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I must add one other of the same quality, for two, with me, potent reasons.

1st, The song was composed at the request of a beloved parent. I remember it well. One evening in the winter of 1800, I was sawing away on the fiddle with great energy and elevation, and having executed the strathspey called Athol Cummers, much to my own satisfaction, my mother said to me,

Dear Jimmie, are there ony words to that tune?”—“ No that ever I beard, mother.”—“ O man, it's a shame to hear sic a good tune an' nae words till’t. Gae away ben the house, like a good lad, and mak' me a verse tillit.” The request was instantly complied with.

2d, It was a great favourite with my kind friend, Mr R. P. Gillies, who sung it every night with great glee ; and after he had done, and taken a laugh at it, he uniformly put his hand across his mouth, and made the following remark—“Well, I certainly do think it is a most illustrious song, Athol Cummers.”

Duncan, lad, blaw the cummers,
Play me round the Athol cummers;
A’ the din o' a' the drummers

Canna rouse like Athol cummers.

When I'm dowie, wet or weary,

Soon my heart grows light an' cheery,
When I hear the sprightly nummers
O’ my dear, my Athol cummers !

When the fickle lasses vex me,

When the cares o' life perplex me,
When I'm fley'd wi' frightfu' rumours,
Then I lilt o’ Athol cummers.
'Tis my cure for a' disasters,
Kebbit ewes an' crabbit masters,
Drifty nights an' dripping summers-
A’ my joy is Athol cummers !

Ettrick banks an' braes are bonny,

Yarrow hills as green as ony;

But in my heart nae beauty nummers
Wi' my dear, my Athol cummers.
Lomond's beauty nought surpasses,
Save Breadalbane's bonny lasses ;
But deep within my spirit slummers
Something sweet of Athol cummers.


* Maidens.


This and the following song were both written in 1811, forming parts of humorous letters to the young lady who afterwards became my wife.

Ah, Maggy, thou art gane away,

And left me here to languish,
To daunder on frae day to day,

Swathed in a sort o' anguish.
My mind's the aspen o' the vale,

In ceaseless waving motion;
'Tis like a ship without a sail,

On life's unstable ocean!

I downa bide to see the moon

Blink o'er the hill sae dearly,
Late on a bonny face she shone,

A face that I loe dearly.


An' when down by the water clear

At e’en I'm lonely roaming,
I sigh, an' think if ane war here,

How sweet wad fa' the gloaming.

Ah, Maggy, thou art gane away,

An' I nae mair shall see thee; Now a' the lee-lang simmer day,

An' a' the night I weary;
For thou wert aye sae sweet, sae gay,

Sae teazing an' sae canty,
I dinna blush to swear an' say,

In faith I canna want thee!

0, in the slippery paths o' love

Let prudence aye direct thee, Let virtue every step approve,

And virtue will respect thee. To ilka pleasure, ilka pang,

Alack! I am nae stranger, An' he wha aince has wander'd wrang,

Is best aware of danger.

May still thy heart be kind an' true,

A'ither maids excelling,
An' heaven shall shed its purest dew

Around thy rural dwelling.
May flow'rets spring, an' wild birds sing

Around thee late an early,
An' oft to thy remembrance bring

The lad that loes thee dearly!

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