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by the voice of a country girl in an adjoining field
singing by herself a song of his own-
We'll meet beside the dusky glen, on yon burnside;
and he used to say he was more pleased at this evi-
dence of his popularity, than at any tribute which
had ever been paid him. He afterwards contributed
some songs to Mr George Thomson's Select Melo-
dies, and exerted himself to procure Irish airs, of
which he was very fond. Whilst delighting all
classes of his countrymen with his native songs, the
poet fell into a state of morbid despondency, aggra-
vated by bodily weakness, and a tendency to con-
sumption. He had prepared a new edition of his
poems for the press, and sent the manuscript to Mr
Constable the publisher; but it was returned by that
gentleman, in consequence of his having more new
works on hand than he could undertake that season.

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Keen blaws the win' o'er the braes o' Gleniffer,
The auld castle turrets are covered with snaw;
How changed frae the time when I met wi' my lover
Amang the broom bushes by Stanley green shaw!
The wild flowers o' summer were spread a' sae bonnie,
The mavis sang sweet frae the green birken tree;
But far to the camp they hae marched my dear Johnie,
And now it is winter wi' nature and me.

Then ilk thing around us was blithesome and cheerie,
Then ilk thing around us was bonnie and braw;
Now naething is heard but the wind whistling drearie,
The trees are a bare, and the birds mute and dowie;
And naething is seen but the wide-spreading snaw.
They shake the cauld drift frae their wings as they


chirp out their plaints, seeming wae for my

Johnie ;

"Tis winter wi' them, and 'tis winter wi' me.

This disappointment preyed on the spirits of the sensitive poet, and his melancholy became deep and habitual. He burned all his manuscripts, and sank into a state of mental derangement. Returning from a visit to Glasgow on the 17th of May 1810, the unhappy poet retired to rest; but suspicion having been excited, in about an hour afterwards it was discovered that he had stolen out unperceived. Search was made in every direction, and by the dawn of the morning, the coat of the poet was discovered lying at the side of the tunnel of a neighbouring brook, pointing out but too surely where his body was to be found.'* Tannahill was a modest and temperate man, devoted to his kindred and friends, and of unblemished purity and correctness of conduct. His lamentable death arose from no want or irregularity, but was solely caused by that morbid disease of the mind which at length over-Yon cauld sleety cloud skiffs alang the bleak mounthrew his reason. The poems of this ill-starred son of genius are greatly inferior to his songs. They have all a commonplace artificial character. His lyrics, on the other hand, are rich and original both in description and sentiment. His diction is copious and luxuriant, particularly in describing natural objects and the peculiar features of the Scottish landscape. His simplicity is natural and unaffected; and though he appears to have possessed a deeper sympathy with nature than with the workings of human feeling, or even the passion of love, he is often tender and pathetic. His Gloomy winter's now awa' is a beautiful concentration of tenderness and melody.

The Braes o' Balquhither.

Let us go, lassie, go,

To the braes o' Balquhither,
Where the blae-berries grow

'Mang the bonnie Highland heather;
Where the deer and the roe,

Lightly bounding together,
Sport the lang summer day
On the braes o' Balquhither.

I will twine thee a bower

By the clear siller fountain,
And I'll cover it o'er

Wi' the flowers of the mountain;
I will range through the wilds,
And the deep glens sae drearie,
And return wi' the spoils

To the bower o' my dearie.

When the rude wintry win'

Idly raves round our dwelling,
And the roar of the linn

On the night breeze is swelling,

* Memoir prefixed to Tannahill's Works. Glasgow: 1833.

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And shakes the dark firs on the steep rocky brae, While down the deep glen bawls the snaw-flooded fountain,

That murmured sae sweet to my laddie and me.
It's no its loud roar on the wintry wind swellin',
It's no the cauld blast brings the tear i' my e'e;
For O! gin I saw but my bonnie Scots callan,
The dark days o' winter were summer to me..

The Flower o' Dumblane.

