Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

BRUCE'S ADDRESS

TO HIS TROOPS BEFORE THE BATTLE OF

BANNOCKBURN.

BURNS.

Tune-Hey tuttie taittie.

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled !
Scots, wham Bruce bas aften led!
Welcome to your gory bed,

Or to victorie !

Now's the day, and now's the hour :
See the front of battle lour :
See approach proud Edward's power-

Chains and slaverie !

Wha will be a traitor knave ?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave ?

Let him turn and flee!

Wha, for Scotland's king and law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa',

Let him follow me!

[blocks in formation]

* Burns conceived this most spirited lyric while riding, along with Mr Syme of Dumfries, on a stormy night, (July or August 1793,) through the wilds which intervene betwixt Kenmure and Gatehouse, in Galloway. He adopted the air of " Hey tuttie taittie,” because he had heard a tradition in different parts of Scotland, and especially near Stirling, that that was the

SYMON BRODIE.

TUNE-Symon Brodie.

SYMON Brodie had a cow :

The cow was lost, and he couldna find her :

air to which the Scottish troops marched, in going forward to encounter the English at the battle of Bannockburn.

The air of “ Hey tuttie taittie" seems to be alluded to in the following curious poem, which appears to have been published, for the first and only time, in Watson's Collection of Scots Poems, 1711. It is one of a series of comic doggrels, which the collector represents as having been written upon a public-house, kept by one Peter Butter, at the gate of the Earl of Errol's Castle of Slaines, Aberdeenshire; which public-house was called, by the classical wits that frequented it, “ Collegium Butterense." This particular individual of the set, which itself bears some resemblance to a song, is the address of a set of candidates to Alexander Crookshanks, patron of the College :

Most worthy patron, we,

Praefati candidati,
With th' old schoolmen agree,
As we shall let you see,

O Tite, Tute, Tati.
'Twas Aristotle's wish,

Who glampet at the truth,
And tippled like a fish,
To drink well and to

And not to die for drouth.

The best of our great guns

Refresh'd himself when dry;
To wit, John Scot of Duns,
Swept off so many ounce,

And gave his reasons why.
Both Cartes and Le Grand,

Though they did break no glasses,
To tipple did not stand :
So did Pope Hildebrand,

As every man confesses.
Mes. George Buchanan, yea

Et multi recentiores,
At ale and usquebae,
Sat sometimes night and day,

And told Jus Regni stories.
Since Cartes took his glass,

And so did Aristotle,
Let's call the College Lass :
When thirsty, he's an ass,

With's friend will baulk a bottle.

Let Mahomet drink wine,

And Mercury drink nectar;
Set thou thy foot to mine,
We'll hold our ale's as fine

As Oliver's * Protector.

* " A Bailie and Apothecary in Peterhead; a boon companion, not only for Crambe, but also refers to his father's keeping a brewery."--Note by the Collector.

When he had done what man could do,
The cow cam hame, and her tail bebind her.

Honest auld Symon Brodie,
Stupid auld doitit bodie !

I'll awa to the North countrie,
And see my ain dear Symon Brodie.

Symon Brodie had a wife,

And, wow ! but she was braw and bonnie ;
She took the dish-clout aff the buik,
And preen'd it to her cockeruonie.

Honest auld Symon Brodie, &c.* The reader will find Burns's own opinion of this favourite war-song, in the following letter, which was written by him, at Dumfries, on the 5th of December 1793, to a country gentleman of Perthshire, who was residing there in command of a party of Fencibles. I am indebted for this very interesting document, which is here printed with all the literal peculiarities of the original, to Mr Stewart of Dalguise. It is perhaps one of the most characteristic letters Burns ever wrote :

[ocr errors]

“Heated as I was with wine yesternight, I was perhaps rather seemingly impertinent in my anxious wish to be honoured with your acquaintanee. You will forgive it: 'twas the impulse of heartfelt respect. He is the father of the Scotch County Reform, and is a man who does honour to the business, at the same time that the business does honour to him !' said my worthy friend Glenriddel, to somebody by me, who was talking of your coming to this country with your corps. -Ther, I replied, I have a woman's longing to take him by the hand, and say to him, Sir, I honour you as a man to whom the interests of humanity are dear, and as a Patriot to whom the Rights of your Country are sacred.

