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Keen blaws the wind o'er Donocht-head,
The snaw drives snelly through the dale, The Gaberlunyie tirls my sneck,
An shiv'ring tells his waefu' tale:
Cauld is the night, O let me in,
And dinna let your minstrel fa'; And dinna let his winding sheet
Be naething but a wreath o'snaw.
Full ninety simmers hae I seen,
And pip'd whar gorcocks whirring flew; And mony a day ye've danc'd, I ween,
To lilts that frae my drone I blew.
My Eppie wak’d, and soon she cried,
Get up, gudeman, and let him in, For weel ye ken the winter night
Seem'd short when he began his din.
My Eppie's voice, O wow it's sweet !
E’en though she banns and scolds a wee; But when it's tun'd to pity's tale,
O, haith it's doubly dear to me!
Come ben, auld carle, I'll rouse my fire,
And make it bleeze a bonnie flame;
Ye shoudna stray sae far frae hame.
Nae hame hae I, the minstrel said,
Sad party strife o’erturn’d my ha',
I wander through a wreath o' snaw.
This very touching and original song was written by Thomas Pickering of Newcastle, in 1794. The lives of poets are only so many stories of genius depressed and unrewarded, of sorrow and misfortune. Life has been usually the bitterest, and the world the rudest, to those whose song was sweetest. Of Pickering I have heard much more than I am willing to repeat: his follies were only injurious to himself; and death was a welcome boon. His song of Donochthead surpasses all his other compositions ; it attracted the notice and obtained the admiration of Burns, and will probably long continue to please. It speaks of civil discord, and probably alludes to the brief and bloody struggle which took place in behalf of the exiled house of Stuart.
WHO'S AT MY WINDOW.
O, who's at my window, now, now?
I'm sleepy, I'm wearie,
And, worse, I am eerie,
O go from my window, go, go ;
Who loves me in the night
Will love me in the light;
Gin ye be a true love of mine,
Wi' the sleet in my hair,
I've come ten miles and mair For a word of that sweet tongue o' thine, o' thine, And a glance o' thy dark eye divine.
what a lover maun dree? O come to thy window and see :
Thou rain, in thy dashing,
Thou fire, in thy flashing,
O come to my chamber, love, do ;
all with rushes I'll strew-
A sweet tongue shall charm thee;
No one, I hope, will suppose that this song is written to supply the place of the old lyric with the same name which Wedderburn sought to supplant. Innumerable verses of this measure are scattered over the south of Scotland; but few of them are worth collecting for
There's mirth in the barn and the ha', the ha',
There's quaffing and laughing,
And dancing and daffing ;
These lines have no antique sound-but they contain a lively image of bridal festivity and freedom.
When silent time, wi' lightly foot,
Had trode on thirty years,
Wi' mony hopes and fears.
Will continue mine?
The friends I left langsyne?
As I came by my father's tow'rs,
O some dear former day: The days that follow'd me afar,
Those happy days o' mine, Which gars me think the joys at hand
Are naething to langsyne.
These ivy'd towers now met my e'e,
Where minstrels us’d to blaw ; Nae friend came forth wi' open arms
Nae weel kenn'd face I saw ;
Whom I left in his prime,
He bore about langsyne.