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These are the verses which Burns alludes to :

Here awa' there a wa' here awa' Willie,

Here awa, there awa, here awa' hame;
Lang have I sought thee, dear I have bought thee,

Now I have gotten my Willie again.
Thro' the lang muir I have followed my Willie,

Thro' the lang muir I have followed him hame,
Whatever betide us, nought shall divide us ;

Love now rewards all my sorrow and pain.
Here awa', there awa', here awa' Willie,

Here awa', there awa' here awa' name,
Come love believe me, nothing can grieve me,
Ilka thing pleases while Willie's at hame.

Herd, ii. 140. The top line in the above copy shews Barns' original reading, and the under line the alterations made through the suggestions of Mr. Thomson and Mr. Erskine. The emendations are of little value.]



Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,

Or to victorie !
Now's the day, and now's the hour,
See the front o' battle lour :
See approach proud Edward's pow'r-

Chains and slaverie !
Wha will be a traitor-knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?

Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland's king and law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or freeman fa'?

Let him follow me!
By oppression's woes and pains !
By our sons in servile chains !
We will drain our dearest veins,

But they shall be free!
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!-

Let us do or die !

(It is stated by Dr. Currie, that Burns in the month of July 1793, accompanied by Mr. Syme of Ryedale, made a tour of two or three days length through various parts of Galloway, visiting whatever was romantic in scenery, or had gained a celebrity through song. On the 28th July, in passing over the Wilds of Kenmore, they were caught by a storm; and Syme relates of his fellow traveller, that he heeded not the tempest's roar, but was rapt in meditation, charging the English army along with Bruce at Bannockburn, and framing the noble lyric, " Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," which a day or two after he gave him a copy of. So far Mr. Syme.

In September 1793, Burns enclosed in a letter to George Thomson, a copy of Bruce's Address to his Troops on that memorable geld, which he had composed in his " yesternight's evening walk during a pitch of enthusiasm on liberty and independence.”

Dr. Currie being the first to publish the Correspondence of Burns, took a few liberties in the alteration of phrases, wherever he wrote too freely, ungrammatically, or not clear. To leave no doubt of the truth of Syme's curious story, Currie altered " yesternight's evening walk,” to the dubious expression "solitary wanderings," and so the correction has run through every edition of Barns Works.

It is difficult to reconcile Syme's statement and Burns' letter. it seems probable, that the poet first conceived this grand war ode in the month of July, as Syme has stated, but did not really give life to it, as it were, till September. When the travellers were at St. Mary's Isle (in July) the seat of Lord Selkirk, Syme (in the same letter) alludes to their meeting Urbani ; and Burns in September tells Thomson that he showed the air of the song, " Hey tuttie taitie," to that once well-known composer, and Urbani begged him to make soft verses for it, but “ I had no idea," says the poet, " of giving myself any trouble about it till the accidental recollection roused my rhyming mania.” Yesternight's mania of course !

The air to which this song is written, is supposed to have been Brace's March at the Battle of Bannockburn. To suit a whim of Mr. Thomson, the last line of each stanza was afterwards lengthened and weakened.)




Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear,

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear,
Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet,

And soft as their parting tear- Jessy !

Although thou maun never be mine,

Although even hope is denied ; 'Tis sweeter for thee despairing

Than aught in the world beside Jessy!

I mourn thro' the gay, gaudy day,

As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms; But welcome the dream o'sweet slumber,

For then I am lock’t in thy arms-Jessy!

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I guess by the dear angel smile,

I guess by the love-rolling ee; But wliy urge the tender confession

'Gainst Fortune's fell cruel decree ? - Jessy !

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear,

Here's a health to ane I lo’e dear, Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet,

And soft as their parting tear-Jessy!

(These lines so equisitely tender and beautiful were written in praise of Jessy Lewars, now Mrs. James Thomson of Dumfries, to whom Burps during his last hours addressed some of his most affect. ing verses. The young lady watched over the great poet in his last illness, and soothed down some of his bitterest moments; her kindliness and attention has been rewarded by immortality. The song te Jessy is, as Currie tells us, “the last finished offspring of Burds' mase.”

The Editor has good authority in stating that Jessy Lewars was the heroine of another of Burps' songs :

Oh! wert tbou in the cauld blast

On yonder lea, on yonder leawhich the poet wrote to continue something of the sentiment contained in the whimsical old verses :

The Robin came to the wren's nest,

the honour of being the heroide of this song, Mr. Cunningham has given to Mrs. Riddel. See Works, vol. v. p. 72.)



Born 1746-Died 1818.

Saw ye my wee thing, saw ye my ain thing,

Saw ye my true love down on yon lea-
Crossed she the meadow yestreen at the gloaming,

Sought she the burnie where flowers the hawtree? Her hair it is lint-white, her skin it is milk-wbite,

Dark is the blue of her soft rolling c'e:
Red, red are her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses,

Where could my wee thing wander frae me?
I saw nae your wee thing, I saw nae your ain thing,

Nor saw I your true love down by yon lea ; But I met my bonnie thing late in the gloaming,

Down by the burnie where flowers the hawtree : Her hair it was lint-white, her skin it was milk-white,

Dark was the blue of her soft rolling e'e;
Red were her ripe lips and sweeter than roses-

Sweet were the kisses that she gave to me.
It was nae my wee thing, it was nae my ain thing,

It was nae my true love ye met by the tree :
Proud is her leal heart, modest her nature,

She never loved ony till ance she lo'ed me. Her name it is Mary, she's frae Castle-cary,

Aft has she sat when a bairp on my knee: Fair as your face is, were't fifty times fairer,

Young bragger she ne'er wad gie kisses to thee.

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