Robert Burns: Poems


Poortith Cauld And Restless Love

Tune—"Cauld Kail in Aberdeen."

O poortith cauld, and restless love,

Ye wrack my peace between ye;

Yet poortith a' I could forgive,

An 'twere na for my Jeanie.

Chorus—O why should Fate sic pleasure have,

Life's dearest bands untwining?

Or why sae sweet a flower as love

Depend on Fortune's shining?

The warld's wealth, when I think on,

It's pride and a' the lave o't;

O fie on silly coward man,

That he should be the slave o't!

O why, &c.

Her e'en, sae bonie blue, betray

How she repays my passion;

But prudence is her o'erword aye,

She talks o' rank and fashion.

O why, &c.

O wha can prudence think upon,

And sic a lassie by him?

O wha can prudence think upon,

And sae in love as I am?

O why, &c.

How blest the simple cotter's fate!

He woos his artless dearie;

The silly bogles, wealth and state,

Can never make him eerie,

O why, &c.

On Politics

In Politics if thou would'st mix,

And mean thy fortunes be;

Bear this in mind,—be deaf and blind,

Let great folk hear and see.

Braw Lads O' Galla Water

Braw, braw lads on Yarrow-braes,

They rove amang the blooming heather;

But Yarrow braes, nor Ettrick shaws

Can match the lads o' Galla Water.

But there is ane, a secret ane,

Aboon them a' I loe him better;

And I'll be his, and he'll be mine,

The bonie lad o' Galla Water.

Altho' his daddie was nae laird,

And tho' I hae nae meikle tocher,

Yet rich in kindest, truest love,

We'll tent our flocks by Galla Water.

It ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was wealth,

That coft contentment, peace, or pleasure;

The bands and bliss o' mutual love,

O that's the chiefest warld's treasure.

Sonnet Written On The Author's Birthday,

On hearing a Thrush sing in his Morning Walk.

Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain,

See aged Winter, 'mid his surly reign,

At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.

So in lone Poverty's dominion drear,

Sits meek Content with light, unanxious heart;

Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,

Nor asks if they bring ought to hope or fear.

I thank thee, Author of this opening day!

Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!

Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys—

What wealth could never give nor take away!

Yet come, thou child of poverty and care,

The mite high heav'n bestow'd, that mite with thee I'll share.

Wandering Willie—First Version

Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,

Now tired with wandering, haud awa hame;

Come to my bosom, my ae only dearie,

And tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.

Loud blew the cauld winter winds at our parting;

It was na the blast brought the tear in my e'e:

Now welcome the Simmer, and welcome my Willie,

The Simmer to Nature, my Willie to me.

Ye hurricanes rest in the cave o'your slumbers,

O how your wild horrors a lover alarms!

Awaken ye breezes, row gently ye billows,

And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.

But if he's forgotten his faithfullest Nannie,

O still flow between us, thou wide roaring main;

May I never see it, may I never trow it,

But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain!

Wandering Willie—Revised Version

Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,

Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame;

Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie,

Tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.

Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,

Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e,

Welcome now the Simmer, and welcome, my Willie,

The Simmer to Nature, my Willie to me!

Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers,

How your dread howling a lover alarms!

Wauken, ye breezes, row gently, ye billows,

And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.

But oh, if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie,

Flow still between us, thou wide roaring main!

May I never see it, may I never trow it,

But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain!

Lord Gregory

O mirk, mirk is this midnight hour,

And loud the tempest's roar;

A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tower,

Lord Gregory, ope thy door.

An exile frae her father's ha',

And a' for loving thee;

At least some pity on me shaw,

If love it may na be.

Lord Gregory, mind'st thou not the grove

By bonie Irwine side,

Where first I own'd that virgin love

I lang, lang had denied.

How aften didst thou pledge and vow

Thou wad for aye be mine!

And my fond heart, itsel' sae true,

It ne'er mistrusted thine.

Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory,

And flinty is thy breast:

Thou bolt of Heaven that flashest by,

O, wilt thou bring me rest!

