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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
342. I Lo’ed Ne’er a Laddie but Ane
 
Hector MacNeil (1746–1818)
 
 
I LO’ED ne’er a laddie but ane,
He lo’es na a lassie but me;
He’s willing to mak’ me his ain,
  And his ain I am willing to be.
He coft 1 me a rokelay 2 o’ blue,        5
  And a pair o’ mittens o’ green;
He vowed that he’d ever be true,
  And I plighted my troth yestreen.
 
Let ithers brag weel o’ their gear, 3
  Their land and their lordly degree;        10
I carena for aught but my dear,
  For he’s ilka thing lordly to me.
His words are sae sugared, sae sweet,
  His sense drives ilk 4 fear far awa’;
I listen, puir fool, and I greet,        15
  Yet how sweet are the tears as they fa’!
 
‘Dear lassie,’ he cries wi’ a jeer,
  ‘Ne’er heed what the auld anes will say:
Though we’ve little to brag o’, ne’er fear,
  What’s gowd to a heart that is wae?        20
Our laird has baith honours and wealth,
  Yet see how he’s dwining 5 wi’ care;
Now we, though we’ve naething but health,
  Are cantie 6 and leal 7 evermair.
 
‘O Menie, the heart that is true        25
  Has something mair costly than gear;
Ilk e’en it has naething to rue,
  Ilk morn it has naething to fear.
Ye warldlings, gae hoard up your store,
  And tremble for fear aught ye tyne; 8        30
Guard your treasures wi’ lock, bar, and door,
  While here in my arms I lock mine!’
 
He ends wi’ a kiss and a smile—
  Wae’s me, can I tak’ it amiss?
My laddie’s unpractised in guile,        35
  He’s free aye to daut 9 and to kiss.
Ye lasses wha’ lo’e to torment
  Your wooers wi’ fause scorn and strife,
Play your pranks; I ha’e gi’en my consent,
  And this night I am Jamie’s for life.        40
 
Note 1. Bought. [back]
Note 2. A short cloak. [back]
Note 3. Possessions. [back]
Note 4. Each. [back]
Note 5. Pining. [back]
Note 6. Cheerful. [back]
Note 7. Loyal. [back]
Note 8. Loss. [back]
Note 9. Pet. [back]
 

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