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But if he's forgotten his faithfulest Nanie,
O still flow between us, thou wide roaring main; May I never see it, may I never trow it,
But dying believe that my Willie's my ain!
I leave it to you, my dear Sir, to determine whether the above, or the old Thro' the lang muir be the best.
MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.
Open the door to me, Oh!
OH open the door, some pity to shew,
Oh, open the door to me, Oh, *
Oh, open the door to me, Oh.
* This second line was originally,
If love it may na be, Ob.
Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek,
But caulder thy love for me, Oh:
Is nought to my pains frae thee, Oh,
The wan moon is setting behind the white wave,
And time is setting with me, Oh :
I'll ne'er trouble them, nor thee, Oh.
She has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide,
She sees his pale corse on the plain, Oh: My true love she cried, and sank down by his side,
Never to rise again, Oh.
I do not know whether this song he really mended.
TRUE hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow,
And fair are the maids on the banks o' the Ayr, But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding river,
Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair : To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over ;
To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain, Grace, beauty and elegance fetter her lover,
And maidenly modesty fixes the chain.
O fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning,
And sweet is the lily at evening close ;
Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose.
Enthron’d in her een he delivers his law : And still to her charms she alone is a stranger,
Her modest demeanor's the jewel of a'.
MR. THOMSON TO MR. BURNS." Ils
Edinburgh, 2d April, 1793.
I WILL not recognize the title you give yourself, “ the Prince of indolent correspondents; ". but if the adjective were taken away, I think the title would then fit you exactly. It gives me pleasure to find you can furnish anecdotes with respect to most of the songs : these will be a literary curiosity.
I now send you my list of the songs, which I believe will be found nearly complete. I have put down the first lines of all the English songs, which I propose giving in addition to the Scotch verses. If any others occur to you, better adapted to the character of the airs, pray mention them, when you favour me with your strictures upon every thing else relating to the work.
Pleyel has lately sent me a number of the songs, with his symphonies and accompaniments added to
them. I wish you were here, that I might serve up some of them to you with your own verses, by way of desert after dinner. There is so much delightful fancy in the symphonies, and such a delicate simplicity in the accompaniments : they are indeed beyond all praise.
I am very much pleased with the several last productions of your muse : your Lord Gregory, in my estimation, is more interesting than Peter's, beautiful as his is ! Your Here awa Willie must undergo some alterations to suit the air. Mr. Erskine and I have been conning it over; he will suggest what is necessary to make them a fit match.*
. *WANDERING WILLIE,
As altered by Mr. Erskine and Mr. Thomson. ;
HERE awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame