Page images
PDF
EPUB

While day an' night can bring delight,

Or nature aught of pleasure give,
While joys above my mind can move,

For thee, an' thee alone, I live.
When that grim foe of life below

Comes in between to make us part,
The iron hand that breaks our band,

It breaks my bliss—it breaks my heart !

THE BANKS OF THE DEVON.

TUNE," Bhannerach dhon na chri."

[“ These verses were composed on a charming girl, a Miss Charlotte Hamilton, who is now married to James M‘Kitrick Adair, Esq., physician. She is sister of my worthy friend, Gavin Hamilton, of Mauchline, and was born on the banks of Ayr, but was, at the time I wrote these lines, residing at Harvieston, in Clackmannanshire, on the romantic banks of the little river Devon."-Burns.]

How pleasant the banks of the clear winding Devon, With green spreading bushes and flowers bloom

ing fair! But the bonniest flower on the banks of the Devon

Was once a sweet bud on the braes of the Ayr. Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower,

In the gay rosy morn as it bathes in the dew; And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower

That steals on the ev'ning each leaf to renew.

[blocks in formation]

Oh spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes,

With chill hoary wing, as ye usher the dawn : And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes

The verdure and pride of the garden and lawn !
Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded Lilies,
And England, triumphant, display her proud

Rose;
A fairer than either adorns the green valleys,

Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows.

[ocr errors][merged small]

TUNE-"No churchman am I, for to rail or to write."

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill,
Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill;
How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear!
As autumn to winter resigns the pale year.
The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown:
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse,
How quick time is flying, how keen fate pursues !

How long I have liv'd—but how much liv'd in vain! How little of life's scanty span may

remain ! What aspects old Time in his progress has worn! What ties cruel fate in my bosom has torn !

How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain'd ! And downward how weaken'd, how darken'd, how

pain'd! This life's not worth having with all it can giveFor something beyond it poor man sure must live.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

[“I composed these verses on Miss Isabella MʻLeod of Raasay, alluding to her feelings on the death of her sister, and the still more melancholy death (1786) of her sister's husband, the late Earl of Loudoun, who shot himself, out of sheer heart-break at some mortifications he suffered owing to the deranged state of his finances."—Burns.]

RAVING winds around her blowing,
Yellow leaves the woodlands strewing,
By a river hoarsely roaring,
Isabella stray'd deploring-
“ Farewell hours that late did measure
Sunshine days of joy and pleasure;
Hail, thou gloomy night of sorrow,
Cheerless night that knows no morrow!

“ O'er the past too fondly wandering,
On the hopeless future pondering;
Chilly grief my life-blood freezes,
Fell despair my fancy seizes.

Highland Harry.

139

Life, thou soul of every blessing,
Load to misery most distressing,
Gladly how would I resign thee,
And to dark oblivion join thee !"

HIGHLAND HARRY.

TUNE“The Highlander's lament.”

[“The chorus I picked up from an old woman in Dumblane; the rest of the song is mine.”—Burns. “It is evident that the poet has understood the chorus in a Jacobite sense, and written his own verses in that strain accordingly. Mr. Peter Buchan has, nevertheless, ascertained that the original song related to a love attachment between Harry Lumsdale, the second son of a Highland gentleman, and Miss Jeanie Gordon, daughter to the laird of Knockhespock, in Aberdeenshire. The lady was married to her cousin, Habiche Gordon, a son of the laird of Rhymie ; and some time after, her former lover having met her and shaken her hand, her husband drew his sword in anger, and lopped off several of Lumsdale's fingers—which Highland Harry took so much to heart that he soon after died.”—Chambers.]

My Harry was a gallant gay,

Fu' stately strode he on the plain:
But now he 's banish'd far away,

I'll never see him back again.

Oh for him back again !

Oh for him back again !
I wad gi'e a' Knockhaspie's land

For Highland Harry back again.

When a’ the lave gae to their bed

I wander dowie up the glen;
I set me down and greet my fill,

And aye I wish him back again.

Oh, were some villains hangit high,

And ilka body had their ain !
Then I might see the joyful sight,

My Highland Harry back again.

FIRST WHEN MAGGY WAS MY CARE.

TUNE—“Whistle o'er the lave o't."

FIRST when Maggy was my care,
Heaven I thought was in her air ;
Now we ’re married-spier nae mair-

Whistle o'er the lave o't.
Meg was meek, an' Meg was mild,
Bonnie Meg was nature's child;
Wiser men than me's beguild-

Whistle o'er the lave o't.

How we live, my Meg an' me,
How we love, an' how we 'gree,
I care na by how few may see-

Whistle o'er the lave o 't.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »