Robert Burns: Poems


Lament Of Mary, Queen Of Scots, On The Approach Of Spring

Now Nature hangs her mantle green

On every blooming tree,

And spreads her sheets o' daisies white

Out o'er the grassy lea;

Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streams,

And glads the azure skies;

But nought can glad the weary wight

That fast in durance lies.

Now laverocks wake the merry morn

Aloft on dewy wing;

The merle, in his noontide bow'r,

Makes woodland echoes ring;

The mavis wild wi' mony a note,

Sings drowsy day to rest:

In love and freedom they rejoice,

Wi' care nor thrall opprest.

Now blooms the lily by the bank,

The primrose down the brae;

The hawthorn's budding in the glen,

And milk-white is the slae:

The meanest hind in fair Scotland

May rove their sweets amang;

But I, the Queen of a' Scotland,

Maun lie in prison strang.

I was the Queen o' bonie France,

Where happy I hae been;

Fu' lightly raise I in the morn,

As blythe lay down at e'en:

And I'm the sov'reign of Scotland,

And mony a traitor there;

Yet here I lie in foreign bands,

And never-ending care.

But as for thee, thou false woman,

My sister and my fae,

Grim Vengeance yet shall whet a sword

That thro' thy soul shall gae;

The weeping blood in woman's breast

Was never known to thee;

Nor th' balm that draps on wounds of woe

Frae woman's pitying e'e.

My son! my son! may kinder stars

Upon thy fortune shine;

And may those pleasures gild thy reign,

That ne'er wad blink on mine!

God keep thee frae thy mother's faes,

Or turn their hearts to thee:

And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend,

Remember him for me!

O! soon, to me, may Summer suns

Nae mair light up the morn!

Nae mair to me the Autumn winds

Wave o'er the yellow corn?

And, in the narrow house of death,

Let Winter round me rave;

And the next flow'rs that deck the Spring,

Bloom on my peaceful grave!

There'll Never Be Peace Till Jamie Comes Hame

By yon Castle wa', at the close of the day,

I heard a man sing, tho' his head it was grey:

And as he was singing, the tears doon came,—

There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

The Church is in ruins, the State is in jars,

Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars,

We dare na weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame,—

There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword,

But now I greet round their green beds in the yerd;

It brak the sweet heart o' my faithful and dame,—

There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

Now life is a burden that bows me down,

Sin' I tint my bairns, and he tint his crown;

But till my last moments my words are the same,—

There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

Song—Out Over The Forth

Out over the Forth, I look to the North;

But what is the north and its Highlands to me?

The south nor the east gie ease to my breast,

The far foreign land, or the wide rolling sea.

But I look to the west when I gae to rest,

That happy my dreams and my slumbers may be;

For far in the west lives he I loe best,

The man that is dear to my babie and me.

The Banks O' Doon—First Version

Sweet are the banks—the banks o' Doon,

The spreading flowers are fair,

And everything is blythe and glad,

But I am fu' o' care.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,

That sings upon the bough;

Thou minds me o' the happy days

When my fause Luve was true:

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,

That sings beside thy mate;

For sae I sat, and sae I sang,

And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,

To see the woodbine twine;

And ilka birds sang o' its Luve,

And sae did I o' mine:

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Upon its thorny tree;

But my fause Luver staw my rose

And left the thorn wi' me:

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Upon a morn in June;

And sae I flourished on the morn,

And sae was pu'd or noon!

The Banks O' Doon—Second Version

Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon,

How can ye blume sae fair?

How can ye chant, ye little birds,

And I sae fu' o care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,

That sings upon the bough!

Thou minds me o' the happy days

When my fause Luve was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,

That sings beside thy mate;

For sae I sat, and sae I sang,

And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,

To see the woodbine twine;

And ilka bird sang o' its Luve,

And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Upon its thorny tree;

But my fause Luver staw my rose,

And left the thorn wi' me.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Upon a morn in June;

And sae I flourished on the morn,

And sae was pu'd or noon.

The Banks O' Doon—Third Version

Ye banks and braes o' bonie Doon,

How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?

How can ye chant, ye little birds,

And I sae weary fu' o' care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou warbling bird,

That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:

Thou minds me o' departed joys,

Departed never to return.

Aft hae I rov'd by Bonie Doon,

To see the rose and woodbine twine:

And ilka bird sang o' its Luve,

And fondly sae did I o' mine;

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree!

And may fause Luver staw my rose,

But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.

Lament For James, Earl Of Glencairn

The wind blew hollow frae the hills,

By fits the sun's departing beam

Look'd on the fading yellow woods,

That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding stream:

Beneath a craigy steep, a Bard,

Laden with years and meikle pain,

In loud lament bewail'd his lord,

Whom Death had all untimely ta'en.

He lean'd him to an ancient aik,

Whose trunk was mould'ring down with years;

His locks were bleached white with time,

His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears!

And as he touch'd his trembling harp,

And as he tun'd his doleful sang,

The winds, lamenting thro' their caves,

To Echo bore the notes alang.

"Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing,

The reliques o' the vernal queir!

Ye woods that shed on a' the winds

The honours of the aged year!

A few short months, and glad and gay,

Again ye'll charm the ear and e'e;

But nocht in all-revolving time

Can gladness bring again to me.

"I am a bending aged tree,

That long has stood the wind and rain;

But now has come a cruel blast,

And my last hald of earth is gane;

Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring,

Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom;

But I maun lie before the storm,

And ithers plant them in my room.

"I've seen sae mony changefu' years,

On earth I am a stranger grown:

I wander in the ways of men,

Alike unknowing, and unknown:

Unheard, unpitied, unreliev'd,

I bear alane my lade o' care,

For silent, low, on beds of dust,

Lie a'

hat would my sorrows share.

"And last, (the sum of a' my griefs!)

My noble master lies in clay;

The flow'r amang our barons bold,

His country's pride, his country's stay:

In weary being now I pine,

For a' the life of life is dead,

And hope has left may aged ken,

On forward wing for ever fled.

"Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!

The voice of woe and wild despair!

Awake, resound thy latest lay,

Then sleep in silence evermair!

And thou, my last, best, only, friend,

That fillest an untimely tomb,

Accept this tribute from the Bard

Thou brought from Fortune's mirkest gloom.

"In Poverty's low barren vale,

Thick mists obscure involv'd me round;

Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye,

Nae ray of fame was to be found:

Thou found'st me, like the morning sun

That melts the fogs in limpid air,

The friendless bard and rustic song

Became alike thy fostering care.

"O! why has worth so short a date,

While villains ripen grey with time?

Must thou, the noble, gen'rous, great,

Fall in bold manhood's hardy prim

Why did I live to see that day—

A day to me so full of woe?

O! had I met the mortal shaft

That laid my benefactor low!

"The bridegroom may forget the bride

Was made his wedded wife yestreen;

The monarch may forget the crown

That on his head an hour has been;

The mother may forget the child

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee;

But I'll remember thee, Glencairn,

And a' that thou hast done for me!"

Lines Sent To Sir John Whiteford, Bart

With The Lament On The Death Of the Earl Of Glencairn

Thou, who thy honour as thy God rever'st,

Who, save thy mind's reproach, nought earthly fear'st,

To thee this votive offering I impart,

The tearful tribute of a broken heart.

The Friend thou valued'st, I, the Patron lov'd;

His worth, his honour, all the world approved:

We'll mourn till we too go as he has gone,

And tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.

Craigieburn Wood

Sweet closes the ev'ning on Craigieburn Wood,

And blythely awaukens the morrow;

But the pride o' the spring in the Craigieburn Wood

Can yield to me nothing but sorrow.

Chorus.—Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie,

And O to be lying beyond thee!

O sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep

That's laid in the bed beyond thee!

I see the spreading leaves and flowers,

I hear the wild birds singing;

But pleasure they hae nane for me,

While care my heart is wringing.

Beyond thee, &c.

I can na tell, I maun na tell,

I daur na for your anger;

But secret love will break my heart,

If I conceal it langer.

Beyond thee, &c.

I see thee gracefu', straight and tall,

I see thee sweet and bonie;

But oh, what will my torment be,

If thou refuse thy Johnie!

Beyond thee, &c.

To see thee in another's arms,

In love to lie and languish,

'Twad be my dead, that will be seen,

My heart wad burst wi' anguish.

Beyond thee, &c.

But Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine,

Say thou lo'es nane before me;

And a' may days o' life to come

I'l gratefully adore thee,

Beyond thee, &c.

The Bonie Wee Thing

Chorus.—Bonie wee thing, cannie wee thing,

Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine,

I wad wear thee in my bosom,

Lest my jewel it should tine.

Wishfully I look and languish

In that bonie face o' thine,

And my heart it stounds wi' anguish,

Lest my wee thing be na mine.

Bonie wee thing, &c.

Wit, and Grace, and Love, and Beauty,

In ae constellation shine;

To adore thee is my duty,

Goddess o' this soul o' mine!

Bonie wee thing, &c.

Epigram On Miss Davies

On being asked why she had been formed so little, and Mrs. A—so big.

Ask why God made the gem so small?

And why so huge the granite?—

Because God meant mankind should set

That higher value on it.

The Charms Of Lovely Davies

Tune—"Miss Muir."

O how shall I, unskilfu', try

The poet's occupation?

The tunefu' powers, in happy hours,

That whisper inspiration;

Even they maun dare an effort mair

Than aught they ever gave us,

Ere they rehearse, in equal verse,

The charms o' lovely Davies.

