Ah, Tam! Gie me a Border burn
That canna rin without a turn,
And wi' its bonnie babble fills
The glens amang oor native hills.
How men that ance have ken'd aboot it
Can leave their after lives without it
I canna tell, for day and nicht
It comes unca'd for to my sicht.
I see't this moment, plain as day,
As it comes bickern' ower the brae,
Atween the clumps o' purple heather
Glistenin' in the summer weather,
Syne divin' in below the grun'
Where, hidden frae the sicht and sun,
It gibbers like a deid man's ghost
That clamours for the licht it's lost,
Till oot again the loupin' limmer,
Comes dancin' doon through shine and shimmer
At heidlang pace, till wi' a jaw
It jumps the rocky waterfa',
And cuts sic cantrips in the air,
The picter-pentin' man's despair;
A row'ntree bus' oot ower the tap o't,
A glassy pule to kep the lap o't,
While on the brink the blue harebell
Keeks ower to see it's bonny sel'.
And sittin' chirpin' a' its lane
A water-waggy on a stane,
Ay, penter lad, thraw to the wund
Your canvas, this is holy grund;
Wi' a' its highest airt acheevin',
That picter's deid, and this is leevin'.