Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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II. LOVE-SONGS : GENERAL                 395
' I pray you keep this Nosegay wel, and set by it some store: And thus farewel, the Gods thee guide, both now and evermore. Not as the common sort do vse, to set it in your brest: That when the smel is gone away, on ground he takes his rest.'
The tune is an adaptation of Roslin Castle (see Song No. 313). Whether The Posie or Roslin Castle be the original cannot now be ascertained: the former is the sImpler of the two.
No. 128. Let loove sparkle in her e'e. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 381, entitled Jocky fou and Jenny fain. The MS. is in the British Museum. Burns added four lines to complete a stanza to Jocky fou and Jenny fain, taken from Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, 1725, and also made verbal alterations in the rest. He wrote on the MS. for the Museum : ' These are the old words, and most excellent words they are. Set the music to them' (R. B). The first four lines, not written by Burns, are within brackets. The tune is in Craig's Scots Tunes, 1730, 25.
No. 129. How cruel are the parents. Thomson's Scotish Airs, 1799, 31. ' Written for this work by Robert Burns.' Thomson wanted English verses for John Anderson my jo, and he got them on May 9, 1795> such as they are. At the head of the MS. is written, ' Song altered from an old English one,' which is said to be in The Hive, 1733, but it is not in the earlier edition, 1725-7. The verses are in Muse's Delight, 1754, 293, and Burns has adhered to the sentiment of them. In Bickham's Musical Entertainer, 1737, ii. 68, the daughters take the business into their own hands, as follows:— * When parents obstinate and cruel prove, And force us to a man we cannot love; 'Tis fit we disappoint the sordid elves And wisely get us husbands for ourselves.'
This they sing to the music of Henry Carey. For the air of Burns's verses, see No. 212.
No. 130. The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 3&T, signed 'B,' entitled Bonie Bell. A MS. of this joyous song, by an amanuensis, is in the British Museum among the Burns papers. Burns does not refer to it in any way, and the only confirmatory evidence, which is quite good, is the initial at the end of the song in Johnson's Museum. Stenhouse says: ' This is another production of Burns, who also communicated the tune to which the words are set in the Museum' {Illustra­tions, p. 3SJ.) I have not found any earlier copy of the tune.
No. 131. "Where Oart rins rowin to the sea. Scots Musical Museum, 1792, No. 389, signed ' R,' entitled The gallant weaver. 'Mr. B.'s old words' (Law's MS. List). Thomson's Scotish Airs, 179S, _?p. The MS. is in the British Museum. The Cart, a stream of moderate pretentions, is known chiefly as furnishing a river to the ancient burgh of Paisley in Renfrewshire. The city of weavers is reported to have given birth to more poets than any town in Scotland. ' The chorus of this song is old, the rest of it is mine. Here, once for all, let me apologize for many silly compositions of mine in this work [Scots Musical Museum"]. Many beautiful airs wanted words; in the hurry of other avocations, if I could siring a parcel of rhymes together any­thing near tolerable, I was fain to let them pass. He must be an excellent poet indeed, whose every performance is excellent' {InterleavedMuseum),
The tune is in Aird's Airs, 1782, i. No. J74, entitled Weaver's March, or Twenty-first of August. It has not the character of a Scottish melody. The New Swedish Dance, in the Musical Pocket-Book, c. 1715, resembles the tune. Thomson printed Burns's song in his musical collection, and without authority changed the ' weaver' into a ' sailor,' and set it to The auld wife ayont the fire. Mr. John Glen has found the tune in the Dancing Master, 1728, entitled Frisky Je?my, or the Tenth of June.