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Thou mad'st to me and I to thee,
In register yet clear?
To th' immortal gods divine,
On old long syne ?
Is't Cupid's fears, or frosty cares,
That makes thy spirits decay ? Or is't some object of more worth
That's stolen thy heart away? Or some desert makes thee neglect
Him, so much once was thine,
On old long syne ?
That makes thee to despair ?
And makes thee to forbear?
Thou surely should be mine;
Kind old long syne.
And all hope is in vain,
Still showers of tears shall rain: And though thou hast me now forgot, Yet I'll
continue thine, And ne'er forget for to reflect
On old long syne.
If e'er I have a house, my dear,
That truly is calld mine,
Or ought that's good therein ;
Though thou were rebel to the king,
And beat with wind and rain, Assure thyself of welcome, love,
For old long syne.
My soul is ravish'd with delight
And hastily are gone;
For old long syne. Since thoughts of you do banish grief,
When I'm from you removed ; And if in them I find relief,
When with sad cares I'm moved, How doth your presence me affect
With ecstasies divine, Especially when I reflect
On old long syne. Since thou hast robb’d me of my heart,
By those resistless powers Which Madam Nature doth impart To those fair
yours, With honour it doth not consist
To hold a slave in pyne ;
For old long syne.
'Tis not my freedom I do crave,
By deprecating pains ;
Sure, liberty he would not have
Who glories in his chains :
That noble soul of thine
For old long syne.*
SINCE all thy vows, false maid,
Are blown to air,
To sad despair;
Oh, cruel fair!
Have I not graven our loves
On every tree
Though false thou be?
Constant to be ?
Some gloomy place I'll find,
Some doleful shade,
* From Watson's Collection of Scots Poems, Part III., 1711. This is, therefore, the oldest known set of verses to the popular air of “ Auld Lang Syne."
Where neither sun nor wind
E’er entrance bad.
Wild fruit shall be my meat,
I'll drink the spring;
soul on high Shall spread its wing.
I'll have no funeral fire,
No tears, nor sighs ;
Nor obsequies :
With doleful voice.
And when a ghost I am,
I'll visit thee,
From loving thee ! *
* The story which gave rise to this song is related by Burns. The heroine was one of the thirty-one children of Stirling of Ardoch, in Perthshire, a gentleman who seems to have lived in the reign of James the Sixth. On account of her great beauty, she was usually called Fair Helen of Ardoch. She was beloved by the eldest son of Chisholm of Cromlix, a family of the neighbourhood, which was so respectable as to have given more
SHE'S FAIR AND FAUSE.
TUNE-She's fair and fause.
She's fair and fause that causes my smart,
I loo'd her mickle and lang ;
And I may e'en gae hang.
Sae let the bonnie lass gang.
be that woman love,
A woman has't by kind :
I mean an angel mind.
than one bishop to Dumblane. During the foreign travels of this young gentleman, a person whom he had appointed to manage his correspondence with Fair Helen, conceived a strong passion for her, and resolved to supplant his friend. By prepossessing her with stories to the disadvantage of young Cromlix, and suppressing his letters, he succeeded in incensing both against each other. All connexion between them was consequently broken off, and the traitor soon after succeeded in procuring from her a consent to accept of himself for a husband. At the moment, however, when she was put into the bridal bed, conscience prevented the consummation of her lover's villainy: She started from his embraces, exclaiming that she had heard Cromlix's voice, crying, “ Helen, Helen, mind me;" and no force or arguments could prevail upon her to resume her place. The injured Cromlix soon after came home, procured her marriage to be disannulled, and married her himself.
The song was published in the Tea-Table Miscellany (1724), with the signature letter X, which seems to mark all the songs in that collection supposed by the editor to be of English origin.