Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Burnie

Here is Walter Wingate in one of his poems about the countryside. In Scotland, a stream is usually called a "burn" but the diminutive "burnie" gives a more affectionate tone.

The Burnie

Here's a bonnie burnie
Singin' a' its lane,
Singin' frae a happy heart,
Like a sinless wean!

What a worl' to sing to!
Grey auld hills around;
Rowin' mists about their heads
Ilk ane sleepin' sound'!

'Mang the heather rovin',
Sheep and Hielan' kye;
Hillward airt their heads, the while
The burn gaes singin' by.

E'en the shepherd laddie,
Whistlin' on the scaur,
Hears nae music but his ain!
Where could fate be waur

Than yours, my bonnie burnie,
To sing for ever mair?
Sing your sweetest and your best,
Wi' nane to ken nor care

But the happy burnie,
Carin' nocht ava
What may hear or what may heed
Sings and sings awa!

Meaning of unusual words:
bonnie burnie=beautiful stream
a' its lane=all alone
scaur=steep, eroded hill
nocht ava=not at all

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

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