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Gaoil, and a fine air it is. Do ask honest Allan, or the Rev. Gaelic Parson, about these matters.

No. XXXIV.

MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.

August, 1793.

MY DEAR SIR,

LET me in this ae night, I will reconsider. I am glad that you are pleased with my song, Had I a cave, &c. as I liked it myself.

I walked out yesterday evening, with a volume of the Museum in my hand; when turning up Allan Water, “What numbers shall the muse repeat, &c.” as the words appeared to me rather unworthy of so fine an air ; and recollecting that it is on your list, I sat, and raved, under the shade of an old thorn, 'till I wrote one to suit the measure. I

may

be wrong ; but I think it not in my worst style. You must know, that in Ramsay's Tea-table, where the modern song first appeared, the ancient name of the tune, Allan says, is Allan Water, or, My love Annie's very bonie. This last has certainly been a line of the original song ; so I took up the idea, and, as you will see, have introduced the line in its place, which I presume it formerly occupied; though I likewise give you a chusing line, if it should not hit the cut of your fancy.

tune,

*

By Allan-stream I chanc'd to rove,

While Phoebus sank beyond Benleddi;
The winds were whispering thro' the grove,

The yellow corn was waving ready :
I listen'd to a lover's sang,

And thought on youthfu' pleasures mony;
And the wild-wood echoes rang:-

ау
O dearly do I lo'e thee Annie. +

O happy be the woodbine bower,

Nae nightly bogle make it eerie;
Nor ever sorrow stain the hour,

The place and time I met my dearie !

Her

* A mountain west of Strath-Allan 3009 feet high. R.B.

رو

+ Or, “O my love Annie's very bonie.”

R.B

Her head upon my throbbing breast,

She, sinking said, “ I'm thine for ever!"
While mony a kiss the seal imprest,

The sacred vow, we ne'er should sever.

The haunt o spring's, the primrose brae,

The simmer joys the flocks to follow;
How cheery, thro' her shortening day,

Is autumn in her weeds o' yellow;
But can they melt the glowing heart,

Or chain the soul in speechless pleasure,
Or thro' each nerve the rapture dart,

Like meeting her, our bosom's treasure.

Bravo ! say I: it is a good song. .

Should

you think so too, (not else) you can set the music to it, and let the other follow as English verses.

Autumn is my propitious season. I make more verses in it, than in all the

year

else.

God bless you !

No. No. XXXV.

MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.

August, 1793.

Is Whistle and I'll come to you my lad, one of your airs ? I admire it much ; and yesterday I set the following verses to it. Urbani, whom I have met with here, begged them of me, as he admires the air much; but as I understand that he looks with rather an evil eye on your work, I did not chuse to comply. However, if the song does not suit your taste, I may possibly send it him. The set of the air which I had in my eye, is in Johnson's Museum.

O WHISTLE and I'll come to you my lad, *
O whistle and I'll come to you my lad :

H

Tho'

VOL. IV.

* In some of the MSS the first four lines run thus,

O whistle and I'll come to thee, my jo,
O whistle and I'll come to thee, my jo ;
Tho' father and mother and a' should say no,
O whistle and I'll come to thee, my jo.

E.

Tho' father and mither and a' should gae mad,
O whistle and I'll come to you my lad.

But warily tent, when ye come to court me,
And come nae unless the back-yett be a-jee ;
Syne up the back-style and let nae body see,
And come as ye were na comin to me.
And
come,

&c.
O whistle, &c,

At kirk, or at market whene'er ye meet me,
Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd nae a flie;
But steal me a blink o'your bonie black e'e,
Yet look as ye were na lookin at me.
Yet look, &c.

O whistle, &c.

Ay vow and protest that ye care na for me,
And whiles ye may lightly my beauty a wee ;
But court nae anither, tho' jokin ye be,
For fear that she wyle your fancy frae me.
For fear, &c.

O whistle, &c.

Another favorite air of mine, is, The muckin o' Geordie's byre. When sung slow with expression, I have wished that it had had better poetry: that, I have endeavoured to supply, as follows.

Adown

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