Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
122. The Lass o’ Ballochmyle
 
 
Tune—“Ettrick Banks.”
 
 
’TWAS even—the dewy fields were green,
  On every blade the pearls hang;
The zephyr wanton’d round the bean,
  And bore its fragrant sweets alang:
  In ev’ry glen the mavis sang,        5
All nature list’ning seem’d the while,
  Except where greenwood echoes rang,
Amang the braes o’ Ballochmyle.
 
With careless step I onward stray’d,
  My heart rejoic’d in nature’s joy,        10
When, musing in a lonely glade,
  A maiden fair I chanc’d to spy:
  Her look was like the morning’s eye,
Her air like nature’s vernal smile:
  Perfection whisper’d, passing by,        15
“Behold the lass o’ Ballochmyle!”“
 
Fair is the morn in flowery May,
  And sweet is night in autumn mild;
When roving thro’ the garden gay,
  Or wand’ring in the lonely wild:        20
  But woman, nature’s darling child!
There all her charms she does compile;
  Even there her other works are foil’d
By the bonie lass o’ Ballochmyle.
 
O, had she been a country maid,        25
  And I the happy country swain,
Tho’ shelter’d in the lowest shed
  That ever rose on Scotland’s plain!
  Thro’ weary winter’s wind and rain,
With joy, with rapture, I would toil;        30
  And nightly to my bosom strain
The bonie lass o’ Ballochmyle.
 
Then pride might climb the slipp’ry steep,
  Where frame and honours lofty shine;
And thirst of gold might tempt the deep,        35
  Or downward seek the Indian mine:
  Give me the cot below the pine,
To tend the flocks or till the soil;
  And ev’ry day have joys divine
With the bonie lass o’ Ballochmyle.        40
 

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