Each eye it cheers when she appears,

Like Phoebus in the morning,

When past the shower, and every flower

The garden is adorning:

As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's shore,

When winter-bound the wave is;

Sae droops our heart, when we maun part

Frae charming, lovely Davies.

Her smile's a gift frae 'boon the lift,

That maks us mair than princes;

A sceptred hand, a king's command,

Is in her darting glances;

The man in arms 'gainst female charms

Even he her willing slave is,

He hugs his chain, and owns the reign

Of conquering, lovely Davies.

My Muse, to dream of such a theme,

Her feeble powers surrender:

The eagle's gaze alone surveys

The sun's meridian splendour.

I wad in vain essay the strain,

The deed too daring brave is;

I'll drap the lyre, and mute admire

The charms o' lovely Davies.

What Can A Young Lassie Do Wi' An Auld Man

What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie,

What can a young lassie do wi' an auld man?

Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnie

To sell her puir Jenny for siller an' lan'.

Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnie

To sell her puir Jenny for siller an' lan'!

He's always compleenin' frae mornin' to e'enin',

He hoasts and he hirples the weary day lang;

He's doylt and he's dozin, his blude it is frozen,—

O, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man!

He's doylt and he's dozin, his blude it is frozen,

O, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man.

He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers,

I never can please him do a' that I can;

He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,—

O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man!

He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,

O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man.

My auld auntie Katie upon me taks pity,

I'll do my endeavour to follow her plan;

I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him

And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan,

I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him,

And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.

The Posie

O luve will venture in where it daur na weel be seen,

O luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been;

But I will doun yon river rove, amang the wood sae green,

And a' to pu' a Posie to my ain dear May.

The primrose I will pu', the firstling o' the year,

And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear;

For she's the pink o' womankind, and blooms without a peer,

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

I'll pu' the budding rose, when Phoebus peeps in view,

For it's like a baumy kiss o' her sweet, bonie mou;

The hyacinth's for constancy wi' its unchanging blue,

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The lily it is pure, and the lily it is fair,

And in her lovely bosom I'll place the lily there;

The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air,

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks o' siller gray,

Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o' day;

But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak away

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The woodbine I will pu', when the e'ening star is near,

And the diamond draps o' dew shall be her een sae clear;

The violet's for modesty, which weel she fa's to wear,

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

I'll tie the Posie round wi' the silken band o' luve,

And I'll place it in her breast, and I'll swear by a' above,

That to my latest draught o' life the band shall ne'er remove,

And this will be a Posie to my ain dear May.

On Glenriddell's Fox Breaking His Chain

A Fragment, 1791.

Thou, Liberty, thou art my theme;

Not such as idle poets dream,

Who trick thee up a heathen goddess

That a fantastic cap and rod has;

Such stale conceits are poor and silly;

I paint thee out, a Highland filly,

A sturdy, stubborn, handsome dapple,

As sleek's a mouse, as round's an apple,

That when thou pleasest canst do wonders;

But when thy luckless rider blunders,

Or if thy fancy should demur there,

Wilt break thy neck ere thou go further.

These things premised, I sing a Fox,

Was caught among his native rocks,

And to a dirty kennel chained,

How he his liberty regained.

Glenriddell! Whig without a stain,

A Whig in principle and grain,

Could'st thou enslave a free-born creature,

A native denizen of Nature?

How could'st thou, with a heart so good,

(A better ne'er was sluiced with blood!)

Nail a poor devil to a tree,

That ne'er did harm to thine or thee?

The staunchest Whig Glenriddell was,

Quite frantic in his country's cause;

And oft was Reynard's prison passing,

And with his brother-Whigs canvassing

The Rights of Men, the Powers of Women,

With all the dignity of Freemen.

Sir Reynard daily heard debates

Of Princes', Kings', and Nations' fates,

With many rueful, bloody stories

Of Tyrants, Jacobites, and Tories:

From liberty how angels fell,

That now are galley-slaves in hell;

How Nimrod first the trade began

Of binding Slavery's chains on Man;

How fell Semiramis—God damn her!

Did first, with sacrilegious hammer,

(All ills till then were trivial matters)

For Man dethron'd forge hen-peck fetters;

How Xerxes, that abandoned Tory,

Thought cutting throats was reaping glory,

Until the stubborn Whigs of Sparta

Taught him great Nature's Magna Charta;

How mighty Rome her fiat hurl'd

Resistless o'er a bowing world,

And, kinder than they did desire,

Polish'd mankind with sword and fire;

With much, too tedious to relate,

Of ancient and of modern date,

But ending still, how Billy Pitt

(Unlucky boy!) with wicked wit,

Has gagg'd old Britain, drain'd her coffer,

As butchers bind and bleed a heifer,

Thus wily Reynard by degrees,

In kennel listening at his ease,

Suck'd in a mighty stock of knowledge,

As much as some folks at a College;

Knew Britain's rights and constitution,

Her aggrandisement, diminution,

How fortune wrought us good from evil;

Let no man, then, despise the Devil,

As who should say, 'I never can need him,'

Since we to scoundrels owe our freedom.

