Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
Tam Glen
By Robert Burns (1759–1796)
TUNE—‘The mucking o’ Geordie’s Byre.’

MY heart is a breaking, dear Tittie,
  Some counsel unto me come len’,
To anger them a’ is a pity;
  But what will I do wi’ Tam Glen?
I ’m thinking, wi’ sic a braw fellow,        5
  In poortith 1 I might mak a fen’; 2
What care I in riches to wallow,
  If I maunna marry Tam Glen?
There ’s Lowrie the laird o’ Dumeller,
  ‘Guid-day to you,’—brute! he comes ben:        10
He brags and he blaws o’ his siller;
  But when will he dance like Tam Glen?
My minnie does constantly deave 3 me,
  And bids me beware o’ young men;
They flatter, she says, to deceive me;        15
  But wha can think sae o’ Tam Glen?
My daddie says, gin I ’ll forsake him,
  He ’ll gie me gude hunder marks ten:
But, if it ’s ordained I maun take him,
  O wha will I get but Tam Glen?        20
Yestreen at the Valentine’s dealing,
  My heart to my mou gied a sten: 4
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
  And thrice it was written, Tam Glen.
The last Halloween I was waukin 5        25
  My droukit 6 sark-sleeve, as ye ken,
His likeness cam up the house staukin,
  And the very grey breeks o’ Tam Glen!
Come counsel, dear Tittie, don’t tarry;
  I ’ll gie ye my bonie black hen,        30
Gif ye will advise me to marry
  The lad I lo’e dearly, Tam Glen.
Note 1. poverty. [back]
Note 2. make a shift. [back]
Note 3. deafen. [back]
Note 4. leap. [back]
Note 5. watching. [back]
Note 6. wet. [back]

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