Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
Robert Burns

The Heart of Love

Fair Empress of the Poet’s soul
And Queen of poetesses;
Clarinda, take this little boon,
This humble pair of glasses;

And fill them high with generous juice,
As generous as your mind;
And pledge me in the generous toast:
‘The whole of human kind!’

‘To those who love us!’ second fill;
But not to those whom we love,
Lest we love those who love not us!
A third:- ‘To thee and me, love!’

‘Long may we live! Long may we love!
And long may we be happy!
And may we never want a glass
Well charg’d with generous nappy!’


O. whistle an’ I’ll come to ye, my lad!
O, whistle, an’ I’ll come to ye, my lad!
Tho’ father an’ mother an’ a’ should gae mad,
O, whistle an’ I’ll come to ye my lad!


Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo’e best.

There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill between,
But day and night my fancy’s flight
Is ever wi’ my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers –

I see her sweet and fair.
I hear her in the tunefu’ birds –
I hear her charm the air.
There’s not a bonie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There’s not a bonie bird that sings,
But minds me o’ my Jean.


O, that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O, that I were where Helen lies
In fair Kirkconnel lees.

O Helen fair! beyond compare,
A ringlet of thy flowing hair,
I’ll wear it still for evermair
Until the day I die.

Curs’d be the hand that shot the shot,
And curs’d the gun that gave the crack,
Into my arms bird Helen lap,
And died for sake o’ me.

O think na ye but my heart was sair,
My love fell down and spake nae mair,
There did she swoon wi’ meikle care
On fair Kirkconnel lee.

I lighted down, my sword did draw,
I cutted him in pieces sma’;
I cutted him in pieces sma;
On fair Kirkconnel lee.

O Helen chaste, thou wert modest
If I were with thee I were blest,
Where thou lies low, and takes they rest
On fair Kirkconnel lee.

I wish my grave was growing green,
A winding sheet put o’er my een,
And I in Helen’s arms lying
In fair Kirkconnel lee!

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O, that I were where Helen lies
On fair Kirkconnel lee.


John Anderson my jo, John,
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonie brow was brent;

But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snaw,
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson my jo.
John Anderson my jo, John,

We clamb the hill thegither,
And monie a cantie day, John,
We’ve had wi’ ane anither;
Now we maun totter down, John,
And hand in hand we’ll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson my jo!

(This is the song I sing for John and me.)


Thou ling’ring star with less’ning ray,
That lov’st to greet the early morn,
Again thou usher’st in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn.
O Mary, dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest?
See’st thou thy lover lowly laid?
Hear’st thou the groans that rend his brest? . . .


Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.

. . . Had we never lov’d sae kindly,
Had we never lov’d sae blindly,
Never met – or never parted –
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure! . . .


My heart is a-breaking, dear tittie,
Some counsel unto me come len’,
To anger them a’ is a pity,
But what will I do wi’ Tam Glen?
I’m thinking, wi’ sic a braw fellow
In poortith I might mak a fen’.
What care I in riches to wallow,
If I mauna marry Tam Glen?
There’s Lowrie the laird o’ Dumeller:
‘Guid day to you,’ brute! he comes ben.
He brags and he blaws o’ his siller,
But when will he dance like Tam Glen?

My minnie does constantly deave me,
And bids me beware o’ young men.
They flatter, she says, to deceive me –
But wha can think sae o’ Tam Glen?

My daddie says, gin I’ll forsake him,
He’d gie me guid hunder marks ten.
But if it’s ordain’d I maun take him,
O, what will I get but Tam Glen?
Yestreen at the valentines’ dealing,
My heart to my mou gied a sten,
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written “Tam Glen’!
The last Halloween I was waukin
My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken –
His likeness came up the house staukin,
And the very grey breeks o’ Tam Glen!

Come, counsel, dear tittie, don’t tarry!
I’ll gie ye my bonie black hen,
Gif you will advise me to marry
The lad I lo’e dearly, Tam Glen.


Ye banks and braes o’ bonie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu’ o’ care!
Thou’ll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn!
Thou minds me o’ departed joys,
Departed never to return.

Aft hae I rov’d by bonie Doon
To see the rose and woodbine twine,
And ilka bird san o’ its luve,
And fondly sae did I o’ mine.

Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Fu’ sweet upon its thorny tree!
And my fause luver staw my rose –
But ah! he left the thorn wi’ me.


Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes!
Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise!
My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream –
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream!

Thou stock dove whose echo resounds thro’ the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear –
I charge you, disturb not my slumbering fair!

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark’d with the courses of clear, winding rills!
There daily I wander, as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary’s sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green vallies below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild ev’ning weeps over the lea,
The sweet scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides!
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave!

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes!
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays!
My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream –
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream!

(I remember my Granny singing this and teaching it to me when I was a little child – I always
associated this with her and my Grandfather who was lost at sea. I think this was the song
she sang when she was sad and grieving his loss – after all, David James Thomas was a Welshman
and they are a singing people.)


O, my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
O, my luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun!
O I will luve thee still, my Dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again my Luve,
Tho’ it were then thousand mile.


O, wert thou in the cauld blast
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee.

Or did Misfortune’s bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be by bosom,
To share it a’, to share it a’.

O were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there.

Or were I monarch of the globe,
Wi’ thee to reign, wi’ thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my crown
Wad be my queen, wad by my queen.


When o’er the hill the eastern star
Tells bughtin time is near, my jo,
And owsen frae the furrow’d field
Return sae dowf and weary, O,
Down by the burn, where scented birks
Wi’ dew are hingin clear, my jo,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.

At midnight hour in mirkest glen
I’d rove, and ne’er be eerie, O,
If thor’ that glen I gaed to thee,
My ain kind dearie, O!
Altho’ the night were ne’er sae wild,
And I were ne’er sae weary, O,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.

The hunter lo’es the morning sun
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
At noon the fisher takes the glen
Adown the burn to steer, my jo:
Gie me the hour o’ gloaming grey –
It maks my heart so cheery, O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig
My ain kind dearie, O!


Bonnie wee thing, cannie wee thing,
Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine,
I wad wear thee in my bosom
Lest my jewel it should tine.


O Mary at thy window be!
It is the wish’d the trysted hour.
Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser’s treasure poor.
How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure –
The lovely Mary Morison!

Yestreen, when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro’ the lighted ha’,
To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard or saw:
Tho’ this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a’ the town,
I sigh’d and said among them a’: -
“Ye are na Mary Morison!’

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
Or canst thou break that heart of his
Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown:
A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o’ Mary Morison.


I’ll aye ca’ in by yon town
An by yon garden green again!
I’ll ay ca’ in by yon town,
And see my bonie Jean again. . . .


Duncan Gray cam here to woo
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
One blithe Yule-Night when we were fou
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Maggie coost her head fu’ high,
Look’d asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh –
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
Duncan fleech’d and Duncan pray’d
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Duncan sigh’d baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer’t an’ blin’,
Spak o’ loupin o’er a linn –
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
Time and Chance area but a tide
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Slighted love is sair to bide
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
‘Shall I like a fool,” quoth he,
‘For a haughty hizzie die?
She may gae to – France for me!’ –
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!

How it comes, let doctors tell
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Meg grew sick, as he grew hale
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Something in her bosom wrings,
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
For relief a sigh she brings,
And O! her een they spak sic things ! –
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Duncan was a lad o’ grace
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Maggie’s was a piteous case
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Duncan could na be her death,
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)
Swelling pity smoor’d his wrath;
Now they’re crouse and canty baith –
(Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!)

(I learned this in school and loved to sing it loud and clear!)


O saw ye bonie Lesley
As she gaed o’er the Border?
She’s gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther!

To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever;
For Nature made her what she is,
And never made anither!

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley –
Thy subjects, we before thee!
Thou art divine, fair Lesley –
The hearts o’ men adore thee.

The Deil he could na skaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee:
He’d look into thy bonie face,
And say: -‘I canna wrang thee!’

The Powers aboon will tent thee,
Misfortune sha’na steer thee:
Thou’rt like themsel’ sae lovely,
That ill they’ll ne’er let near thee.

Return again, fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie!
That we may brag we hae a lass
There’s nane again sae bonie.

(A competition piece)

Return to Char's Index Page | Return to Burns Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus