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There stood his fleet steed,

All foaming and hot;
There shriek”d his sweet wife,

And sank on the spot.
There stood his

gray father,
Weeping fu' free,
For hame came his steed,

But hame never came he.

Eight lines of this song may be found in Finlay's collection of ballads. My friend Mr. Yellowlees had the kindness to communicate two old and clever verses : one gives a name to the unfortunate hero.

High upon highlands,

And low upon Tay,
Bonnie George Campbell

Rode out on a day. The other contains a very moving image of domestic desolation:

My meadow lies green,

And my corn is unshorn ;
My barn is to build,

my babe is unborn.

I have not tried to graft these verses upon


song: By conferring a name on the hero, much of the romantic charm would be removed ; and the words ascribed to the young widow are rather too full of worldly care to correspond with the sorrow of the father and the mother.


Jenny's a' wat poor lassie,

Jenny's seldom dry;
She's draggled a' her petticoat,

Coming through the rye.
Nae moon was shining in the lift,

And ne'er a body nigh;
What gaur'd ye weet yere petticoat,

Coming through the rye?

Gin a body meet a body

Coming through the broom ; Gin a body kiss a body,

Need a body gloom.
Yestreen I met a cannie lad,

A flowery bank was nigh,
I lay a blink, and counted stars,

And what the waur am I.

Gin a body meet a body

Coming through the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,

Need the parish ken.
I loe a bonnie lad o'er weel

To let him wail and sigh ;
A kiss is aye a kindlie thing,

And what the waur am 1.

I know of no song, with the exception of Johnie Cope, which has so many variations as “Coming through the rye.” Some are decorous and discreet, and some are free and gross, while others unite these two characters in a very curious manner. The heroine, indeed, seems to care as little about exposing her person to the evening dews, as she regards the fruits of the earth. I have ever observed that the Scottish peasantry have a great regard for corn and all manner of crops; and to tread them wantonly down, or make idle roads through them, is deemed a destruction of “God's gude living.” In this feeling Jenny seems not to have shared. Of the many variations a specimen may be given :

Gin a body meet a body

Coming through the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,

Need a body cry?
Gin a body meet a body

Coming frae the well,
Gin a body kiss a body,

Need a body tell?

I see that in the Museum a copy containing much that is old is ascribed to Burns. I know not on what authority it is imputed to him. Ignorance has often put my favourite poet into coarse company.


My lover has left me,

Wot ye the cause why?
He has gowd, he has mailens-

No mailens have I;
But whether I win him,

Or wear him, or no,
I can give a sigh for him,

And e'en let him go.

His flocks may all perish,

His gowd may all flee, Then his new love will leave him

As he has left me. 0, meeting is pleasure,

And sundering is grief ; But a faithless lover

Is worse than a thief.

A thief will but rob me,

Take all that I have, But a faithless lover

Brings ane to their grave: The grave

it will rot me, And bring me to dustO! an inconstant lover

May woman ne'er trust!

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