Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Boatie Rows
By John Ewen (1741–1821)
 
O WEEL may the boatie row,
  And better may it speed;
And liesome may the boatie row
  That wins the bairnies’ bread!
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,        5
  The boatie rows fu’ weel;
And meikle luck attend the boat,
  The murlain and the creel!
 
I cuist my line in Largo Bay,
  And fishes I caught nine;        10
There’s three to boil, and three to fry,
  And three to bait the line.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,
  The boatie rows indeed;
And weel may the boatie row        15
  That wins my bairnies’ bread.
 
O weel may the boatie row
  That fills a heavy creel,
And cleeds us a’ frae tap to tae,
  And buys our parritch meal!        20
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,
  The boatie rows indeed,
And happy be the lot of a’
  That wish the boatie speed!
 
When Jamie vowed he wad be mine,        25
  And won frae me my heart,
O meikle lighter grew my creel;
  He swore we’d never part.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,
  The boatie rows fu’ weel;        30
And meikle lighter is the load
  When love bears up the creel.
 
My kertch I put upon my head,
  And dressed mysel’ fu’ braw;
But dowie, dowie was my heart        35
  When Jamie gaed awa’.
But weel may the boatie row,
  And lucky be her part;
And lightsome be the lassie’s care,
  That yields an honest heart!        40
 
When Sandy, Jock, and Janetie,
  Are up, and gotten lear,
They’ll help to gar the boatie row,
  And lighten a’ our care.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,        45
  The boatie rows fu’ weel;
And lightsome be her heart that bears
  The murlain and the creel!
 
When we are auld, and sair bowed down,
  And hirplin at the door,        50
They’ll row to keep us dry and warm,
  As we did them before.
Then weel may the boatie row,
  And better may it speed,
And happy be the lot of a’        55
  That wish the boatie speed!
 
 
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