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Craigieburn wood

Sweet closes the evening on Craigieburn-Wood, And blythely awaukens the morrow; But the pride o' the spring in the Craigieburn Wood Can yield me nought but sorrow. Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie, And O to be lying beyond thee! O sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep That's laid in the bed beyond thee. I see the spreading leaves and flowers, I hear the wild birds singing; But pleasure they hae nane for me While care my heart is wringing. I can na tell, I maun na tell, I daur na for your anger: But secret love will break my heart, If I conceal it langer. I see thee gracefu', straight and tall, I see thee sweet and bonie; But Oh, what will my torments be, If thou refuse thy Johnie! To see thee in another's arms, In love to lie and languish: 'Twad be my dead, that will be seen, My heart wad burst wi' anguish! But Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine, Say thou loes nane before me; And a' my days o' life to come I'll gratefully adore thee. Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie, And O to be lying beyond thee! O sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep That's laid in the bed beyond thee.


Douglas Henshall

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1792 and is read here by Douglas Henshall.

More about this song

Craigieburn Wood is another of Burns’s poems which features Jean Lorimer (Chloris) as its protagonist.

Jean was pursued by a fellow excise-man of Burns, John Gillespie, although she did not return his affections. Instead she eloped with Andrew Whelpdale (1774-1816) to Gretna Green, but was abandoned by him after three weeks.

She returned to live with her father, and continued her friendship with Burns.

Although Burns insisted the relationship was nothing more than platonic, James Hogg alleged that Burns continued an affair with her, and stayed with her whenever he came to Moffat.

The song itself was the first contribution which Burns made to volume 4 of The Scots Musical Museum.

In a letter to George Thomson in April 1793 Burns noted that the air was not well known outside the immediate local, but was a worthy piece all the same.

Thomson did not agree though, and did not use the song for his collection.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

nature anguish love

Selected for 26 April

The renowned philosopher David Hume was born on April 26th, 1711. Immensely influential among the French thinkers whose ideas would influence the revolution of 1789, Hume was an unapologetic atheist, famed for the calm, accepting dignity of his death. Kant was just one of the continental intellectuals who admired Hume. For the Scots language he did not share Burns's regard. Despite a lifelong fondness for his native, 'Athens of the North', the celebrated scholar was wont to comb through his own writings and the manuscripts of his Edinburgh friends amongst the Enlightenment elite, in search of 'Scotticsms' to expunge. See if you can spot the words he would have objected to!

Donny O'Rourke

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