that a chorus would in some degree spoil the effect; and shall certainly have none in my projected song to it. It is not however a case in point with, Rothemurche; there, as in Roy's wife of Aldivaloch, a chorus goes, to my taste, well enough. As to the chorus going first, that is the case with Roy's wife, as well as Rothemurche. In fact, in the first part of both tunes, the rhythm is so peculiar and irregular, and on that irregularity depends so much of their beauty, that we must e’en take them with all their wildness, and humour the verse accordingly. Leaving out the starting note, in both tunes, has I think, an effect that no regularity could counterbalance the want of.


O Roy's wife of Aldivaloch.
O lassie wi’ the lint-white locks.

and Compare with.

Roy's wife of Aldivaloch.
Lassie wi' the lint-white locks.

Does not the tameness of the prefixed syllable strike you ? In the last case, with the true furor of genius, you strike at once into the wild originality of the air; whereas in the first insipid method, it is like the grating screw of the pins before the fiddle is brought into tune. This is my taste: if I am wrong I beg pardon of the cognoscenti.


The Caledonian hunt, is so charming, that it would make any subject in a song go down; but pathos is certainly its native tongue. Scottish Bacchanalians we certainly want, though the few we have are excellent. For instance, Todlen hame, is, for wit and humour, an unparalleled composition; and, Andrew and his cutty gun, is the work of a master. By the way, are you not quite vexed to think that those men of genius, for such they certainly were, who composed our fine Scottish lyrics, should be unknown? It has given me many a heart-ach. A propos to Bacchanalian songs in Scottish; I composed one yesterday, for an air I like much-Lumps o' pudding.


Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair,
Whene'er I forgather wi' sorrow and care,
I gie them a skelp, as they're creepin alang,
Wi'a cog o'gude swats, and an auld Scottish sang.

I whyles claw the elbow o’troublesome thought;
But man is a soger, and life is a faught :
My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouch,
And my Freedom's my lairdship nae monarch dare


A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa',
A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a':


When at the blythe end of our journey at last, Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past,

Blind chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way; Be’t to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jade gae: Come ease, or come travail; come pleasure, or pain; My warst word is—“Welcome and welcome again!"

If you do not relish the air, I will send it to Johnson,


Since yesterday's penmanship, I have framed a couple of English stanzas, by way of an English song to, Roy's Wife. You will allow me that in this instance, my English corresponds in sentiment with the Scottish.

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy?


Roy's wife.

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy?..
Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy ?
Well thou know'st my aching heart,
And canst thou leave me thus for pity?

[ocr errors][merged small]

Is this thy plighted, fond regard,

Thus cruelly to part, my Katy?
Is this thy faithful swain's reward-
An aching, broken heart, my Katy?

Canst thou, &c.

Farewell ! and ne'er such sorrows tear

That fickle heart of thine, my Katy !
Thou may’st find those will love thee dear-
But not a love like mine, my Katy.
Canst thou, &c. *

Well !

* To this address in the character of a forsaken lover, a reply was found on the part of the lady, among the MSS of our bard, evidently in a female hand-writing; which is doubtless that referred to in p. 117 of this vo- · lume. The temptation to give it to the public is irresistible; and if in so doing, offence should be given to the fair authoress, the beauty of her verses must plead our excuse.

Tuner“ Roy's wife.”


Stay my Willic--yet believe me,
Stay my Willie--yet believe me,
'Tweel thou knowst na' every pang
Wad wring my boson shouldst thou leave me


Well! I think this, to be done in two or three turns across my room, and with two or three pinches of Irish Blackguard, is not so far amiss. You see, I am determined to have my quantum of applause from somebody.

Tell me that thou yet art true,

And a' my wrongs shall be forgiven,
And when this heart proves fause to thee,
Yon sun shall cease its course in heaven.

Stay my Willie, &c.

But to think I was betrayed,

That falsehood e'er our loves should sunder!
To take the flow'ret to my breast,
And find the guilefu' serpent under.

Stay my Willie, &c.

Could I hope thou’dst ne'er deceive,

Celestial pleasures might I choose 'em,
I'd slight, nor seek in other spheres
That heaven I'd find within thy bosom.

Stay my Willie, &c.

It may amuse the reader to be told, that on this occasion the gentleman and the lady have exchanged the dialects of their respective countries. The Scottish bard makes his address in pure English : the reply on the part of the lady, in the Scottish dialect, is, if we mistake not, by a young and beautiful English woman,

« ForrigeFortsett »