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would take the key, and lift Ailie up again, laying her on her own bed, and, having put Jess up, would return with Rab and shut the door.
James buried his wife, with his neighbors mourning, Rab inspecting the solemnity from a distance.
It was snow, and that black ragged hole would look strange in the midst of the swelling spotless cushion of white. James looked after everything; then rather suddenly fell ill, and took to bed; was insensible when the doctor came, and soon died. A sort of low fever was prevailing in the village, and his want of sleep, his exhaustion, and his misery, made him apt to take it. The grave was not difficult to reopen. A fresh fall of snow had again made all things white and smooth; Rab once more looked on, and slunk home to the stable.
And what of Rab? I asked for him next week of the new carrier who got the goodwill of James's business, and was now master of Jess and her cart.
He put me off, and said rather rudely, "AVhat's your business wi' the dowg?"
I was not to be so put off.
He, getting confused and red, and intermeddling with his hair, said, " 'Deed sir, Rab's died."
"Dead! what did he die of?"
"Well, sir," said he, getting redder, "he didna exactly dee; he was killed. I had to brain him wi' a rack-pin; there was nae dping wi' him. He lay in the treviss wi' the mear, and wadna come oot. I tempit him wi' the kail and meat, but he wad tak naething, and keepit me frae feedin' the beast, and he was aye gur gurrin', and grup gruppin' me by the legs. I was laith to make awa wi' the old dowg, his like wasne atween this and Thornhill—but, 'deed, sir, I could do naething else."
I believed him. Fit end for Rab, quick and complete. His teeth and his friends gone, why should he keep the peace and be civil?
Note.—Concerning the history of this song it is stated on good authority that there did really live, in the seventeenth century, an Annie Laurie. She was a daughter of Sir Robert Laurie, first baronet of the Maxwelton family, and was celebrated for her beauty. We should be glad to hear that Annie Laurie married the Mr. Douglas whose love for her inspired the writing of this poem, but records show that she became the wife of another man.
Only the first two verses were composed by Douglas; the last was added by an unknown author.
^AXWELTON braes are bonnie
Her brow is like the snaw drift;
Like dew on the gowan lying
And like winds in summer sighing,
THE BLIND LASSIE
And echoing clearly o'er lake and o'er lea,Like some fairy bird in the wilderness singin';
It thrills to my heart, yet nae3 minstrel I see. Round yonder rock knittin', a dear child is sittin',
Sae toilin' her pitifu' pittance4 is won, Hersel' tho' we see nae,5 'tis mitherless" Jeanie—
The bonnie7 blind lassie that sits i' the sun.
Five years syne come autumn8 she cam'" wi' her mither, A sodger's1" puir11 widow, sair1- wasted an' gane;13
1. Sac is the Scotch word for so.
2. A lea is a grassy field or meadow.
3. Kac means no.
4. Pittance means small earnings.
5. Xae is not.
6. Mither is the Scotch form of mother.
7. Honnie means pretty.
8. Since come autumn; that is. it will he nine years next autumn.
9. Cam' is a contraction of came.
10. Sodger's is soldier's.
11. Puir is the Scotch spelling of poor.
12. Sair is sore, that is, sadly.
13. Oane means gone.
As brown fell the leaves, sae wi' them did she wither,
An' blythe now an' cheerfu', frae mornin' to e'enin
She sits thro' the simmer, an' gladdens ilk19 ear, Baith2" auld and young daut21 her, sae gentle and winnin'; To a' the folks round the wee lassie is dear. Braw" leddies23 caress her, wi' bounties would press her; The modest bit1'4 darlin' their notice would shun; For though she has naething, proud-hearted this wee thing, The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun.
14. tier lane means by herself.
15. Wha is Scotch for who.
16. Frae means from.
17. Cauld is the Scotch form of cold.
18. Siller menus silver money, or simply money.
19. ///.- means every.
20. Baith is Scotch for both.
21. Daut means pet.
22. Bravo means fine, or yay.
23. Leddies is the Scotch form of ladies.
24. Bit means little.