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For all the storm he wadna stay,
For seeking of his bonny lady,
And he has ridden o'er field and fell,
Through moor, and moss, and many a mire; His spurs
of steel were sair to bide, And from her four feet flew the fire.
“My bonny gray, now play your part !
If ye be the steed that wins my dearie, With corn and hay ye'll be fed for aye,
And never spur
The gray was a mare, and a right gude mare ;
But when she wan the Annan Water, She could not have ridden the ford that night
Had a thousand merks been wadded at her.
"O boatman, boatman, put off your boat,
!” But for all the gold in fair Scotland,
He dared not take him through to Annie.
« Oh, I was sworn so late yestreen,
Not by a single oath, but mony ! I'll cross the drumly stream to-night,
Or never could I face my honey."
The side was stey, and the bottom deep,
From bank to brae the water pouring ; The bonny gray mare she swat for fear,
For she heard the water-kelpy roaring.
He spurred her forth into the flood,
I wot she swam both strong and steady; But the stream was broad, and her strength did
fail, And he never saw his bonny lady!
THE SAILOR'S WIFE
AND are ye sure the news is true ?
And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark?
Ye jades, lay by your wheel ;
When Colin 's at the door?
And see him come ashore.
There's nae luck at a';
When our gudeman 's awa.
And gie to me my bigonet,
My bishop's satin gown;
That Colin's in the town.
My stockins pearly blue;
For he's baith leal and true.
Rise, lass, and mak a clean fireside,
Put on the muckle pot ;
Gie little Kate her button gown
And Jock his Sunday coat;
Their hose as white as snaw;
For he's been long awa.
There's twa fat hens upo' the coop
Been fed this month and mair;
That Colin weel may fare ;
Gar ilka thing look braw,
When he was far awa?
Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
His breath like caller air; His very foot has music in 't
As he comes up the stair
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I'm like to greet!
If Colin 's weel, and weel content,
I hae nae mair to crave :
I'm blest aboon the lave :
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I'm like to greet.
For there's nae luck about the house,
There 's nae luck at a';
William Julius Mickla
THE BLIND BOY
OH, say what is that thing called Light,
Which I must ne'er enjoy;
Oh, tell your poor blind boy!
You talk of wondrous things you see ;
the sun shines bright; I feel him warm, but how can be
Or make it day or night?
My day or night myself I make
Whene'er I sleep or play ; And could I ever keep awake
With me 't were always day.
With heavy sighs I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe; But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I ne'er can know.
Then let not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy: Whilst thus I sing, I am a king, Although a poor blind boy.
THE NIGHTINGALE IN THE STUDY
“ COME forth !” my catbird calls to me,
“And hear me sing a cavatina That, in this old familiar tree,
Shall hang a garden of Alcina.
“ These buttercups shall brim with wine
Beyond all Lesbian juice or Massic; May not New England be divine ?
My ode to ripening summer classic ?
“Or, if to me you will not hark,
By Beaver Brook a thrush is ringing, Till all the alder-coverts dark
Seem sunshine-dappled with his singing.
“Come out beneath the unmastered sky,
With its emancipating spaces, And learn to sing as well as I,
Without premeditated graces.
“What boot your many-volumed gains,
Those withered leaves forever turning, To win, at best, for all your pains,
A nature mummy-wrapt in learning ?
“ The leaves wherein true wisdom lies
On living trees the sun are drinking; Those white clouds, drowsing through the skies,
Grew not so beautiful by thinking.