THEIR nest was in the leafy bush,
Sae soft and warm, sae soft and warm,
And Robins thought their little brood
All safe from harm, all safe from harm.
The morning's feast wi' joy they brought,
To feed their young with tender care;
The plunder'd leafy bush they found
But nest and nestlings saw nae mair!
The mother cou'dna leave the spot,
But wheeling round, and wheeling round,
The cruel spoiler aim'd a shot.
Cur'd her heart's wound, cur'd her heart's wound.
She will not hear their helpless cry,
Nor see them pine in slavery!
The burning breast she will not bide,
For wrongs of wanton knavery -
O! bonny Robin Redbreast,
Ye trust in men, ye trust in men,
But what their hearts are made o',
Ye little ken, ye little ken!
They'll ne'er wi' your wee skin be warmed,
Nor wi' your tiny flesh be fed,
But just 'cause you're a living thing,
It's sport wi' them to lay you dead!
Ye Hieland and ye Lowland lads,
As birdies gay, as birdies gay,
O spare them whistling like yoursel's,
And hopping blythe from spray to spray -
Their wings were made to soar aloft,
And skim the air at liberty;
And as you freedom gi'e to them,
May you and yours be ever free!