O waly, waly, up the bank,
O waly, waly, down the brae.
And waly, waly, yon burn side,
Where I and my love wont to gae.
I leaned my back unto an aik,
An’ thocht it was a trustie tree,
But first it bow’d and syne it brak,
Sae my true love did lichtly me.
O waly, waly, but love is bonnie
A little time while it is new,
But when it’s auld it waxes cauld,
And fades away like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my head,
O wherefore should I kame my hair,
For my true love has me forsook,
And says he’ll never love me mair.
Now Arthur’s Seat shall be my bed,
The sheets shall ne’er be pressed by me,
St. Anton’s well shall be my drink,
Since my true love has forsaken me.
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
And shake the green leaves off the tree!
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am wearie!
‘Tis not the frost that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaw’s inclemencie,
‘Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,
But my love’s heart’s grown cauld to me.
When we came in by Glasgow toun
We were a comely sicht to see;
My love was clad in the black velvet,
And I mysel in cramasie.
But had I wist before I kist
That love had been sae ill to win,
I’d locked my heart in a case of gold,
And pinned it wi’ a siller pin.
Oh, oh! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse’s knee;
And I myself were dead and gane,
And the green grass growing over me!
Other Poems by Andrew Lang