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O maiden dear, thyself prepare,

We soon shall meet upon that shore
Where love is free from doubt and care,

And thou and I shall part no more.
Loud crow'd the cock, the shadow filed,

No more of Sandy could she see ;
But soft the passing spirit said,

“Sweet Mary, weep no more for me!"

This beautiful and pathetic song is all that connects the name of John Lowe with the national poetry of Scotland. It embodies in touching verse the fate of a youth of the name of Miller, who was beloved by Mary Macghie, of Airds in Galloway; and in calling in the aid of romantic superstition, I have heard that it only abides by the story; for by dream or vision her lover's fate was said to have been first revealed to her. I have never seen any more of Lowe's poetry which merits remembrance. Since the first appearance of the song, which was soon after the year 1770, it has received, I know not from what hand, two very judicious amendments. It originally commenced thus:

Pale Cynthia just had reached the hill,

which was well exchanged for

The moon had climbed the highest hill.

The fifth and sixth lines, at the same time, by an ex

cellent emendation, let us at once into the stream of this affecting story. They once ran thus:

When Mary laid her down to sleep,

And scarcely yet had closed her e'e.

The alteration, it will be observed, engrafts a superstitious influence on the story, and gives it an equal hold on the imagination and the heart. Lowe wrote another song, called “Pompey's Ghost," which Burns inquired after when he was seeking songs for Johnson. The Scottish Muse lent her aid reluctantly to a classic subject, and “Pompey's Ghost" is but a wreath of mist compared to the spirit of Sandie.


The lovely moon had climbed the hill,

Where eagles big aboon the Dee;
And like the looks of a lovely dame,

Brought joy to every body's e’e:
A' but sweet Mary, deep in sleep,

Her thoughts on Sandie far at sea ;
A voice dropt softly in her ear,

Sweet Mary, weep nae mair for me!

She lifted up her wondering een

To see from whence the voice might be,
And there she saw young Sandie stand,

A shadowy form, wi' hollow e'e !
O Mary dear, lament nae mair,

I'm in death-thraws below the sea;
Thy weeping makes me sad in bliss,

Sae, Mary, weep nae mair for me !

The wind slept when we left the bay,

But soon it waked and raised the main,
And God he bore us down the deep:

Wha strave wi' him but strave in vain?
He stretched his arm, and took me up,

Tho' laith I was to gang but thee;
I look frae heaven aboon the storm,

Sae, Mary, weep nae mair for me!

Tak aff the bride sheets frae thy bed,

Which thou hast faulded down for me :
Unrobe thee of thy earthly stole-

I'll meet wi' thee in heaven hie.
Three times the gray cock flapt his wing

To mark the morning lift his e'e,
And thrice the passing spirit said,

Sweet Mary, weep nae mair for me !

This variation of Lowe's beautiful lyric is copied from Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, where it was accompanied by remarks on its claims to notice as a Scottish version and variety of the other. It has been described as an attempt to injure the fame of Lowe, as if variations of songs had now for the first time appeared in the language; and it has been also represented as dull and stupid. To seek to injure a poet's fame by publishing a variation of his song, sprinkled with the native dialect of the land, is a charge that might have been made against both Ramsay and Burns : their works abound with such lyrics. And to write a good song down by means of a duller one, reminds me of the clergyman who came to London on purpose to write down Paradise Lost. It is needless to say more : if I abstain from noticing the printed folly of one of the district authors, it is only because I wish not to revive the memory of a work which the world has so willingly and so hastily forgotten. I feel reluctance at waging war with a candidate for a pulpit—besides I have a reverence for gravity and dulness, and a sympathy for those who seem largely endowed by nature with the power of promoting the slumbers of a respectable congregation.


There's cauld kail in Aberdeen,

And castocks in Stra'bogie;
Gin I hae but a bonnie lass,

Ye're welcome to your cogie.
And ye may sit up a' the night,
And drink till it be braid day-light:
Gie me a lass baith clean and tight,

To dance the reel o' Bogie.

In cotillons the French excel,

John Bull loves country dances; The Spaniards dance fandangos well;

Mynheer an all’mand prances: In foursome reels the Scots delight, At threesomes they dance wond'rous light, But twasomes ding a' out o' sight,

Danc'd to the reel o' Bogie.

Come, lads, and view your partners weel,

Wale each a blithesome rogie: I'll tak this lassie to myseľ,

She looks sae keen and vogie:

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