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To win me frae these waefu' thoughts,
They took me to the toun;
I miss'd the youthfu' bloom.
Whom all declared divine;
Was fairer far langsyne.
Ye sons to comrades o' my youth,
Forgive an auld man's spleen,
The days he ance has seen.
Your hearts may feel like mine;
will maist delight,
LEADER HAUGHS AND YARROW.*
TUNE_Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
When Phæbus bright the azure skies
With golden rays enlight'neth,
Herbs, trees, and flowers he quick’neth : * This song is little better than a string of names of places. Yet there is something so pleasing in it, especially to the ear of “ a south-country man,” that it has long maintained its place in our collections. We all know what impressive verse Milton makes out of mere catalogues of localities.
The author, Nicol Burne, is supposed to have been one of the last of the old race of minstrels. In an old collection of songs, in their original state of ballants, I have seen his name printed as “ Burne the violer,” which seems to indicate the instrument upon which he was in the practice of accompanying his recitations. I was told by an aged person at Earlston, that there used to be a portrait of him in Thiristane Castle, representing him as a douce old man, leading a cow by a straw-rope.
Thirlstane Castle, the seat of the Earl of Lauderdale, near Lauder, is the castle of which the poet speaks in such terms of admiration. It derives the
Amongst all those he makes his choice,
And with delight goes thorow,
Of Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
When Aries the day and night
In equal length divideth,
Nae langer he abideth ;
Casts aff her former sorrow,
In Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
Pan, playing on his aiten reed,
And shepherds, him attending,
The bills and haughs commending ;
Sing to the sun, Good-morrow,
Than Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
A house there stands on Leader side,
Surmounting my descriving,
Like Daedalus' contriving :
In sooth it bath no marrow;
As Newark does on Yarrow.
massive beauties of its architecture from the Duke of Lauderdale, who built it, as the date above the door-way testifies, in the year 1671. The song must therefore have been composed since that era. It was printed in the Tea-Table Miscellany; which, taken in connexion with the last stanza, seems to point out that it was written at some of the periods of national commotion between the reign of the last Charles and the first George-probably the Union.
The Blainslie oats are still in repute, being used in many places for seed ; and Lauderdale still boasts of all the other pleasant farms and estates which are here so endearingly commemorated by the poet,
A mile below, who lists to ride,
Will hear the mavis singing ; Into St Leonard's banks she bides,
Sweet birks her head owerhinging. The lint-white loud, and Progne proud,
With tuneful throats and narrow, Into St Leonard's banks they sing,
As sweetly as in Yarrow.
The lapwing lilteth ower the lea,
With nimble wing she sporteth ;
Where Philomel resorteth:
I'll bid you a good morrow;
O'er Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
Park, Wanton-wa's, and Wooden-cleuch,
The East and Wester Mainses, The wood of Lauder 's fair eneuch,
The corns are good in the Blainslies : There aits are fine, and sald by kind,
That if ye search all thorough Mearns, Buchan, Mart, nane better are
Than Leader Haughs and Yarrow.
In Burn-mill-bog and Whitslaid Shaws,
The fearful hare she haunteth;
And Chapel wood frequenteth :
She rins, and sighs for sorrow,
And cannot win to Yarrow.
What sweeter music wad ye hear,
Than hounds and beagles crying ?
The started hare rins hard with fear,
Upon her speed relying :
Nae bielding can she borrow,
And sighs to be in Yarrow.
For Rockwood, Ringwood, Spotty, Sbag,
With sight and scent pursue her;
Nae cunning can rescue her:
She'll rin the fields all thorough,
And bids fareweel to Yarrow.
Sing Erslington * and Cowdenknowes,
Where Humes had anes commanding ;
'Twixt Tweed and Leader standing :
And Gladswood banks ilk morrow,
And bonny howms of Yarrow.
But Minstrel Burne can not assuage
His grief, while life endureth,
Which fleeting time procureth:
Where blythe folk kend nae sorrow,
And Scotts that dwelt on Yarrow,
* Earlston, formerly spelled Ercildoun. The editor thinks it proper here to mention, that this is the first copy of “ Leader Haughs and Yarrow" in which any attempt has been made to spell the names of the places correctly. The spelling and punctuation hitherto adopted have been such as to render the song almost unintelligible.
THE YOWE-BUCHTS, MARION.
Will ye go to the yowe-buchts, Marion,
And weir in the sheep wi' me?
But nae hauf sae sweet as thee.
And the blythe blink 's in her ee;
There's gowd in your garters, Marion, *
And silk on your white hause-bane ;
At een, when I come hame.
Wha gape, and glower wi' their ee,
But nane o' them lo'es like me.
I've nine milk-yowes, my Marion,
A cow and a brawny quey;
Just on her bridal-day.
And waistcoat o' London broun;
Whene'er ye gang to the toun.
young and stout, my Marion ; Nane dances like me on the green:
* At the time when the ladies wore hoops, they also wore finely-embroidered garters for exhibition; because, especially in dancing, the hoop often shelved aside, and exposed the leg to that height.-See Traditions of Edinburgh, vol. II. page 57.