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TUNE-The Brume o' Cowdenknowes.
WHEN summer comes, the swains on Tweed
Sing their successful loves ; Around the ewes the lambkins feed, And music fills the
loved song is then the broom So fair on Cowdenknowes ; For sure so sweet, so soft a bloom
Elsewhere there never grows !
There Colin tuned his aiten reed,
my yielding heart; No shepherd e'er that dwelt on Tweed
Could play with half such art.
He sung of Tay, of Forth, of Clyde,
The hills and dales around,
Oh, how I bless'd the sound !
Yet more delightful is the broom
So fair on Cowdenknowes ;
Elsewhere there never grows.
Not Teviot braes, so green
gay, May with this broom compare ; Not Yarrow's banks, in flow'ry May,
Nor the Bush aboon Traquair.
More pleasing far are Cowdenknowes,
My peaceful happy home,
At even, among the broom.
Ye powers, that haunt the woods and plains,
Where Tweed with Teviot flows, Convey me to the best of swains,
And my loved Cowdenknowes ! *
THE SOLDIER'S RETURN.
TUNE-The Mill, Mill, 0.
And gentle peace returning,
That had been blear’d wi' mourning ;
Where lang I'd been a lodger ;
A poor but honest sodger.
My hands unstain'd wi' plunder ;
I cheery on did wander.
I thought upon my Nancy;
That caught my youthful fancy.
At length I reach'd the bonnie glen,
Where early life I sported;
Where Nancy oft I courted.
Down by her mother's dwelling ?
That in my ee was swelling.
Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, Sweet lass,
Sweet as yon bawthorn's blossom, 01 happy, happy may he be, That’s dearest to thy bosom !
* From the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724.
My purse is light, I've far to gang,
And fain wad be thy lodger ;
Tak pity on a sodger.
Sae wistfully she gazed on me,
than ever ;
Forget him will I never.
Ye freely shall partake o't;
Ye're welcome for the sake o't.
She gazed-she redden'd like a rose
Syne pale as ony lily ;
Art thou my ain dear Willie ?
By whom true love's regarded ;
still True lovers be rewarded.
The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame,
And find thee still true-hearted;
And mair we'se ne'er be parted.
A mailin plenish'd fairly;
Thou’rt welcome to it dearly.
For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
The farmer ploughs the manor ;
The sodger's wealth is honour.
Nor count him as a stranger :
In day and hour o' danger.* * “Burns, I have been informed,” says a clergyman of Dumfries-shire, in a letter to Mr George Thomson, editor of the Seleet Melodies of Scot land, “ was one summer evening in the inn at Brownhill, with a couple
THE WEE, WEE GERMAN LAIRDIE.
Wha the deil hae we gotten for a king,
But a wee, wee German lairdie ?
He was delving in his yardie :
This wee, wee German lairdie.
And he's clapt down in our gudeman's chair,
The wee, wee German lairdie;
And dibbled them in his yardie.
This wee, wee German lairdie.
Come up amang our Highland bills,
Thou wee, wee German lairdie,
We dibbled in our yardie:
Our hills are steep, our glens are deep,
Nae fitting for a yardie;
Thou wee bit German lairdie :
Thou feckless German lairdie !
Wad prune ye
of friends, when a poor way-worn soldier passed the window. Of a sudden it struck the poet to call him in, and get the recital of his adventures ; after hearing which, he all at once fell into one of those fits of abstraction, not unusual to him. He was lifted to the region where he had his garland and his singing-robes about him, and the result was this admirable song he sent you for · The Mill, Mill, 0.""
Auld Scotland, thou'rt ower cauld a hole
For nursin' siccan vermin;
They bark and howl in German.
Thy spade but and thy yardie ;
But a wee, wee German lairdie ? *
When I upon thy bosom lean,
And fondly clasp thee a' my ain,
That made us ane, wha ance were twain.
The tender look, the meltin' kiss :
years shall ne'er destroy our love,
Hae I a wish? it's a' for thee!
I ken thy wish is me to please.
That numbers on us look and gaze ;
Nor envy's sell finds aught to blame;
cares arise, Thy bosom still shall be my hame. * A Jacobite song, evidently written immediately after the accession of George I., in 1714.
This very beautiful song possesses an external distinction, on account of its having been eulogized by Burns, who, in consequence of hearing it sung at a rustic merry-meeting, commenced a series of lively epistles to its author, which may be found in his works.
Lapraik was portioner of Dalfram, near Muirkirk, in the eastern part of Ayrshire. He had attained a considerable age during the youth of his illustrious correspondent. The occasion of the song was this" Lapraik, in a moment when he forgot whether he was rich or poor, became security for some person concerned in a ruinous speculation called the Ayr Bank, and was compelled to sell the little estate on which his name had been sheltered for many centuries. His securities were larger than the produce of his ground covered, and he found his way into the jail of Ayr when he was sixty years old. In this uncomfortable abode, his son told me, he composed this song: it is reconcilable with the account which he gave to Burns-that he made it one day when he and his wife had been mourning over their misfortunes."-Cunningham's Songs of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 282.