The sun has gane down o'er the lofty Benlomond,
And left the red clouds to preside o'er the scene,
While lanely I stray in the calm summer gloamin,
To muse on sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.
How sweet is the brier, wi' its saft fauldin' blossom!
And sweet is the birk, wi' its mantle o' green;
Yet sweeter and fairer, and dear to this bosom,
Is lovely young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.

She's modest as ony, and blithe as she's bonnie;
For guileless simplicity marks her its ain:
And far be the villain, divested of feeling,
Wha'd blight in its bloom the sweet flower o' Dum-

Sing on, thou sweet mavis, thy hymn to the e'ening;
Thou'rt dear to the echoes of Calderwood glen:
Sae dear to this bosom, sae artless and winning,
Is charming young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.

How lost were my days till I met wi' my Jessie!
The sports o' the city seemed foolish and vain ;

I ne'er saw a nymph I would ca' my dear lassie,
Till charmed wi' sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dum-

Though mine were the station o' loftiest grandeur,
Amidst its profusion I'd languish in pain,

And reckon as naething the height o' its splendour,
If wanting sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.

Gloomy Winter's now Awa.

Gloomy winter's now awa,
Saft the westlin breezes blaw:
'Mang the birks o' Stanley-shaw

The mavis sings fu' cheerie O.
Sweet the craw-flower's early bell
Decks Gleniffer's dewy dell,
Blooming like thy bonnie sel',

My young, my artless dearie O.
Come, my lassie, let us stray,
O'er Glenkilloch's sunny brae,
Blithely spend the gowden day

Midst joys that never wearie O.
Towering o'er the Newton woods,
Lavrocks fan the snaw-white clouds;
Siller saughs, wi' downie buds,

Adorn the banks sae brierie O. Round the sylvan fairy nooks, Feathery brekans fringe the rocks, 'Neath the brae the burnie jouks,

And ilka thing is cheerie O. Trees may bud, and birds may sing, Flowers may bloom, and verdure spring, Joy to me they canna bring,

Unless wi' thee, my dearie O.


Contemporary with Tannahill, and possessing a kindred taste in song-writing, was RICHARD GALL (1776-1801), who, whilst employed as a printer in Edinburgh, threw off some Scottish songs that were justly popular. 'My only jo and dearie Ö,' for pleasing fancy and musical expression, is not unworthy Tannahill. I remember,' says Allan Cunningham, ' when this song was exceedingly popular: its sweetness and ease, rather than its originality and vigour, might be the cause of its success. The third verse contains a very beautiful picture of early attachment a sunny bank, and some sweet soft schoolgirl, will appear to many a fancy when these lines are sung.'

My only Jo and Dearie 0.
Thy cheek is o' the rose's hue,
My only jo and dearie O;
Thy neck is like the siller-dew
Upon the banks sae briery 0;
Thy teeth are o' the ivory,

O sweet's the twinkle o' thine ee!
Nae joy, nae pleasure, blinks on me,
My only jo and dearie O).

The birdie sings upon the thorn
Its sang o' joy, fu' cheerie O,
Rejoicing in the summer morn,

Nae care to mak it eerie 0;
But little kens the sangster sweet
Aught o' the cares I hae to meet,
That gar my restless bosom beat,
My only jo and dearie O.
Whan we were bairnies on yon brae,
And youth was blinking bonnie O,
Aft we wad daff the lee-lang day,

Our joys fu' sweet and mony 0;
Aft I wad chase thee o'er the lea,
And round about the thorny tree,
Or pu' the wild flowers a' for thee,
My only jo and dearie ().

I hae a wish I canna tine,
'Mang a' the cares that grieve me 0;
I wish thou wert for ever mine,

And never mair to leave me 0:

Then I wad daut thee night and day,
Nor ither warldly care wad hae,
Till life's warm stream forgot to play,
My only jo and dearie O.

Farewell to Ayrshire.

