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THE WINTER IT IS PAST.
119
The rose upon the brier, by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee ;
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my true love is parted from me.
My love is like the sun, that in the sky does run
For ever so constant and true ;
But his is like the moon, that wanders up and down,
And every month it is new.
All you that are in love, and cannot it remove,
I pity the pains you endure ;
For experience makes me know, that your hearts are full of woe,
A woe that no mortal can cure.
" The winter it is past." Mr. Stenhouse, in his Notes on Johnson's Museum, vol. ii. pp. 187, 188, says that
he " has not yet been so fortunate as to discover who was the author of this plaintive pastoral song : but there
are several variations between the copy inserted in the Museum, and the following stall edition of the ballad. . . .
The plaintive little air to which this song is adapted, is inserted under the same title in Oswald's Caledonian
Pocket Companion, Book vii." Mr. Laing, in his Additional Illustrations, id. p. 226, says, " Cromek found the
first eight lines of this song among Burns's MSS. ; and he published it as a ' Fragment' by the Ayrshire bard,
obviously unaware that the entire song had been previously included in the present work." In the Theatre
Koyal, Edinburgh, at his benefit on 24th October 1829, Mr. Braham sang " The winter it is past," with a touching
effect that is still remembered by many.
The first eight lines of this song, as given in this work, are taken from the fragment published by Cromek.
They contain the alterations made by Burns upon the older song, which are improvements, as will be perceived
upon comparing these lines with those given in Johnson's Museum, and here quoted : —
" The winter it is past, and the summer's come at last,
And the small birds sing on ev'ry tree ;
The hearts of these are glad, but mine is very sad,
For my lover has parted from me.
" The rose upon the brier, by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee ;
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my lover is parted from me."
The first two lines of the third stanza, as given by Johnson, are so bad that we have adopted in their stead the
corresponding lines in R. A. Smith's " Scottish Minstrel," which are certainly better than the following doggrel : —
" My love is like the sun, in the firmament does run,
For ever is constant and true."
In the edition given by Mr. Stenhouse, above-mentioned, the third stanza is as follows : —
" My love is like the sun,
That unwearied doth run,
Through the firmament, aye constant and true ;
But his is like the moon,
That wanders up and down,
And is ev'ry month changing anew."

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