Page images

I'd clasp thee to this breast of mine,
Whilst thou, like ivy, or the vine,
Around my stronger limbs should twine,

Form'd hardy to defend thee.

Times on the wing, and will not stay,
In shining youth let's make our hay,
Since love admits of nae delay,

O let nae scorn undo thee.

While Love does at his altar stand,
Hae there's my heart, gie me thy hand,
And with ilk smile thou shalt command

The will of him wha loves thee.

The whole song is attributed to Ramsay, the chorus does not mingle happily with the song.)


The winter time is past
Sunny summer's come at last ;
The little birdies sing on ilka tree
The hearts of these are glad :
But mine is mair than sad;
For my true love has parted frae me,

The bloom upon the breer,
By the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet and the becom
Their little loves are blest,
And their little hearts at rest ;
But my true love is parted frae me.

My love is like yon sun,
Whose bright course is begun,
And is constant for ever and true;
While his love's like the moon
That wanders up and down,
Cold, comfortless, changing, untrue.
Oh you that are in love!
And may it not remove
0, I pity the pangs that


endure :
Sad knowledge makes me know
That your hearts are full of woe-
A woe that no mortal can cure.

(From Johnson's Musical Museum, vol. ii. 1788, with additions by Allan Cunningham, who supposes this tender little song to be the composition of a lady.)


'Tis I hae sev'n braw new gowns,

And ither sev'n to mak’,
And yet for a' my new gowns

My wooer has turn’d his back.
Besides I hae sev’n milk-kye,

And Sandy he has but three;
And yet for a' my good kye

The laddie winna hae me.
My daddie's a delver o’ dykes,

My mither can card and spin,
And I'm a fine fodgel lass,

And the siller comes linkin in.

The siller comes linkin in,

And its fu' fair to see ;
And fifty times wow, O wow !

What ails the lads at me?

Whenever our Bawty does bark,

Then fast to the door I rin,
To see gin ony young spark

Will light and venture but in :
But never a ane will come in,

Tho'mony a ane gaes by ;
Syne far ben the house I rin,
And a waefu’ wight am I.

When I was at my first prayers,

I pray'd but ance in the year ;
I wish'd for a handsome young lad,

And a lad wi’ muckle gear.
When I was at my neist prayers,

I pray'd but now and than;
I fash'd na my head about gear,

If I gat but a handsome young man.

But now when I'm at


I pray baith night and day,
And O! if a beggar wad come,

With that same beggar I'd gae.
And O! what will come o' me!

And O! what will I do?
That sic a braw lassie as I

Should die for a woo'er I trow!

[From the Tea Table Miscellany.]



While fops in soft Italian verse,
Ilk fair ane's een and breast rehearse,

abound and scene is scarce,
These lines I have indited :
But neither darts nor arrows here,
Venus nor Cupid shall appear,
And yet with these fine sounds I swear,
The maidens are delited.

I was ay telling you,

Lucky Nansy, lucky Nansy,
Auld springs wad ding the new,

wad never trow me.

Nor snaw with crimson will I mix,
To spread upon my lassie's cheeks ;

syne th' unmeaning name prefix,
Miranda, Chloe, Phillis.
I'll fetch nae simile frae Jove,
My height of extasy to prove,
Nor sighing,-thus—present my love
With roses eke and lilies.

I was ay telling you, &c.

But stay,—I had amaist forgot
My mistress and my sang to boot,
And that's an unco' faut I wot:

But Nansy, 'tis nae matter.

Ye see I clink my verse wi' rhime,
And ken ye, that atones the crime ;
Forby, how sweet my numbers chime,
And slide away like water !

I was ay telling you, &c.

Now ken, my reverend sonsy fair,
Thy runkled cheeks and lyart hair,
Thy haff shut een and hodling air,

Are a' my passion's fuel.
Nae skyring gowk, my dear, can see,
Or love, or grace, or heaven in thee;
Yet thou hast charms anew for me,
Then smile, and be na cruel.

Leeze me on thy snawy pow,

Lucky Nansy, lucky Nansy,
Dryest wood will eithest low,

And, Nansy, sae will ye now.
Troth I have sung the sang to you,
Which ne'er anither bard wad do;
Hear then my charitable vow,

Dear venerable Nansy,
But if the warld my passion wrang,
And say, ye only live in sang,
Ken I despise a sland'ring tongue,
And sing to please my fancy.

Leeze me on thy, &c.

[From the Tea Table Miscellany, 1724. Burns thought the whole song was Ramsay's composition, save the chorus; but Lord Wood. houselie told Mr. Cromek the Editor of Burns' Reliques, that he believed no part of it was Ramsay's; “I have been informed,” writes his Lordship, “by good authority, that the words were written by the Hon. Duncan Forbes, Lord President of the Court of Session.”

« PreviousContinue »