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The Bonie Moor-Hen
TUNE: The Tailor's March

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation


The Bonie Moor-Hen

Chorus
I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men!
I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men!
Take some on the wing, and some as they spring,
But cannily steal on a bonie moor-hen.
1.
The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn,
Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawn,
O'er moors and o'er mosses and monie a glen:
At length they discovered a bonie moor-hen.
2.
Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bells,
Her colours betray'd her on yon mossy fells!
Her plumage outlustered the pride o' the spring,
And O, as she wanton'd sae gay on the wing.
3.
Auld Phoebus himsel', as he peep'd o'er the hill,
In spite at her plumage he tryed his skill:
He level'd his rays where she bask'd on the brae -
His rays were outshone, and but mark'd where she lay!
4.
They hunted the valley, they hunted the hill,
The best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill;
But still as the fairest she sat in their sight,
Then, whirr! she was over, a mile at a flight.
5.
But by cam a retret ohon and alas!
A slee cunning loun wi' a firelock o' brass.
The brass sae did glitter, it dazzled her eyes,
And now in his budget he boasts o' the prize.


(Note:- The dictionary definition of the word
"budget" includes the meaning - 'a sack and its contents.)

 


The Lovely Moor-Hen

Chorus
I advise you, beware at the hunting, young men!
I advise you, beware at the hunting, young men!
Take some on the wing, and some as they spring,
But cautiously steal on a lovely moor-hen.

The heather was blooming, the meadows were mown,
Our lads went a-hunting one day at the dawn,
Over moors and over bogs and many a glen:
At length they discovered a lovely moor-hen.

Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bells,
Her colours betrayed her on yonder mossy moorland!
Her plumage out-lustred the pride of the spring,
And O, as she wantoned so gay on the wing.

Old Phoebus himself, as he peeped over the hill,
In spite at her plumage he tried his skill:
He leveled his rays where she basked on the hillside -
His rays were outshone, and but marked where she lay!

They hunted the valley, they hunted the hill,
The best of our lads with the best of their skill;
But still as the fairest she sat in their sight,
Then, whirr! she was over, a mile at a flight.

But by cam a reaver (robber) ohon and alas!
A sly cunning fellow with a flintlock of brass.
The brass so did glitter, it dazzled her eyes,
And now in his budget he boasts of the prize.


 

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