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The lovely Lass of Inverness.
The snaw-drap and primrose our woodlands adorn, An' violets bathe in the weet o' the morn;
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw, They mind me o' Nannie-an' Nannie's awa'.
Thou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the lawn, The shepherd to warn o' the gray-breaking dawn, An' thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa', Give over for pity-my Nannie's awa'.
Come, autumn, sae pensive, in yellow an' gray,
THE LOVELY LASS OF INVERNESS.
TUNE-"The Lass of Inverness."
THE lovely lass o' Inverness,
Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
My father dear, and brethren three.
"Their winding sheet the bluidy clay,
That ever blest a woman's e'e!
SONG OF DEATH.
TUNE-"Oran an Aoig," but now sung to the Irish air, "My lodging is on the cold ground."
["Looking over, with a musical friend, M'Donald's Collection of Highland Airs, I was struck with one, an Isle of Skye tune, entitled 'Oran an Aoig,' or, 'The song of death,' to the measure of which I have adapted my stanzas."-Burns to Mrs. Dunlop, December 17, 1791.]
Scene,-A field of battle.-Time of the day, evening.-The wounded and dying of the victorious army are supposed to join in the following song:
FAREWELL, thou fair day, thou green earth,and ye skies, Now gay with the bright setting sun;
Farewell loves and friendships, ye dear tender tiesOur race of existence is run!
Thou grim king of terrors, thou life's gloomy foe! Go, frighten the coward and slave;
Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant! but know, No terrors hast thou to the brave!
Thou strik'st the dull peasant-he sinks in the dark, Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name;
Thou strik'st the young hero-a glorious mark!— He falls in the blaze of his fame!
In the field of proud honour-our swords in our hands,
Our king and our country to save
While victory shines on life's last ebbing sands,
["Have you ever, my dear sir, felt your bosom ready to burst with indignation on reading of those mighty villains who divide kingdom against kingdom, desolate provinces, and lay nations waste, out of the wantonness of ambition, or often from still more ignoble passions? In a mood of this kind I recollected the air of 'Logan Water,' and it occurred to me that its querulous melody probably had its origin from the plaintive indignation of some swelling suffering heart, fired at the tyrannic strides of some public destroyer, and overwhelmed with private distress, the consequence of a country's ruin."-Burns to Thomson.]
O LOGAN, Sweetly didst thou glide
While my dear lad maun face his faes,
Again the merry month o' May
The bees hum round the breathing flowers;
Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,
Oh, wae upon you, men o' state,
A Gaelic air.
["The original title of this song was 'Fair Rabina:' the heroine was a young lady to whom one of the poet's friends was attached, and Burns wrote it in compliment to his passion. Johnson, the proprietor of the Museum, disliked the name, and desiring to have one more suitable for singing, the poet unwillingly changed it to Eliza.”—Cunningham.]
TURN again, thou fair Eliza,
Ae kind blink before we part,
Rue on thy despairing lover!
Canst thou break his faithful heart?
If to love thy heart denies,
For pity hide the cruel sentence
Thee, dear maid, ha'e I offended?
Not the bee upon the blossom,
All beneath the simmer moon;