Page images

O, Marion's a bonnie lass,

And the blythe blinks in her ee;
And fain wad I marry Marion,

Gin Marion wad marry me.
There's gowd in your garters, Marion,

And silk on your white hause-bane;
Fu' fain wad I kiss my Marion,

At e'en when I come hame.
There's braw lads in Earnslaw, Marion,

gape, and glowr with their e'e,
At kirk, when they see my Marion ;

But nane o' them lo’es like me.
I've nine milk-ewes, my Marion;

A cow and a brawny quey,
Ise gi'e them a’ to my Marion,

Just on her bridal day;
And ye’se get a green sey apron,

And waistcoat o' London brown,
And vow but ye will be vap'ring,

Whene'er ye gang to the town.

young and stout, my. Marion ;
Nane dances like me on the green :
And gin ye forsake me, Marion,

I'll e'en gae draw up wi’ Jean :
Sae put on your pearlins, Marion,

And kirtle o' cramasie;
And soon as my chin has nae hair on,

I shall come west, and see ye.

[First printed in the Tea Table Miscellany. Percy inserted it in his Reliques with the following note, “ This Sonnet appears to be ancient : that and its simpiicity of sentiment have recommended it to a place here."]



Born 1570—Died 1638.

I lov'd thee once, I'll love no more,

Thine be the grief, as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wast before,

What reason I should be the same?
He that can love, unlov’d again,
Hath better store of love than brain.

God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o’erthrown

If thou hadst still continued mine; Yea, if thou hadst still remain'd thine own,

I might perchance, have yet been thine, But thou thy freedom didst recal, That it thou might'st elsewhere enthral,

And then, how could I but disdain

A captive's captive to remain ?
When new desires had conquer'a thee,

And chang'd the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,

No constancy, to love thee still :
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so;

Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray,

Yet do thou glory in thy choice;

Thy choice, of his good fortune boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice,

To see him gain what I have lost:
The height of my disdain shall be,
To laugh at him, to blush for thee;

To love thee still but go no more
A begging at a beggar's door.

(Sir Robert Ayton was Secretary to Anne the wife of the first English James. There is little known of his Life. Jonson told Drummond that . Sir R. Aiton lo'ed him dearly. He lies buried in Westminster Abbey where a handsome monument is erected to his memory.]



I do confess thou’rt smooth and fair,

And I might have gone near to love thee;
Had I not found the slightest prayer

That lips could speak had power to move thee
But I can let thee now alone,
As worthy to be loved by none.

I do confess thou’rt sweet, yet find

Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
Thy favours are but like the wind,

That kisses every thing it meets.
And since thou can with more than one,
Thou’rt worthy to be kiss’d by none

The morning rose, that untouch'd stands,

Arm’d with her briers, how sweetly smells !
But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands,

Her sweets no longer with her dwells ;
But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her, one by one.
Such fate, ere long, will thee betide,

When thou hast handled been awhile ;
Like sere flowers to be thrown aside,

And I will sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love for more than one
Hath brought thee to be loved by none.

[“ This song," writes Robert Chambers, “ is generally printed with the name of Sir Robert Ayton as author; but it is a suspicious cir. cumstance that, in Watson's Collection (1706-11), where several poems by Sir Robert are printed with his name in a cluster, this is inserted at a different part of the work, without his name.”

The following is Burns' alteration of the above exquisite stanzas“I do think,” says the poet, “ that I have improved the simplicity of the sentiments by giving them a Scot's dress,"

I do confess thou art sae fair,

I wad been o'er the lugs in love,
Had I na found the slightest prayer

That lips could speak, thy heart could move.
I do confess thee sweet, but find

Thou art sae thriftless o' thy sweets,
Thy favours are the silly wind,

That kisses ilka thing it meets.
See yonder rose-bud, rich in dew,

Amang its native briers sae coy;
How sune it tines its scent and hue

When pou'd and worn a common toy!
Sic fate, ere lang shall thee betide,

Tho' thou may gaily bloom awhile;
Yet sune thou shalt be thrown aside

Like ony common weed and vile. " This,” says Mr. Cunningham, " is almost the only song which Burns failed to improve."]


O rattlin roarin Willie,

O he held to the fair,
And for to sell his fiddle,

And buy some other ware;
But parting wi' his fiddle,

The saut tear blin't his ee;
And rattlin roarin Willie,

Ye're welcome hame to me.

O Willie, come sell your fiddle,

O sell your fiddle sae fine ;
O Willie come sell your fiddle,

And buy a pint o'wine.
If I should sell my fiddle,

The warl' wad think I was mad;
For mony a ranting day

My fiddle and I hae had.

As I cam in by Crochallan,

I cannily keekit ben;
Rattlin roarin Willie
Was sitting at yon

Sitting at yon boord-en',

And amang gude companie;
Rattlin, roarin Willie,

Ye're welcome hame to me.

[This song owes its preservation to Burns, who added the last verse in compliment to a friend of his, Colonel William Dunbar, “one of the worthiest fellows in the world.” It was first printed in John. son's Musical Museum, Part II. 1788.)



« PreviousContinue »