The National Library of Scotland has the possession of a musical score for a song which was written by a member of the Muirhead family. The title of the song was, apparently, taken from the first line of verse: Leave Of My Minde, Why Thinks Thou On, but it is commonly known as Robert Muirhead’s Lament.
The song has been tentatively dated to the year 1701. It’s author might have been the Robert Muirhead born circa December 1666, the son of William and Janet Muirhead of Falkirk in Stirling-shire, Scotland. But this is simply conjecture.
The song is maintained in the National Library of Scotland under the number Ry.III.a 10(66). It exists as one sheet 1/20. There is a second edition of the same date which is printed on a quarter-sheet. The second edition is titled Robert Murehead’s lament, to a pleasant new tune:, which is listed as number Ry.III.a 10(65). A third edition, of the same date, is also maintained by the Library, which is printed on a half-sheet under the title Leave off my mind, why thinkst thou on. There is yet another edition of about the same date, printed on a half-sheet, under the title Robert Muirheads' Lament. To a plesant [sic] new tune.
Leave off my mind, why thinks thou on:
She that was once my Dear,
Does thou not know that she is gone,
Auld married now I hear.
What madness makes the recollect,
To think on such a maid?
Who always pay’d me with neglect,
And my designs bewray’d.
Why wakenest thou again my woes,
And thus tormenteth me,
Who is the worst of all my foes,
Who only friend should be,
Is she not dead to me, alace,
Except her husband dye?
I’ll yet remember on her face,
For all her Crueltie.
For I never saw a thing so faire,
Since I had eyes to see,
A thing that was both Craft and rair,
A thing that ravisht me,
Inmodestie she did exceed;
The most of woman kind,
O thought she had no fault indeed
Gift that she had been mine.
I not in my concent I swear,
And constance to thee.
Whilst no man could withstand her fears,
Nor shun her destinie,
I loved her well she lov’d not me,
She was un great you’l say,
Some said it was but policie,
O what great fools were they.
For I tried all the civil arts,
That ever any used,
With tears I did procclaim my smart,
Yet daily was abused,
I am sure if ever she had loved,
At length she would have shown’d;
She slighted me and so she provd,
And manfullie disound.
Unhappie I if I recall,
These peevish thoughts again;
To bring my spirit underthral;
To repoficis my pain,
If I had never seen her face;
I had not fainted so,
To offer up a sacrifice,
To anie thing below: