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O saw ye bonnie Lesley
As she gaed o'er the border? She's gane like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther.
To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever ;
And never made anither!
Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee: Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o' men adore thee.
The Deil he cou'dna scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee; He'd look into thy bonnie face,
canna wrang thee."
The powers aboon will tent thee';
Misfortune sha'na steer thee; Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely,
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee. Return again, fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie !
There's nane again sae bonnie.
(“ This rhapsody I composed on a charming Ayrshire girl, Miss Lesley Baillie, as she passed through Dumfries to England." Burys.
The poet accompanied Miss Baillie (afterwards Mrs. Cuming of Logie) and her father, fifteen miles on their road; “ out of pure devotion to admire the loveliness of the works of God." Returning home he composed the above ballad, making a parody, he wrote to Mrs. Dunlop, upon an old ballad beginning
My bonnie Lizie Baille
“ I am in love," said the poet to another correspondent, “ souse! over head and ears, deep as the most unfathomable abyss of the boundless ocean, with the most beantiful, elegant woman in the world.")
Had I a cave on some wild, distant shore,
Ne'er to wake more.
Falsest of womankind, canst thou declare,
What peace is there !
[This “ sublime song," as Mr. Canningham jastly calls it, relatas, Barns tells us, to “an unfortunate part” of his friend Alexander Cunningham's story. The concluding verse when song with great feeling, is awfully grapd.)
There's braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes,
That wander thro’ the blooming heather ;
Can match the lads o' Galla water.
But there is ane, a secret ane,
Aboon them a' I loe him better;
The bonnie lad o' Galla water.
Although his daddie was nae laird,
And tho' I hae nae meikle tocher;
We'll tent our flocks by Galla water.
It ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was wealth,
That coft contentment, peace, or pleasure; The bands and bliss o' mutual love,
O that's the chiefest warld's treasure !
[The above song Burns wrote for George Thomson's Collection in 1793. The old words as printed by Herd and others, are
Braw, braw lads of Galla Water,
And follow my love thro' the water.
Sae boony blue her een my dearie,
O'er yon moss amang the heather,
And follow my love thro' the water.
Down amang the broom my dearie,
That gard her greet till she was weary.
That cost her mony a blirt and bleary.
Herd, II. 202. These verses appear to be words of two different songs, 'Galla Water,' and · The Lassie lost her Silken Snood.'
Mr. Robert Chambers has printed other copies of this old song from recitation. See " Scottish Songs," vol. ii. p. 327, p. 665.)
Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
Now tired with wandering,
Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame; Come to iny bosom, my ain only dearie,
[And] Tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same. Loud blew the cauld winter winds Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,
It was na the blast brought the tear,
Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e;
The simmer to nature, my Willie to me.
[O] How your dread howling a lover alarms !
And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.
O still flow
Flow still between us, thou wide-roaring main ; May I never see it, may I never trow it,
But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain.
[" I leave it to you, my dear Sir, to determine whether the above, or the old “ Thro' the Lang Muir," be the best."-BURNS. Letter to Thomson.