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Nay, never ask this week, fair lord,
Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
Except with this for an overword,——
But where are the snows of yesteryear?

François Villon




WALY waly up the bank,

And waly waly down the brae,

And waly waly yon burnside

Where I and my Love wont to gae!

I leant my back unto an aik,

I thought it was a trusty tree;
But first it bowed, and syne it brak,
Sae my true Love did lichtly me.

O waly waly, but love be bonny
A little time while it is new;
But when 'tis auld, it waxeth cauld

And fades awa' like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my head?
Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
For my true Love has me forsook,
And says he'll never loe me mair.

Now Arthur-seat sall be my bed;

The sheets shall ne'er be 'filed by me:
Saint Anton's well sall be my drink,

Aik: oak
Brae: hillside

Since my true Love has forsaken me.

Burnside: brookside
Busk: deck

Syne: afterwards
Waly: woe! alas!


Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw
And shake the green leaves aff the tree?
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am wearíe.

'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 grown cauld to me,
When we came in by Glasgow town
We were a comely sight to see;
My Love was clad in the black velvét,
And I myself in cramasie.

But had I wist, before I kist,

That love had been sae ill to win;

I had locked my heart in a case of gowd
And pinned it with a siller pin.
And, O! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse's knee,

And I myself were dead and gane,
For a maid again I'll never be.



E banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,

Old Ballad

How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?

How can ye chant, ye little birds,

And I sae weary, fu' o' care?

Thou'lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,

That wantons through the flowering thorn;
Thou minds me o' departed joys,

-never to return.

Braes: hillsides
Cramasie: crimson

Fell: severely
Gowd: gold

Wist: known

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,

And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Wi' lightsome heart I pou'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause luver stole my rose,
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.

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They know not I knew thee

Who knew thee too well:

Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met:

In silence I grieve

That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee

After long years,

How should I greet thee?

With silence and tears.

Lord Byron



INCE there's no help, come let us kiss and part,


Nay I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows

That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, passion speechless lies;
When faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And innocence is closing up his eyes,

-Now if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover!

Michael Drayton





HILST I was dear and thou wert kind,
And I, and I alone, might lie

Upon thy snowy breast reclined,

Not Persia's king so blest as I.


Whilst I to thee was all in all,
Nor Chloë might with Lydia vie,
Renowned in ode or madrigal,
Not Roman Ilia famed as I.


I now am Thracian Chloë's slave,

With hand and voice that charms the air,

For whom even death itself I'd brave,

So fate the darling girl would spare!


I dote on Calaïs and I

Am all his passion, all his care,

For whom a double death I'd die,

So fate the darling boy would spare!

1 Translated by Sir Theodore Martin.

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