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The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast;
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain,
I see it driving o'er the plain :
The hunter now has left the moor,
The scatter'd coveys meet secure ;
While here I wander, prest with care,
Along the lonely banks of Ayr.
The Autumn mourns her rip’ning corn
By early Winter's ravage torn,
Across her placid azure sky
She sees the scowling tempest fly:
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave,
I think upon the stormy wave,
Where many a danger I must dare,
Far from the bonnie banks of Ayr.
'Tis not the surging billows' roar,
'Tis not that fatal, deadly shore;
Though death in ev'ry shape appear,
The wretched have no more to fear :
But round my heart the ties are bound,
That heart transpierced with many a wound;
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,
To leave the bonnie banks of Ayr.

Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales,
Her heathy moors and winding vales ;
The scenes where wretched fancy roves,
Pursuing past, unhappy loves !
Farewell, my friends ! farewell, my foes !
My peace with these, my love with those
The bursting tears my heart declare,
Farewell the bonnie banks of Ayr!



BURNS. Air—" Jockey's grey breeks.”

Again rejoicing Nature sees

Her robe assume its vernal hue Her leafy locks wave in the breeze,

All freshly steep'd in morning dews.
And maun I still on Menie doat,

And fear the scorn that's in her ee?
For it's jet, jet black, and it's like a hawk,

And it winna let a bodie be.



In vain to me the cowslips blaw;

In vain to me the vi'lets spring; In vain to me in glen or shaw

The mavis and the lint-white sing. The merry ploughboy cheers his team;

Wi’joy the tentie seedman stauks; But life to me's a weary dream,

A dream of ane that never wauks. The wanton coot the water skims;

Amang the reeds the ducklings cry;
The stately swan majestic swims;

And every thing is blest but I.
The shepherd steeks his faulding slaps,

And o'er the moorland whistles shrill;
Wi' wild, unequal, wandering step,

meet him on the dewy hill.

And when the lark, 'tween light and dark,

Blythe waukens by the daisie's side,
And mounts and sings on fluttering wings,

A woe-worn ghaist I hame ward glide.

Come, Winter, with thine angry howl,

And raging bend the naked tree;
Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless soul,

When nature all is sad like me !

And maun I still on Menie doat,

And bear the scorn that's in her ee ?
For it's jet, jet black, and it's like a hawk,

And it winna let a bodie be.

The chorus of this song is the composition of a gentleman in Edinburgh, a friend of Robert Burns. Menie' is a term of endearment for Marianne.

“We cannot,” says Dr. Currie,“ presume to alter any of the poems of our bard, and more especially those printed under his own direction; yet it is to be regretted that this chorus, which is not his own composition, should be attached to these fine stanzas, as it perpetually interrupts the train of sentiment which they excite.”



Bonnie lassie, will ye go, will ye go, will ye go ;
Bonnie lassie, will ye go to the birks of Aberfeldy ?

Now simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o'er the crystal streamlets plays ;
Come, let us spend the lichtsome days

In the birks of Aberfeldy.

While o'er their head the hazels hing,
The little birdies blythely sing,
Or lichtly flit on wanton wing,

In the birks of Aberfeldy.

The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
The foamin’ stream deep-roaring fa's,
O’erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws,

The birks of Aberfeldy.

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
White ower the lin the burnie pours,
And risin weets wi' misty showers

The birks of Aberfeldy.
Let Fortune's gifts at random flee,
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me,
Supremely blest wi' love and thee,

In the birks of Aberfeldy.

This song is written to the air of “ The birks (birch-trees) of Aberfeldy," an ancient composition, from which Burns borrowed nothing but the chorus.



CA’ the yowes to the knowes,
Ca’ them where the heather grows,
Ca' them where the burnie rows,

My bonnie dearie.
Hark the mavis' evening sang,
Sounding Cluden's woods amang ;
Then a-faulding let us gang,

My bonnie dearie.
We'll gang doun by Cluden side,
Through the hazels spreading wide
O'er the waves that sweetly glide,

My bonnie dearie.
Yonder Cluden's silent towers,
Where, at moonshine midnight hours,
O'er the dewy budding flowers

The fairies dance sae cheerie.

* Burns says of this song, in a letter to Thomson, “ I am flattered at your adopting 'Ca' the yowes to the knowes,' as it was owing to me that it ever saw the light. About seven years ago I was well acquainted with a worthy little fellow of a clergyman, a Mr. Clunie, who sang it charmingly; and, at my request, Mr. Clark took it down from his singing. When I gave it to Johnson, I added some stanzas to the song, and mended others; but still it will not do for you. In a solitary stroll which I took to-day, I tried my hand on a few pastoral lines, following up the idea of the chorus, which I would preserve. Here it is, with all its crudities and imperfections on its head.” Mr. Thomson, in reply, calls the song “a precious morceau;” and adds, "I am perfectly astonished and charmed with the endless variety of your fancy."

Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear ;
Thou’rt to love and heaven sae dear,
Nocht of ill may come thee near,

My bonnie dearie.
Fair and lovely as thou art,
Thou hast stoun my very heart ;
I can die, but canna part,

My bonnie dearie. The original song upon which Burns founded his version is attributed to Isabell or Tibbie Pagan, who died in the neighbourhood of Muirkirk, Ayrshire, in 1821, aged eighty. Some account of her appears in the “ Ayrshire Contemporaries of Burns,” Edinburgh, 1840. The following version is the original, as revised by Burns for the “ Museum.” The last verse is by Burns himself.

Ca' the yowes to the knowes.
Ca' them whare the heather grows,
Ca' them whare the burnie rows,

My bonnie dearie.

As I gaed down the water-side,
There I met my shepherd lad,
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
And ca'd me his dearie.
Ca’ the yowes,

Will ye gang down the water-side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide,
The moon it shines fu' clearly.

Ca' the yowes, &c.
I was bred up at nae sic school,
My shepherd lad, to play the fool,
And a' the day to sit in dool,
And naebody to see me.

Ca’ the yowes, &c.

Ye shall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon npon your fee
And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep,
And ye shall be my dearie.

Ca' the yowes, &c.

If ye'll but stand to what ye've said,
I'se gang with you, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I shall be your dearie.

Ca' the yowes, &c.
While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie
Till clay-cauld death shall blir' my ce,
Ye aye shall be my dearie.

Ca' the yowes, &c.

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