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James Chapman Craig


O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen
In a' the places I ha'e been
There's nane can equal my dear Jean,
The winsome lass o' Logie.

Though ye shu'd search the country wast
As far as Stirling Brig,
An' eastward to Saint Andrews Bay
Ye tramp wi' weary leg,
Ye'll never see in cot or ha',
Nor ony place I ween,
A lassie half sae trig an' braw
As my lass, Jean.
O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.

Although I'm but a plooman chield,
An' toil baith late an' early,
I whustle as I turn the field,
My bosom beatin' rarely.
For hov'rin' near in ilka place
The birds an' floo'rs I ween
Reca' the voice, an' hint the face
O' my lass, Jean.
O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.

Speed wastlins sun an' coorie doon,
Come swith, sweet gloamin' grey,
An' I'll be airtin' 'yont the toon
Wi' my dear lass to stray.
I'll press her to my bosom fain,
An' pree her moo', I ween,
An' tell love's story owre again
To my lass, Jean.
O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.


I used to sing a sang langsyne,
When a' my hopes were bricht;
Before death pairted me an' mine,
And shut out heaven's licht,
When a' the day an' a' the nicht,
Seemed fu' o' bliss to me;
But noo the tears I often dicht
When there are nane to see.

I sang it aft when she, my love,
Was wi' me i' the gloamin',
When in yon weel-remember'd grove
We carelessly gaed roamin'.
It was a sang o' faithfu' love-
It micht ha'e been oor ain;
Thought a' the world should disapprove,
Still faithfu' we'd remain.

An' from the first time that we met,
Wi' love my heart was fu';
Her beauty I can ne'er forget,
Her sweetness haunts me noo
Sae gentle, winnin', frank and free,
She trusted me sincerely;
Her heart I kent was a' for me,
An' O, I lo'ed her dearly.

But a' my mirth was turned to wae,
My bricht love-day to nicht,
For death's dark shadow cam' to stay,
And she was hid frae sicht!
They laid her i' the cauld, cauld ground-
I lang aft to gang to her;
Nae solace ha'e I ever found,
For a' my love I gae her.

I wander aften doon the glen,
Whaur ance we roved thegither;
But nothing seems sae sweet as when
We roved wi' ane anither.
I used to sing a sang langsyne,
I sing that sang nae mair;
It sang o' love, an' lost is mine,
An' O, my heart is sair


I'm auld, maybe, but I love to see
The noisy bairns at play,
For it mak's me feel that I canna weel
Be as auld as my ain folks say.
It quickens the bluid an' daes me guid,
This clamorous mirth sae rare,
An' the merry scene gars my heart grow green,
Though snaw-white is my hair.

The sparklin' thrill that seems to fill
The lauch of the merry weans
Juist seems to bizz the rhumatiz
Richt oot o' my very banes.
An' the lovin' sheen that's in their een
Sets a lowe to the teen in mine;
Awa' gaes care, an' I'm young ance mair,
As in the dear langsyne.

Twice forty years wi' a' their cares
Ha'e bent my shouthers roun',
But I'll ne'er thraw when He gi'es the ca',
In peace I'll lay me doon.
My days are spent, yet sweet content
Steals owre me frae the scene
In a sweet day-dream, again I seem
To dance upon the green.

In harmless mirth dance on, dear weans,
In a' your noisy glee;
Your jingo-rings a pleasure brings
That's unco dear to me.
In thocht wi' you I romp amang
The colls o' the new mown hay,
An' ilka joy that's yours is mines,
This glorious simmer day.

This warl' at best is a weary fecht
Frae mornin' sun till mirk.
An' the Valley o' Death, tho' it hauds nae skaith,
Is a gate we fain wad shirk.
But to see this day the bairns at play
To me sweet comfort brings,
An' the thochts o' the tomb are bereft o' their gloom
Wi' a waff frae an angel's wings.


Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
Daddie's ain darlin' and Minnie's wee doo,
Heaven's ain sunshine the mirk to beam thro'-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
Yer daddie's awa on the deep, rollin' sea,
Toilin' for siller to keep you an' me---
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
When the win' blaws hie, an' white rides the faem,
May God guide his boatie, an' bring him safe hame-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
Sleepin' fu' soond wi' an' angel's saft smile
Lurkin' anoond yer wee moo' a' the while-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!


