Scottish, Antiquarian, Scotland


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The Disconsolate Wren

Be not the Muse ashamed here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove.

THE morn was keeking frae the east,
The lav'rocks shrill, wi' dewy breast,
Were tow'ring past my ken,
Alang a burnie's flow'ry side,
That gurgled on wi' glancin' glide,
I gained a bushy glen ;
The circling nets ilk spider weaves
Bent wi' clear dew-drops hung,
A' roun' amang the spreading leaves,
The cheery natives sung;
On'ts journey, the burnie
Fell dashing down some line,
White foaming, and roaming,
In rage amang the stanes.

While on the gowany turf I sat,
And viewed this blissfu' sylvan spat,
Amid the joyous soun';
Some mournfu' chirps, methought of wae,
Stole on my ear frae neath a brae;
Whare as I glinted down,
I spied a bonny wee bit Wren,
Lone on a fuggy stane:
And aye she tore her breast, an' than,
Poor thing, poured out her mane,
Sae faintive, sae plaintive ;
To hear her vent her strain,
Distrest me and prest me
To ken her cause o' pain.

Down frae a hingan hazel root,
Wi' easy wing, and sadly mute,
A social Robin came;
Upon a tremblin' twig he perched,
While owre his head the craig was arched,
Near hand the helpless dame;
Awee he viewed her sad despair—
Her bitter chirps of wae,
Brought frae his e'e the pearly tear,
Whilk owre his breast did gae;
Still eyeing and spying,
Nane near to gi'e relief;
And drooping and stooping,
He thus enquired her grief.

“What dolefu' ill, alas! what woe
Gars thee sit mourning here below,
And rive thy mirley breast?
Has ony whitret's direfu' jaws,
Or greedy gled's fell squeezing claws,
Made thy wee lord a feast?
Or has some callans frae the town,
While roaring through the shaw,
Thy wee things' nest and a' torn down,
And borne them far awa?
My Wrannie, I canna
Rest till thy waes thou tell;
For I yet may cry yet
Wi' siccan grief mysel'.”

“Och, Rah! my heart will brust in twa—
Alas ! I'm dizzy—O I'll fa'!
My legs, my heart will fail—
But since ye speer sae kind, my frien',
And love like yours is seldom seen,
I'se tell the dreadful tale.
Aneath yon hingin' brae, as best,
Soon as the leaves came out,
Ye ken we joyfu' bug our nest,
And clos't it a' about.
Fu' cleanly and beinly
We lined it a' wi' down;
And neatly and quietly
We formed it snug and soun'.