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THE LASS O' ARRANTEENIE.
TUNE_" I had a horse.”
'Midst Nature's wildest grandeur,
With weary steps I wander.
The mountain-mist sae rainy,
Sweet lass o' Arranteenie !
Just op'ning fresh and bonnie,
An's scarcely seen by onie:
Obscurely blooms my Jeanie;
The flow'r o' Arranteenie.
Now, from the mountain's lofty brow
I view the distant ocean;
Ambition courts promotion.
Her laureld favours many-
The lass o’ Arranteenie. *
* To ROBERT TANNAHILL, author of the above song, the difficulty of procuring a subject for his verses was sometimes greater than the task of composing them; and for this he was often indebted to the conversation and adventures of his friends. In the autumn of the year in which he wrote The Harper of Mull, a friend of his “ set out with a party of pleasure on an excursion to the interior parts of the Highlands of Scotland. Returning home, chance directed him to lodge for the night at Arranteenie, a respectable BESSIE'S LAMENTATION.
TUNE—“ Jessie the Flower o' Dumblane." By the side o'yon river, as Bessie sat sighin',
Lamentin' her Jamie frae her far awa, The last sound o’the bell on the night breeze was dyin',
An' careless aroun' her the dew-drops did fa';
inn on the side of Loch-Long. He was here introduced to a young lady, who resided with the family, whose manners and appearance formed a striking contrast to those of her sex he was accustomed to see in other parts of his journey. Entering into conversation, he found her so amiable and accomplished, that curiosity, which was at first excited, was succeeded by admiration, and admiration by a warmer passion. The night, in her presence, stole hastily by. Morning again introduced him to her, and, O delicious pleasure! he had the happiness to touch her pretty hand. What mighty favours does not fortune sometimes bestow!! The lover's soul was on fire the day advanced too fast for his wishes, and he saw, with chagrin and concern, his careless companions prepare for their journey. The vessel that must bear him across the water was prepared, and he must part --part from heaven and an angel, and again mix with dull and insipid mortality.
• Was ever mortal man so cursed before!' With slow and reluctant steps he entered on board, and, seated at the stern, cursed every blast of wind that impelled the vessel from the shore. On his return home, he was visited by the Bard, who, with friendly curiosity, inquired whether he had seen any thing entertaining on his journey. O yes, he exclaimed, I have seen the most divine object in all created nature. In fact, the lady had so ingrossed his soul, that all the grandeur and novelty of Highland scenery were forgot. At the end of eight days he returned to the inn; but the flame that had burned so fast was exhausted, and he found the angel of his hopes sunk into a frail and erring woman. The manja of his soul was removed, but the Bard had caught the infection of his disease, and, in his ab sence, wrote The Lass of Arranteenie.”
How sweet is't to see thee shine clearly an' bonnie, .
On the gay fiel's o' harst, or the silvery snaw-
The lad to me dearest, tho' he be awa:
Without him-nae joy can it gie me ava :-
For drearie's the time whan frae me ye're awa.
TUNE" Humours of Glen.”
An' sweet fell the perfume encirclin' the flower, An' rich on its leaves hung the tears o' the mornin',
An' saft sigh'd the gale thro’ the brier-shaded bower: But Helen, fair Helen, the early dawn courtin',
Appear’d, an' now pale grew the rose's deep dye; When rivald Aurora beheld the nymph sportin',
She mantled her face in a fold o' the sky.
Enraptur'd I saw her sae bloomin' an' bonnie,
That love bade the full tide o' fervour to flow; But blame na my ardour, for tell me could onie
Resist the fond impulse-ah! tell me? oh no. Though calm was the hour, and delicious the pleasure,
When viewin' the beauties o' Nature sae fair, Beside lovely Helen, 'twas joy without measure,
The fairest, the dearest, the sweetest was there!
A boon may I venture to beg frae thee Heaven?
Amid a' my care, an' my toil, an' my fear,
To live in her smile, or be worthy her tear:
Frae sadness an' sorrow, oh! ay be she free:
Is the prayer o' the poet, dear Helen, for thee. *
AND SAE WILL WE YET. Sir ye down here my cronies, and gie me your crack, Let the win' tak’ the care o' this life on its back;
* This and the preceding song were composed by a young gentleman in Glasgow, whose name the Editor is not at liberty to publish. “ The one to the air of The Flower of Dumblane," says the Author, in a letter to the Editor, “ was written in compliment to a particular favourite of the Author's. That to the air of the Humours of Glen, in compliment to a young lady of this city, at once beautiful in person, and accomplished in mind. To be eloquent in her praise would be an easy task, to enumerate her virtues a pleasant one, but they are alike known and acknowledged. And it is to be hoped that I will not incur the imputation of flattery, when even she is unconscious of being thus recorded.”
Our hearts to despondency we ne'er will submit,
And sae will we yet, &c.
Let the miser delight in the hoarding of pelf,
Let us live by the way, &c.
Then bring us a tankard of nappy good ale,
Success to the farmer, and prosper his plough,
And sae will we yet, &c.
Long live the king, and happy may he be,
And sae will they yet, &c.
Let the glass keep its course, and go merrilie roun', For the sun has to rise, tho' the moon it goes down: Till the house be rinnin round about, 'tis time eneugh
to flit, When we fell we ay got up again, and sae will we yet. And sae will we yet, &c.