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The star that gilds the e’ening sky,
Though bright its ray, may never vie
Wi' Mary's dark and liquid eye-

Though black, yet O she's bonny ! In yon green wood there is a bower, Where lies a bed of witching power; Under that bed there blooms a flower,

That steals the heart unwary.

O, there is a charm, and there is a spell,
That, О an' alack! I know too well;
A pang that the tongue may hardly tell,

Though felt baith late an' early.
The beauteous flower beneath the tree,
The spell o' the wildest witcherye,
The goud an' the gear an' a' to me

Is my black but bonny Mary!


The following ridiculous song, which was written twentysix years ago, has been so long a favourite with the country lads and lasses, that for their sakes I insert it, knowing very well they would be much disappointed at missing it out of this volume. It is to the Irish air called “ Paddy's Wedding.”

I LATELY lived in quiet case,

An' never wish'd to marry, O!
But when I saw my Peggy's face,

I felt a sad quandary, O!
Though wild as ony Athol deer,

She has trepann'd me fairly, 0 !
Her cherry cheeks an’ een sae clear
Torment me late an' early, 0 !
0, love, love, love!

Love is like a dizziness;
It winna let a poor body

Gang about his biziness!

To tell my feats this single week

Wad mak a daft-like diary, O! I drave my cart outow'r a dike,

My horses in a miry, O! I wear my stockings white an' blue,

My love's sae fierce an' fiery, O! I drill the land that I should plough, An' plough the drills entirely, O!

O, love, love, love! &c.

Ae morning, by the dawn o' day,

I rase to theek the stable, O! I keust my coat, an' plied away

As fast as I was able, O! I wrought that morning out an' out,

As I'd been redding fire, O! When I had done an' look'd about, Gudefaith, it was the byre, O!

0, love, love, love! &c.

Her wily glance I'll ne'er forget,

The dear, the lovely blinkin o't

Has pierced me through an' through the heart,

An' plagues me wi' the prinkling o't.
I tried to sing, I tried to pray,

I tried to drown't wi' drinkin' o't,
I tried wi' sport to drive't away,
But ne'er can sleep for thinkin' o't.

0, love, love, love! &c.

Nae man can tell what pains I prove,

Or how severe my pliskie, O! I swear I'm sairer drunk wi’ love

Than ever I was wi' whisky, O!
For love has raked me fore an' aft,

I scarce can lift a leggie, O!
I first grew dizzy, then gaed daft,
An' soon I'll dee for Peggy, O!
0, love, love, love!

Love is like a dizziness
It winna let a poor body

Gang about his biziness!


This song was written at Ellery, Mr Wilson's seat in Westmoreland, where a number of my very best things were written. There was a system of competition went on there, the most delightful that I ever engaged in. Mr Wilson and I had a Queen's Wake every wet day—a fair set-to who should write the best poem between breakfast and dinner, and, if I am any judge, these friendly competitions produced several of our best poems, if not the best ever written on the same subjects before. Mr Wilson, as well as Southey and Wordsworth, had all of them a way of singing out their poetry in a loud sonorous key, which was very impressive, but perfectly ludicrous. Wilson, at that period, composed all his poetry, by going over it in that sounding strain; and in our daily competitions, although our rooms were not immediately adjoining, I always overheard what progress he was making. When he came upon any grand idea, he opened upon it full swell, with all the energy of a fine foxhound on a hot trail. If I heard many of these vehement aspirations, they weakened my hands and discouraged my heart, and I often said to myself, “ Gudefaith, it's a' ower wi' me for this day!" When we went over the poems together in the evening, I was always anxious to learn what

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