Ye mustering thunders from above,

Your willing victim see;

But spare and pardon my fause Love,

His wrangs to Heaven and me.

Open The Door To Me, Oh

Oh, open the door, some pity to shew,

Oh, open the door to me, oh,

Tho' thou hast been false, I'll ever prove true,

Oh, open the door to me, oh.

Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek,

But caulder thy love for me, oh:

The frost that freezes the life at my heart,

Is nought to my pains frae thee, oh.

The wan Moon is setting beyond the white wave,

And Time is setting with me, oh:

False friends, false love, farewell! for mair

I'll ne'er trouble them, nor thee, oh.

She has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide,

She sees the pale corse on the plain, oh:

"My true love!" she cried, and sank down by his side,

Never to rise again, oh.

Lovely Young Jessie

True hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow,

And fair are the maids on the banks of the Ayr;

But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding river,

Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair:

To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over;

To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain,

Grace, beauty, and elegance, fetter her lover,

And maidenly modesty fixes the chain.

O, fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning,

And sweet is the lily, at evening close;

But in the fair presence o' lovely young Jessie,

Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose.

Love sits in her smile, a wizard ensnaring;

Enthron'd in her een he delivers his law:

And still to her charms she alone is a stranger;

Her modest demeanour's the jewel of a'.

Meg O' The Mill

O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten,

An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?

She gotten a coof wi' a claut o' siller,

And broken the heart o' the barley Miller.

The Miller was strappin, the Miller was ruddy;

A heart like a lord, and a hue like a lady;

The laird was a widdifu', bleerit knurl;

She's left the gude fellow, and taen the churl.

The Miller he hecht her a heart leal and loving,

The lair did address her wi' matter mair moving,

A fine pacing-horse wi' a clear chained bridle,

A whip by her side, and a bonie side-saddle.

O wae on the siller, it is sae prevailin',

And wae on the love that is fixed on a mailen!

A tocher's nae word in a true lover's parle,

But gie me my love, and a fig for the warl'!

Meg O' The Mill—Another Version

O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten,

An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?

A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottan,

And that's what Meg o' the Mill has gotten.

O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly,

An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly?

A dram o' gude strunt in the morning early,

And that's what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly.

O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was married,

An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was married?

The priest he was oxter'd, the clark he was carried,

And that's how Meg o' the Mill was married.

O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was bedded,

An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was bedded?

The groom gat sae fou', he fell awald beside it,

And that's how Meg o' the Mill was bedded.

The Soldier's Return

Air—"The Mill, mill, O."

When wild war's deadly blast was blawn,

And gentle peace returning,

Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless,

And mony a widow mourning;

I left the lines and tented field,

Where lang I'd been a lodger,

My humble knapsack a' my wealth,

A poor and honest sodger.

A leal, light heart was in my breast,

My hand unstain'd wi' plunder;

And for fair Scotia hame again,

I cheery on did wander:

I thought upon the banks o' Coil,

I thought upon my Nancy,

I thought upon the witching smile

That caught my youthful fancy.

At length I reach'd the bonie glen,

Where early life I sported;

I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn,

Where Nancy aft I courted:

Wha spied I but my ain dear maid,

Down by her mother's dwelling!

And turn'd me round to hide the flood

That in my een was swelling.

Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, "Sweet lass,

Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom,

O! happy, happy may he be,

That's dearest to thy bosom:

My purse is light, I've far to gang,

And fain would be thy lodger;

I've serv'd my king and country lang—

Take pity on a sodger."

Sae wistfully she gaz'd on me,

And lovelier was than ever;

Quo' she, "A sodger ance I lo'ed,

Forget him shall I never:

Our humble cot, and hamely fare,

Ye freely shall partake it;

That gallant badge—the dear cockade,

Ye're welcome for the sake o't."

She gaz'd—she redden'd like a rose—

Syne pale like only lily;

She sank within my arms, and cried,

"Art thou my ain dear Willie?"

