Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
525. Song—Had I the wyte, she bade me
 
 
HAD I the wyte, had I the wyte,
  Had I the wyte? she bade me;
She watch’d me by the hie-gate side,
  And up the loan she shaw’d me.
And when I wadna venture in,        5
  A coward loon she ca’d me:
Had Kirk an’ State been in the gate,
  I’d lighted when she bade me.
 
Sae craftilie she took me ben,
  And bade me mak nae clatter;        10
“For our ramgunshoch, glum gudeman
  Is o’er ayont the water.”
Whae’er shall say I wanted grace,
  When I did kiss and dawte her,
Let him be planted in my place,        15
  Syne say, I was the fautor.
 
Could I for shame, could I for shame,
  Could I for shame refus’d her;
And wadna manhood been to blame,
  Had I unkindly used her!        20
He claw’d her wi’ the ripplin-kame,
  And blae and bluidy bruis’d her;
When sic a husband was frae hame,
  What wife but wad excus’d her!
 
I dighted aye her e’en sae blue,        25
  An’ bann’d the cruel randy,
And weel I wat, her willin’ mou
  Was sweet as sugar-candie.
At gloamin-shot, it was I wot,
  I lighted on the Monday;        30
But I cam thro’ the Tyseday’s dew,
  To wanton Willie’s brandy.
 

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