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The LiederNet Archive

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The posie

Language: Scottish (Scots)

O, luve will venture in where it daur na weel be seen !
O, luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been !
But I will down yon river rove among the wood sae green,
And a' to pu' a posie to my ain dear May !

The primrose I will pu', the firstling o' the year,
And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear,
For she's the pink o' womankind and blooms without a peer —
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May !

I'll pu' the budding rose when Phoebus peeps in view,
For its like a baumy kiss o' her sweet bonnie mou'.
The hyacinth's for constancy, wi' its unchanging blue —
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May !

The lily it is pure, and the lily it is fair,
And in her lovely bosom I'll place the lily there.
The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air —
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May !

The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks o' siller gray,
Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o' day;
But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak away —
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May !

The woodbine I will pu' when the e'ening star is near,
And the di'mond draps o' dew shall be her een sae clear !
The violet's for modesty, which weel she fa's to wear —
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May.

I'll tie the posie round wi' the silken band o' luve,
And I'll place it in her breast, and I'll swear by a' above,
That to my latest [draught]1 o' life the band shall ne'er remove:
And this will be a posie to my ain dear May.

Translation(s): FRE GER GER

List of language codes

J. Haydn sets stanzas 1-4, 6

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 242.

GLOSSARY : daur = dare

Haydn uses the spellings "abuve" and "remuve" in the final stanza.
1 Haydn: "breath"

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani and Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Le bouquet", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-03-25 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-11-10 21:32:57

Line count: 28
Word count: 315

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Le bouquet

Language: French (Français) after the Scottish (Scots)

Oh, l'amour s'aventurera où il n'ose pas trop être vu !
Oh, l'amour s'aventurera où la sagesse a déjà été !
Mais j'irai roder là-bas près de cette rivière aux bois si verts
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Je cueillerai la primevère, la première-née de l'année,
Et je cueillerai l'œillet, l'emblème de ma chérie,
Car elle est l'œillet des femmes et fleurit sans égale,
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Je cueillerai le bouton de rose, quand Phébus apparaît,
Car il est comme un baiser embaumé sur sa douce et belle bouche,
La jacinthe pour sa constance, avec son bleu immuable,
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Le lis , lui, est pur, et le lis, lui, est beau,
Et sur son sein charmant, je placerai le lis,
La marguerite, pour sa simplicité et son air naturel,
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Je cueillerai l'aubépine, aux flocons gris argenté,
Là où ,comme un vieil homme, elle se tient au lever du jour ;
Mais je n'emporterai pas le nid du chanteur dans le buisson,
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Je cueillerai le chèvrefeuille quand l'étoile du soir sera proche,
Et les gouttes de diamants de la rosée seront ses yeux si clairs !
La violette pour sa modestie, qu'elle porte si bien,
Et tout ça pour cueillir un bouquet pour ma chère May !

Je nouerai autour du bouquet le ruban de soie de l'amour,
Et le placerai sur son sein, et sur lui je jurerai par dessus tout
Que jusqu'à mon dernier soupir, le lien ne sera jamais coupé,
Et ce sera un bouquet pour ma chère May !

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  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in Scottish (Scots) by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), "The posie" GER GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Joseph Haydn. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2014-11-10 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-11-10 21:33:19

Line count: 28
Word count: 303