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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

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)

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le bouquet", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-03-25.
Last modified: 2014-11-10 21:32:57
Line count: 28
Word count: 315

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