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This song is supposed to be the composition of James Tytler, author of “ The Bonnie Brucket Lassie.” It is copied from Johnson's Musical Museum, where it stands side by side with a song on the same subject by Burns. It wants the original merit of Tytler's other fine song; original merit is a matter of great rarity, and most of our modern songs only re-echo, in softer language and smoother numbers, the lively and graphic strains of our ancestors. In truth, many of our latter lyrics are made from the impulse of other songs, rather than from the native feelings of the heart—and lyric love and heroism are felt through the medium of verse, when they should come warm and animated from the bosom.
Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove'
Thou messenger of spring!
And woods thy welcome sing.
What time the daisy decks the green
Thy certain voice we hear:
Or mark the rolling year?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
From birds among the bowers.
The schoolboy, wandering through the wood
To pull the primrose gay,
And imitates thy lay.
What time the pea puts on the bloom
Thou Aiest thy vocal vale,
Another spring to hail.
Sweet bird, thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
No winter in thy year.
O could I fy, I'd fly with thee !
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Companions of the spring.
The oldest English song yet published is in praise of the Cuckoo—it is very natural and very curious and very authentic :
Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing Cuccu;
And springeth the wode nu;
Lows after calue cu,
Murie sing Cuccu.
Ritson imagines it at least as old as 1250, while Sir John Hawkins attributes it to the middle of the fifteenth century. The present song is the composition of the Rev. John Logan, and would do honour to any poet.
ALONE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON.
The day is departed, and round from the cloud
The moon in her beauty appears ;
The music of love in our ears.
With the beat of the heart is in tune;
Alone by the light of the moon.
I cannot when present unfold what I feel:
I sigh—can a lover do more?
Yet I think of her all the day o'er.
you sigh for an interview soon?
Alone by the light of the moon ?
Your name from the shepherds whenever I hear
My bosom is all in a glow;
My heart thrills—my eyes overflow.
Indulge a fond lover his boon ?
Alone by the light of the moon ?
This very sweet and elegant song is the composition of the Rev. John Logan. The association of his love with the sweetness of the season, the voice of the nightingale, and the light of the moon, is very beautiful. The nocturnal interview, to which the heroine is invited, has had charms for the sons and daughters of men in all ages.
THE BRAES OF YARROW.
Thy braes were bonnie, Yarrow stream,
When first on them I met my lover ; Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream,
When now thy waves his body cover! For ever now, O Yarrow stream,
Thou art to me a stream of sorrow; For never on thy banks shall I
Behold my love, the flower of Yarrow !
He promis'd me a milk-white steed,
To bear me to his father's bowers; He promisd me a little page,
To squire me to his father's towers : He promis'd me a wedding-ring,—
The wedding-day was fix'd to-morrow ;Now he is wedded to his
grave, Alas ! his watery grave, in Yarrow !
Sweet were his words when last we met,
My passion I as freely told him ; Clasp'd in his arms, I little thought
That I should never more behold him! Scarce was he gone, I saw his ghost ;
It vanish'd with a shriek of sorrow ! Thrice did the water-wraith ascend,
And gave a doleful groan through Yarrow.