Oh, waly, waly, but love be bonnie

A little time while it is new;
But when it's auld it waxes cauld,

And fades away like the morning dew.
Oh, wherefore should I busk my heid,
Or wherefore should I kame


For my true-love has me forsook,

he'll never love me mair.
Now Arthur's Seat shall be

my bed,
The sheets shall ne'er be press'd by me,
St. Anton's Well shall be my drink,

Since my true love has forsaken me.
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,

And shake the green leaves aff the tree?
O gentle death, when wilt thou come ?

For of my life I am wearie.
'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,

Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie;
'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry;

But my love's heart grown cauld to me.
When we came in by Glasgow toun,

We were a comely sicht to see;
My love was clad in the black velvet,

And I mysel' in cramasie.
But had I wist before I kiss'd

That love had been sae ill to win,
I'd lock'd my heart in a case of gowd,

And pion'd it wi' a siller pin.
And it's oh! if my young babe were born,

And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I mysel' were dead and gone,

And the green grass growin' ower me!

Nothing is known with certainty as to the authorship of this exquisite song-one of the most affecting of the many that Scotland can boast. It has been supposed to refer to an incident in the life of the Lady Barbara Erskine, wife of the second Marquis of Douglas; but the allusions are evidently to the deeper woes of one not a wife --who "loved not wisely, but too well."


from the “ Tea-Table Miscellany," 1724.
WILL ye gae to the ewe-bughts, Marion,

And wear-in the sheep wi' me ?
The sun shines sweet, my Marion,

But nae half sae sweet as thee.
Oh, Marion's a bonnie lass,

And the blythe blink's 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,

Wha gape and glower wi' their ee,
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;
I'll gi’e them a' to my Marion

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

And waistcoat o' London broun ;
And wow but ye’se be vap'rin'

Whene'er ye gang to the toun.

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 as sune as the sun's down, Marion,

I will come west and see ye. This song is signed by Allan Ramsay with a Q., signifying that it was an old song with additions and amendments by himself. The air is old and very beautiful. "Your remarks on the Ewe-Bughts' are just,” says Burns in a letter to Thomson ;


"still it has obtained a place among our more classical Scottish songs; and what with many beauties in its composition, and more prejudices in its favour, you will not find it easy to supplant it.”


MAXWELTON banks are bonnie,

Where early fa's the dew;
Where me and Annie Laurie

Made up the promise true;
Made up the promise true,

And never forget will I;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'll lay me doun and die.
She's backit like the peacock,

She breistit like the swan,
She's jimp about the middle,

Her waist ye weel micht span;
Her waist ye weel micht span,

And she has a rolling eye;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'll lay me doun and die.

“These two verses," as we are informed by Mr. Robert Chambers, “were written by a Mr. Douglas of Fingland, upon Anne, one of the four daughters of Sir Robert Laurie, first baronet of Maxwelton, by his second wife, who was a daughter of Riddell of Minto. As Sir Robert was created a baronet in the year 1685, it is probable that the verses were composed about the end of the seventeenth or the beginning of the eighteenth century. It is painful to record, that, notwithstanding the ardent and chivalrous affection displayed by Mr. Douglas in his poem, he did not obtain the heroine for a wife : she was married to Mr. Ferguson of Craigdarroch.”

The first four lines of the second stanza are taken from the old and indecent ballad of “John Anderson my Jo.” “John Anderson," as it was sung before it was rendered presentable by Robert Burns, appeared in a very scarce volume of English songs, with the music, entitled “The Convivial Songster,” published in 1782.


MAXWELTON braes are bonnie,

Where early fa's the dew;
And it's there that Annie Laurie

Gied me her promise true;

Gied me her promise true,

Which ne'er forgot will be;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me doun and dee.
Her brow is like the snaw-drift,

Her neck is like the swan,
Her face it is the fairest

That e'er the sun shone on;
That e'er the sun shone on,

And dark blue is her ee;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me doun and dee.
Like dew on the gowan lying,

Is the fa' o' her fairy feet;
And like winds in summer sighins,

Her voice is low and sweet;
Her voice is low and sweet,

And she's a' the world to me;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me doun and dee.

which is a modern version of the preceding, was the favourite of the British soldiers in their weary encampment before Sebastopol in 1854–5.



THE BUSH ABOON TRAQUAIR. ROBERT CRAWFORD. From the “Tea-Table Miscellany,” 1724. Traquair is on the

bank of the water or river of Quair, in Peebleshire.
HEAR me, ye nymphs and ev'ry swain,

I'll tell how Peggy grieves me;
Though thus I languish and complain,

Alas! she ne'er believes me,
My vows and sighs, like silent air,

Unheeded, never move her;
The bonnie bush aboon Traquair,

'Twas there I first did love her.
That day she smiled, and made me glad,

No maid seem'd ever kinder;
I thought myself the luckiest lad,

So sweetly there to find her.

I tried to soothe my amorous flame

In words that I thought tender :
If more there pass’d, I'm not to blame;

I meant not to offend her.
Yet now she scornful flies the plain,

The fields we then frequented;
If e'er we meet, she shows disdain,

She looks as ne'er acquainted.
The bonnie bush bloom'd fair in May,

Its sweets I'll aye remember ;
But now her frowns make it decay,

It fades as in December.
Ye rural pow'rs, who hear my strains,

Why thus should Peggy grieve me?
Oh, make her partner in my pains,

Then let her smiles relieve me.
If not, my love will turn despair,

My passion no more tender;
I'll leave the bush aboon Traquair,

To lonely wilds I'll wander.



WHEN trees did bud and fields were green,

And broom bloom'd fair to see; When Mary was complete fifteen,

And love laugh'd in her ee, Blythe Davie's blinks her heart did more

To speak her mind thus free: Gang doun the burn, Davie love,

An' I will follow thee. Now Davie did each lad

surpass That dwelt on this burnside ; And Mary was the bonniest lass,

Just meet to be a bride :
Her cheeks were rosie, red and white ;

Her een were bonnie blue ;
Her looks were like the morning bright,

Her lips like dropping dew.

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