"By him who made yon sun and sky!

By whom true love's regarded,

I am the man; and thus may still

True lovers be rewarded.

"The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame,

And find thee still true-hearted;

Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love,

And mair we'se ne'er be parted."

Quo' she, "My grandsire left me gowd,

A mailen plenish'd fairly;

And come, my faithfu' sodger lad,

Thou'rt welcome to it dearly!"

For gold the merchant ploughs the main,

The farmer ploughs the manor;

But glory is the sodger's prize,

The sodgerpppp's wealth is honor:

The brave poor sodger ne'er despise,

Nor count him as a stranger;

Remember he's his country's stay,

In day and hour of danger.

Versicles, A.D. 1793

The True Loyal Natives

Ye true "Loyal Natives" attend to my song

In uproar and riot rejoice the night long;

From Envy and Hatred your corps is exempt,

But where is your shield from the darts of Contempt!

On Commissary Goldie's Brains

Lord, to account who dares thee call,

Or e'er dispute thy pleasure?

Else why, within so thick a wall,

Enclose so poor a treasure?

Lines Inscribed In A Lady's Pocket Almanac

Grant me, indulgent Heaven, that I may live,

To see the miscreants feel the pains they give;

Deal Freedom's sacred treasures free as air,

Till Slave and Despot be but things that were.

Thanksgiving For A National Victory

Ye hypocrites! are these your pranks?

To murder men and give God thanks!

Desist, for shame!—proceed no further;

God won't accept your thanks for Murther!

Lines On The Commemoration Of Rodney's Victory

Instead of a Song, boy's, I'll give you a Toast;

Here's to the memory of those on the twelfth that we lost!—

That we lost, did I say?—nay, by Heav'n, that we found;

For their fame it will last while the world goes round.

The next in succession I'll give you's the King!

Whoe'er would betray him, on high may he swing!

And here's the grand fabric, our free Constitution,

As built on the base of our great Revolution!

And longer with Politics not to be cramm'd,

Be Anarchy curs'd, and Tyranny damn'd!

And who would to Liberty e'er prove disloyal,

May his son be a hangman—and he his first trial!

The Raptures Of Folly

Thou greybeard, old Wisdom! may boast of thy treasures;

Give me with young Folly to live;

I grant thee thy calm-blooded, time-settled pleasures,

But Folly has raptures to give.

Kirk and State Excisemen

Ye men of wit and wealth, why all this sneering

'Gainst poor Excisemen? Give the cause a hearing:

What are your Landlord's rent-rolls? Taxing ledgers!

What Premiers? What ev'n Monarchs? Mighty Gaugers!

Nay, what are Priests? (those seeming godly wise-men,)

What are they, pray, but Spiritual Excisemen!

Extempore Reply To An Invitation

The King's most humble servant, I

Can scarcely spare a minute;

But I'll be wi' you by an' by;

Or else the Deil's be in it.

Grace After Meat

Lord, we thank, and thee adore,

For temporal gifts we little merit;

At present we will ask no more—

Let William Hislop give the spirit.

Grace Before And After Meat

O Lord, when hunger pinches sore,

Do thou stand us in stead,

And send us, from thy bounteous store,

A tup or wether head! Amen.

O Lord, since we have feasted thus,

Which we so little merit,

Let Meg now take away the flesh,

And Jock bring in the spirit! Amen.

Impromptu On General Dumourier's Desertion From The French Republican Army

You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier;

You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier:

How does Dampiere do?

Ay, and Bournonville too?

Why did they not come along with you, Dumourier?

I will fight France with you, Dumourier;

I will fight France with you, Dumourier;

I will fight France with you,

I will take my chance with you;

By my soul, I'll dance with you, Dumourier.

Then let us fight about, Dumourier;

Then let us fight about, Dumourier;

Then let us fight about,

Till Freedom's spark be out,

Then we'll be damn'd, no doubt, Dumourier.