Poem On Pastoral Poetry

Hail, Poesie! thou Nymph reserv'd!

In chase o' thee, what crowds hae swerv'd

Frae common sense, or sunk enerv'd

'Mang heaps o' clavers:

And och! o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd,

'Mid a' thy favours!

Say, Lassie, why, thy train amang,

While loud the trump's heroic clang,

And sock or buskin skelp alang

To death or marriage;

Scarce ane has tried the shepherd—sang

But wi' miscarriage?

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives;

Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare drives;

Wee Pope, the knurlin', till him rives

Horatian fame;

In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives

Even Sappho's flame.

But thee, Theocritus, wha matches?

They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches;

Squire Pope but busks his skinklin' patches

O' heathen tatters:

I pass by hunders, nameless wretches,

That ape their betters.

In this braw age o' wit and lear,

Will nane the Shepherd's whistle mair

Blaw sweetly in its native air,

And rural grace;

And, wi' the far-fam'd Grecian, share

A rival place?

Yes! there is ane—a Scottish callan!

There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan!

Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,

A chiel sae clever;

The teeth o' time may gnaw Tantallan,

But thou's for ever.

Thou paints auld Nature to the nines,

In thy sweet Caledonian lines;

Nae gowden stream thro' myrtle twines,

Where Philomel,

While nightly breezes sweep the vines,

Her griefs will tell!

In gowany glens thy burnie strays,

Where bonie lasses bleach their claes,

Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes,

Wi' hawthorns gray,

Where blackbirds join the shepherd's lays,

At close o' day.

Thy rural loves are Nature's sel';

Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell;

Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell

O' witchin love,

That charm that can the strongest quell,

The sternest move.

Verses On The Destruction Of The Woods Near Drumlanrig

As on the banks o' wandering Nith,

Ae smiling simmer morn I stray'd,

And traced its bonie howes and haughs,

Where linties sang and lammies play'd,

I sat me down upon a craig,

And drank my fill o' fancy's dream,

When from the eddying deep below,

Up rose the genius of the stream.

Dark, like the frowning rock, his brow,

And troubled, like his wintry wave,

And deep, as sughs the boding wind

Amang his caves, the sigh he gave—

"And come ye here, my son," he cried,

"To wander in my birken shade?

To muse some favourite Scottish theme,

Or sing some favourite Scottish maid?

"There was a time, it's nae lang syne,

Ye might hae seen me in my pride,

When a' my banks sae bravely saw

Their woody pictures in my tide;

When hanging beech and spreading elm

Shaded my stream sae clear and cool:

And stately oaks their twisted arms

Threw broad and dark across the pool;

"When, glinting thro' the trees, appear'd

The wee white cot aboon the mill,

And peacefu' rose its ingle reek,

That, slowly curling, clamb the hill.

But now the cot is bare and cauld,

Its leafy bield for ever gane,

And scarce a stinted birk is left

To shiver in the blast its lane."

"Alas!" quoth I, "what ruefu' chance

Has twin'd ye o' your stately trees?

Has laid your rocky bosom bare—

Has stripped the cleeding o' your braes?

Was it the bitter eastern blast,

That scatters blight in early spring?

Or was't the wil'fire scorch'd their boughs,

Or canker-worm wi' secret sting?"

"Nae eastlin blast," the sprite replied;

"It blaws na here sae fierce and fell,

And on my dry and halesome banks

Nae canker-worms get leave to dwell:

Man! cruel man!" the genius sighed—

As through the cliffs he sank him down—

"The worm that gnaw'd my bonie trees,

That reptile wears a ducal crown."^1

The Gallant Weaver

Where Cart rins rowin' to the sea,

By mony a flower and spreading tree,

There lives a lad, the lad for me,

He is a gallant Weaver.

O, I had wooers aught or nine,

They gied me rings and ribbons fine;

And I was fear'd my heart wad tine,

And I gied it to the Weaver.

My daddie sign'd my tocher-band,

To gie the lad that has the land,

But to my heart I'll add my hand,

And give it to the Weaver.

While birds rejoice in leafy bowers,

While bees delight in opening flowers,

While corn grows green in summer showers,

I love my gallant Weaver.

[Footnote 1: The Duke of Queensberry.]

Epigram At Brownhill Inn^1

At Brownhill we always get dainty good cheer,

And plenty of bacon each day in the year;

We've a' thing that's nice, and mostly in season,

But why always Bacon—come, tell me a reason?

You're Welcome, Willie Stewart

Chorus.—You're welcome, Willie Stewart,

You're welcome, Willie Stewart,

There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May,

That's half sae welcome's thou art!

