Tune--"_Miss Forbes's Farewell to Banff._"
[Miss Alexander, of Ballochmyle, as the poet tells her in a letter,
dated November, 1786, inspired this popular song. He chanced to meet
her in one of his favourite walks on the banks of the Ayr, and the
fine scene and the lovely lady set the muse to work. Miss Alexander,
perhaps unaccustomed to this forward wooing of the muse, allowed the
offering to remain unnoticed for a time: it is now in a costly frame,
and hung in her chamber--as it deserves to be.]
'Twas even--the dewy fields were green,
On every blade the pearls hang,
The zephyr wanton'd round the bean,
And bore its fragrant sweets alang:
In ev'ry glen the mavis sang,
All nature listening seem'd the while,
Except where greenwood echoes rang
Amang the braes o' Ballochmyle!
With careless step I onward stray'd,
My heart rejoic'd in nature's joy,
When musing in a lonely glade,
A maiden fair I chanc'd to spy;
Her look was like the morning's eye,
Her air like nature's vernal smile,
Perfection whisper'd passing by,
Behold the lass o' Ballochmyle!
Fair is the morn in flow'ry May,
And sweet is night in autumn mild
When roving thro' the garden gay,
Or wand'ring in the lonely wild;
But woman, nature's darling child!
There all her charms she does compile;
Even there her other works are foil'd
By the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.
O, had she been a country maid,
And I the happy country swain,
Tho' shelter'd in the lowest shed
That ever rose on Scotland's plain,
Thro' weary winter's wind and rain,
With joy, with rapture, I would toil;
And nightly to my bosom strain
The bonnie lass of Ballochmyle.
Then pride might climb the slippery steep,
Where fame and honours 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 ev'ry day have joys divine
With the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle.