Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

She had a voice that was more clear,
Than
any

damsel's under the sun;
I asked at her if she'd

marry

me?
But her answer it was, “I am too young:”

you to wed

6 I am too

young;

with
It would bring shame to all my kin,
So begone young man, and trouble me no more,

For you never shall my favour win.”
I took her by the lily-white hand,

Aboon our heads the lavrocks sung;
Syne kiss'd her cherry cheeks and mou,

And told her she was not a day too young.

Her colour came, her colour went

Awa frae me, the damsel sprung
With colly o'er the gowany bent,

While in my ear her sweet voice voice rung,
Saying, “ As I maut, sae maun I brew,

And as I brew, sae maun I tun,
Gae tell your tale to some other fair May,

For to marry with you, I am too young.”

This Ballad in its original dress, at one time, we recollect, was not only extremely popular, but a great favourite amongst the young peasantry in the West of Scotland. To suit the times, however, we have been necessitated to throw out the intermediate stanzas, as their freedom would not bear transcription, while the second and third verses have been slightly altered from the recited copy. In the 4th volume of Johnston's Museum, another version of it will be found, also a metaphrase from the same in volume second of Cunningham's “ Songs of Scotland." The air, tradition affixes to it, is lively and peculiar to itself, and certainly merits to be revived again.

[blocks in formation]

Will ye tak’ me to your wee house,

I'm far frae bame, my lammy;
Wi' a leer o’ her eye, she'answer'd me,

I darna for my mammy.

But I fore up the glen at e'en,

To see this bonnie lassie;
And lang before the gray morn cam',

She wasna' half sae saucie.

O weary

fa' the wakerife cock, An' the fumart lay his crawing; He wauken'd the auld wife frae her rest,

A wee blink or the dawing.

Wha straught began to blaw the coal,

To see gif she could ken me;
But I crap out from whare I lay,

And took the fields to skreen me.

She took her by the hair o' the head,

As frae the spence she brought her,
An' wi' a gude green bazel wand,

She's made her a weel paid dochter.

Now fare thee weel, my bonnie lass,

An fare thee weel, my lammy,
Tho' thou has a gay, an' a weel-far't face,

Yet thou has a wakerife mammy.

The “Wakerife mammy,” is here noted down with some trifling corrections, from the west country set of the Ballad, where its day of popularity amongst the peasantry, was equal, at least, with that of the foregoing one. Burns says that he picked up a version of it from a country girl's singing in Nithsdale, and that he never either met with the song or the air to which it is sung elsewhere in Scotland. We marvel not a little at this, after considering how very common the Ballad has been over the shires of Ayr and Renfrew, both before and since the Poet's day; so common, indeed, is it still, that we have had some demurings about inserting it here at all. The air is a very pretty one, with two lines of a nonsensical chorus, sung after each stanza, which certainly merits other verses to be adapted for it, when like many other wanderers of the day, it then might again be received into favour. Burns's copy, in Johnston's Museum, differs a good deal from the foregoing one, besides wanting the commencing stanza. Cunningham's set of words in the second volume of his “ Songs of Scotland,” is equally faulty.

THE DESPONDING MAIDEN.

157

THE DESPONDING MAIDEN.

As Jockie was trudging the meadows along,

So blythsome, so cheerful, and gay,
He happen'd to meet a young girl by the way,

And her face it was o'ercover'd with care,
And her face it was o'ercover'd with care.

He asked the maiden what made her so sad,

Said, 'twas pity that she should complain;
She told him, she had lost her very best lad,

And she ne'er would behold him again,
No, she ne'er would behold him again.

Come dry up your tears, and no longer do mourn,

Said Jockie to soothe her despair, Since your swain's o'er the plain with another fair maid, Take

my

love for his, and chase away thy care, Who was faithless as thou, sweet maid, art fair.

The foregoing pastoral, although apparently of English extraction, is one of a numerous class of compositions, now almost extinct, in a perfect state, from the Western Shires of Scotland; these acknowledge sweet plaintive airs of their own, but now are gliding fast down into oblivion's vale, along with the chants themselves.

All the fragments of olden Song, we at present recollect any thing about (and these are not a few), along with entire pieces, which have been borne down to us by tradition, are accompanied by some characteristic air or other, peculiar to themselves, which might still be redeemed from perishing, were the snatches of song taken down, and committed to paper, as they fall from the lips of our native-taught peasantry. These reminiscences assimilate upon the mind with each other, till called up unconsciously again, when

P

a note of the one or a line of the other breaks in upon the fancy, thereby embodying the whole anew into a Song, long unheeded, perhaps, and half forgotten there; a bar or two is chanted; we strain our fancy anew, to recollect the words, and soon arouse it from this state of pristine dormancy, by gathering together all the dismembered links of the chain, into a continuous whole.

It is difficult at times, to define the minute workings of the mind upon paper, even upon such a trifling subject as the one we have just now been tiring our readers with.

BEAUTY ASLEEP.

As I went out on an evening clear,

Down by yon shady grove,
With pensive steps, I wander'd on,

Till there I spied my love;
As she lay sleeping on the grass,

So beautiful and fair:
Had you seen the lass, you would have sworn

The Queen of Love was there.

The spring-flowers bent their gentle stems,

Above the dreaming maid,
Where zephyr bade the primrose-breath,

Diffuse where she was laid;
The small birds sang, their mates replied,

To soothe the virgin's dream:
May the draps in life's cup, aye be as sweet

To thee, as now they seem.

« PredošláPokračovať »