[This song of Gall's has been often printed-in consequence
of its locality-as the composition of Burns.]
Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure,
Scenes that former thoughts renew;
Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure,
Now a sad and last adieu !
Bonny Doon, sae sweet at gloaming,
Fare thee weel before I gang-
Bonny Doon, where, early roaming,
First I weaved the rustic sang!
Bowers adieu! where love decoying,

First enthralled this heart o' mine;
There the saftest sweets enjoying,
Sweets that memory ne'er shall tine!
Friends so dear my bosom ever,

Ye hae rendered moments dear;
But, alas! when forced to sever,
Then the stroke, oh! how severe !
Friends, that parting tear reserve it,
Though 'tis doubly dear to me;
Could I think I did deserve it,

How much happier would I be!
Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure,

Scenes that former thoughts renew;
Scenes of wo and scenes of pleasure,
Now a sad and last adieu!


JOHN MAYNE, author of the Siller Gun, Glasgow, and other poems, was a native of Dumfries-born in the year 1761-and died in London in 1836. He was brought up to the printing business, and whilst apprentice in the Dumfries Journal office in 1777, in his sixteenth year, he published the germ of his 'Siller Gun' in a quarto page of twelve stanzas. The subject of the poem is an ancient custom in Dumfries, called Shooting for the Siller Gun,' the gun being a small silver tube presented by James VI. to the incorporated trades as a prize to the best marksman. This poem Mr Mayne continued to enlarge and improve up to the time of his death. The twelve stanzas expanded in two years to two cantos; in another year (1780) the poem was published-enlarged to three cantos-in Ruddiman's Magazine; and in 1808 it was published in London in four cantos. This edition was seen by Sir Walter Scott, who said (in one of his notes to the Lady of the Lake) 'that it surpassed the efforts of Fergusson, and came near to those of Burns.' In 1836 the 'Siller Gun' was again reprinted with the addition of a fifth canto. Mr Mayne was author of a short poem on Halloween, printed in Ruddiman's Magazine in 1780; and in 1781 he published at Glasgow his fine ballad of Logan Braes, which Burns had seen, and two lines of which he copied into his Logan Water. 'Siller Gun' is humorous and descriptive, and is happy in both. The author is a shrewd and lively observer, full of glee, and also of gentle and affectionate recollections of his native town and all its people and pastimes. The ballad of Logan Braes is a simple and beautiful lyric, superior to the more elaborate version of Burns. Though long resident in London (as proprietor of the Star newspaper), Mr Mayne retained his Scottish enthusiasm to the last; and to those who, like ourselves, recollect him in advanced life, stopping in the midst of his duties, as a public journalist, to trace some remembrance


of his native Dumfries and the banks of the Nith, or to hum over some rural or pastoral song which he had heard forty or fifty years before, his name, as well as his poetry, recalls the strength and permanency of early feelings and associations.

Logan Braes.

By Logan streams that rin sae deep,
Fu' aft wi' glee I've herded sheep;
Herded sheep and gathered slaes,
Wi' my dear lad on Logan braes.
But wae's my heart, thae days are gane,
And I wi' grief may herd alane,
While my dear lad maun face his faes,
Far, far frae me and Logan braes.
Nae mair at Logan kirk will he
Atween the preachings meet wi' me;
Meet wi' me, or when it's mirk,
Convoy me hame frae Logan kirk.
I weel may sing thae days are gane:
Frae kirk and fair I come alane,
While my dear lad maun face his faes,
Far, far frae me and Logan braes.

At e'en, when hope amaist is gane,
I dauner out and sit alane;
Sit alane beneath the tree
Where aft he kept his tryst wi' me.
Oh! could I see thae days again,
My lover skaithless, and my ain!
Beloved by friends, revered by faes,
We'd live in bliss on Logan braes!

Helen of Kirkconnel.

