Air—“The three carles o Buchanan.”

LET us go, lassie, go,
Tae the braes o Balquhither,
Whar the blaeberries grow
Mang the bonnie Hielan heather ;
Whar the deer and the rae,
Lichtly bounding taegither,
Sport the lang simmer day
On the braes o Balquhither.

I will twine thee a bow'r,
By the clear siller fountain,
And I'll cover it o'er
Wi the flowers o the mountain ;
I will range thro the wilds,
And the deep glens sae dreary,
An return wi their spoils,
Tae the bow'r o my deary.

When the rude wintry win
Idly raves roun our dwellin,
And the roar o the linn
On the nicht breeze is swellin ;
So merrily we'll sing,
As the storm rattles o'er us,
Till the dear shielin ring
Wi the licht liltin chorus.

Now the simmer is in prime,
Wi the flowers richly bloomin,
Wi the wild mountain thyme
A the moorlan's perfumin ;
Tae our dear native scenes
Let us journey taegither,
Whar glad innocence reigns,
Mang the braes o Balquhither. [1]

This song appeared twice in R. A. Smith's Scotish Minstrel,—Vol. I., page 49, and Vol. IV., page 89,—and he gives the Air, “The Braes o Balquither.” See last Note to “Braes o Gleniffer,” No. 60. —Ed.

Note by Ramsay.—“Pronounced Balwhither,—quh expressing the sound wh in the Scottish language.”

[1] Listening to this song is among the earliest of our recollections. Mary M‘Intyre or Wright, the Highland domestic who took charge of us in the days of infancy, was continually crooning it over. She frequently mentioned that she had been born in the Parish of Balquither, and, when a lassie, had gathered blueberries on the braes among the Highland heather. She often pridefully remarked that she had assisted her mother in baking bannocks for the army of bonnie Prince Charlie on their march to Culloden. Another theme of hers was the exploits of Rob Roy Macgregor, who lay buried in the churchyard of Balquhither. This faithful domestic servant died in November, 1825, in the 85th year of her age. From the description of vegetation and animals of the mountain mentioned in this song, and the names of “Benvoirlich” and “Fillan Glen” mentioned in the song of “Brave Lewie Roy,” in the neighbourhood of the Braes of Balquither, but in the adjoining Parish of Comrie, it may be inferred that Tannahill had visited these places. In other songs, the Poet mentions the names of places he had evidently seen, and where circumstances may have occurred suggesting a subject for his Muse, and then setting the song to an old Air.—Ed.

Addition by William Finlayson, Pollokshaws :—

“Now the Sun in the west
Is increasin our shadows,
An the cattle a tae rest
Gather roun in the meadows ;
Sae, whan life is at a close,
We'll grow fonder o ither,
Till at length we repose
On the Braes o Balquhither.”

The above addition was printed in Finlayson's Poems, published in 1815, which we have inserted to show the superiority of the original.—Ed.

[Semple 91]