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For while life's dearest blood is warm,
Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart, And she---as fairest is her form!
She has the truest, kindest heart. *
* The heroine of this song, Mrs. 0. (formerly Miss L. J.) died lately at Lisbon. This most accomplished and most lovely woman, was worthy of this beautiful strain of sensibility, which will convey some impression of her attractions to other generations. The song is written in the character of her husband, as the reader will have observed by our bard's letter to Mr. Syme inclosing this song, in vol. II. (1799)
A RED RED ROSE,
O MY luve's like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June. 0 my
luve's like the melodie That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I :
'Till a' the seas gang dry.
'Till a the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun : I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run,
And fare thee weel, my only luve !
And fare thee weel, a while ! And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile,
A A VISION.
As I stood by yon roofless tower,
Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, Where th' howlet mourns in her ivy bower,
And tells the midnight moon her care.
The winds were laid, the air was still,
The stars they shot alang the sky; The fox was howling on the hill,
And the distant-echoing glens reply.
The stream adown its hazelly path,
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's, * Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
Whase distant roaring swells and fa’s.
* Variation. To join yon river on the Strath.
The cauld blue north was streaming forth
Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din ; Athort the lift they start and shift,
Like fortune's favors, tint as win.
* By heedless chance I turn'd mine eyes,
And, by the moon-beam, shook, to see A stern and stalwart ghaist arise,
Attir'd as minstrels wont to be.
Had I a statue been o'stane,
His darin look had daunted me; And on his bonnet grav'd was plain,
The sacred posy-Libertie !
And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
Might rous'd the slumb’ring dead to hear ; But oh, it was a tale of woe,
As ever met a Briton's ear!
* Variation. Now looking over firth and fauld,
Her horn the pale-fac'd Cynthia rear'd; When, lo, in form of minstrel auld,
A stern and stalwart ghaist appear'd.
He sang wi' joy his former day,
He weeping wail'd his latter times; But what he said it was nae play,
I winna ventur't in my rhymes. *
* This poem, an imperfect copy of which was printed in Johnson's Museum, is here given from the poet's MS with his last corrections. The scenery so finely described is taken from nature. The poet is supposed to be musing by night on the banks of the river Cluden, and by the ruins of Lincluden-Abby, founded in the twelfth century, in the reign of Malcolm IV, of whose present situation the reader may find some account in Pennant's tour in Scotland, or Grose's antiquities of that division of the island. Such a time and such a place are well fitted for holding converse with aerial beings. Though this poem has a political bias, yet it may be presumed that no reader of taste, whatever his opinions may be, would forgive its being omitted. Our poet's prudence suppressed the song of Libertie, perhaps fortunately for his reputation. It may be questioned whether even in the resources of his genius, a strain of poetry could have been found worthy of the grandeur and solemnity of this preparation.