“ In times such as these, sir, when our Commoners are barely able, by the glimmer of their own twilight understandings, to scrawl a frank; and when Lords are –what gentlemen would be ashamed to be; to whom shall a sinking country call for help? To the independant country gentleman! To him who has too deep a stake in his country, not to be in earnest for her welfare; and who, in the honest pride of man, can view with equal contempt, the insolence of office, and the allurements of corruption.

“I mentioned to you a Scots ode or song I had lately composed, and which, I think, has some merit. Allow me to enclose it. When I fall in with you at the Theatre, I shall be glad to have your opinion of it. Accept of it, sir; as a very humble, but most sincere tribute of respect, from a man, who, dear as he prizes Poetic Fame, yet holds dearer an Independant Mind.

" I have the honor to be,

“ Sir,

" Your very humble servt.

« ROBT. BURNS. " Tuesday morning." * From Herd's Collection, 1776.

CRAIGIEBURN WOOD.

BURNS.

[ocr errors]

Tune-Craigieburn Wood.
Sweet fa's the eve on Craigieburn,

And blythe awakes the morrow;
But a' the pride o' spring's return

Can yield me nocht but sorrow.
I see the flowers and spreading trees,

I bear the wild birds singing,
But what a wearie wight can please,

And care his bosom wringing ?

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,

Yet dare na for your anger ;
But secret love will break my heart,

If I conceal it langer.
If thou refuse to pity me,

If thou shalt love anither,
When yon green leaves fade frae the tree,

Around my grave they'll wither. *

UP IN THE AIR.

RAMSAY.

Tune-Up in the Air.
Now the sun's gane out o' sight,
Beet the ingle, and snuff the light.
In glens the fairies skip and dance;
And witches wallop o'er to France.

Up in the air,

On my bonnie gray mare !
And I see her yet, and I see her yet!

* The heroine of this song was a Miss Lorimer, who resided at Craigieburn, near Moffat, in Annandale, and who was the Chloris of so many other songs of Burns. It refers to a passion which Mr Gillespie, an inti. mate friend of the poet, entertained for Miss Lorimer. The lady afterwards married a Mr Whelpdale. The woods of Craigicburn and Dumcrieff, the last of which contained the seat of his respected editor, Dr Currie, were at one time favourite haunts of the poet.

The wind's drifting hail and snaw
Ower frozen haggs, like a foot-ba”;
Nae starns keek through the azure slit ;
'Tis canld, and mirk as ony pit.

The man in the moon

Is carousing aboon;
D'ye see, d'ye see, d'ye see him yet?

Take your glass to clear your een.
"Tis the elixir heals the spleen;
Baith wit and mirth it will inspire,
And gently beets the lover's fire.

Up in the air,

It drives away care ;
Hae wi' you, hae wi' you, hae wi' you, lads, yet!

Steek the doors ; keep out the frost;
Come, Willie, gie's about your

toast !
Fill it, lads, and tilt it out,
And let us hae a blythesome bout.

Up wi't! there, there!

Dinna cheat, but drink fair.
Huzza, huzza, and huzza, lads, yet ! *

THROUGH THE WOOD, LADDIE.

TUNE— Through the Wood, Laddie.
O, SANDY, why leave thus thy Nelly to mourn?

Thy presence could ease me,
When naething can please me;

* From the Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724. There is an old ballad (of which, however, I have been unable to procure a copy) that appears to have given the poet the first hint of this composition. It represents a tyrannical uncle pursuing a young gentleman, his nephew, who had just been paying his addresses to his cousin, the daughter of the said uncle. The youthful lover has had the good sense to leave behind a servant, or companion, with instructions to mislead the vengeful man, in case he should come up and inquire which way the fugitive had gone. When the uncle comes up, this individual answers to his inquiries, that the person he was in quest of

“ is up in the air On his bonnie gray mare,

And I see him, and I see him, and I see him yet." The effect of which bamboozling is such as to permit the lover's escape.

« AnteriorContinuar »