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BONNIE BEDS OF ROSES.'
There are twelve months into the
Their blythness me inspire:
Men's hearts are still on fire.
The first and concluding stanzas of the foregoing, are here revived from an old traditional Ballad, while the intermediate verse is original. The piece acknowledges a very pretty and characteristic air of its own, not yet, we presume, noted down.
This Ballad is another of that peculiar class of compositions, which still lingeringly retain their hold amongst the peasantry in the West of Scotland, a literal version of which cannot now be “ conveyed to a cleanly mind, by any language, translation, or periphrasis whatever,” and whose plot ought rather to have come under the surveillance of the judge than of the poet. It is singular to find such a number of our old traditional chants striking into the same vein of perversion and gross indelicacy, without the slightest assignable reason or necessity, while our own romantic and pastoral country presented so many darling themes for the chaste and sportive muse, to cull her flower, from the sweets scattered in such profusion around her fairy footsteps.
BONNIE BEDS OF ROSES.
As I was a walking one morning in May,
the bonnie beds of roses.
My pretty brown girl, come sit on my knee,
So my pretty brown girl do not leave me.
My daddy and mammy they often used to say,
Down amang the bonnie beds of roses.
If ever I will
in the spring, When small birds are singing, and summer's coming in, By glens where rows the burnie, and wandering echoes ring,
Down amang yon bonnie beds of roses.
As I was a walking one morning in the spring,
The foregoing has been collated with two several copies, the one a stall, and the other, a traditional one. It belongs to that class of simple pastoral chants, which have been preserved from perishing, chiefly on account of their accompanying airs, that of the present being among the sweetest of our old traditional melodies.
BESSY BELL AN' MARY GRAY.
O Bessy Bell an' Mary Gray,
They were twa bonnie lassies;
An' theekit it o'er wi' rashes:
BESSY BELL AN' MARY GRAY.
They theekit it o'er wi' birk and brume,
They theekit it o'er wi' heather,
An' streekit them baith thegither,
They were na' buried in Meffen kirk-yard,
Amang the rest o' their kin;
On the bent before the sun:
They were twa bonnie lasses,
An' theekit it o'er wi' thrashes.
The above fragment is here collated from the singing of two aged persons, one of them a native of Perthshire. It is to be regretted, that none of the intermediate stanzas of this fine old Ballad are upon record; neither Bạnnatyne nor Maitland, have the Ballad entered into their MSS. whilst all the information gained respecting it, is obtained from country traditions.
Elizabeth Bell is said to have been a gentleman's daughter in Perthshire, while Mary Gray belonged to the house of Lindoch. The ladies were intimate friends, and while the plague raged in Scotland, in 1666, they retired to a glen near Lindoch, to avoid the contagion, and there built for themselves a bower, where they might have remained in security, until its fury had been spent, but for the imprudence of a young gentleman, ardently attached to one of the young ladies, and who imparted to both the contagion, when they drooped and died. A large flat stone rests above their remains, pointing out to strangers the site of their interment.
PRETTY PEG OF DERBY.
A Captain of Irish Dragoons on parade,
Fell in love, as it is said,
With a young blooming maid,
To-morrow I must leave thee, pretty Peggy, 0,
Braid up thy yellow hair,
Ere thou tripp'st it down the stair,
Ere the dawn's reveillie sounds to march, I'm ready, O, To make my pretty Peg a Captain's lady, O,
Then, what would your mammy think,
To hear the guineas clink,
Must I tell you, says she, as I've told you before,
For I never do intend,
Ere to go to foreign land,
Out spake a brother officer, the gallant De Lorn,
Never mind, we'll have gallore
Of pretty girls more,
THE SHANNON SIDE.
But when they had come to Kilkenny, 0,
Sighing deeply, he would say,
Though we're many miles away,
Collated with a copy taken down from recitation, we never having seen the original Ballad in print. The opening stanza of this once popular piece, whose air has been adapted to songs without number, and latterly, by Moor, for his “ Eveleen's Bower,” is the best, which we here present to our readers in its original dress:
O there was a regiment of Irish dragoons,
The Captain fell in love
With a young chamber-maid,