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

Leven, the River

The Bonny Lass o’ Leven Water

By Alexander Balfour (1767–1829)

THOUGH siller Tweed rin o’er the lea,

An’ dark the Dee ’mang Highland heather,

Yet siller Tweed an’ drumly Dee

Are not sae dear as Leven Water:

When Nature formed our favorite isle,

An a’ her sweets began to scatter,

She looked, with fond, approving smile,

Alang the banks o’ Leven Water.

On flowery braes, at gloamin’ gray,

’T is sweet to scent the primrose springin’;

Or through the woodlands green to stray,

In ilka buss the mavis singin’:

But sweeter than the woodlands green,

Or primrose painted fair by Nature,

Is she wha smiles, a rural queen,

The bonny lass o’ Leven Water!

The sunbeam in the siller dew,

That hangs upon the hawthorn’s blossom,

Shines faint beside her e’en sae blue;

An’ purer is her spotless bosom.

Her smile wad thaw a hermit’s breast;

There ’s love an’ truth in ilka feature;

For her I ’m past baith wark an’ rest,

The bonny lass o’ Leven Water!

But I ’m a lad o’ laigh degree,

Her purse-proud daddy ’s dour an’ saucy;

An’ sair the carle wad scowl on me,

For speakin’ to his dawtit lassie:

But were I laird o’ Leven’s glen,

An’ she a humble shepherd’s daughter,

I ’d kneel, an’ court her for my ain,

The bonny lass o’ Leven Water!