the bonnie banks of Ayr.

"Tis not the surging billow's roar,
'Tis not that fatal deadly shore:
Tho' death in every shape appear,
The wretched have no more to fear!
But round my heart the ties are bound,
That heart transpierc'd with many a wound;
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,
To leave the bonnie banks of Ayr.

Farewell old Coila's hills an' dales,
Her heathy moors and winding vales—-
The scenes where wretched fancy roves,
Pursuing past, unhappy loves!

Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!
My peace with these, my love with those-

Macpherson's Farewell.

The bursting tears my heart declare;
Farewell the bonnie banks of Ayr!

117

MACPHERSON'S FAREWELL.

TUNE-"Macpherson's rant."

FAREWELL, ye dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch's destinie!
Macpherson's time will not be long

On yonder gallows-tree.

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,

Sae dauntingly gaed he;

He play'd a spring, and danc'd it round,
Below the gallows-tree.

Oh, what is death but parting breath ?-
On mony a bloody plain

I've dar'd his face, and in this place

I scorn him yet again!

Untie these bands from off my hands,
And bring to me my sword;

And there's no a man in all Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.

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