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The lovely Lass of Inverness.
The snaw-drap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
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;
the saut tear blin's her e’e:
A waefu' day it was to me!
My father dear, and brethren three.
“Their winding sheet the bluidy clay,
Their graves are growing green to see;
That ever blest a woman's e’e!
A bluidy man I trow thou be;
That ne'er did wrong to thine or thee.”
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, thougreen earth and yeskies,
Now gay with the bright setting sun; Farewell loves and friendships, ye dear tender ties—
Our 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 saveWhile victory shines on life's last ebbing sands,
Oh, who would not die with the brave !
["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
dear lad maun face his faes, Far, far frae me an' Logan braes.
Again the merry month o’ May
Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,
Oh, wae upon you, men o'state,
make many a fond heart mourn,
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 Éliza,
Ae kind blink before we part,
Canst thou break his faithful heart?
If to love thy heart denies,
Under friendship's kind disguise !
Thee, dear maid, ha'e I offended ?
The offence is loving thee:
Wha for thine wad gladly die?
Thou shalt mix in ilka throe;
Ae sweet smile on me bestow.
Not the bee upon the blossom,
In the pride o'sunny noon;
All beneath the simmer moon;