Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Sae lang's I had the use of light,
I'd on thy beauties feast my sight,
Syne in saft whispers through the night
I'd tell how much I loo'd thee.

An' thou were, &c.
How fair and ruddy is my Jean,
She moves a goddess o'er the green !
Were I a king, thou should be queen,
Nane but mysel' aboon thee.

An' thou were, &c.
I'd grasp thee to this breast of mine,
Whilst thou, like ivy or the vine,
Around my stronger limbs should twine,
Form'd hardy to defend thee.

An' thou were, &c.
Time's on the wing, and will not stay ;
In shining youth let's make our hay,
Since love admits of nae delay,
Oh, let nae scorn undo thee.

An' thou were, &c.
While love does at his altar stand,
Ha'e there's my heart, gi’e me thy hand,
And with ilk smile thou shalt command
The will of him wha loves thee.

An' thou were, &c.
This song appears in Allan Ramsay's “Tea-Table Miscellany," with the signa-
ture X., indicating that he did not know who the author was. The air is very beau-
tiful, and is traced to as early a period as 1627, but is supposed to be much

older. The last six stanzas were written by Allan Ramsay, and appended to the original song.

[ocr errors]

BARBARA ALLAN.

ANONYMOUS. From the “ Tea-Table Miscellany."
It was in and about the Martinmas time,

When the green leaves were a-fallin',
That Sir John Graham, in the west countrie,

Fell in love wi' Barbara Allan.

He sent his man down through the town

To the place where she was dwallin'.
Oh, haste and come to my master dear,

Gin ye be Barbara Allan.

Oh, hooly, hooly, rase she up

To the place where he was lyin',
And when she drew the curtain by,

Young man, I think ye're dyin'.
It's oh I'm sick, I'm very very sick,

And it's a' for Barbara Allan.
Oh, the better for me ye’se never be,

Though your heart's blude were a-spillin'.
Oh, dinna ye mind, young man, she said,

When ye was in the tavern a-drinkin',
That ye made the healths gae round and round,

And slichtit Barbara Allan ?

[blocks in formation]

A version of this celebrated old song has been inserted in Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry;" but it seems to be generally acknowledged that the Scottish is the original, upon which the English has been founded, without being improved. The author of the song is unknown. The world is indebted to Allan Ramsay for its preservation.

CROMLET'S LILT.

A:ONYMOUS. From the “ Tea-Table Miscellany." 1724.

SINCE all thy vows, false maid,

Are blown to air,
And my poor

heart betray'd
To sad despair ;
Into some wilderness
My grief I will express,
And thy hard-heartedness,

O cruel fair!

Have I not graven our loves

On every tree
In yonder spreading grove,

Though false thou be ?
Was not a solemn oath
Plighted betwixt us both,
Thou thy faith, I my troth,

Constant to be?

Some gloomy place I'll find,

Some doleful shade,
Where neither sun nor wind

E’er entrance had.
Into that hollow cave
There will I sigh and rave,
Because thou dost behave

So faithlessly.

Wild fruit shall be my meat,

I'll drink the spring;
Cold earth shall be my seat;

For covering
I'll have the starry sky
My head to canopy,
Until my soul on high

Shall spread its wing.

12 have no funeral fire,

No tears nor sighs;
No grave do I require,

Nor obsequies ;
The courteous redbreast, he

With leaves will cover me,
And sing my elegy

With doleful voice.

And when a ghost I am,

I'll visit thee,
O thou deceitful dame,

Whose cruelty
Has kill'd the kindest heart
That e'er felt Cupid's dart,
And never can desert

From loving thee!

Birns, in his notes to “ Johnson's Museum," says: “The following interesting account of this plaintive dirge was communicated to Mr. Riddel by Alexander Fraser Tytler, Esq., of Woodhouselee: 'In the latter end of the sixteenth century the Chisholms were proprietors of the estate of Cromleck (now possessed by the Drummonds). The eldest son of that family was very much attached to a daughter of Stirling of Ardoch, commonly known by the name of fair Helen of Ardoch. At that time the opportunities of meeting betwixt the sexes were more rare, consequently more sought after than now; and the Scottish ladies, far from priding themselves on extensive literature, were thought sufficiently book-learned if they could make out the Scriptures in their mother-tongue. Writing was entirely out of the line of female education: at that period the most of our young men of family sought a fortune, or found a grave, in France. Cromleck, when he went abroad to the war, was obliged to leave the management of his correspondence with his mistress to a lay brother of the monastery of Dumblain, in the immediate neighbourhood of Cromleck, and near Ardoch. This man, unfortunately, was deeply sensible of Helen's charms. He artfully prepossessed her with stories to the disadvantage of Cromleck, and by the misinterpreting or keeping up the letters and messages intrusted to his care, he entirely irritated both. All connexion was broken off betwixt them: Helen was inconsolable; and Cromleck has left behind him, in the ballad called Cromlet's Lilt,' a proof of the elegance of his genius, as well as the steadiness of his love. When the artful monk thought time had sufficiently softened Helen's sorrow, he proposed himself as a lover : Helen was obdurate; but at last, overcome by the persuasions of her brother, with whom she lived, and who, having a family of thirty-one children, was probably very well pleased to get her off his hands, she submitted rather than consented to the ceremony. But there her compliance ended; and, when forcibly put into bed, she started quite frantic from it, screaming out, that, after three gentle taps on the wainscot, at the bed-head, she heard Cromleck's voice, crying, "Helen, Helen, mind me!' Cromleck soon after coming home, the treachery of the confidant was discovered, her marriage disannulled, and Helen became Lady Cromleck."

This song is usually sung to the tine old melody claimed by the Irish and the Scotch, and known to the one as “ Aileen Aroon," and to the other as." Robin Adair.”

:

[ocr errors]

THROUGH THE WOOD, LADNIE.
From the “Tea-Table Miscellany,” 1724.

Air-" Through the wood."
O SANDY, why leav'st thou thy Nelly to mourn ?
Thy presence could ease me;

When naething could please me;
Now dowie I sigh on the bank o' the burt
Or through the wood, laddie, until thou return,
Though woods now are bonnie, and mornings are clear,

While lav'rocks are singing,

And primroses springing;
Yet nane o' them pleases my eye or my ear,
When through the wood, laddie, ye dinna appear.
That I am forsaken, some spare na to tell ;

I'm fash'd wi' their scornin',

Baith e'enin' an' mornin';
Their jeering gaes aft to my heart wi' a knell,
When through the wood, laddie, I wander mysel.
Then stay, my dear Sandy, nae langer away;

But quick as an arrow

Haste, haste to thy marrow, Wha's living in languor till that happy day, When through the wood, laddie, thegither we'll gae!

OH, WALY, WALY UP THE BANK.

ANONYMOUS. From the “Tea-Table Miscellany," 1724.

[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »