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Thou tells o' never-ending care;
O' speechless grief, and dark despair:
For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair!
Or my poor heart is broken!


Tune- This is no my ain House.'

This is no my ain lassie,

Fair tho' the lassie be; Weel ken I my ain lassie, Kind love is in her e'e.

I see a form, I see a face,
Ye weel may wi' the fairest place:
It wants, to me, the witching grace,
The kind love that's in her e'e.
This is no, &c.

She's bonie, blooming, straight, and tall,
And lang has had my heart in thrall;
And aye it charms my very saul,

The kind love that's in her e'e.
This is no, &c.


A thief sae pawkie1 is my Jean,
To steal a blink, by a' unseen;
But gleg as light are lovers' een,
When kind love is in the e'e.
This is no, &c.

It may escape the courtly sparks,
It may escape the learned clerks ;
But weel the watching lover marks
The kind love that's in her e'e.
This is no, &c.

1 cunning.



Tune-The Lothian Lassie.'

Last May a braw wooer cam down the lang glen,
And sair wi' his love he did deave me ;

I said there was naething I hated like men,
The deuce gae wi'm to believe me, believe me,
The deuce gae wi'm to believe me.

He spak o' the darts in my bonie black een,
And vowed for my love he was diein;

I said he might die when he liket for Jean :
The Lord forgie me for liein, for liein,
The Lord forgie me for liein.

A weel-stocked mailen1, himsel for the laird,
And marriage aff-hand, were his proffers:
I never loot on 2 that I kenned it, or cared;

But thought I might hae waur3 offers, waur offers,
But thought I might hae waur offers.

But what wad ye think? in a fortnight or less,

The deil tak his taste to gae near her!


He up the lang loan to my black cousin Bess,

Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her, could bear her,

Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her.


But a' the neist week as I fretted wi' care,
I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock,
And wha but my fine fickle lover was there!
I glowred as I'd seen a warlock, a warlock,
I glowred as I'd seen a warlock.

But owre my left shouther I gae him a blink,
Lest neibors might say I was saucy;
My wooer he capered as he'd been in drink,
And vowed I was his dear lassie, dear lassie,
And vowed I was his dear lassie.

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I spier'd1 for my cousin fu' couthy' and sweet,

Gin she had recovered her hearin,

And how her new shoon fit her auld shachl't feetBut Heavens! how he fell a swearin, a swearin, But Heavens! how he fell a swearin.

He begged, for Gudesake, I wad be his wife,
Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow:

So e'en to preserve the poor body in life,

I think I maun wed him to-morrow, to-morrow,

I think I maun wed him to-morrow.


Tune- The Lass of Livingstone.'

O, wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea;
My plaidie to the angry airt*,

I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
Or did misfortune's bitter storms

Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,


To share it a', to share it a’.

I asked.

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Or were I in the wildest waste,

Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a paradise,

If thou wert there, if thou wert there.
Or were I monarch o' the globe,

Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my crown,
Wad be my queen, wad be my queen.

2 kind.

• direction of the wind.

3 twisted

⚫ shelter.



[LADY NAIRN was born in 1766. Though she lived to an advanced age, dying in 1845, most of her songs were written early in life, soon after the appearance of Burns's poems in 1787. The first and only collected edition of her works appeared in 1869, but for two generations before, songs of her composing had been sung in every Scotch household and concert-room, though the name of the author was unknown. A surprising number of the most familiar Scotch songs, many of them popularly believed to have descended from emote antiquity, were written by Lady Nairn-The Land o' the Leal, The Laird o' Cockpen, Caller Herrin, The Auld House, HuntingTower, John Tod, Wha'll be King but Charlie? Charlie is my darling, Will ye no come back again? He's ower the hills that I loe weel, I will sit in my wee croo house.]

Like another Scotch lady, the authoress of Auld Robin Gray, Miss Oliphant was first moved to song-writing by the desire of rescuing fine old tunes from coarse themes. This is her own account of the beginning of her poetic impulse; she saw, she says, with admiration how Burns was fitting popular melodies with worthy words, and longed to help him in the good work. That this object should have mixed with her poetic impulses is characteristic of her training, but no songs written with or without a moral object were ever more spontaneous in their lyric flow, more free from artificiality. Two great motives may be distinguished in her verse-sympathy with the life of the common people among whom she moved with old-fashioned familiarity as a radiant comforter and joy-bringer, and sympathy with the chivalrous spirit of Jacobitism, which was the air she breathed in her own family. Her songs contain all that is best and highest in the Jacobite poetry of Scotland,-the tender regret that never sinks into wailing, the high-tempered gaiety that bends but will not break, the fiery spirit that reaches forward to victory and never thinks of defeat. It was a misfortune for the Pretender that such a poet

laureate of his cause did not appear till forty years after that cause was hopelessly lost. Lady Nairn's Jacobite songs-she did not receive her title till her husband's attainder was removed in 1824were written for the consolation of an aged kinsman who had followed Prince Charlie's' fortunes in 1745. Her grandfather, Oliphant of Gask, had been ‘out' in 1715 as well as 1745, and of her father the Pretender wrote-'He is as worthy a subject as I have, and his family never deroged from their principals.' The atmosphere of sincere and chivalrous Jacobitism in which she was nurtured accounts in no small measure for the intense air of reality in her songs.


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