Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Corncraik

The Corncraik (or corncrake) is an extremely shy bird which is more often heard than seen. It used to be found in farmland across Scotland but is now only found in the Hebrides. But this love poem, by an anonymous author, refers to the river Doon in Ayrshire - and the joys of the countryside.

The Corncraik

0' the lass that I lo'ed first o' a'
Was handsome, young and fair
Wi' her I spent some merry nichts
Upon the banks o' Ayr.
Wi' her I spent some happy nichts,
Whaur yonder burnie rows,
And the echo mocks the corneraik,
Amang the whinny knowes.

We lo'ed each other dearly,
Disputes we never had.
As constant as the pendulum,
Her heart-beat always gaed.
We sought for joy an' found it,
Whaur yonder burnie rows
And the echo mocks the corneraik,
Amang the whinny knowes.

Oh maidens fair and pleasures dames,
Drive to the banks o' Doon
You'll dearly pay your every cent
To barbers for perfume.
But rural joy is free to a'
Where scented clover grows;
And the echo mocks the corncraik
Amang the whinny knowes.

Meaning of unusual words:
burnie rows= stream flows
whinny knowes=broom covered hills

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

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