Mirk, mirk's the nicht, the skies low'r an' froon,
O Faither in Heaven, wi' kind e'e look doon
On a' yer puir bairnies that's oot on the sea,
An' bring my love hame to the bairnie an' me.


Oh! lay it cannie by, John,
Doon in the bottom draw'r,
Beside her wee bit frocks an' things,
She'll need, alas! nae mair;
An' hap them up frae sicht, John,
We'll cherish them wi' care,
For when I see them lying oot
It mak's my toom heart sair.

Her wee bit bonnie face, John,
It thrilled my very heart,
When pressed upon my briest to drink
Did mother's love impart.
It rises up whene'er I see
A toy or ocht she had,
An' tears, which when she dee'd were dry,
Come drappin' doon fu' sad.

Nae mair she'll rin to meet ye
When ye're comin' hame at e'en,
An' clap her bonnie hands, John,
The welcome aft she's gi'en.
Nae mair she'll claim her dadda's kiss,
Nor sclim up on yer knee,
Nor row her airms aroond yer neck
In a' her childish glee.

Her een I'll ne'er forget, John,
They were sae fu' o' love,
Juist crooded wi' some angel pooer,
Sent doon frae Heaven above.
She smiled sae sweetly when she dee'd,
I couldna think her gane;
But ah! her wee bit heart was stilled,
An' cauld she grew as stane.

But still the smile was there, John,
An' the licht was in her e'e,
As if she saw some bonnie sicht
That mortals canna see;
An' peace fell on my troubled soul
As though some angel nigh,
An' I kent that my wee sufferin' lam'
Was safely hame on high.

Sae lay it cannie by, John,
Doon i' the bottom draw'r,
Beside her wee bit frocks an' things,
She'll need, alas! nae mair;
An' hap them up frae sicht, John,
We'll gaird them a' wi' care;
But when I see them lyin' oot
It mak's my toom heart sair.


Oor Bobbie's the sturdiest wean ye e'er saw,
Wi' his cheeks like the roses, an' skin like the snaw
Tho' his face is as aften as black as a craw,
He's the bonniest bairn that ever I saw.
He's ne'er oot a' mischief, his pranks gar me start,
Whene'er I hear onything, thud goes my heart;
For I think that nae mither e'er had sic a job,
As to ha'e sic a wean as oor ain little Bob.

Sometimes he's a sodger, an' armed fu' rare,
The bissim he'll shouther, an' march thro' the flair;
An' aye as he passes his mither or me,
He gi'es us a look, wi' the tail o' his e'e.
Then he'll shoot me, an' I've aye to drap richt doon dead,
Then he brings me to life, by the hair o' th' head;
And deein' or leevin's a grand kind o' job,
For it pleases oor darlin', oon ain little Bob.

Then he'll mak' me his horse, an' owner gey siccar!
For owre hill and dale I've to gang wi' a bicker,
I pace like the leddies, an' like the gent's trot,
But the gallopin' cadger aye beats the hale lot.
Then whiles I've to gang on my hands an' my knees,
An' be a wild beast, the young man to please;
I'll whiles be an elephant, sometimes a bear,
An' as long as we're happy what needs we care.

The cat aften gets its full share o' what's gaun,
Held up by the legs, on its head it'll staun'
An' syne by the tail he'll gi'e her a swing,
An' yell when wi' her claws, to him she'll cling.
His mither's delicht is to see neat an' clean
Her ain little laddie just like a new preen;
But bless you, his peenie is no' clean a minute,
For whaur there's some dirt he is shair to be in it.

He'll play in the coal-hole wi' evident joy,
An' to get in a backet's an' awfu' fine ploy;
He'll eat up the cinders to hear his teeth crunch,
An' laugh wi' enjoyment at his free lunch.
But when wi' his claes aff, he gi'es me a kiss,
I think in the world there's nae greater bliss,
Than weans an' a wife, wi' the blessin' o' Heaven,
An' I pray that wi' grief oor hearts ne'er may be riven.


When e'enin' shadows settle doon,
An' peace fa's saft on a' aroon',
I leave the dinsome noisy toon,
To wander by the Devon;
An' there I meet my jewel rare-
There's few wi' her that can compare;
What heavenly bliss I ha'e seen there,
Beside the wimplin' Devon.

