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'Twas ev'n ‑‑ the dewy fields were green

Language: English

'Twas ev'n -- the dewy fields were green,
On every blade the pearls hang;
The zephyr wanton'd round the bean,
And bore its fragrant sweets alang;
In ev'ry glen the mavis sang,
All nature list'ning seem'd the while,
Except where green-wood echoes rang
Among the braes of Ballochmyle.

With careless step I onward stray'd,
My heart rejoic'd in nature's joy,
When musing in a lonely glade,
A maiden fair I chanc'd to spy;
Her look was like the morning's eye,
Her air like nature's vernal smile;
[Perfection whisper'd, passing by:—
" Behold the lass of Ballochmyle !"]1

Fair is the morn in flow'ry May,
And sweet is night in autumn mild,
When roving through the garden gay,
Or wand'ring in the lonely wild:
But woman, nature's darling child!
There all her charms she does compile;
Even there her other works are foil'd
By the bonny lass o' Ballochmyle.

O had she been a country maid,
And I the happy country swain,
Tho' shelter'd in the lowest shed
That ever rose on Scotland's plain!
Thro' weary winter's wind and rain
With joy, with rapture, I would toil;
And nightly to my bosom strain
The bonny lass o' Ballochmyle.

Then Pride might climb the slipp'ry steep,
Where fame and honours lofty shine.
And thirst of gold might tempt the deep,
Or downward seek the Indian mine !
Give me the cot below the pine,
To tend the flocks or till the soil,
And ev'ry day have joys divine
With the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.

Translation(s): FRE GER

List of language codes

J. Haydn sets stanzas 1-4

About the headline (FAQ)

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 305.

1 Haydn : "The lily's hue and rose's dye/Bespoke the lass o' Ballochmyle."

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 or adaptations:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist FRE by F. C. Füchs.

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

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

Text added to the website: 2009-12-29.
Last modified: 2014-09-22 12:00:04
Line count: 40
Word count: 251

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