The Last Time I Came O'er The Moor

The last time I came o'er the moor,

And left Maria's dwelling,

What throes, what tortures passing cure,

Were in my bosom swelling:

Condemn'd to see my rival's reign,

While I in secret languish;

To feel a fire in every vein,

Yet dare not speak my anguish.

Love's veriest wretch, despairing, I

Fain, fain, my crime would cover;

Th' unweeting groan, the bursting sigh,

Betray the guilty lover.

I know my doom must be despair,

Thou wilt nor canst relieve me;

But oh, Maria, hear my prayer,

For Pity's sake forgive me!

The music of thy tongue I heard,

Nor wist while it enslav'd me;

I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd,

Till fear no more had sav'd me:

The unwary sailor thus, aghast,

The wheeling torrent viewing,

'Mid circling horrors yields at last

To overwhelming ruin.

Logan Braes

Tune—"Logan Water."

O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide,

That day I was my Willie's bride,

And years sin syne hae o'er us run,

Like Logan to the simmer sun:

But now thy flowery banks appear

Like drumlie Winter, dark and drear,

While my dear lad maun face his faes,

Far, far frae me and Logan braes.

Again the merry month of May

Has made our hills and valleys gay;

The birds rejoice in leafy bowers,

The bees hum round the breathing flowers;

Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye,

And Evening's tears are tears o' joy:

My soul, delightless a' surveys,

While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,

Amang her nestlings sits the thrush:

Her faithfu' mate will share her toil,

Or wi' his song her cares beguile;

But I wi' my sweet nurslings here,

Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer,

Pass widow'd nights and joyless days,

While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

O wae be to you, Men o' State,

That brethren rouse to deadly hate!

As ye make mony a fond heart mourn,

Sae may it on your heads return!

How can your flinty hearts enjoy

The widow's tear, the orphan's cry?

But soon may peace bring happy days,

And Willie hame to Logan braes!

Blythe Hae I been On Yon Hill

Tune—"The Quaker's Wife."

Blythe hae I been on yon hill,

As the lambs before me;

Careless ilka thought and free,

As the breeze flew o'er me;

Now nae langer sport and play,

Mirth or sang can please me;

Lesley is sae fair and coy,

Care and anguish seize me.

Heavy, heavy is the task,

Hopeless love declaring;

Trembling, I dow nocht but glow'r,

Sighing, dumb despairing!

If she winna ease the thraws

In my bosom swelling,

Underneath the grass-green sod,

Soon maun be my dwelling.

O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair

Air—"Hughie Graham."

O were my love yon Lilac fair,

Wi' purple blossoms to the Spring,

And I, a bird to shelter there,

When wearied on my little wing!

How I wad mourn when it was torn

By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!

But I wad sing on wanton wing,

When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.

O gin my love were yon red rose,

That grows upon the castle wa';

And I myself a drap o' dew,

Into her bonie breast to fa'!

O there, beyond expression blest,

I'd feast on beauty a' the night;

Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,

Till fley'd awa by Phoebus' light!

Bonie Jean—A Ballad

To its ain tune.

There was a lass, and she was fair,

At kirk or market to be seen;

When a' our fairest maids were met,

The fairest maid was bonie Jean.

And aye she wrought her mammie's wark,

And aye she sang sae merrilie;

The blythest bird upon the bush

Had ne'er a lighter heart than she.

But hawks will rob the tender joys

That bless the little lintwhite's nest;

And frost will blight the fairest flowers,

And love will break the soundest rest.

Young Robie was the brawest lad,

The flower and pride of a' the glen;

And he had owsen, sheep, and kye,

And wanton naigies nine or ten.

He gaed wi' Jeanie to the tryste,

He danc'd wi' Jeanie on the down;

And, lang ere witless Jeanie wist,

Her heart was tint, her peace was stown!

As in the bosom of the stream,

The moon-beam dwells at dewy e'en;

So trembling, pure, was tender love

Within the breast of bonie Jean.

