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The gentleman I have mentioned, whose fine taste you are no stranger to, is so well pleased both with the musical and poetical part of our work, that he has volunteered his assistance, and has already written four songs for it, which by his own desire I send for your perusal.
Winter-winds blew loud and caul at our parting,
Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e, Welcome now simmer, and welcome my Willie,
As simmer to nature, so Willie to me.
Rest ye wild storms in the cave o' your slumbers,
How your dread bowling a lover alarms! Blow soft ye breezes ! roll gently ye billows ! And waft
dear laddie ance mair to my arms.
But ob if he's faithless and minds na his Nanie,
Flow still between us thou dark-heaving main ! May I never see it, may I never trow it,
Wbile dying I think that my Willie's my ain.
Our poet with his usual judgment adopted some of these alterations, and rejected others. The last edition is as follows :
Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
haud awa hame;
MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.
When wild war's deadly blast was blawn.
Air-"THE MILL MILL 0."
WHEN wild war's deadly blast was blawn,
And gentle peace returning,
And mony a widow mourning.
Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,
Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers,
I left the lines and tented field,
Where lang I'd been a lodger,
A poor and honest sodger.
My hand unstain'd wi' plunder ;
But oh, if he's faithless, and minds na his Nanie,
Several of the alterations seem to be of little, importance in themselves, and were adopted, it may be presumed, for the sake of suiting the words better to the music. The Homeric epithet for the sea, dark-beaving, suggested by Mr. Erskine, is in itself more beautiful, as well perhaps as more sublime than wide-roaring, which he has retained ; but as it is only applicable to a placid state of the sea, or at most to the swell left on its surface after the storm is over, it gives a picture of that element not so well adapted to the ideas of eternal separation, which the fair mourner is supposed to imprecate. From the original song of Here awa Willie Burns has borrowed nothing but the second line and part of the first. The superior excellence of this beautiful
poem will, it is hoped, justify the different editions of it which we have given.
I thought upon the banks o' Coil,
I thought upon my Nancy,
That caught my youthful fancy:
At length I reach'd the bonny glen,
Where early life I sported;
Where Nancy aft I courted :
Down by her mother's dwelling !
That in my een was swelling.
Wi' after'd voice, quoth I, sweet lass,
Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom,
That's dearest to thy bosom:
And fain wad be thy lodger ;
Take pity on a sodger.
Sae wistfully she gaz'd on me,
And lovelier was than ever ;
Forget him shall I never:
Our humble cot, and hamely fare,
Yc freely shall partake it,
Ye're welcome for the sake o't.
She gaz'd-she redden'd like a rose
Syne pale like ony lily ;
Art thou my ain dear Willie ?
By whom true love's regarded,
True lovers be rewarded.
The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame,
And find thee still true-hearted ;
we're rich in love, And mair we’se ne'er be parted. Quo' she, my grandsire left me gowd,
A mailin plenish'd fairly ;
Thou’rt welcome to it dearly !
For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
The farmer ploughs the manor ; But glory is the sodger's prize,
The sodger's wealth is honor;