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O, What Ye Wha's In Yon Town

Tune--"_I'll ay ca' in by yon town._"

[The beautiful Lucy Johnstone, married to Oswald, of Auchencruive, was
the heroine of this song: it was not, however, composed expressly in
honour of her charms. "As I was a good deal pleased," he says in a
letter to Syme, "with my performance, I, in my first fervour, thought
of sending it to Mrs. Oswald." He sent it to the Museum, perhaps also
to the lady.]


O, wat ye wha's in yon town,
Ye see the e'enin sun upon?
The fairest dame's in yon town,
That e'enin sun is shining on.


Now haply down yon gay green shaw,
She wanders by yon spreading tree;
How blest ye flow'rs that round her blaw,
Ye catch the glances o' her e'e!


How blest ye birds that round her sing,
And welcome in the blooming year!
And doubly welcome be the spring,
The season to my Lucy dear.


The sun blinks blithe on yon town,
And on yon bonnie braes of Ayr;
But my delight in yon town,
And dearest bliss, is Lucy fair.


Without my love, not a' the charms
O' Paradise could yield me joy;
But gie me Lucy in my arms,
And welcome Lapland's dreary sky!


My cave wad be a lover's bower,
Tho' raging winter rent the air;
And she a lovely little flower,
That I wad tent and shelter there.


O sweet is she in yon town,
Yon sinkin sun's gane down upon;
A fairer than's in you town
His setting beam ne'er shone upon.


If angry fate is sworn my foe,
And suffering I am doom'd to bear;
I careless quit aught else below,
But spare me--spare me, Lucy dear!


For while life's dearest blood is warm,
Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart,
And she--as fairest is her form!
She has the truest, kindest heart!
O, wat ye wha's in yon town,
Ye see the e'enin sun upon?
The fairest dame's in yon town
That e'enin sun is shining on.

Robert Burns