And now she works her mammie's wark,

And aye she sighs wi' care and pain;

Yet wist na what her ail might be,

Or what wad make her weel again.

But did na Jeanie's heart loup light,

And didna joy blink in her e'e,

As Robie tauld a tale o' love

Ae e'ening on the lily lea?

The sun was sinking in the west,

The birds sang sweet in ilka grove;

His cheek to hers he fondly laid,

And whisper'd thus his tale o' love:

"O Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear;

O canst thou think to fancy me,

Or wilt thou leave thy mammie's cot,

And learn to tent the farms wi' me?

"At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge,

Or naething else to trouble thee;

But stray amang the heather-bells,

And tent the waving corn wi' me."

Now what could artless Jeanie do?

She had nae will to say him na:

At length she blush'd a sweet consent,

And love was aye between them twa.

Lines On John M'Murdo, ESQ.

Blest be M'Murdo to his latest day!

No envious cloud o'ercast his evening ray;

No wrinkle, furrow'd by the hand of care,

Nor ever sorrow add one silver hair!

O may no son the father's honour stain,

Nor ever daughter give the mother pain!

Epitaph On A Lap-Dog

Named Echo

In wood and wild, ye warbling throng,

Your heavy loss deplore;

Now, half extinct your powers of song,

Sweet Echo is no more.

Ye jarring, screeching things around,

Scream your discordant joys;

Now, half your din of tuneless sound

With Echo silent lies.

Epigrams Against The Earl Of Galloway

What dost thou in that mansion fair?

Flit, Galloway, and find

Some narrow, dirty, dungeon cave,

The picture of thy mind.

No Stewart art thou, Galloway,

The Stewarts 'll were brave;

Besides, the Stewarts were but fools,

Not one of them a knave.

Bright ran thy line, O Galloway,

Thro' many a far-fam'd sire!

So ran the far-famed Roman way,

And ended in a mire.

Spare me thy vengeance, Galloway!

In quiet let me live:

I ask no kindness at thy hand,

For thou hast none to give.

Epigram On The Laird Of Laggan

When Morine, deceas'd, to the Devil went down,

'Twas nothing would serve him but Satan's own crown;

"Thy fool's head," quoth Satan, "that crown shall wear never,

I grant thou'rt as wicked, but not quite so clever."

Song—Phillis The Fair

Tune—"Robin Adair."

While larks, with little wing,

Fann'd the pure air,

Tasting the breathing Spring,

Forth I did fare:

Gay the sun's golden eye

Peep'd o'er the mountains high;

Such thy morn! did I cry,

Phillis the fair.

In each bird's careless song,

Glad I did share;

While yon wild-flowers among,

Chance led me there!

Sweet to the op'ning day,

Rosebuds bent the dewy spray;

Such thy bloom! did I say,

Phillis the fair.

Down in a shady walk,

Doves cooing were;

I mark'd the cruel hawk

Caught in a snare:

So kind may fortune be,

Such make his destiny,

He who would injure thee,

Phillis the fair.

Song—Had I A Cave

Tune—"Robin Adair."

Had I a cave on some wild distant shore,

Where the winds howl to the wave's dashing roar:

There would I weep my woes,

There seek my lost repose,

Till grief my eyes should close,

Ne'er to wake more!

Falsest of womankind, can'st thou declare

All thy fond, plighted vows fleeting as air!

To thy new lover hie,

Laugh o'er thy perjury;

Then in thy bosom try

What peace is there!

Song—By Allan Stream

By Allan stream I chanc'd to rove,

While Phoebus sank beyond Benledi;

The winds are whispering thro' the grove,

The yellow corn was waving ready:

I listen'd to a lover's sang,

An' thought on youthfu' pleasures mony;

And aye the wild-wood echoes rang—

"O, dearly do I love thee, Annie!

"O, happy be the woodbine bower,

Nae nightly bogle make it eerie;

Nor ever sorrow stain the hour,

The place and time I met my Dearie!

