A Ballad - There was a Lass

This Ballad by Burns is usually referred to as 'Bonie Jean'.   There was a lass, and she was fair, At kirk or market to be seen; When a' our fairest maids were met, The fairest maid was bonie Jean. And aye she wrought her mammie's wark, And aye she sang sae merrilie; The blythest bird upon the bush Had ne'er a lighter heart than she. 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. 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. 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! 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. And now she works her mammie's wark, And aye she sighs wi' care and pain; Yet wist na what her ail might be, Or what wad make her weel again. But did na Jeanie's heart loup light, And didna joy blink in her e'e, As Robie tauld a tale o' love Ae e'ening on the lily lea? The sun was sinking in the west, The birds sang sweet in ilka grove; His cheek to hers he fondly laid, And whisper'd thus his tale o' love: "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? "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." 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 aye between them twa. Lines On John M'Murdo, ESQ. Blest be M'Murdo to his latest day! No envious cloud o'ercast his evening ray; No wrinkle, furrow'd by the hand of care, Nor ever sorrow add one silver hair! O may no son the father's honour stain, Nor ever daughter give the mother pain!
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EADO139a, b
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Robert Burns
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East Ayrshire Council
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