[Helen Irving, a young lady of exquisite beauty and accomplishments, daughter of the Laird of Kirkconnel, in Annandale, was betrothed to Adam Fleming de Kirkpatrick, a young gentleman of rank and fortune in that neighbourhood. Walking with her lover on the sweet banks of the Kirtle, she was murdered by a disappointed and sanguinary rival. This catastrophe took place during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, and is the subject of three different ballads: the first two are old, the third is the composition of the author of the Siller Gun.' It was first inserted in the Edinburgh Annual Register (1815) by Sir Walter Scott.]

I wish I were where Helen lies,
For, night and day, on me she cries;
And, like an angel, to the skies

Still seems to beckon me!
For me she lived, for me she sighed,
For me she wished to be a bride;
For me in life's sweet morn she died
On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Where Kirtle-waters gently wind,
As Helen on my arm reclined,
A rival with a ruthless mind,

Took deadly aim at me:
My love, to disappoint the foe,
Rushed in between me and the blow;
And now her corse is lying low

On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Though heaven forbids my wrath to swell,
I curse the hand by which she fell-
The fiend who made my heaven a hell,
And tore my love from me!
For if, where all the graces shine-
Oh! if on earth there's aught divine,
My Helen! all these charms were thine-
They centered all in thee!

Ah! what avails it that, amain,

I clove the assassin's head in twain ?
No peace of mind, my Helen slain,

No resting-place for me: I see her spirit in the airI hear the shriek of wild despair, When Murder laid her bosom bare, On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Oh! when I'm sleeping in my grave, And o'er my head the rank weeds wave, May He who life and spirit gave

Unite my love and me!

Then from this world of doubts and sighs,
My soul on wings of peace shall rise;
And, joining Helen in the skies,
Forget Kirkconnel-Lee !

To the River Nith.

Hail, gentle stream! for ever dear
Thy rudest murmurs to mine ear!
Torn from thy banks, though far I rove,
The slave of poverty and love,
Ne'er shall thy bard, where'er he be,
Without a sigh remember thee!
For there my infant years began,
And there my happiest minutes ran;
And there to love and friendship true,
The blossoms of affection grew.

Blithe on thy banks, thou sweetest stream
That ever nursed a poet's dream!
Oft have I in forbidden time
(If youth could sanctify a crime),
With hazel rod and fraudful fly,
Ensnared thy unsuspecting fry;

In pairs have dragged them from their den,
Till, chased by lurking fishermen,
Away I've flown as fleet as wind,
My lagging followers far behind,
And when the vain pursuit was o'er,
Returned successful as before.

[Mustering of the Trades to Shoot for the Siller Gun.]

The lift was clear, the morn serene,
The sun just glinting owre the scene,
When James M'Noe began again
To beat to arms,
Rousing the heart o' man and wean
Wi' war's alarms.

Frae far and near the country lads
(Their joes ahint them on their yads)
Flocked in to see the show in squads;
And, what was dafter,
Their pawky mithers and their dads
Cam trotting after!

And mony a beau and belle were there,
Doited wi' dozing on a chair;

For lest they'd, sleeping, spoil their hair,
Or miss the sight,

The gowks, like bairns before a fair,
Sat up a' night!

Wi' hats as black as ony raven,
Fresh as the rose, their beards new shaven,
And a' their Sunday's cleeding having
Sae trim and gay,

Forth cam our Trades, some ora saving
To wair that day.

Fair fa' ilk canny, caidgy carl,
Weel may he bruik his new apparel!
And never dree the bitter snarl

O' scowling wife!

But, blest in pantry, barn, and barrel, Be blithe through life!

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"Now, gentlemen! now, mind the motion,
And dinna, this time, mak a botion:
Shouther your arms! O! ha'd them tosh on,
And not athraw!

Wheel wi' your left hands to the ocean,
And march awa !'

Wi' that, the dinlin drums rebound,
Fifes, clarionets, and hautboys sound!
Through crowds on crowds, collected round,
The Corporations

Trudge aff, while Echo's self is drowned
In acclamations!


