Roslin Castle
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

The air to Roslin Castle was wrongly attributed to James Oswald. Although it appears in his collection (1736 or 1740), it is not marked as his tune. It had appeared in a previous collection by William McGibbon as The House of Glams.*

The words were written by Richard Hewitt of Cumberland, who died in 1764. Hewitt was employed as a guide to Dr. Blacklock, who was blind. Blacklock was so impressed by the boy that he educated him.*

Roslin Castle was printed on numerous broadsides. Records show a broadside in 1779, several throughout the 1800s and as late as 1870.** The Answer To Roslin Castle was also printed. Some of these and The Answer to Roslin Castle can be found at the Broadside Ballads Online.

It was also known as Rosline Castle, Roselana Castle and Rossland Castle.***

'Twas in the season of the year,
When all things gay and sweet appear,
That Colin, with the morning ray,
Arose and sang his rural lay.
Of Nanny's charms the shepherd sung,
The hills and dales with Nanny rung:
And Roslin Castle heard the swain,
And echo'd back the cheerful strain.

Awake, sweet muse! the breathing spring
With rapture warms; awake and sing!
Awake, and join the vocal throng
Who hail the morning with a song:
To Nanny raise the cheerful lay,
O bid her haste and come away;
In sweetest smiles herself adorn,
And add new graces to the morn.

O hark, my love, on every spray
Each feather'd warbler tunes his lay;
'Tis beauty fires the ravish'd throng:
And love inspires the melting song.
Then let my raptur'd notes arise,
For beauty darts from Nanny's eyes,
And love my rising bosom warms,
And fills my soul with sweet alarms.

O come, my love! thy Colin's lay
With rapture calls, O come away!
Come, while the must this wreath shall twine
Around that modest brow of thine;
O hither haste, and with thee bring
That beauty blooming like the spring,
Those graces that divinely shine,
And charm this ravish'd breast of mine.

Related Links
From *The Songs of Scotland (George Farquhar Graham)
See Bibliography for full information.
Also from **Steve Roud's Broadside Index and
***Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website.