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On flower and tree loud hums the bee ;
The wilding kid sports merrily:
A day so bright, so fresh, so clear,
Showeth when good fortune's near.

Up! lady fair, and braid thy hair,
And bathe thee in the breezy air ;
The rolling stream that soothed thy dream
Is dancing in the sunny beam;
And hours so sweet, so bright, so gay,
Will waft good fortune on its way.

Up! time will tell; the friar's bell
Its service sound hath chimed well;
The aged crone keeps house alone,

to the fields are gone;
The active day, so fair and bright,
May bring good fortune ere the night.

There is a remarkable freedom in the diction and versification of the following beautiful song; the more remarkable that it is written for a Welsh air.


Good morrow to thy sable beak,
And glossy plumage, dark and sleek,
Thy crimson moon and azure eye,
Cock of the heath so wildly shy !
I see thee slowly cowering, through
That wiry web of silver dew,
That twinkles in the morning air,
Like casement of my lady fair.

A maid there is in yonder tower,
Who, peeping from her early bower,
Half shows, like thee, with simple wile
Her braided hair and morning smile.
The rarest things, with wayward will,
Beneath the covert hide them still;
The rarest things to light of day
Look shortly forth and break away.

One fleeting moment of delight
I warmed me in her cheering sight,
And short, I ween, the time will be
That I shall parley hold with thee.
Through Snowdon's mist red beams the day;
The climbing herd-boy chaunts his lay;
The gnat-flies dance their sunny ring;
Thou art already on the wing.

This song is distinguished by the same delicious freedom, and was also written to music. Truly, the Muse can dance in fetters.

O welcome bat and owlet

Thus winging low your airy way!
And welcome moth and drowsy fly,
That to mine ear come humming by!
And welcome shadows dim and deep,
And stars that through the pale sky peep ;
O welcome all! to me ye say
My woodland love is on her way.

Upon the soft wind floats her hair,
Her breath is on the dewy air ;

Her steps are in the whispered sound
That steals along the stilly ground.
O dawn of day, in rosy bower,
What art thou to this witching hour?
O noon of day, in sunshine bright,
What art thou to this fall of night?

I cannot resist indulging myself by transcribing the following Scottish ballad, a delightful specimen of quaint richness and quiet humour.


(An Auld Song New Buskit.)

Fy, let us a' to the wedding,

For they will be lilting there;
For Jock’s to be married to Maggie,

The lass wi' the gowden hair.

And there will be jibing and jeering,

And glancing of bonny dark een,
Loud laughing, and smooth-gabbit speering

O' questions baith pawky and keen.

And there will be Bessy, the beauty,

Wha raises her cockup sae hie,
And giggles at preachings and duty,–

Guid grant that she gang na’ ajee !

And there will be auld Geordie Tanner,

Wha coft a young wife wi' his gowd;
She'll flaunt wi' a silk gown upon her,

But, wow! he looks dowie and cow'd.

And brown Tibbie Fouler, the heiress,

Will perk at the tap o' the ha', Encircled wi' suitors, wha's care is

To catch up her gloves when they fa',

Repeat a' her jokes as they're cleckit,

And haver and glower in her face, While tocherless mays are negleckit,

A crying and scandalous case.

And Maysie, wha's clavering aunty

Wad match her wi’ Lowrie the laird, And learns the young fule to be vaunty,

But neither to spin nor to caird.

And Andrew, wha’s granny is yearning

To see him a clerical blade,
Was sent to the college for learning,

And cam' back a coof, as he gaed.

And there will be auld Widow Martin,

That ca’s herself thirty and twa; And thraw-gabbit Madge, wha for certain,

Was jilted by Hab o' the Shaw.

And Elspy, the sewster sae genty,

A pattern o’ havins and sense, Will straik on her mittens sae genty,

And crack wi' Mess John i’ the spence.

And Angus, the seer o' fairlies,

That sits on the stane at his door, And tells about bogles, and mair lies

Than tongue ever uttered before.

And there will be Bauldie, the boaster,

Sae ready wi' hands and wi' tongue; Proud Paty and silly Sam Foster,

Wha quarrel wi' auld and wi' young.

And Hugh, the town-writer, I'm thinking,

That trades in his lawyerly skill, Will egg on the fighting and drinking,

To bring after grist to his mill.

And Maggie-ha! ha! will be civil,

And let the wee bridie a-bee; Å vilipend tongue is the devil,

And ne'er was encouraged by me.

Then, fy, let us a' to the wedding,

For they will be lilting there, Frae mony a far-distant ha’ding,

The fun and the feasting to share.

For they will get sheep's-head and haggis,

And browst o' the barley-mow; E'en he that comes latest and lag is

May feast upon dainties enow.

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Veal florentines in the oʻen baken,

Weel plenished wi' raisins and fat. Beef, mutton, and chuckies, a' taken

Het reeking frae spit or frae pat.

And glasses (I trow 'tis na' said ill),

To drink the young couple good luck, Weel fill'd wi' a braw beechen ladle,

Frae punch-bowl as big as Dumbuck.

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