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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Werena My Heart Licht I Wad Dee

Lady Grisel Baillie (1665–1746)

THERE was ance a may, and she lo’ed na men;

See biggit her bonnie bouir doun i’ yon glen;

But now she cries Dule and a well-a-day!

Come doun the green gate and come here away.

When bonnie young Johnnie cam’ ower the sea

He said he saw naething sae bonnie as me;

He hecht me baith rings and monie braw things;

And werena my heart licht I wad dee.

He had a wee tittie that lo’ed na me,

Because I was twice as bonnie as she;

She raised sic a pother ’twixt him and his mother,

That werena my heart licht I wad dee.

The day it was set and the bridal to be—

The wife took a dwam and lay doun to dee;

She maned, and she graned, out o’ dolour and pain,

Till he vowed that he ne’er wad see me again.

His kin was for ane o’ a higher degree,

Said, what had he to do wi’ the like o’ me?

Albeit I was bonnie I wasna for Johnnie:

And werena my heart licht I wad dee.

They said I had neither cow nor calf,

Nor dribbles o’ drink rins through the draff,

Nor pickles o’ meal rins through the mill-e’e;

And werena my heart licht I wad dee.

His tittie she was baith wily and slee,

She spied me as I cam’ ower the lea,

And then she ran in and made a loud din;

Believe your ain een an ye trow na me.

His bannet stood aye fu’ round on his brow—

His auld ane looked aye as weel as some’s new;

But now he lets ’t wear ony gate it will hing,

And casts himsel’ dowie upon the corn-bing.

And now he gaes drooping about the dykes

And a’ he dow do is to hund the tykes;

The live-lang nicht he ne’er steeks his e’e;

And werena my heart licht I wad dee.

Were I young for thee as I ha’e been

We should ha’e been gallopin’ doun on yon green,

And linkin’ it on the lily-white lea;

And wow gin I were but young for thee!