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My hand is in my husewife-cap,

Gudeman as ye may see ;
If it's no barr'd this hunder year,

It's no be barr'd by me.
They made a paction 'tween them twa,

A paction firm and sure,
Whoever spoke the foremost word,

Should rise and bar the door. Twa travellers had tint their gate,

As o'er the hills they foor,
And, airted by the line o' light,

Made straight to Johnie's door.
Now whether is this a rich man's house,

Or whether is it a poor?
But ne'er a word wad ane o' them speak,

For barring of the door.
And first they ate the white puddings,

And syne they ate the black :
O muckle thought our gudewife to hersel,

But ne'er a word she spake.
The young ane to the auld ane said,

Here, man, take ye my knife,
And gang and shave the gudeman's beard,

While I kiss the gudewife.
But there's nae water in the house,

And what shall I do than ?-
What ails ye at the pudding broo,

That's simmering in the pan? 0, up then started our gudeman,

An angry man was he-
Will ye kiss my wife afore my face,

And scaud me wi’ pudding bree!

An' up an' started our gudewife,

Gae three skips o'er the floor,
Gudeman, ye’ve spoke the foremost word,

Get up and bar the door.

[For this excellent old song we are indebted to Herd, who published it in his collection, 1769. Burns also preserved some verses of the same song, and sent them to Johnson's Musical Museum, 1792, from which the present copy is much amended.]


( mither dear, l’gin to fear,

Though I'm baith good and bonny,
I winna keep; for in my sleep

I start and dream of Johnny.
When Johnny then comes down the glen,

To woo me, dinna hinder ;
But with content gi’ your consent,

For we twa ne'er can sinder.
Better to marry than miscarry;

For shame and skaith's the clink o't,
To thole the dool, to mount the stool,

downa bide to think o't;
Sae while 'tis time I'll shun the crime,

That gars poor Epps gae whinging,
With haunches fow, and een sae blew,

To a’ the bedrals binging.
Had Eppy's apron hidden down,

The kirk had ne'er a kend it ;
But when the word's gane through the town,

Alake how can she mend it

Now Tam maun face the minister,

And she maunt mount the pillar ;
And that's the way that they maun gae-

folk hae nae siller.

Now haud yere tongue, my daughter dear,

Replied the kindly mither;
Get Johnny's hand in haly band,

Syne wap yere wealth together.
I'm o' the mind if he be kind

Ye'll do your part discreetly, And prove a wife, will gar his life

* And thine rin smooth' and sweetly.

[From the Tea Table Miscellany, 1724.)


My Jeany and I have toil'd

The live-lang simmer-day,
Till we amaist were spoil'd

At making of the hay :
Her kurchy was of holland clear,

Tied on her bonny brow,
I whisper'd something in her ear-

But what's that to you.
Her stockings were of kersey green,

As tight as ony silk :
O sic a leg was never seen,

Her skin was waite as milk :

Her hair was black as ane could wish,

And sweet, sweet was her mou,
Oh ! Jeany daintilie can kiss ;

But what's that to you?

The rose and lily baith combine,

To make my Jenny fair,
There is nae benison like mine,

I have amaist nae care ;
Only I fear my Jenny's face

May cause mae men to rue,
And that inay gar me say, alas !

But what's that to you?

Conceal thy beauties if thou can,

Hide that sweet face of thine,
That I may only be the man

Enjoys these looks divine.
O do not prostitute, my dear,

Wonders to common view,
And I with faithful heart shall swear

For ever to be true.

King Solomon had wives enow,

And mony a concubine ;
But I enjoy a bliss mair true,

His joys were short of mine :
And Jeany's happier than they,

She seldom wants her due;
All debts of love to her I

And what's that to you?

[From the Tea Table Miscellany, 1724. It is an old song with ada ditions by one of Ramsay's 'ingenious young gentlemen.')


And sae ye've treated me,

And sae ye’ve treated me;
I'll never love anither man

Sae weel as I loved thee.
All the day I sigh,

And all the night I weep;
And never shall I rest again

Save in a winding sheet.

And sae ye’ve treated me,

And sae ye've treated me;
O monie monie loves ye'll get,

But nane who loves like me.
A woman's curse fa's sair,

A woman's curse ye'll dree-
The diel put on your winding-sheet

Three hours before ye die !

(Eight lines of this singular song I find in Mr. Sharpe's Ballad Book. The others are by Allan Cunningham.]


On Ettrick banks, in a summer's night,

At gloaming when the sheep drave hame,
I met my lassie braw and tight,

Came wading, barefoot, a’her lane :

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