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When Januar' Wind

Tune--"_The lass that made the bed for me._"

[Burns found an old, clever, but not very decorous strain, recording
an adventure which Charles the Second, while under Presbyterian rule
in Scotland, had with a young lady of the house of Port Letham, and
exercising his taste and skill upon it, produced the present--still
too free song, for the Museum.]

I.

When Januar' wind was blawing cauld,
As to the north I took my way,
The mirksome night did me enfauld,
I knew na where to lodge till day.

II.

By my good luck a maid I met,
Just in the middle o' my care;
And kindly she did me invite
To walk into a chamber fair.

III.

I bow'd fu' low unto this maid,
And thank'd her for her courtesie;
I bow'd fu' low unto this maid,
And bade her mak a bed to me.

IV.

She made the bed baith large and wide,
Wi' twa white hands she spread it down;
She put the cup to her rosy lips,
And drank, "Young man, now sleep ye soun'."

V.

She snatch'd the candle in her hand,
And frae my chamber went wi' speed;
But I call'd her quickly back again
To lay some mair below my head.

VI.

A cod she laid below my head,
And served me wi' due respect;
And to salute her wi' a kiss,
I put my arms about her neck.

VII.

"Haud aff your hands, young man," she says,
"And dinna sae uncivil be:
If ye hae onto love for me,
O wrang na my virginitie!"

VIII.

Her hair was like the links o' gowd,
Her teeth were like the ivorie;
Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wine,
The lass that made the bed to me.

IX.

Her bosom was the driven snaw,
Twa drifted heaps sae fair to see;
Her limbs the polish'd marble stane,
The lass that made the bed to me.

X.

I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
And ay she wist na what to say;
I laid her between me and the wa'--
The lassie thought na lang till day.

XI.

Upon the morrow when we rose,
I thank'd her for her courtesie;
But aye she blush'd, and aye she sigh'd,
And said, "Alas! ye've ruin'd me."

XII.

I clasp'd her waist, and kiss'd her syne,
While the tear stood twinklin' in her e'e;
I said, "My lassie, dinna cry,
For ye ay shall mak the bed to me."

XIII.

She took her mither's Holland sheets,
And made them a' in sarks to me:
Blythe and merry may she be,
The lass that made the bed to me.

XIV.

The bonnie lass made the bed to me,
The braw lass made the bed to me:
I'll ne'er forget till the day I die,
The lass that made the bed to me!


Robert Burns


Poetry