Her head upon my throbbing breast,

She, sinking, said, 'I'm thine for ever!'

While mony a kiss the seal imprest—

The sacred vow we ne'er should sever."

The haunt o' Spring's the primrose-brae,

The Summer joys the flocks to follow;

How cheery thro' her short'ning day,

Is Autumn in her weeds o' yellow;

But can they melt the glowing heart,

Or chain the soul in speechless pleasure?

Or thro' each nerve the rapture dart,

Like meeting her, our bosom's treasure?

Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad

Chorus.—O Whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad,

O whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad,

Tho' father an' mother an' a' should gae mad,

O whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad.

But warily tent when ye come to court me,

And come nae unless the back-yett be a-jee;

Syne up the back-stile, and let naebody see,

And come as ye were na comin' to me,

And come as ye were na comin' to me.

O whistle an' I'll come, &c.

At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me,

Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd na a flie;

But steal me a blink o' your bonie black e'e,

Yet look as ye were na lookin' to me,

Yet look as ye were na lookin' to me.

O whistle an' I'll come, &c.

Aye vow and protest that ye care na for me,

And whiles ye may lightly my beauty a-wee;

But court na anither, tho' jokin' ye be,

For fear that she wile your fancy frae me,

For fear that she wile your fancy frae me.

O whistle an' I'll come, &c.

Phillis The Queen O' The Fair

Tune—"The Muckin o' Geordie's Byre."

Adown winding Nith I did wander,

To mark the sweet flowers as they spring;

Adown winding Nith I did wander,

Of Phillis to muse and to sing.

Chorus.—Awa' wi' your belles and your beauties,

They never wi' her can compare,

Whaever has met wi' my Phillis,

Has met wi' the queen o' the fair.

The daisy amus'd my fond fancy,

So artless, so simple, so wild;

Thou emblem, said I, o' my Phillis—

For she is Simplicity's child.

Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

The rose-bud's the blush o' my charmer,

Her sweet balmy lip when 'tis prest:

How fair and how pure is the lily!

But fairer and purer her breast.

Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbour,

They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie:

Her breath is the breath of the woodbine,

Its dew-drop o' diamond her eye.

Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

Her voice is the song o' the morning,

That wakes thro' the green-spreading grove

When Phoebus peeps over the mountains,

On music, and pleasure, and love.

Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

But beauty, how frail and how fleeting!

The bloom of a fine summer's day;

While worth in the mind o' my Phillis,

Will flourish without a decay.

Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

Come, Let Me Take Thee To My Breast

Come, let me take thee to my breast,

And pledge we ne'er shall sunder;

And I shall spurn as vilest dust

The world's wealth and grandeur:

And do I hear my Jeanie own

That equal transports move her?

I ask for dearest life alone,

That I may live to love her.

Thus, in my arms, wi' a' her charms,

I clasp my countless treasure;

I'll seek nae main o' Heav'n to share,

Tha sic a moment's pleasure:

And by thy e'en sae bonie blue,

I swear I'm thine for ever!

And on thy lips I seal my vow,

And break it shall I never.

Dainty Davie

Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers,

To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers;

And now comes in the happy hours,

To wander wi' my Davie.

Chorus.—Meet me on the warlock knowe,

Dainty Davie, Dainty Davie;

There I'll spend the day wi' you,

My ain dear Dainty Davie.

The crystal waters round us fa',

The merry birds are lovers a',

The scented breezes round us blaw,

A wandering wi' my Davie.

Meet me on, &c.

As purple morning starts the hare,

To steal upon her early fare,

Then thro' the dews I will repair,

To meet my faithfu' Davie.

Meet me on, &c.

When day, expiring in the west,

The curtain draws o' Nature's rest,

I flee to his arms I loe' the best,

And that's my ain dear Davie.

Meet me on, &c.

Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

Welcome to your gory bed,

Or to Victorie!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;

See the front o' battle lour;

See approach proud Edward's power—

Chains and Slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?

