Country Lassie


In simmer when the hay was mawn, And corn wav'd green in ilka field, While claver blooms white o'er the lea, And roses blaw in ilka beild; Blythe Bessie, in the milkin-shiel, Says, I'll be wed, come o't what will; Outspak a dame in wrinkled eild, O' gude advisement comes nae ill. Its ye hae wooers mony ane, And lassie, ye're but young ye ken; Then wait a wee, and canie wale, A routhie butt, a routhie ben: There's Johnie o' the Buskieglen, Fu' is his barn, fu' is his byre; Take this frae me, my bonie hen, It's plenty beets the luver's fire. For Johnie o' the Buskieglen, I dinna care a single flie; He loes sae weel his craps and kye, He has nae love to spare for me: But blythe's the blink o' Robie's e'e, And weel I wat he loes me dear; Ae blink o' him I wad na gie For Buskie-glen and a' his gear. O thoughtless lassie, life's a faught, The canniest gate, the strife is sair; But aye fu' - han't is fechtin' best, A hungry care's an unco care: But some will spend and some will spare, An' wilfu' folk maun hae their will; Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair, Keep mind that ye maun drink the yill. O gear will buy me rigs o' land, And gear will buy me sheep and kye; But the tender heart o' leesome loove, The gowd and siller canna buy; We may be poor, Robie and I, Light is the burden Loove lays on; Content and Loove brings peace and joy, What mair hae queens upon a throne.

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Alison Peebles

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1792 and is read here by Alison Peebles.

More about this poem

This song was mentioned in a letter which Burns sent to George Thomson on 19 October 1794.

It is written in dramatic lyric, although according to James Kinsley, it does not possess the dramatic subtlety of Burns at his best.

Allan Cunningham (1784-1842), whose father was a neighbor of Burns at Ellisland, argued that the song, ‘has the air and tone of the ancient lyrics of Caledonia.

It hovers between the dramatic and the sentimental, and partakes of the character of both’.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this poem

marriage love money

Selected for 19 October

This poem was posted by Burns to his editor on October 19th, 1794. The poet returns to one of his favourite themes; the triumph of love over lucre. With her Robie (sic) the young woman who has spurned another suitor's gold and land is happier than a queen upon a throne.

Donny O'Rourke

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