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.
 
The Boatie Rows
Anonymous
 
OH, weel may the boatie row,
  And better may she speed;
And liesome may the boatie row
  That wins the bairnies’ bread.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,        5
  The boatie rows indeed;
And weel may the boatie row
  That wins the bairnies’ bread.
 
I coost my line in Largo Bay,
  And fishes I catched nine;        10
’Twas three to boil, and three to fry,
  And three to bait the line.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,
  The boatie rows indeed,
And happy be the lot o’ a’        15
  Wha wishes her to speed.
 
Oh, 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 o’ a’
  That wish the boatie speed.
 
When Jamie vowed he wad be mine,        25
  And wan frae me my heart,
Oh, muckle lighter grew my creel—
  He swore we’d never part.
The boatie rows, the boatie rows,
  The boatie rows fu’ weel;        30
And muckle lighter is the load
  When love bears up the creel.
 
My kurtch I put upo’ my head,
  And dressed mysel’ fu’ braw;
I trow my heart was dough and wae,        35
  When Jamie gade 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
 
 
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