Come, bumpers high, express your joy,

The bowl we maun renew it,

The tappet hen, gae bring her ben,

To welcome Willie Stewart,

You're welcome, Willie Stewart, &c.

May foes be strang, and friends be slack

Ilk action, may he rue it,

May woman on him turn her back

That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart,

You're welcome, Willie Stewart, &c.

Lovely Polly Stewart

Chorus.—O lovely Polly Stewart,

O charming Polly Stewart,

There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May,

That's half so fair as thou art!

The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa's,

And art can ne'er renew it;

But worth and truth, eternal youth

Will gie to Polly Stewart,

O lovely Polly Stewart, &c.

[Footnote 1: Bacon was the name of a presumably intrusive host.

The lines are said to have "afforded much amusement."—Lang]

May he whase arms shall fauld thy charms

Possess a leal and true heart!

To him be given to ken the heaven

He grasps in Polly Stewart!

O lovely Polly Stewart, &c.

Fragment,—Damon And Sylvia

Tune—"The Tither Morn."

Yon wandering rill that marks the hill,

And glances o'er the brae, Sir,

Slides by a bower, where mony a flower

Sheds fragrance on the day, Sir;

There Damon lay, with Sylvia gay,

To love they thought no crime, Sir,

The wild birds sang, the echoes rang,

While Damon's heart beat time, Sir.

Johnie Lad, Cock Up Your Beaver

When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,

He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;

But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,

Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush,

We'll over the border, and gie them a brush;

There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviour,

Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

My Eppie Macnab

O saw ye my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?

O saw ye my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?

She's down in the yard, she's kissin the laird,

She winna come hame to her ain Jock Rab.

O come thy ways to me, my Eppie Macnab;

O come thy ways to me, my Eppie Macnab;

Whate'er thou hast dune, be it late, be it sune,

Thou's welcome again to thy ain Jock Rab.

What says she, my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?

What says she, my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?

She let's thee to wit that she has thee forgot,

And for ever disowns thee, her ain Jock Rab.

O had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie Macnab!

O had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie Macnab!

As light as the air, and as fause as thou's fair,

Thou's broken the heart o' thy ain Jock Rab.

Altho' He Has Left Me

Altho' he has left me for greed o' the siller,

I dinna envy him the gains he can win;

I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my sorrow,

Than ever hae acted sae faithless to him.

My Tocher's The Jewel

O Meikle thinks my luve o' my beauty,

And meikle thinks my luve o' my kin;

But little thinks my luve I ken brawlie

My tocher's the jewel has charms for him.

It's a' for the apple he'll nourish the tree,

It's a' for the hinny he'll cherish the bee,

My laddie's sae meikle in luve wi' the siller,

He canna hae luve to spare for me.

Your proffer o' luve's an airle-penny,

My tocher's the bargain ye wad buy;

But an ye be crafty, I am cunnin',

Sae ye wi anither your fortune may try.

Ye're like to the timmer o' yon rotten wood,

Ye're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree,

Ye'll slip frae me like a knotless thread,

And ye'll crack your credit wi' mae nor me.

O For Ane An' Twenty, Tam

Chorus.—An' O for ane an' twenty, Tam!

And hey, sweet ane an' twenty, Tam!

I'll learn my kin a rattlin' sang,

An' I saw ane an' twenty, Tam.

They snool me sair, and haud me down,

An' gar me look like bluntie, Tam;

But three short years will soon wheel roun',

An' then comes ane an' twenty, Tam.

An' O for, &c.

A glieb o' lan', a claut o' gear,

Was left me by my auntie, Tam;

At kith or kin I need na spier,

An I saw ane an' twenty, Tam.

An' O for, &c.

They'll hae me wed a wealthy coof,

Tho' I mysel' hae plenty, Tam;

But, hear'st thou laddie! there's my loof,

I'm thine at ane an' twenty, Tam!

An' O for, &c.

Thou Fair Eliza

Turn again, thou fair Eliza!

Ae kind blink before we part;

Rue on thy despairing lover,

Can'st thou break his faithfu' heart?

Turn again, thou fair Eliza!

If to love thy heart denies,

Oh, in pity hide the sentence

Under friendship's kind disguise!

Thee, sweet maid, hae I offended?

My offence is loving thee;

Can'st thou wreck his peace for ever,

Wha for thine would gladly die?

While the life beats in my bosom,

Thou shalt mix in ilka throe:

Turn again, thou lovely maiden,

Ae sweet smile on me bestow.

Not the bee upon the blossom,

In the pride o' sinny noon;

Not the little sporting fairy,

All beneath the simmer moon;

Not the Minstrel in the moment

Fancy lightens in his e'e,

Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture,

That thy presence gies to me.

My Bonie Bell

The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing,

And surly Winter grimly flies;

Now crystal clear are the falling waters,

And bonie blue are the sunny skies.

Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morning,

The ev'ning gilds the ocean's swell;

All creatures joy in the sun's returning,

And I rejoice in my bonie Bell.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,

The yellow Autumn presses near;

Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,

Till smiling Spring again appear:

Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,

Old Time and Nature their changes tell;

But never ranging, still unchanging,

I adore my bonie Bell.

Sweet Afton

Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,

Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;

My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stockdove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,

Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,

Thou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbear,

I charge you, disturb not my slumbering Fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,

Far mark'd with the courses of clear, winding rills;

There daily I wander as noon rises high,

My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,

Where, wild in the woodlands, the primroses blow;

There oft, as mild Ev'ning weeps over the lea,

The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,

And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;

How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,

As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, amang thy green braes,

Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;

My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Address To The Shade Of Thomson

On Crowning His Bust at Ednam, Roxburghshire, with a Wreath of Bays.

While virgin Spring by Eden's flood,

Unfolds her tender mantle green,

Or pranks the sod in frolic mood,

Or tunes Eolian strains between.

While Summer, with a matron grace,

Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade,

Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace

The progress of the spiky blade.

While Autumn, benefactor kind,

By Tweed erects his aged head,

And sees, with self-approving mind,

Each creature on his bounty fed.

While maniac Winter rages o'er

The hills whence classic Yarrow flows,

Rousing the turbid torrent's roar,

Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows.

So long, sweet Poet of the year!

Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won;

While Scotia, with exulting tear,

Proclaims that Thomson was her son.

Nithsdale's Welcome Hame

The noble Maxwells and their powers

Are coming o'er the border,

And they'll gae big Terreagles' towers

And set them a' in order.

And they declare Terreagles fair,

For their abode they choose it;

There's no a heart in a' the land

But's lighter at the news o't.

Tho' stars in skies may disappear,

And angry tempests gather;

The happy hour may soon be near

That brings us pleasant weather:

The weary night o' care and grief

May hae a joyfu' morrow;

so dawning day has brought relief,

Fareweel our night o' sorrow.

Frae The Friends And Land I Love

Tune—"Carron Side."

Frae the friends and land I love,

Driv'n by Fortune's felly spite;

Frae my best belov'd I rove,

Never mair to taste delight:

Never mair maun hope to find

Ease frae toil, relief frae care;

When Remembrance wracks the mind,

Pleasures but unveil despair.

Brightest climes shall mirk appear,

Desert ilka blooming shore,

Till the Fates, nae mair severe,

Friendship, love, and peace restore,

Till Revenge, wi' laurel'd head,

Bring our banished hame again;

And ilk loyal, bonie lad

Cross the seas, and win his ain.

Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation

Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,

Fareweel our ancient glory;

Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,

Sae fam'd in martial story.

Now Sark rins over Solway sands,

An' Tweed rins to the ocean,

To mark where England's province stands—

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue,

Thro' many warlike ages,

Is wrought now by a coward few,

For hireling traitor's wages.

The English stell we could disdain,

Secure in valour's station;

But English gold has been our bane—

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

O would, or I had seen the day

That Treason thus could sell us,

My auld grey head had lien in clay,

Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!

But pith and power, till my last hour,

I'll mak this declaration;

We're bought and sold for English gold—

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Ye Jacobites By Name

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear,

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,

Ye Jacobites by name,

Your fautes I will proclaim,

Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.

What is Right, and What is Wrang, by the law, by the law?

What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?

What is Right, and what is Wrang?

A short sword, and a lang,

A weak arm and a strang, for to draw.

What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?

What makes heroic strife famed afar?

What makes heroic strife?

To whet th' assassin's knife,

Or hunt a Parent's life, wi' bluidy war?

Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,

Then let your schemes alone in the state.

Then let your schemes alone,

Adore the rising sun,

And leave a man undone, to his fate.

I Hae Been At Crookieden

I Hae been at Crookieden,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,

Viewing Willie and his men,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

There our foes that burnt and slew,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,

There, at last, they gat their due,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

Satan sits in his black neuk,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,

Breaking sticks to roast the Duke,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,

The bloody monster gae a yell,

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

And loud the laugh gied round a' hell

My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

O Kenmure's On And Awa, Willie

O Kenmure's on and awa, Willie,

O Kenmure's on and awa:

An' Kenmure's lord's the bravest lord

That ever Galloway saw.

Success to Kenmure's band, Willie!

Success to Kenmure's band!

There's no a heart that fears a Whig,

That rides by kenmure's hand.

Here's Kenmure's health in wine, Willie!

Here's Kenmure's health in wine!

There's ne'er a coward o' Kenmure's blude,

Nor yet o' Gordon's line.

O Kenmure's lads are men, Willie,

O Kenmure's lads are men;

Their hearts and swords are metal true,

And that their foes shall ken.

They'll live or die wi' fame, Willie;

They'll live or die wi' fame;

But sune, wi' sounding victorie,

May Kenmure's lord come hame!

Here's him that's far awa, Willie!

