Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Constant Lover

Anyone who has ever been in love will relate to this poem by Charles Spence (1779-1869). The poem below may well refer to his attachment to a Jeanie Bruce - which was not allowed to progress because her mother was opposed to the match. Fortunately, Spence later married another local girl and they had a number of children.

The Constant Lover

I hae a lass, I lo'e her dear,
   She's worthy of my kindest love,
I hae but ane, I'll hae nae mair,
   I'll ever constant to her prove.
She has my heart, and ever shall,
   I'll loe her till the day I dee ;
And I hae hers, and that is all
   A leman asks who loves like me.

When gloomy care and fell despair
   Begin to rankle in my breast,
If thoughts of her find entrance there,
   They win me to my wonted rest.
If fortune e'er, with smiling e'e,
   Beam on my humble lot again,
My lovely lass shall happy be,
   Or fortune's smiles are all in vain.

Dame Fortune needna smile on me
   Unless it were to make her blest,
Without her, what can pleasure be ?
   Nae worldly wealth could gie me rest.
The flowers may bloom, the sun may shine,
   And friends may try my thoughts to cheer;
But nought can lift this heart of mine,
   Till I am wi' my Jeanie dear.

Meaning of unusual words:
leman = lover

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