Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
392. Song—Poortith cauld and restless love
Tune—“Cauld Kail in Aberdeen.”
O POORTITH cauld, and restless love,
  Ye wrack my peace between ye;
Yet poortith a’ I could forgive,
  An ’twere na for my Jeanie.
Chorus.—O why should Fate sic pleasure have,        5
  Life’s dearest bands untwining?
Or why sae sweet a flower as love
  Depend on Fortune’s shining?
The warld’s wealth, when I think on,
  It’s pride and a’ the lave o’t;        10
O fie on silly coward man,
  That he should be the slave o’t!
      O why, &c.
Her e’en, sae bonie blue, betray
  How she repays my passion;        15
But prudence is her o’erword aye,
  She talks o’ rank and fashion.
      O why, &c.
O wha can prudence think upon,
  And sic a lassie by him?        20
O wha can prudence think upon,
  And sae in love as I am?
      O why, &c.
How blest the simple cotter’s fate!
  He woos his artless dearie;        25
The silly bogles, wealth and state,
  Can never make him eerie,
      O why, &c.


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