Wha can fill a coward's grave?

Wha sae base as be a Slave?

Let him turn and flee!

Wha, for Scotland's King and Law,

Freedom's sword will strongly draw,

Free-man stand, or Free-man fa',

Let him on wi' me!

By Oppression's woes and pains!

By your Sons in servile chains!

We will drain our dearest veins,

But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!

Tyrants fall in every foe!

Liberty's in every blow!—

Let us Do or Die!

Behold The Hour, The Boat Arrive

Behold the hour, the boat arrive;

Thou goest, the darling of my heart;

Sever'd from thee, can I survive,

But Fate has will'd and we must part.

I'll often greet the surging swell,

Yon distant Isle will often hail:

"E'en here I took the last farewell;

There, latest mark'd her vanish'd sail."

Along the solitary shore,

While flitting sea-fowl round me cry,

Across the rolling, dashing roar,

I'll westward turn my wistful eye:

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

"Where now my Nancy's path may be!

While thro' thy sweets she loves to stray,

O tell me, does she muse on me!"

Down The Burn, Davie

As down the burn they took their way,

And thro' the flowery dale;

His cheek to hers he aft did lay,

And love was aye the tale:

With "Mary, when shall we return,

Sic pleasure to renew?"

Quoth Mary—"Love, I like the burn,

And aye shall follow you."

Thou Hast Left Me Ever, Jamie

Tune—"Fee him, father, fee him."

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie,

Thou hast left me ever;

Thou has left me ever, Jamie,

Thou hast left me ever:

Aften hast thou vow'd that Death

Only should us sever;

Now thou'st left thy lass for aye—

I maun see thee never, Jamie,

I'll see thee never.

Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie,

Thou hast me forsaken;

Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie,

Thou hast me forsaken;

Thou canst love another jo,

While my heart is breaking;

Soon my weary een I'll close,

Never mair to waken, Jamie,

Never mair to waken!

Where Are The Joys I have Met?

Tune—"Saw ye my father."

Where are the joys I have met in the morning,

That danc'd to the lark's early song?

Where is the peace that awaited my wand'ring,

At evening the wild-woods among?

No more a winding the course of yon river,

And marking sweet flowerets so fair,

No more I trace the light footsteps of Pleasure,

But Sorrow and sad-sighing Care.

Is it that Summer's forsaken our valleys,

And grim, surly Winter is near?

No, no, the bees humming round the gay roses

Proclaim it the pride of the year.

Fain would I hide what I fear to discover,

Yet long, long, too well have I known;

All that has caused this wreck in my bosom,

Is Jenny, fair Jenny alone.

Time cannot aid me, my griefs are immortal,

Nor Hope dare a comfort bestow:

Come then, enamour'd and fond of my anguish,

Enjoyment I'll seek in my woe.

Deluded Swain, The Pleasure

Tune—"The Collier's Dochter."

Deluded swain, the pleasure

The fickle Fair can give thee,

Is but a fairy treasure,

Thy hopes will soon deceive thee:

The billows on the ocean,

The breezes idly roaming,

The cloud's uncertain motion,

They are but types of Woman.

O art thou not asham'd

To doat upon a feature?

If Man thou wouldst be nam'd,

Despise the silly creature.

Go, find an honest fellow,

Good claret set before thee,

Hold on till thou art mellow,

And then to bed in glory!

Thine Am I, My Faithful Fair

Tune—"The Quaker's Wife."

Thine am I, my faithful Fair,

Thine, my lovely Nancy;

Ev'ry pulse along my veins,

Ev'ry roving fancy.

To thy bosom lay my heart,

There to throb and languish;

Tho' despair had wrung its core,

That would heal its anguish.

Take away those rosy lips,

Rich with balmy treasure;

Turn away thine eyes of love,

Lest I die with pleasure!

What is life when wanting Love?

Night without a morning:

Love's the cloudless summer sun,

Nature gay adorning.

On Mrs. Riddell's Birthday

4th November 1793.

Old Winter, with his frosty beard,

Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:

"What have I done of all the year,

To bear this hated doom severe?

My cheerless suns no pleasure know;

Night's horrid car drags, dreary slow;

My dismal months no joys are crowning,

But spleeny English hanging, drowning.

"Now Jove, for once be mighty civil.

To counterbalance all this evil;

Give me, and I've no more to say,

Give me Maria's natal day!

That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,

Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me."

"'Tis done!" says Jove; so ends my story,

And Winter once rejoiced in glory.

My Spouse Nancy

Tune—"My Jo Janet."

"Husband, husband, cease your strife,

Nor longer idly rave, Sir;

Tho' I am your wedded wife

Yet I am not your slave, Sir."

"One of two must still obey,

Nancy, Nancy;

Is it Man or Woman, say,

My spouse Nancy?'

"If 'tis still the lordly word,

Service and obedience;

I'll desert my sov'reign lord,

And so, good bye, allegiance!"

"Sad shall I be, so bereft,

Nancy, Nancy;

Yet I'll try to make a shift,

My spouse Nancy."

"My poor heart, then break it must,

My last hour I am near it:

When you lay me in the dust,

Think how you will bear it."

"I will hope and trust in Heaven,

Nancy, Nancy;

Strength to bear it will be given,

My spouse Nancy."

"Well, Sir, from the silent dead,

Still I'll try to daunt you;

Ever round your midnight bed

Horrid sprites shall haunt you!"

"I'll wed another like my dear

Nancy, Nancy;

Then all hell will fly for fear,

My spouse Nancy."


Spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her Benefit Night, December 4th, 1793, at the Theatre, Dumfries.

Still anxious to secure your partial favour,

And not less anxious, sure, this night, than ever,

A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such matter,

'Twould vamp my bill, said I, if nothing better;

So sought a poet, roosted near the skies,

Told him I came to feast my curious eyes;

Said, nothing like his works was ever printed;

And last, my prologue-business slily hinted.

"Ma'am, let me tell you," quoth my man of rhymes,

"I know your bent—these are no laughing times:

Can you—but, Miss, I own I have my fears—

Dissolve in pause, and sentimental tears;

With laden sighs, and solemn-rounded sentence,

Rouse from his sluggish slumbers, fell Repentance;

Paint Vengeance as he takes his horrid stand,

Waving on high the desolating brand,

Calling the storms to bear him o'er a guilty land?"

I could no more—askance the creature eyeing,

"D'ye think," said I, "this face was made for crying?

I'll laugh, that's poz-nay more, the world shall know it;

And so, your servant! gloomy Master Poet!"

Firm as my creed, Sirs, 'tis my fix'd belief,

That Misery's another word for Grief:

I also think—so may I be a bride!

That so much laughter, so much life enjoy'd.

Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless sigh,

Still under bleak Misfortune's blasting eye;

Doom'd to that sorest task of man alive—

To make three guineas do the work of five:

Laugh in Misfortune's face—the beldam witch!

Say, you'll be merry, tho' you can't be rich.

Thou other man of care, the wretch in love,

Who long with jiltish airs and arts hast strove;

Who, as the boughs all temptingly project,

Measur'st in desperate thought—a rope—thy neck—

Or, where the beetling cliff o'erhangs the deep,

Peerest to meditate the healing leap:

Would'st thou be cur'd, thou silly, moping elf?

Laugh at her follies—laugh e'en at thyself:

Learn to despise those frowns now so terrific,

And love a kinder—that's your grand specific.

To sum up all, be merry, I advise;

And as we're merry, may we still be wise.

Complimentary Epigram On Maria Riddell

"Praise Woman still," his lordship roars,

"Deserv'd or not, no matter?"

But thee, whom all my soul adores,

Ev'n Flattery cannot flatter:

Maria, all my thought and dream,

Inspires my vocal shell;

The more I praise my lovely theme,

The more the truth I tell.