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There Was A Lass
TUNE: (Unknown)

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

There Was A Lass
1.
There was a lass, and she was fair!
At kirk and market to be seen
When a' our fairest maids were met,
The fairest maid was bonie Jean.
2.
And ay she wrought her country wark,
And ay she sang sae merrilie:
The blythest bird upon the bush
Had ne'er a lighter heart than she!
3.
But hawks will rob the tender joys,
That bless the little lintwhite's nest,
And frost will blight the fairest flowers,
And love will break the soundest rest.
4.
Young Robie was the brawest lad,
The flower and pride of a' the glen,
And he had owsen, sheep, and kye,
And wanton naigies nine or ten.
5.
He gaed wi' Jeanie to the tryste,
He danc'd wi' Jeanie on the down,
And, lang ere witless Jeanie wist,
Her heart was tint, her peace was stown!
6.
As in the bosom of the stream
The moon-beam dwells at dewy e'en,
So, trembling pure, was tender love
Within the breast of bonie Jean.
7.
And now she works her country's wark,
And ay she sighs wi' care and pain,
Yet wist na what her ail might be,
Or what wad make her weel again.
8.
But did na Jeanie's heart loup light,
And did na joy blink in her e'e,
As Robie tauld a tale o' love
Ae e'enin on the lily lea?
9.
While monie a bird sang sweet o' love,
And monie a flower blooms o'er the dale,
His cheek to hers he aft did lay,
And whisper'd thus his tender tale:-
10.
' O Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear.
O, canst thou think to fancy me?
Or wilt thou leave thy mammie's cot,
And learn to tent the farms wi' me?
11.
At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge,
Or naething else to trouble thee,
But stray amang the heather-bells,
And tent the waving corn wi' me.'
12.
Now what could artless Jeanie do?
She had nae will to say him na!
At length she blush'd a sweet consent,
And love was ay between them twa.

 

There Was A Girl

There was a girl, and she was fair!
At church and market to be seen
When all our fairest maids were met,
The fairest maid was lovely Jean.

And always she worked her country work,
And always she sang so merrily:
The blythest bird upon the bush
Had never a lighter heart than she!

But hawks will rob the tender joys,
That bless the little linnet's nest,
And frost will blight the fairest flowers,
And love will break the soundest rest.

Young Robie was the handsomest lad,
The flower and pride of all the glen,
And he had oxen, sheep, and cattle,
And wanton horses nine or ten.

He went with Jeanie to the tryst,
He danced with Jeanie on the down (pasture land),
And, long before witless (gullible) Jeanie knew,
Her heart was lost, her peace was stolen!

As in the bosom of the stream
The moon-beam dwells at dewy evening,
So, trembling pure, was tender love
Within the breast of lovely Jean.

And now she works her country's work,
And always she sighs with care and pain,
Yet knew not what her ailment might be,
Or what would make her well again.

But did not Jeanie's heart leap light,
And did not joy glance in her eye,
As Robie told a tale of love
One evening on the lily meadow?

While many a bird sang sweet of love,
And many a flower blooms over the dale,
His cheek to hers he often did lay,
And whispered thus his tender tale:-

' O Jeanie fair, I love you dearly.
O, can you think to fancy me?
Or will you leave your mother's cottage,
And learn to tend the farms with me?

At barn or cow-house you shall not drudge,
Or nothing else to trouble you,
But stray (stroll) among the heather-bells,
And tend the waving corn with me.'

Now what could artless Jeanie do?
She had now will to say him no!
At length she blushed a sweet consent,
And love was always between them two.

 

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