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The sparrow-hawk is in the air,

The corbie-craw is on the sweep; An'

ye be wise, ye'll bide at hame, And never cheep, and never cheep.

The robin came to the wren's nest,

And keekit in, and keekit in I saw ye thick wi' wee Tam-tit,

Ye cuttie quean, yé cuttie quean. The ruddie feathers frae my breast

Thy nest hae lined, thy nest hae lined; Now wha will keep ye frae the blast,

And winter wind, and winter wind?


It's gude to be merry and wise,

It's gude to be honest and true ; And afore ye're off wi' the auld love,

It's best to be on wi' the new.

I daut wi' young Jess o' the glen.

I woo wi' fair Bess o' the brae; I court wi' gay Meg o' the Mill,

And I wotna wha I will hae.

A man mayna marry but ane,

Though he may gang courting wi twae ; I've had fifteen loves in my time,

And fifteen more I may hae.

The black are maist loving and kind,

The brown they are sonsie and civil ; The red they may do in the dark,

And the white they may go to the devil.

The maids of our city are vain,

Proud, peevish, and pale i' the hue; But the lass frae the grass and the gowans

Is sweet as a rose in the dew.

O, where the streams sing in the woods,

And the hill overlooketh the valley, O there live the maidens for me,

As fair and fresh as the lily.

I've come to a gallant resolve,

I've said it, and sung it, and sworn, I shall woo by the register book,

And begin wi' Peg Purdie the morn.


Jenny's a' wat poor lassie,

Jenny's seldom dry;
She's draggled a' her petticoat,

Coming through the rye.
Nae moon was shining in the lift,

And ne'er a body nigh;
What gaur'd ye weet yere petticoat,

Coming through the rye?

Gin a body meet a body

Coming through the broom ;
Gin a body kiss a body,

Need a body gloom.
Yestreen I met a cannie lad,

A flowery bank was nigh,
I lay a blink, and counted stars,

And what the waur am I.

Gin a body meet a body

Coming through the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,

Need the parish ken.
I loe a bonnie lad o’er weel

To let him wail and sigh;
A kiss is aye a kindlie thing,

And what the waur am I.

(An amended copy of an old song, with innumerable variations. The above version is from Allan Cunningham's Songs of Scotland ;some of the improvements are by Burns.]


My lover has left me,

Wot ye the cause why?
He has gowd, he has mailens-

No mailens have I ;
But whether I win him,

Or wear him, or no,
I can give a sigh for him,

And e'en let him go.

His flocks may all perish,

His gowd may all flee,
Then his new love will leave him

As he has left me.
0, meeting is pleasure,

And parting is grief;
But a faithless lover

Is worse than a thief.

A thief will but rob me,

Take all that I have,
But a faithless lover
Brings ane to their

The grave it will rot me,

And bring me to dust-
O! an inconstant lover

May woman ne'er trust !

[From Johnson's Musical Museum, vol. ii. 1788. This is an amended copy from Johnson's, which Dr. Blacklock furnished in a very incomplete state.)


Our gudeman came hame at e’en,

And hame came he,
And there he saw a saddle-horse,

Where nae horse should be:
And how came this horse here,

How can this be?
How came this horse here

Without the leave o' me?
A horse! quo' she,-aye, a horse, quo' he.

Ye auld blind dotard bodie,

And blinder may ye be,
'Tis but a bonnie milk-cow

My mither sent to me.
A milk cow! quo' he-aye, a milk cow, quo' she.
Far hae I ridden,

And meikle hae I seen,
But a saddle on a milk-cow

Saw I never nane.

Our gudeman came hame at e'en,

And hame came he,
And he spied a pair of jack-boots

Where nae boots should be :
What's this now, gudewife,

What's this I see?
How came thae boots here

Without the leave o' me?
Boots! quo' she,-aye, boots! quo' he.
Ye auld blind dotard carle,

And waur may ye see,
It's but a pair o' water stoups

My minnie sent to me.
Milking-pails? quo' be,-aye, milking-pails! quo'

Far hae I ridden,

And muckle hae I seen,
But siller spurs on milking-pails

Saw I never nane.

Our gudeman came hame at e’en,

And hame came he,
And there he saw a siller sword

Where nae sword should he :

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