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The hero of this song, the Earl of Nithsdale, was taken prisoner, along with Viscount Kenmure and many other noblemen, at Preston in Lancashire, and sentenced to be beheaded. His countess, a lady of great presence of mind, contrived and accomplished his escape from the Tower. Her fortitude, her patience, and her intrepidity are yet unrivalled in the history of female heroism. A letter from the Countess, containing a lively and circumstantial account of the Earl's escape, is in Terreagles House in Nithsdale, dated from Rome in the year 1718. From the woman's cloak and hood, in which the Earl was disguised, the Jacobites of the north formed a new token of cognizance-all the ladies who favoured the Stuarts wore "Nithsdales," till fashion got the better of political love. I wish the royal clemency had extended to the ancient and noble name of Maxwell, when other names were restored to their honours. The house of Nithsdale is the representative of a numerous class in Dumfriesshire and Galloway. An old man once counted to me forty gentlemen's families, all of the name of Maxwell.-They are less numerous now.

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Now what news to me, Cummer,—

Now what news to me?

Enough o' news, quo' the Cummer,
The best that God can gie.

Has the Duke hanged himsel, Cummer,

Has the Duke hanged himsel,
Or taken frae the other Willie
The hottest nook o' hell?

The Duke's hale and fier, carle,
The blacker be his fa'!
But our gude Lord of Nithsdale
He's won frae 'mang them a'.
Now bring me my bonnet, Cummer,-
Bring me my shoon;

I'll gang and meet the gude Nithsdale,
As he comes to the town.

Alake the day! quo' the Cummer,-
Alake the day! quoth she;
He's fled awa' to bonnie France,
Wi' nought but ae pennie!
We'll sell a' our corn, Cummer,-

We'll sell a' our bear;

And we'll send to our ain lord

A' our sett gear.

Make the piper blaw, Cummer-
Make the piper blaw;

And let the lads and lasses both

Their souple shanks shaw.
We'll a' be glad, Cummer,-
We'll a' be glad ;

And play "The Stuarts back again,"
To make the Whigs mad.

This rude song of welcome was first printed in the Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song. The second line of the second verse gives me occasion to notice a mistake made by Lord Byron, in one of his latest works, where he speaks so fondly of Scotland, and recalls the scenes where he had passed his youth. He quotes a rhyming proverb:

Brig of Balgonie,

Black be yere wa'!
Wi' a wife's ae wean,

And a mare's ae foal,

Down shall ye


His lordship should have written

Brig of Balgonie,

Black be yere fa'!

"Black be yere fa', or fate," is a common execration; the word "fa'," the Scottish synonyme of "fate," had

perhaps puzzled and misled the noble poet. In his poem he renders the mistake incurable, where he sings of "Balgonie's brig's black wall."


By yon castle wa', at the close o' the day,

I heard a man sing, though his head it was gray;
And as he was singing, the tears they down came,
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
The church is in ruins, the state is in jars,
Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars:

We darena weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame-
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword,
And now I greet round their green beds in the yird;
It brak the sweet heart o' my faithfu' auld dame-
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
Now life is a burden that bows me down,
Sin' I tint my bairns, and he tint his crown;
But till my last moments my words are the same,
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame

This very beautiful song is from the pen of Burns,

inspired in some small degree by an old fragment of the same character and on the same subject. It first appeared in Johnson's Musical Museum. The last four lines of the first verse belong to the old fragment. The subdued and sedate sorrow of the old man's lamentation is very touching-the love for his lost children, and for his ancient line of kings, lends an interest national and domestic, which is not surpassed in any of the songs of that unhappy cause.


O, Derwentwater's a bonnie lord,
He wears gowd in his hair,
And glenting is his hawking e'e

Wi' kind love dwelling there.
Yestreen he came to our lord's yett,
And loud loud could he ca',

Rise up, rise up, for good King James,
And buckle, and come awa.

Our ladie held by her gude lord,

Wi' weel love-locket hands;

But when young Derwentwater came,
She loos'd the snawy bands.

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