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The beauty of the air and the happiness of the subject have united in giving popularity to a song which cannot rank high as poetry, and which optrages all superstitious knowledge by a dance of Sylvans and Fairies. Ramsay seems to have admired the air, since he wrote another song in the same measure for the “Gentle Shepherd," in which he has imitated the dramatic form of the earlier words, and imitated them with some success. One of the verses is valuable, since we may suppose it records the poet's favourite songs :

Our Jenny sings saftly the “Cowden-broom knowes,”
And Rosie lilts sweetly the “Milking the Ewes ;"
There's few “ Jenny Nettles” like Nansie can sing,
At “Through the wood, Laddie!" Bess gars our lugs

ring: But when my dear Peggy sings, with better skill, “ The Boatman,” “ Tweed Side," and “The Lass of the

Mill,” 'Tis many times sweeter and pleasant to me, 1 For though they sing nicely, they cannot like thee.

1

CORN-RIGGS ARE BONNY.

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My Patie is a lover gay,
103 90+ His miud is never muddy,
-- His breath is sweeter than new hay,

*7 ***.. His face is fair and ruddy.
... His shape is handsome, middle size;

He's stately in his walking;
The shining of his een surprise ;
Mike Tis heaven to hear him talking.

Last night I met him on a bawk,
- Where yellow corn was growing ;
There mony a kindly word he spake,

That set my heart a-glowing.
He kiss'd, and vow'd he wad be mine, i! Ja

And loo'd me best of ony;
That gars me like to sing sinsyne,

O corn-riggs are bonny !

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Let maidens of a silly mind

Refuse what maist they're wanting,
Since we for yielding are design'd,

We chastely should be granting ;
Then I'll comply, and marry Pate,

And syne my cockernony
He's free to touzle air or late

Where corn-riggs are bonny.

Ramsay has been laughed at for the rhyme of the second line of the first verse. It is dangerous to cavil at words : in one of Burns's best songs we have him wishing, in honour of his love, that the flowers

may

be ever fair, and the waters never “ drumlie;"4a word more objectionable than Ramsay's, since it is used in a pathetic song.

This song belongs to the “ Gentle Shepherd;" the air is old, and there were words of far greater antiquity than Allan's, which wanted some skilful and cunning hand to render them fit for modest company. The following lines formed the chorus; and if I remember right, the chorus of every verse was a variation from its predecessor, of which we have an example in too few songs :

O corn-riggs and barley-riggs,

And corn-riggs are bonnie ;
And gin ye meet a winsome quean,

Gae kiss her kind and cannie.

The London wags who compiled a work called “ Mirth and Wit” abused the sweetness of this fine old air by compelling it to carry the burthen of some very silly verses, written in that kind of singular slang which a citizen uses when he thinks he speaks Scotch.

MERRY MAY THE KEEL ROWE.

As I came down through Cannobie,

Through Cannobie, through Cannobie,
The summer sun had shut his ee,

And loud a lass did sing-o:
Ye westlin winds, all gently blow,-
Ye seas, soft my

wishes flow, And merry may the shallop rowe

That my true love sails in-o!

as

My love has breath like roses sweet,

Like roses sweet, like roses sweet,
And arms like lilies dipt in weet,

To fold a maiden in-o.
There's not a wave that swells the sea,
But bears a prayer and wish frae me;-
O soon may I my truelove see,

Wi' his bauld bands again-o!

My lover wears a bonnet blue,

A bonnet blue, a bonnet blue; A rose so white, a heart so true,

A dimple on his chin-o.

He bears a blade his foes have felt,
And nobles at his nod have knelt:
My heart will break as well as melt,

Should he ne'er come again-o.

An imperfect copy of this song found its way into Cromek’s Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song. It started thus :

As I came down the Cannogate,

The Cannogate, the Cannogate;
As I came down the Cannogate,

I heard a lassie sing-o:
O merry may the keel rowe,

The keel rowe, the reel rowe;
Merry may the keel rowe

The ship that my love's in-o!

The picture of her love which the heroine draws seems to be that of the Pretender ; at all events, the white rose of the Stuarts marks it for a Jacobite song.

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