[Page [175]]

THE CHELSEA PENSIONERS.
1. Such is the original edition now before me; and it will be readily seen that it is considerably different from the copies in general circulation, not only in punctuation, but in grammatical construction. And the reason is obvious. The author's fine taste perceived that, however gallant the conduct of William duke of Cumberland might have been considered by his countrymen, his fearful proceedings at Culloden, and subsequently, would never allow a song, in which his military career was commemorated, to become popular in Scotland; and thus "the Duke" was altered to "the Prince," and "William" to "General." It may be more fittingly adapted to our own times by retaining "the Duke," and substituting "Arthur" for "William." I can never think of the disastrous affair of 1745, without calling to mind the Ettrick Shepherd's exquisite apology for the devotion of the Highlanders to the unfortunate Chevalier:
"What tho' we befriendit young Charlie?
To tell it I dinna think shame;
Poor lad, he cam to us but barely,
An' reckon'd our mountains his hame.
'Tis true that our reason forbade us;
But tenderness carried the day;
Had Geordie come friendless amang us,
Wi' him we had a' gane away."
The Chelsea Pensioners may be found beautifully harmonized by Mr R. A. Smith in his "Scottish Minstrel," vol. v. p. 24.

Air The Days o' Langsyne.
1 WHEN war had broke in on the peace of auld men,
2 And frae Chelsea to arms they were summon'd again;
3 Twa vet'rans grown gray, wi' their muskets sair soil'd,
4 Wi' a sigh were relating how hard they had toil'd;
5 The drum it was beating, to fight they incline,
6 But aye they look back to the days o' langsyne.
7 Oh! Davy, man, weel thou remembers the time,
8 When twa brisk young callans, and baith i' our prime,
9 The Duke bade us conquer, and show'd us the way,
10 And mony a braw chiel we laid low on that day;
11 Yet I'd venture, fu' cheerfu', this auld trunk o' mine,
12 Could William but lead, and I fight, as langsyne.
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13 But garrison duty is a' we can do,
14 Tho' our arms are worn weak yet our hearts are still true;
15 We carena for dangers by land or by sea,
16 For Time is turn'd coward and no thee and me;
17 And tho' at the change we should sadly repine,
18 Youth winna return, nor the strength o' langsyne.
19 When after our conquests, it joys me to mind
20 How thy Janet caress'd thee and my Meg was kind;
21 They follow'd our fortunes, tho' never so hard,
22 And we cared na for plunder wi' sic a reward;
23 E'en now they're resolv'd baith their hames to resign,
24 And will follow us yet for the sake o' langsyne.

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Title (in Source Edition): THE CHELSEA PENSIONERS.
Themes:
Genres: song

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Source edition

The Poetical Works of Miss Susanna Blamire “The muse of Cumberland.” Now for the first time collected by Henry Lonsdale, M.D. with a preface, memoir, and notes by Patrick Maxwell, ... Edinburgh: John Menzies, 61 Princes Street; R. Tyas, London; D. Robertson, Glasgow; and C. Thurnam, Carlisle. MDCCCXLII., 1842, pp. [175]-176. 

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Susanna Blamire