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What pass'd, I guess, was harmless play,
And naething sure unmeet;

For, ganging hame, I heard them say,

They lik'd a walk sae sweet;
And that they aften should return,

Sic pleasure to renew;

Quoth Mary, Love, I like the burn,
And ay shall follow you.*

BLINK O'ER THE BURN, SWEET BETTY.

THE old words, all that I remember, are,—

Blink over the burn, sweet Betty,
It is a cauld winter night;
It rains, it hails, it thunders,

The moon she gies nae light:
It's a' for the sake o' sweet Betty,
That ever I tint my way;
Sweet, let me lie beyond thee,

Until it be break o' day.-.

The last four lines of the third stanza, being somewhat objectionable in point of delicacy, are omitted. Burns altered these lines. Had his alteration been attended with his usual success, it would have been adopted.

O, Betty will bake my bread,
And Betty will brew my ale,

And Betty will be my love,
When I come over the dale:

Blink over the burn, sweet Betty,
Blink over the burn to me,

And while I hae life, dear lassie,
My ain sweet Betty thou's be.-

THERE'S NAE LUCK ABOUT THE HOUSE.

THIS is one of the most beautiful songs in the Scots, or any other language. The two lines,

And will I see his face again!
And will I hear him speak!

as well as the two preceding ones, are unequalled almost by any thing I ever heard or read: and the lines,

The present moment is our ain,

The neist we never saw

are worthy of the first poet.—It is long posterior to Ramsay's days.-About the year 1771, or 72, it

came first on the streets as a ballad; and I

suppose

the composition of the song was not much anterior to that period.*

And are ye sure the news is true?
And are ye sure he's weel?

Is this a time to talk o' wark ?
Ye jads, lay by your wheel!
Is this a time to talk of wark,
When Colin's at the door?
Gie me my cloak! I'll to the
And see him come ashore.

quay,

For there's nae luck about the house,

There's nae luck ava;

There's little pleasure in the house,

When our gudeman's awa.

Rise up, and mak a clean fire-side,
Put on the muckle pat;

* The authoress of this unique ballad (supposed to be written in the character of a Mariner's Wife) was a Jean Adam, who instructed a few children in an obscure village of Scotland; and who, after wandering about from place to place, and experiencing a variety of hardships and misfortunes, died in extreme wretchedness in the workhouse at Glasgow, in the year 1765. A more detailed account of this extraordinary woman may be seen in the Appendix, marked (a), at the end of this volume.

Ed.

Gie little Kate her cotton gown,
And Jock his Sunday's coat;

And mak their shoon as black as slaes,
Their hose as white as snaw;

It's a' to please my ain gudeman,
He likes to see them braw.

For there's nae luck, &c.

There is twa hens upon the bauk, 'Sbeen fed this month and mair;

Mak haste and thra their necks about,

That Colin weel may fare;

And spread the table neat and clean,

Gar ilka thing look braw;

It's a' for love of my gudeman,

For he's been long awa.

For there's nae luck, &c.

O gie me down my bigonets,

My bishop-sattin gown;

For I maun tell the baillie's wife

That Colin's come to town;

My Sunday's shoon they maun gae on,

My hose o' pearl blue,

It's a' to please my ain gudeman,

For he's baith leel and true.

For there's nae luck, &c,

Sae true's his words, sae smooth's his speech,

His breath like caller air,

His very foot has music in't,

When he comes up the stair:

And will I see his face again!
And will I hear him speak!

I'm downright dizzy with the thought,
In troth I'm like to greet!

For there's nae luck, &c.

The cauld blasts of the winter wind,
That thrilled thro' my heart,

They're a' blaun by; I hae him safe,

"Till death we'll never part;

But what puts parting in my head?
It may be far awa;

The present moment is our ain,

The neist we never saw!

For there's nae luck, &c.

Since Colin's well, I'm well content,
I hae nae mair to crave;

Could I but live to mak him blest,

I'm blest aboon the lave;

And will I see his face again!

And will I hear him speak!

I'm downright dizzy with the thought,
In troth I'm like to greet!

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