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Be kind to the bairns a', and weil mat ye be;
This is nae me, &c.
John ran to the minister ; bis hair stood a' on end :
This is nae me, &c.
The tale you tell, the parson said, is wonderful to me, How that a wife without a head should speak, or hear,
or see ! But things that happen hereabout so strangely alter'd be, That I could maist wi' Bessie
'Tis neither you nor she ! * Neither you nor she, quo' he, neither you nor she ; Wow, na, Johnnie man, 'tis neither you nor she.
Now Johnnie he cam hame again, and wow, but he was
This is now me, quo' she, this is now me;
and this is no
* A Jacobite allusion, probably to the change of the Stuart for the Brunswick dynasty, in 1714.
KATE OF ABERDEEN.
TUNE-Kate of Aberdeen.
Steals softly through the night,
And kiss reflected light.
('Tis where you've seldom been,) May's vigils while the shepherds keep
With Kate of Aberdeen.
Upon the green the virgins wait,
In rosy chaplets gay,
And give the promised May.
The promised May, when seen, Not balf so fragrant or so fair
As Kate of Aberdeen.,
Strike up the tabor's boldest notes,
We'll rouse the nodding grove ; The nested birds shall raise their throats,
And hail the maid I love : And see the matin lark mistakes,
He quits the tufted green; Fond bird ! 'tis not the morning breaks
'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.
Now lightsome o'er the level mead,
Where midnight fairies rove, Like them the jocund dance we'll lead,
Or tune the reed to love :
For see the rosy May draws nigh,
She claims a virgin queen ;
'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.*
THE LASS OF BALLOCHMYLE.
TUNE_The Lass of Ballochmyle.
On ilka blade the pearls hang;
And bore its fragrant sweets alang :
All nature list’ning seem'd the while,
Amang the braes o' Ballochmyle.
With careless step I onward stray'd,
My heart rejoiced in Nature's joy;
A maiden fair I chanced to spy :
Her air like Nature's vernal smile ;
Bespake the lass o' Ballochmyle.
Fair is the morn in flowery May,
And sweet is night in Autumn mild,
Or wand'ring in the lonely wild ;
There all her charms she does compile ; * From Mr Cromek’s Select Scottish Songs, 2 vols. 1810. Cunningham, the author of the song, was a poor player in the north of England, and died about forty years ago.
Even there her other works are foild,
By the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.
Oh, had she been a country maid,
And I the happy country swain,
That ever rose on Scotland's plain !
With joy, with rapture, I would toil;
The bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.
Then pride might climb the slipp'ry steep,
Where fame and honours lofty shine ;
Or downward dig the Indian mine.
To tend the flocks, or till the soil,
Wi' the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.*
WERE NA MY HEART LICHT I WAD
LADY GRIZZEL BAILLIE.
TUNE-Were na my heart licht.
* This song was written in praise of Miss Alexander of Ballochmyle. Burns happened one fine evening to meet this young lady, when walking through the beautiful woods of Ballochmyle, which lie at the distance of two miles from his farm of Mossgiel, near Mauchline. Struck with a sense of her passing beauty, he wrote this noble lyric; which he soon after sent to her, enclosed in a letter, as full of delicate and romantic sentiment as itself. He was somewhat mortified to find, that either maidenly modesty, or pride of superior station, prevented her from acknowledging the receipt of his compliment.
Daughter of the patriotic Patrick, first Earl of Marchmont, and wife of George Bailie, Esq. of Jerviswood ; a lady of singular talent and strength
But now she cries Dule and well-a-day!
But now she cries, &c.
When bonnie young Jamie cam ower the sea,
He hecht me, &c.
He had a wee titty that loo'd na me,
She raised, &c.
The day it was set, and the bridal to be:
She main'd, &c.
His kin was for ane of a higher degree,
Albeit I was bonnie, &c.
They said I had neither cow nor caff,
Nor pickles, &c.
His titty she was baith wylie and slee,
of mind, and adorned with all the domestic virtues. Her Memoirs, written by her daughter, Lady Murray of Stanhope, and lately published, form one of the most delightful volumes of the kind in the English language. She died, a widow, in 1746.