Here's him that's far awa!

And here's the flower that I loe best,

The rose that's like the snaw.

Epistle To John Maxwell, ESQ., Of Terraughty

On His Birthday.

Health to the Maxwell's veteran Chief!

Health, aye unsour'd by care or grief:

Inspir'd, I turn'd Fate's sibyl leaf,

This natal morn,

I see thy life is stuff o' prief,

Scarce quite half-worn.

This day thou metes threescore eleven,

And I can tell that bounteous Heaven

(The second-sight, ye ken, is given

To ilka Poet)

On thee a tack o' seven times seven

Will yet bestow it.

If envious buckies view wi' sorrow

Thy lengthen'd days on this blest morrow,

May Desolation's lang-teeth'd harrow,

Nine miles an hour,

Rake them, like Sodom and Gomorrah,

In brunstane stour.

But for thy friends, and they are mony,

Baith honest men, and lassies bonie,

May couthie Fortune, kind and cannie,

In social glee,

Wi' mornings blythe, and e'enings funny,

Bless them and thee!

Fareweel, auld birkie! Lord be near ye,

And then the deil, he daurna steer ye:

Your friends aye love, your faes aye fear ye;

For me, shame fa' me,

If neist my heart I dinna wear ye,

While Burns they ca' me.

Second Epistle To Robert Graham, ESQ., Of Fintry

5th October 1791.

Late crippl'd of an arm, and now a leg,

About to beg a pass for leave to beg;

Dull, listless, teas'd, dejected, and deprest

(Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest);

Will generous Graham list to his Poet's wail?

(It soothes poor Misery, hearkening to her tale)

And hear him curse the light he first survey'd,

And doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade?

Thou, Nature! partial Nature, I arraign;

Of thy caprice maternal I complain;

The lion and the bull thy care have found,

One shakes the forests, and one spurns the ground;

Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell;

Th' envenom'd wasp, victorious, guards his cell;

Thy minions kings defend, control, devour,

In all th' omnipotence of rule and power;

Foxes and statesmen subtile wiles ensure;

The cit and polecat stink, and are secure;

Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,

The priest and hedgehog in their robes, are snug;

Ev'n silly woman has her warlike arts,

Her tongue and eyes—her dreaded spear and darts.

But Oh! thou bitter step-mother and hard,

To thy poor, fenceless, naked child—the Bard!

A thing unteachable in world's skill,

And half an idiot too, more helpless still:

No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun;

No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun;

No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn,

And those, alas! not, Amalthea's horn:

No nerves olfact'ry, Mammon's trusty cur,

Clad in rich Dulness' comfortable fur;

In naked feeling, and in aching pride,

He bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side:

Vampyre booksellers drain him to the heart,

And scorpion critics cureless venom dart.

Critics—appall'd, I venture on the name;

Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame:

Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes;

He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose:

His heart by causeless wanton malice wrung,

By blockheads' daring into madness stung;

His well-won bays, than life itself more dear,

By miscreants torn, who ne'er one sprig must wear;

Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' unequal strife,

The hapless Poet flounders on thro' life:

Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fir'd,

And fled each muse that glorious once inspir'd,

Low sunk in squalid, unprotected age,

Dead even resentment for his injur'd page,

He heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage!

So, by some hedge, the gen'rous steed deceas'd,

For half-starv'd snarling curs a dainty feast;

By toil and famine wore to skin and bone,

Lies, senseless of each tugging bitch's son.

O Dulness! portion of the truly blest!

Calm shelter'd haven of eternal rest!

Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes

Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams.

If mantling high she fills the golden cup,

With sober selfish ease they sip it up;

Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve,

They only wonder "some folks" do not starve.

The grave sage hern thus easy picks his frog,

And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.

When disappointments snaps the clue of hope,

And thro' disastrous night they darkling grope,

With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear,

And just conclude that "fools are fortune's care."

So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks,

Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.

Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train,

Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain;

In equanimity they never dwell,

By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaulted hell.

I dread thee, Fate, relentless and severe,

With all a poet's, husband's, father's fear!

Already one strong hold of hope is lost—

Glencairn, the truly noble, lies in dust

(Fled, like the sun eclips'd as noon appears,

And left us darkling in a world of tears);

O! hear my ardent, grateful, selfish pray'r!

Fintry, my other stay, long bless and spare!

Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes crown,

And bright in cloudless skies his sun go down!

May bliss domestic smooth his private path;

Give energy to life; and soothe his latest breath,

With many a filial tear circling the bed of death!

The Song Of Death

Tune—"Oran an aoig."

Scene—A Field of Battle. Time of the day—evening. The wounded

and dying of the victorious army are supposed to join in the

following song.

Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth, and ye skies,

Now gay with the broad setting sun;

Farewell, loves and friendships, ye dear tender ties,

Our race of existence is run!

Thou grim King of Terrors; thou Life's gloomy foe!

