Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Waly, Waly, but Love be Bonny
Anonymous
 
From Tea-Table Miscellany

O, WALY, waly up the bank,
And waly, waly down the brae,
And waly, waly yon burn-side,
Where I and my love wont to gae.
 
I leaned my back unto an aik,        5
I thought it was a trusty tree;
But first it bowed, and syne it brak,—
Sae my true love did light by me!
 
O, waly, waly, but love be bonny,
A little time while it is new;        10
But when ’tis auld it waxeth cauld,
And fades away like the morning dew.
 
O, wherefore should I busk my head?
Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
For my true love has me forsook,        15
And says he’ll never love me mair.
 
Now Arthur-Seat shall be my bed;
The sheets shall ne’er be fyled by me;
St. Anton’s well shall be my drink,
Since my true love has forsaken me.        20
 
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
And shake the green leaves off the tree?
O gentle death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I’m weary.
 
’Tis not the frost that freezes fell,        25
Nor blawing thaw’s inclemency;
’Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,
But my love’s heart grown cauld to me.
 
When we came in by Glasgow town,
We were a comely sight to see;        30
My love was clad in the black velvet,
And I mysel in cramasie.
 
But had I wist before I kissed,
That love had been sae ill to win,
I’d locked my heart in a case of gold,        35
And pinned it with a silver pin.
 
O, O, if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse’s knee,
And I mysel were dead and gane
And the green grass growin’ ower me!        40
 
 
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