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On Cessnock Banks


Tune--"_If he be a butcher neat and trim._"

[There are many variations of this song, which was first printed by
Cromek from the oral communication of a Glasgow Lady, on whose charms,
the poet, in early life, composed it.]


I.

On Cessnock banks a lassie dwells;
Could I describe her shape and mien;
Our lasses a' she far excels,
An she has twa sparkling roguish een.

II.

She's sweeter than the morning dawn
When rising Phoebus first is seen,
And dew-drops twinkle o'er the lawn;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een

III.

She's stately like yon youthful ash,
That grows the cowslip braes between,
And drinks the stream with vigour fresh;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

IV.

She's spotless like the flow'ring thorn,
With flow'rs so white and leaves so green,
When purest in the dewy morn;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

V.

Her looks are like the vernal May,
When evening Phoebus shines serene,
While birds rejoice on every spray--
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

VI.

Her hair is like the curling mist
That climbs the mountain-sides at e'en,
When flow'r-reviving rains are past;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

VII.

Her forehead's like the show'ry bow,
When gleaming sunbeams intervene,
And gild the distant mountain's brow;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

VIII.

Her cheeks are like yon crimson gem,
The pride of all the flow'ry scene,
Just opening on its thorny stem;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

IX.

Her teeth are like the nightly snow
When pale the morning rises keen,
While hid the murmuring streamlets flow;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een

X.

Her lips are like yon cherries ripe,
That sunny walls from Boreas screen--
They tempt the taste and charm the sight;
An' she has twa, sparkling roguish een.

XI.

Her teeth are like a flock of sheep,
With fleeces newly washen clean,
That slowly mount the rising steep;
An' she has twa glancin' roguish een.

XII.

Her breath is like the fragrant breeze
That gently stirs the blossom'd bean,
When Phoebus sinks behind the seas;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

XIII.

Her voice is like the ev'ning thrush
That sings on Cessnock banks unseen,
While his mate sits nestling in the bush;
An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.

XIV.

But it's not her air, her form, her face,
Tho' matching beauty's fabled queen,
'Tis the mind that shines in ev'ry grace,
An' chiefly in her roguish een.

Robert Burns


Poetry