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Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Children's Songs and Ballads - Robin Redbreast's Testament


We began with the robin in this, I hope, not wearisome but entertaining Melange of child-songs. We have never, indeed, got at any time far away from the lively and interesting little fellow; and, that being so. perhaps no item could more fittingly close the series than the very old song of

Robin Redbreast's Testament

Gude-day now, bonnie Robin,
How long have your been here?
I've been bird about this bush
This mair than twenty year!

But now I am the sickest bird
That ever sat on brier;
And I wad mak' my testament,
Gudeman, if ye wad hear.

Gae tak' this bonnie neb o' mine,
That picks upon the corn;
And gie't to the Duke o' Hamilton
To be a hunting-horn.

Gae tak' these bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my neb;
And gi'e to the Lady o' Hamilton
To fill a feather-bed.

Gae tak' this gude richt leg o' mine,
And mend the brig o' Tay,
It will be a post and pillar gude,
Will neither bow nor gae.

And tak' this other leg o' mine,
And mend the brig o' Weir;
It will be a post and pillar gude
Will neither bow nor steer.

Gae tak' thae bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my tail:
And gie to the lads o' Hamilton
To be a barn-flail.

And tak' thae bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my breast;
And gie to ony bonnie lad
Will bring to me a priest.

Now in there came my Lady Wren
Wi' mony a sigh and groan:
O what care I for a' the lads
If my ain lad be gone!

Then Robin turned him roundabout,
E'en like a little king;
Go, pack ye out o' my chamber-door,
Ye little cutty quean.

Robin made his testament
Upon a coll of hay .
And by cam' a greedy gled
And snapt him a' away.


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