Go, frighten the coward and slave;

Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant! but know

No terrors hast thou to the brave!

Thou strik'st the dull peasant—he sinks in the dark,

Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name;

Thou strik'st the young hero—a glorious mark;

He falls in the blaze of his fame!

In the field of proud honour—our swords in our hands,

Our King and our country to save;

While victory shines on Life's last ebbing sands,—

O! who would not die with the brave!

Poem On Sensibility

Sensibility, how charming,

Dearest Nancy, thou canst tell;

But distress, with horrors arming,

Thou alas! hast known too well!

Fairest flower, behold the lily

Blooming in the sunny ray:

Let the blast sweep o'er the valley,

See it prostrate in the clay.

Hear the wood lark charm the forest,

Telling o'er his little joys;

But alas! a prey the surest

To each pirate of the skies.

Dearly bought the hidden treasure

Finer feelings can bestow:

Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure

Thrill the deepest notes of woe.

The Toadeater

Of Lordly acquaintance you boast,

And the Dukes that you dined wi' yestreen,

Yet an insect's an insect at most,

Tho' it crawl on the curl of a Queen!

Divine Service In The Kirk Of Lamington

As cauld a wind as ever blew,

A cauld kirk, an in't but few:

As cauld a minister's e'er spak;

Ye'se a' be het e'er I come back.

The Keekin'-Glass

How daur ye ca' me howlet-face,

Ye blear-e'ed, withered spectre?

Ye only spied the keekin'-glass,

An' there ye saw your picture.

A Grace Before Dinner, Extempore

O thou who kindly dost provide

For every creature's want!

We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,

For all Thy goodness lent:

And if it please Thee, Heavenly Guide,

May never worse be sent;

But, whether granted, or denied,

Lord, bless us with content. Amen!

A Grace After Dinner, Extempore

O thou, in whom we live and move—

Who made the sea and shore;

Thy goodness constantly we prove,

And grateful would adore;

And, if it please Thee, Power above!

Still grant us, with such store,

The friend we trust, the fair we love—

And we desire no more. Amen!

O May, Thy Morn

O may, thy morn was ne'er so sweet

As the mirk night o' December!

For sparkling was the rosy wine,

And private was the chamber:

And dear was she I dare na name,

But I will aye remember:

And dear was she I dare na name,

But I will aye remember.

And here's to them that, like oursel,

Can push about the jorum!

And here's to them that wish us weel,

May a' that's guid watch o'er 'em!

And here's to them, we dare na tell,

The dearest o' the quorum!

And here's to them, we dare na tell,

The dearest o' the quorum.

Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever

Tune—"Rory Dall's Port."

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;

Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,

Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,

While the star of hope she leaves him?

Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;

Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,

Naething could resist my Nancy:

But to see her was to love her;

Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never lov'd sae kindly,

Had we never lov'd sae blindly,

Never met—or never parted,

We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!

Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!

Thine be ilka joy and treasure,

Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!

Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,

Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Behold The Hour, The Boat, Arrive

Behold the hour, the boat, arrive!

My dearest Nancy, O fareweel!

Severed frae thee, can I survive,

Frae thee whom I hae lov'd sae weel?

Endless and deep shall be my grief;

LNae ray of comfort shall I see,

But this most precious, dear belief,

That thou wilt still remember me!

Alang the solitary shore

Where flitting sea-fowl round me cry,

Across the rolling, dashing roar,

I'll westward turn my wishful eye.

"Happy thou Indian grove," I'll say,

"Where now my Nancy's path shall be!

While thro' your sweets she holds her way,

O tell me, does she muse on me?"

Thou Gloomy December

Ance mair I hail thee, thou gloomy December!

Ance mair I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;

Sad was the parting thou makes me remember—

Parting wi' Nancy, oh, ne'er to meet mair!

Fond lovers' parting is sweet, painful pleasure,

Hope beaming mild on the soft parting hour;

But the dire feeling, O farewell for ever!

Is anguish unmingled, and agony pure!

Wild as the winter now tearing the forest,

Till the last leaf o' the summer is flown;

Such is the tempest has shaken my bosom,

Till my last hope and last comfort is gone.

Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy December,

Still shall I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;

For sad was the parting thou makes me remember,

Parting wi' Nancy, oh, ne'er to meet mair.

My Native Land Sae Far Awa

O sad and heavy, should I part,

But for her sake, sae far awa;

Unknowing what my way may thwart,

My native land sae far awa.

Thou that of a' things Maker art,

That formed this Fair sae far awa,

Gie body strength, then I'll ne'er start

At this my way sae far awa.

How true is love to pure desert!

Like mine for her sae far awa;

And nocht can heal my bosom's smart,

While, oh, she is sae far awa!

Nane other love, nane other dart,

I feel but her's sae far awa;

But fairer never touch'd a heart

Than her's, the Fair, sae far awa.