SIR ALEXANDER Boswell (1775-1822), the eldest son of Johnson's biographer, was author of some amusing songs, which are still very popular. Auld Gudeman, ye're a Drucken Carle, Jenny's Bawbee, Jenny Dang the Weaver, &c. display considerable comic humour, and coarse but characteristic painting. The higher qualities of simple rustic grace and elegance he seems never to have attempted. In 1803 Sir Alexander collected his fugitive pieces, and published them under the title of Songs chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. In 1810 he published a Scottish dialogue, in the style of Fergusson, called Edinburgh, or the Ancient Royalty; a Sketch of Manners, by Simon Gray. This Sketch is greatly overcharged. Sir Alexander was an ardent lover of our early literature, and reprinted several works at his private printing-press at Auchinleck. When politics ran high, he unfortunately wrote some personal satires, for one of which he received a challenge from Mr Stuart of Dunearn. The parties met at Auchtertool, in Fifeshire: conscious of his error, Sir Alexander resolved not to fire at his opponent; but Mr Stuart's shot took effect, and the unfortunate baronet fell. He died from the wound on the following day, the 26th of March 1822. He had been elevated to the baronetcy only the year previous.

Jenny Dang the Weaver.

At Willie's wedding on the green,
The lassies, bonny witches!
Were a' dressed out in aprons clean,
And braw white Sunday mutches:
Auld Maggie bade the lads tak' tent,
But Jock would not believe her;
But soon the fool his folly kent,
For Jenny dang the weaver.

And Jenny dang, Jenny dang,
Jenny dang the weaver;
But soon the fool his folly kent,
For Jenny dang the weaver.
At ilka country dance or reel,
Wi' her he would be bobbing;
When she sat down, he sat down,
And to her would be gabbing;
Where'er she gaed, baith butt and ben,
The coof would never leave her;
Aye keckling like a clocking hen,
But Jenny dang the weaver.
Jenny dang, &c.

Quo' he, My lass, to speak my mind,
In troth I needna swither;
You've bonny een, and if you're kind,
I'll never seek anither:

He hummed and hawed, the lass cried, Peugh,
And bade the coof no deave her;
Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh,
And dang the silly weaver.

And Jenny dang, Jenny dang,

Jenny dang the weaver;

Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh,
And dang the silly weaver.

Jenny's Bawbee.

I met four chaps yon birks amang,
Wi' hingin' lugs, and faces lang;
I speered at neibour Bauldy Strang,
Wha's thae I see?

Quo' he, ilk cream-faced, pawky chiel,
Thought himsel' cunnin' as the de'il,
And here they cam, awa to steal
Jenny's bawbee.

The first, a captain till his trade,
Wi' skull ill lined, and back weel clad,
Marched round the barn, and by the shed,
And pappit on his knee.

Quo' he, 'My goddess, nymph, and queen,
Your beauty's dazzled baith my een;'
But de'il a beauty he had seen

But-Jenny's bawbee.

A lawyer neist, wi' bletherin' gab,
Wha speeches wove like ony wab,
In ilk ane's corn aye took a dab,
And a' for a fee:

Accounts he had through a' the town,

And tradesmen's tongues nae mair could drown;
Haith now he thought to clout his gown
Wi' Jenny's bawbee.

A Norland laird neist trotted up,
Wi' bawsened naig and siller whup,

Cried, There's my beast, lad, haud the grup,
Or tie't till a tree.

What's gowd to me?-I've walth o' lan';
Bestow on ane o' worth your han';'
He thought to pay what he was awn
Wi' Jenny's bawbee.

A' spruce frae ban'boxes and tubs,

A Thing cam neist (but life has rubs),
Foul were the roads, and fou the dubs,
Ah! waes me!

A' clatty, squintin' through a glass,
He girned, I'faith a bonnie lass!'
He thought to win, wi' front o' brass,
Jenny's bawbee.

She bade the laird gang comb his wig,
The sodger no to strut sae big,
The lawyer no to be a prig,

The fool cried, 'Tehee,

I kent that I could never fail!'
She prined the dish-clout till his tail,
And cooled him wi' a water-pail,

And kept her bawbee.

Good Night, and Joy be wi ye a'.

[This song is supposed to proceed from the mouth of an aged chieftain.]

Good night, and joy be wi' ye a';

Your harmless mirth has charmed my heart; May life's fell blasts out owre ye blaw!

In sorrow may ye never part!
My spirit lives, but strength is gone;

The mountain-fires now blaze in vain :
Remember, sons, the deeds I've done,

And in your deeds I'll live again!
When on yon muir our gallant clan
Frae boasting foes their banners tore,
Wha showed himself a better man,

Or fiercer waved the red claymore?
But when in peace-then mark me there-
When through the glen the wanderer came,
I gave him of our lordly fare,

I gave him here a welcome hame.

The auld will speak, the young maun hear;
Be cantie, but be good and leal;
Your ain ills aye hae heart to bear,
Anither's aye hae heart to feel.
So, ere I set, I'll see you shine,

I'll see you triumph ere I fa';

My parting breath shall boast you mineGood night, and joy be wi' you a'.

[The High Street of Edinburgh.]

[From Edinburgh, or the Ancient Royalty."]

Tier upon tier I see the mansions rise,
Whose azure summits mingle with the skies;
There, from the earth the labouring porters bear
The elements of fire and water high in air;
There, as you scale the steps with toilsome tread,
The dripping barrel madifies your head;
Thence, as adown the giddy round you wheel,
A rising porter greets you with his creel!
Here, in these chambers, ever dull and dark,
The lady gay received her gayer spark,
Who, clad in silken coat, with cautious tread,
Trembled at opening casements overhead;
But when in safety at her porch he trod,
He seized the ring, and rasped the twisted rod.
No idlers then, I trow, were seen to meet,
Linked, six a-row, six hours in Princes Street;
But, one by one, they panted up the hill,

And picked their steps with most uncommon skill;
Then, at the Cross, each joined the motley mob-
'How are ye, Tam? and how's a' wi' ye, Bob?'
Next to a neighbouring tavern all retired,
And draughts of wine their various thoughts inspired.
O'er draughts of wine the beau would moan his love;
O'er draughts of wine the cit his bargain drove;
O'er draughts of wine the writer penned the will;
And legal wisdom counselled o'er a gill.

Yes, mark the street, for youth the great resort,
Its spacious width the theatre of sport.
There, midst the crowd, the jingling hoop is driven;
Full many a leg is hit, and curse is given.
There, on the pavement, mystic forms are chalked,
Defaced, renewed, delayed-but never balked;
There romping Miss the rounded slate may drop,
And kick it out with persevering hop.
There, in the dirty current of the strand,
Boys drop the rival corks with ready hand,
And, wading through the puddle with slow pace,
Watch in solicitude the doubtful race!
And there, an active band, with frequent boast,
Vault in succession o'er each wooden post.
Or a bold stripling, noted for his might,
Heads the array, and rules the mimic fight.
From hand and sling now fly the whizzing stones,
Unheeded broken heads and broken bones.
The rival hosts in close engagement mix,
Drive and are driven by the dint of sticks.
The bicker rages, till some mother's fears
Ring a sad story in a bailie's ears.
Her prayer is heard; the order quick is sped,
And, from that corps which hapless Porteous led,
A brave detachment, probably of two,
Rush, like two kites, upon the warlike crew,
Who, struggling, like the fabled frogs and mice,
Are pounced upon, and carried in a trice.
But, mark that motley group, in various garb---
There vice begins to form her rankling barb;
The germ of gambling sprouts in pitch-and-toss,
And brawl, successive, tells disputed loss.
From hand to hand the whirling halfpence pass,
And, every copper gone, they fly to brass.
Those polished rounds which decorate the coat,
And brilliant shine upon some youth of note,

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