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TO HIS TROOPS BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
Tune-Hey tuttie taittie.
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled !
Or to victorie !
Now's the day, and now's the hour :
Chains and slaverie !
Wha will be a traitor knave ?
Let him turn and flee!
Wha, for Scotland's king and law,
Let him follow me!
* 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 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,
O Tite, Tute, Tati.
Who glampet at the truth,
And not to die for drouth.
The best of our great guns
Refresh'd himself when dry;
And gave his reasons why.
Though they did break no glasses,
As every man confesses.
Et multi recentiores,
And told Jus Regni stories.
And so did Aristotle,
With's friend will baulk a bottle.
Let Mahomet drink wine,
And Mercury drink nectar;
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,
Honest auld Symon Brodie,
I'll awa to the North countrie,
Symon Brodie had a wife,
And, wow ! but she was braw and bonnie ;
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 :
“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,
" Your very humble servt.
« ROBT. BURNS. " Tuesday morning." * From Herd's Collection, 1776.
And blythe awakes the morrow;
Can yield me nocht but sorrow.
I bear the wild birds singing,
And care his bosom wringing ?
Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,
Yet dare na for your anger ;
If I conceal it langer.
If thou shalt love anither,
Around my grave they'll wither. *
UP IN THE AIR.
Tune-Up in the Air.
Up in the air,
On my bonnie gray mare !
* 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
The man in the moon
Is carousing aboon;
Take your glass to clear your een.
Up in the air,
It drives away care ;
Steek the doors ; keep out the frost;
Up wi't! there, there!
Dinna cheat, but drink fair.
THROUGH THE WOOD, LADDIE.
TUNE— Through the Wood, Laddie.
Thy presence could ease 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.