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


The Bonnie Lass o’ Ballochmyle

By Robert Burns (1759–1796)

’T WAS even,—the dewy fields were green,

On every blade the pearls hang!

The Zephyr wantoned round the bean,

And bore its fragrant sweets alang;

In every glen the mavis sang,

All Nature listening seemed the while,

Except where greenwood echoes rang,

Amang the braes o’ Ballochmyle.

With careless step I onward strayed,

My heart rejoiced in Nature’s joy,

When, musing in a lonely glade,

A maiden fair I chanced to spy.

Her look was like the morning’s eye,

Her air like Nature’s vernal smile;

Perfection whispered, passing by,

Behold the lass o’ Ballochmyle!

Fair is the morn in flowery May,

And sweet is night in autumn mild,

When roving through the garden gay,

Or wandering in the lonely wild:

But woman, Nature’s darling child!

There all her charms she does compile;

Even there her other works are foiled

By the bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle.

O, had she been a country maid,

And I the happy country swain,

Though sheltered in the lowest shed

That ever rose on Scotland’s plain,

Through weary winter’s wind and rain,

With joy, with rapture, I would toil,

And nightly to my bosom strain

The bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle.

Then pride might climb the slippery steep,

Where fame and honors lofty shine;

And thirst of gold might tempt the deep,

Or downward seek the Indian mine;

Give me the cot below the pine,

To tend the flocks or till the soil,

And every day has joys divine

With the bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle.