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664                                    The Blind Boy’s Pranks

MEN grew sae cauld, maids sae unkind,
    Love kentna1 whaur to stay:
Wi’ fient an arrow2, bow, or string—
Wi’ droopin’ heart an’ drizzled wing,
    He faught his lonely way.
‘Is there nae mair in Garioch fair
    Ae spotless hame for me?
Hae politics an’ corn an’ kye
Ilk bosom stappit? Fie, O fie!
    I’ll swithe3 me o’er the sea.’
He launch’d a leaf o’ jessamine,
    On whilk he daur’d to swim,
An’ pillow’d his head on a wee rosebud,
Syne laithfu’4, lanely, Love ’gan scud
    Down Ury’s waefu’ stream.
The birds sang bonnie as Love drew near,
    But dowie5 when he gaed by;
Till lull’d wi’ the sough o’ monie a sang,
He sleepit fu’ soun’ and sail’d alang
    ’Neath Heaven’s gowden sky.
’Twas just whaur creeping Ury greets
    Its mountain cousin Don,
There wander’d forth a weelfaur’d6 dame,
Wha listless gazed on the bonnie stream,
As it flirted an’ play’d with a sunny beam
    That flicker’d its bosom upon.
Love happit7 his head, I trow, that time
    The jessamine bark drew nigh,
The lassie espied the wee rosebud,
An’ aye her heart gae thud for thud,
    An’ quiet it wadna lie.
‘O gin I but had yon wearie wee flower
    That floats on the Ury sae fair!’—
She lootit8 her hand for the silly rose-leaf,
But little wist she o’ the pawkie9 thief
    That was lurkin’ an’ laughin’ there!
Love glower’d10 when he saw her bonnie dark e’e,
    An’ swore by Heaven’s grace
He ne’er had seen nor thought to see,
Since e’er he left the Paphian lea,
    Sae lovely a dwallin’-place.
Syne first of a’ in her blythesome breast
    He built a bower, I ween;
An’ what did the waefu’ devilick neist?
But kindled a gleam like the rosy east,
    That sparkled frae baith her e’en.
An’ then beneath ilk high e’e-bree11
    He placed a quiver there; His bow?
What but her shinin’ brow?
An’ O sic deadly strings he drew
    Frae out her silken hair!
Guid be our guard! Sic deeds waur deen
    Roun’ a’ our countrie then;
An’ monie a hangin’ lug12 was seen
’Mang farmers fat, an’ lawyers lean,
    An’ herds o’ common men!

1 kentna: knew not.

2 wi fient an arrow: i.q. with deuce an arrow.

3 swithe: hie quickly.

4 laithfu’: regretful.

5 dowie: dejectedly.

6 weelfaur’d: well-favoured, comely.

7 happit: covered up.

8 lootit: lowered.

9 pawkie: sly.

10 glower’d: stared.

11 e’e-bree: eyebrow.

12 lug: ear.


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