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THIS IS NO MY AIN HOUSE.

This is no my ain house,

I ken by the rigging o't; Since with my love I've changed vows,

I dinna like the bigging o't. For now that I'm young Robie's bride, And mistress of his fireside, My ain house I like to guide,

And please me with the trigging o't.

Then farewell to my father's house,
I
gang

where love invites me ; The strictest duty this allows,

When love with honour meets me.
When Hymen moulds us into ane,
My Robie's nearer than my kin,
And to refuse him were a sin,

Sae lang's he kindly treats me.

When I am in my ain house,
True love shall be at hand

ay,
To make me still a prudent spouse,
And let my man command

ay ;
Avoiding ilka cause of strife,
The common pest of married life,
That makes ane wearied of his wife,

And breaks the kindly band ay.

Had Ramsay adhered more closely to the idea which the old song supplies, I think he would have composed a song much superior to this. But there can be no doubt that Allan shared largely in that amiable vanity which makes a man contented with his own productions. Burns has preserved some of the old verses, and more might be added. I like the picture of rustic abundance which the first verse contains, and the rude and motherly kindness of the second :

O this is no my ain house,

My ain house, my ain house;
This is no my ain house,

I ken by the biggin o't.
There's bread an' cheese in my door cheeks,

My door cheeks, my door cheeks;
There's bread an' cheese in my door cheeks,

And pancakes on the riggin o't.

But wow ! this is my ain wean,
My ain wean,

my

ain wean ;
But wow! this is my ain wean,

I ken by the greetie o't.
I'll take the curchie aff

my head,
Aff my head, aff my head;
I'll take the curchie aff my head,

And row't about the feetie o't.

The tune is a popular hornpipe air, to which all the youth of Nithsdale have danced, under the name of “Shaun truish Willighan." It is of course of highland descent.

27

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HIGHLAND LASSIE.

The lawland maids go trig and fine,

But aft they're sour, and ever saucie: Sae proud, they never can be kind,

Like my light-hearted highland lassie.

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Than

ony

lass in burrows town, Wha make their cheeks with patches mottie, I'd take my lassie in her gown,

Barefooted in her kilted coatie.

Beneath the broom or brekan bush,

Whene'er I kiss and court my dautie, I'm far o'er blithe to have a wish

My flichterin heart gangs pittie-pattie.

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O'er highest heathery hills I'll sten,
With cocket

gun and ratches tentie, To drive the deer out of the den,

And feast my lass on dishes dainty.

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And wha shall dare, by deed or word,

'Gainst her to wag a tongue or finger, While I can draw my trusty sword,

Or frae my side whisk out a whinger?

The mountains clad in purple bloom,

And berries ripe, invite my treasure To range with me-let great folk gloom,

While wealth and pride confound their pleasure.

The "Highland Lassie" shares with Ramsay's "Highland Laddie” in many of the words of the ancient song, and they nearly divide the chorus in common between them:

O my bonnie bonnie highland lassie,
My lovely smiling highland lassie!
May never care make thee less fair,
But bloom of youth aye

bless

my lassie!

It is printed in Allan's collection, without any notice of its author, of the state in which it was found, or of its antiquity; but it carries the stamp of the year 1724 about it, and resembles, in several places, the productions of Ramsay. The free and unrestrained love which this mountaineer admires corresponds well with the license of old in the north, when men led a roving and irregular life by the wild lakes, by the wild streams, and among the wilder hills. To feed their flocks among the glens and upon the mountains, and sing of the ancient freedom

VOL. III.

K

of the land and the exploits of their old heroes, was their chief occupation: their labour was little, and as little they loved it; their wants were few, and such as the arrow and the net readily supplied. I know not that the earth has any happier situations in her gift than this. Men exchange the plaiden sock for silken hose-water from the rock for wine from the cellar-and a bed of heather for a couch of down; and they look not more manly, feel not more refreshed, and sleep no sounder. Burns said--and the sensual wish was called by the Edinburgh Review “elegant hypochondriasm"—that he envied most a wild horse in the deserts of Arabia, or an oyster on the coast of Africa : the last had not a wish to gratify, and the first had not a wish ungratified.

THE MALT-MAN.

The malt-man comes on monday,

He craves wonder sair,
Cries, Dame, come gi'e me my siller,

Or malt ye sall ne'er get mair.
I took him into the pantry,
And

gave him some good cock-broo,
Syne paid him upon a ga’ntree,

As hostler-wives should do.

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