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My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o' barley!
That shone that hour sae clearly !
Amang the rigs o' barley.
I bae been blythe wi' comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking ;
I hae been happy thinking:
Though they were doubled fairly,
Amang the rigs o' barley,
NAE DOMINIES FOR ME, LADDIE.
THE REV. NATHANIEL MACKAY. *
TUNE-Nae Dominies for me, Laddie.
A new-made pulpiteer, laddie ;
Black coat and cuffs fu' clear, laddie.
Is captivate to thee, lassie.
I'll rather choose to thole grim death ;
So cease and let me be, laddie.
Nae dominies for me, laddie :
* Minister of Crossmichael, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, some time during the last century. He is not known to have written any other piece of merit.
Ministers' stipends are uncertain rents
For ladies' conjunct-fee, laddie, When books and gouns are a' cried doun ;
Nae dominies for ine, laddie.
sake I'll fleece the flock, Grow rich as I grow auld, lassie ; If I be spair’d, I'll be a laird,
And thou'se be Madam call’d, lassie. But what if ye should chance to die,
Leave bairns, ane or twa, laddie ? Naething wad be reserved for them,
But hair-mould books to gnaw, laddie.
At this he angry was, I wat;
He gloom'd and look'd fou hie, laddie; When I perceived this, in haste
I left my dominie, laddie. Fare
well, my charmin' maid, This lesson learn of me, lassie; At the next offer hold him fast,
That first makes love to thee, lassie.
Then I, returning home again,
And coming down the toun, laddie, By my good luck I chanced to meet
A gentleman dragoon, laddie; And he took me by baith the hands,
'Twas help in time of need, laddie: Fools on ceremonies stand
At twa words we agreed, laddie.
He led me to his quarter-house,
Where we exchanged a word, laddie; We had nae use for black gouns there,
We married ower the sword, laddie. Martial drums is music fine,
Compared wi' tinklin' bells, laddie ;
Gold, red, and blue, is more divine
Than black—the hue of hell, laddie.
Kings, queens, and princes, crave the aid
Of my brave stout dragoon, laddie;
'Bout whores and sackcloth gouns, laddie.
They look like Let-me-be, laddie :
Nae dominies for me, laddie. *
FAIR HELEN OF KIRKCONNEL.
TUNE-I wish I were where Helen lies.
I wish I were where Helen lies,
On fair Kirkconnel lee !
* From Herd's Collection, 1776.
7." The traditional story of Fair Helen and her lover is as widely known as the song, and is told, perhaps, as often as the other is sung.. Helen Irving, the daughter of the laird of Kirkconnel, in Dumfries-shire, was admired for her beauty, and beloved by two neighbouring gentlemen; Adam Fleming of Kirkpatrick, and the laird of Blacket-house. Fleming was favoured by the lady; the other made less impression on her heart
than his possessions, which are said to have been large, made on the minds of her parents. The lovers, therefore, were obliged to meet in secret. Their trysting-place was among the woods, which then covered the banks of the stream of Kirtle down to the water edge. During one of these interviews, in the twilight of a summer's eve, Helen observed her jealous and despised lover taking a mortal aim with a carabine, or cross-bow, over the water, at the bosom of his rival. She uttered a shriek, threw herself before him, and, receiving the fatal shot or shaft in her back, died instantly in her lover's arms. The place is still shown where Fleming rushed through the stream; and every conjecture has removed the spot, where the obstinate and single combat took place, to a little knol a bow-shot up the Kirtle: the peasantry often sit nigh the place, and show their children where the murderer was hewn to pieces.
“ There are other traditions, which lay the scene of his death in foreign lands, and Fleming is made to follow him through Spain, and slay him in Syria. The combat is always represented to have been long and fierce, and the story of his being hewed to pieces is never varied. The Irvings, a numerous and respectable name, invariably call the heroine Helen Irving; but the Bells, a stijl more numerous and equally respectable name, call her Helen Bell. About the name of the murderer there seems to be no contention, and I am willing it should remain unknown. The grave of the
Oh, Helen fair, beyond compare,
Until the day I dee.
Oh, think na ye my heart was sair,
On fair Kirkconnel lee.
And died to succour me.
As I went down the water-side,
On fair Kirkconnel lee;
For her sake that died for me.
Oh, that I were where Helen lies !
bed she bids me rise
lovers is shown in the church-yard of Kirkconnel, near Springkell. You may still discern, Hic jacet Adamus Fleming.' A cross and sword have been cut on their tomb-stone, but so unskilfully sculptured, as to countenance the belief of the peasantry, that, while the sword represents the weapon by which Helen's death was avenged, the cross is the gun by which she was shot. A heap of stones is raised on the spot where the murder was committed, a token of abhorrence common to many nations."-Cunningham's Songs of Scotland, II. 37.
Besides being the subject of many songs, the story of Fair Helen was some years ago wrought up in the shape of a poem as long as the Lady of the Lake, and it is the foundation of at least one novel of the ordinary size.
Where thou lies low, and takes thy rest,
On fair Kirkconnel lee.
I wish my grave were growin' green,
On fair Kirkconnel lee.
Since my love died for me.
THE COURTSHIP OF JOCK THE WEAVER
AND JENNIE THE SPINNER.*
(NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED.]
I hae bocht Boulie Willie's lume, my lassie ;
Although she be aul', she's hard at the bane ; Four-and-twenty year
ride on the limmer : Ye thocht that I was puir, but ye're fairly mista’en.
JENNIE. The treddles, Johnnie, 's aul', and the lume is frail and
rotten ; The shuttle, too, was aye a lazy jaud to rin ; The treddles, Jobnnie, 's aul', and twa o' them are
broken : Ye're no sae rich, my Johnnie lad, as ye wad seem. * This was a popular song in the parishes of Beith, Kilbirnie, and Dalry, or northern district of Ayrshire, about the year 1730. The person, from whose recitation it is taken down, learned it from an aged person, who had sung it when a boy about that time. The editor considers it worthy of preservation, as affording a picture of the very simple and primitive system of domestic economy which prevailed at the period referre to.