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There's Alva, and Dollar, and Tillicoultrie,
But the bonnie braes o' Menstrie bear awa the gree.
That is, excel all the rest. The vale of Glendevon is
throughout a fine one ; but the slopes of Menstrie, in the
lower part of it, are generally acknowledged to be the most
beautiful portion of the district, from being so well clothed
with wood.
There is a various version of the rhyme. The wife of a
miller at Menstrie, being very handsome, engaged the
affections of some of the * good neighbours,' or fairies, and
was, in consequence, stolen away by them. The unfor-
tunate husband was much distressed, more particularly
when he heard his lost spouse singing from the air the
following verse : —
Oh Alva woods are bonnie,
Tillicoultrie hUls are fair ;
But when I think o' the bonnie braes o' Menstrie,
It maks my heart aye sair.
This ditty she chanted every day within his hearing, in a
tone of the greatest affection. At length, as he was one
day riddling some stuff near the door of his mill, he chanced
to use a magical posture — the spell that held his wife in
captivity was instantly dissolved — and she dropped down
from the air at his feet.
Lochtie, Lothrie, Leven, and Ore,
Bin a' through Cameron Brig bore.
Of these four Fife streams, the Leven is the principal.
It absorbs the waters and names of all the rest, before
passing under the bridge of Cameron, near the seaport
village of Wemyss. Ore is next in point of importance,
and, running for a considerable way parallel to the Leven,

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