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Duncan Gray
by Robert Burns

Scottish poet and songwriter, Burns is best known today for the latter and, in particular, for his Auld Lang Syne, generally sung in Britain upon the occasion of New Year. This appeared, along with such other lyrics as O My Loves Like a Red, Red Rose, Ye Banks and Braes and Scots wha hac, in the selection of Scottish tunes Burns collected and contributed to: the Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice (1793-1818). Other of his songs are also collected in another compendia, The Scots Musical Museum (1787-1803).

As a poet Burns worked with simple concepts, but applied them across a number of forms. He wrote and published satires, scenes of rustic life, epistles to friends, epigrams and nature poems, both in a composite poetic form made up of a number of Scottish dialects and in English. In poems such as The Cotter's Saturday Night and To a Mountain Daisy he uses both Scottish dialect and English together. His poems were published in the Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786).


Duncan Gray
by Robert Burns

Duncan Gray cam here to woo,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
On blythe Yule Night when we were fu',
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Maggie coost her head fu' high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

Duncan fleeched, and Duncan prayed;
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig;
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Duncan sighed baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin',
Spak o' lowpin ower a linn;
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

Time and Chance are but a tide,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Slighted love is sair to bide,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie dee?
She may gae to -France for me!
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

How it comes let Doctors tell,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Meg grew sick as he grew hale,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief a sigh she brings;
And O her een, they spak sic things!
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

Duncan was a lad o' grace,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Maggie's was a piteous case,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Duncan could na be her death,
Swelling Pity smoored his Wrath;
Now they're crouse and canty baith,
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.


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