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Montgomerie's Peggy.1

ALTHO' my bed were in yon muir,
Amang the heather, in my plaidie ;
Yet happy, happy would I be,

Had I my dear Montgomerie's Peggy.

When o'er the hill beat surly storms,
And winter nights were dark and rainy;
I'd seek some dell, and in my arms
I'd shelter dear Montgomerie's Peggy.

Were I a baron proud and high,

And horse and servants waiting ready;
Then a' 'twad gie o' joy to me,

The sharin't with Montgomerie's Peggy.

The Ploughman's Life."

As I was a-wand'ring ae morning in spring,

I heard a young ploughman sae sweetly to sing;
And as he was singin', thir" words he did say,-

There's nae life like the ploughman's in the month o' sweet

The lav'rock in the morning she'll rise frae her nest,
And mount i' the air wi' the dew on her breast,
And wi' the merry ploughman she'll whistle and sing,
And at night she'll return to her nest back again.

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The Ronalds of the Bennals.1

IN Tarbolton, ye ken, there are proper young men,
And proper young lasses and a', man;

But ken ye the Ronalds that live in the Bennals,
They carry the greea frae them a', man.

Their father's a laird, and weel he can spare't,
Braid money to tocherb them a', man;
To proper young men, he'll clink in the hand
Gowd guineas a hunder or twa, man.

There's ane they ca' Jean, I'll warrant ye've seen
As bonie a lass or as braw, man;

But for sense and guid taste she'll vie wi' the best,
And a conduct that beautifies a', man.

The charms o' the min', the langer they shine,
The mair admiration they draw, man;
While peaches and cherries, and roses and lilies,
They fade and they wither awa, man.

If ye be for Miss Jean, tak this frae a frien',
A hint o' a rival or twa, man;

The Laird o' Blackbyre wad gang through the fire,
If that wad entice her awa, man.

The Laird o' Braehead has been on his speed,
For mair than a towmondd or twa, man;
The Laird o' the Ford will straught on a board,
If he canna get her at a', man.

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Then Anna comes in, the pride o' her kin,
The boast of our bachelors a', man:
Sae sonsy and sweet, sae fully complete,
She steals our affections awa, man.

If I should detail the pick and the wale
O'lasses that live here awa, man,
The fau't wad be mine if they didna shine
The sweetest and best o' them a', man.

I lo'e her mysel, but darena weel tell,
My poverty keeps me in awe, man ;
For making o' rhymes, and working at times,
Does little or naething at a', man.

Yet I wadna choose to let her refuse,
Nor hae't in her power to say na, man:
For though I be poor, unnoticed, obscure,
My stomach's as proud as them a', man.

Though I canna ride in weel-booted pride,
And flee o'er the hills like a craw, man,
I can haud up my head wi' the best o' the breed,
Though fluttering ever so braw, man.

My coat and my vest, they are Scotch o' the best,
O' pairs o' guid breeks I hae twa, man;
And stockings and pumps to put on my stumps,
And ne'er a wrang steek in them a', man.



My sarks they are few, but five o' them new,
Twal' hundred, as white as the snaw, man,
A ten-shillings hat, a Holland cravat;

There are no mony poets sae braw, man.


b choice.

• stitch.

• woven in a reed of 1200 divisions.

d shirts


I never had frien's weel stockit in means,
To leave me a hundred or twa, man;

Nae weel-tocher'da aunts, to wait on their drants,b
And wish them in hell for it a', man.

I never was cannie for hoarding o' money,
Or claughtin't together at a', man;
I've little to spend, and naething to lend,
But deevil a shilling I awe, man.


Song-Here's to thy Health.1

HERE'S to thy health, my bonie lass,
Gude nicht and joy be wi' thee;
I'll come nae mair to thy bower-door,
To tell thee that I lo'e thee.
O dinna think, my pretty pink,
But I can live without thee:
I vow and swear I dinna care,
How lang ye look about ye.

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I ken they scorn my low estate,
But that does never grieve me;
For I'm as free as any he;

Sma' sillera will relieve me.

I'll count my health my greatest wealth,
Sae lang as I'll enjoy it;

I'll fear nae scant, I'll bode nae want,
As lang's I get employment.

But far off fowls hae feathers fair,
And, aye until ye try them,

Tho' they seem fair, still have a care;

They may prove as bad as I am.

But at twal' at night, when the moon shines bright,

My dear, I'll come and see thee;

For the man that loves his mistress weel,

Nae travel makes him weary.

The Lass of Cessnock Banks.1

A Song of Similes.

Tune-"If he be a Butcher neat and trim.”

ON Cessnock banks a lassie dwells;
Could I describe her shape and mien ;
Our lasses a' she far excels,

An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

She's sweeter than the morning dawn,
When rising Phoebus first is seen,
And dew-drops twinkle o'er the lawn;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

little money.

1 The lass is identified as Ellison Begbie, a servant wench, daughter of a farmer. She seems to have refused him while he was at Irvine, in 1781-82. No woman, he is said to have remarked, could have made him so happy. The poem is less Scottish than many of his

b look for.

early works, and more artificial in its recurrent rhymes.

The correct text first appeared in the Aldine edition of 1889, but Cromek had already printed the piece as taken down from "the lass" herself. Naturally the variations are numerous.

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