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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.


The Birkie of Bonnie Dundee

By Clementina Stirling Graham (1782–1877)

YE fair lands of Angus and bonnie Dundee,

How dear are your echoes, your memories to me!

At gatherings and meetings in a’ the braw toons,

I danced wi’ the lasses and distanced the loons;

Syne bantered them gayly, and bade the young men

Be mair on their mettle when I cam’ again.

They jeered me, they cheered me, and cried ane and a’,

“He ’s no an ill fellow that, now he ’s awa.”

When puir beggar bodies cam’ making their mane,

I spak’ them aye cheery, for siller I ’d nane;

They shook up their duddies, and muttered, “Wae ’s me

Sae lightsome a laddie no worth a bawbee!”

I played wi’ the bairnies at bowls and at ba’,

And left them a’ greetin when I cam’ awa;

Ay! mithers, and bairnies, and lasses and a’,

Were a’ sobbin loudly when I cam’ awa.

I feigned a gay laugh, just to keep in the greet,

For ae bonnie lassie, sae douce and sae sweet,

How matchless the blink of her deep loving ee,

How soft fell its shade as it glanced upon me.

I flung her a wild rose sae fresh and sae fair,

And bade it bloom on in the bright summer there;

While breathing its fragrance, she aiblins may gi’e

A thought to the Birkie of bonnie Dundee.