Gie gowd to misers, croons to kings-
Gie me the 'oor that Mary brings,
When love a gowden glamour flings
On a' beside the Devon;
The wimplin' burnie rins alang,
The birds sing out their heartsome sang-
Wi' love's auld story we are thrang,
While wanderin' by the Devon.

Sing on, sweet birds, thy sangs o' glee,
They aye seem fu' o' love to me-
The love that glints frae Mary's e'e,
While rovin' by the Devon.
Oh! guard, kind Heaven, my lassie fair,
May snell winds miss my blossom rare,
An' to this lovin' bosom spare,
Sweet Mary o' the Devon.


I sing to the Queen a song of love,
Allegiance true I swear,
May guardian angels from above
Be near to hear my prayer.
Her rights I'll guard and never yield
Till death shall lay me low;
My breast shall be the targe to shield
Her safe from every foe.

Then here's to the Queen, long may she reign,
God keep her free from strife.
Long live the Queen! God bless the Queen!
The Queen of Queens! My wife.

I give to the Queen my heart and hand,
My labour and my love,
And only wait for her command
My faithfulness to prove.
Should sorrow-clouds obscure the sun,
Or grief awaken tears,
Kind Heaven! oh, spare my dearest one,
And banish all her fears.

Then here's to the Queen, long may she reign,
God keep her free from strife.
Long live the Queen! God bless the Queen!
The Queen of Queens! My wife.

Now some folks may say 'tis a selfish song,
But all you have to do
Is to sing this song with a fervour strong
Of your own wife good and true.
So fill your glasses to the brim,
And pledge each man his own,
The peerless Queen who belongs to him,
And reigns in his heart alone.

Then sing this refrain, long may she reign,
God keep her free from strife.
God bless the Queen! Long live the Queen!
The peerless Queen! My wife.


Ye needna sing yer sangs to me
O' launds that's faur awa',
Whaur glit'rin' gowd gars gowks ga'e gyte,
An' honour's tint an' a'.
Whaur love a' gowd wi' am'rous airms
Twines roan' an' roan' the heart,
An' captivates wi' Clootie's charms
Cuifs frae the manly pairt.

Ye needna rave o' fairer scenes,
Whaur floo'rs are aye in bloom;
Whaur skies are aye o' unfleck'd blue,
Nor kens o' misty gloom.
Gi'e me the dour an' dorty land,
Wi' a' her faults, my lads
Her rugged hills, her gurglin' rills,
Her mosses purple clad.

Let's sing a' Bonnie Scotland, lads,
The laund we lo'e sae weel;
The laund whaur Bruce an' Wallace focht,
Fair freedom's brae to spiell.
The laund whaur Allan Ramsay sprang,
Hogg, Scott, an' Tannahill;
An' Burns, whase strains a' deathless sang
Gars oor hearts tingle still.

O leeze me on ye Scotland, dear,
My heart for you is fain;
My a' I'd fling gin I cud sing
O' thee in worthy strain.
Yer whinny knowes in green an' gowd,
Yer gowan spangled lea,
Yer lochs an' bens, yer burns an' glens-
Auld Scotland, aye for me.


O bonnie Bieldside by the auld river Dee,
Whaur kind hearts are waitin' a welcome to gi'e,
Whaur simmer seems taigled bewitched wi' the scene
O' the clachan that lies smoor'd in purple and green.

The heich hills aroon' it, majestic and graund,
A' rugged an' silent, like sentinels staund;
Below lies the valley, enchantin', serene,
Arrayed in a rich broider'd mantle o' green.

The sleepless auld Dee cuddles close in the howe,
An' jinks mony witch-stane an' fay-haunted knowe.
Whiles brawlin' an' whiles like a wean sleepin' soun',
Whiles clear as a crystal, whiles drumlie an' broon,

The lav'rock hings hiech owre the ripenin' grain,
An' pours fourth a sang makin' weary hearts fain,
In e'ein' the mavis's music rings clear,
An' the win' wafts the chimes o' the Blair to oor ear.

O fair is the dell whaur yon wee burnie rins,
An' bonnie's the tassels o' gowd on the whins,
The green shady lane that leads doon to the Dee,
Luxuriously verdant, delichts heart and e'e.

O bonnie Bieldside wi' yen heather-clad braes,
Though puir, its a heart-sang I sing in your praise,
May peace aye abide an' may joy ever be,
Wi' a' in Bieldside by the auld river Dee.

 Return to Poems of James Chapman Craig


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