Traditional Scottish Songs
- Her Blue Rollin' E'e
John Grieve (1781-1836) was born in Dunfermline. The son of a Reformed Presbyterian minister, Grieve became a successful merchant but had the leisure time to pursue his amateur literary career, contributing to a number of magazines, including James Hogg's "Forest Minstrel." He also assisted Hogg both financially and with encouragement. Hogg acknowledged that help in his autobiography in glowing terms and also dedicated a poem to him. Grieve was forced by illness to retire from business at the age of 37, but lived with cheerfulness and conviviality with his local friends for another 18 years. The song below is sung to a tune "Banks of the Devon."
Her Blue Rollin' E'eMy lassie is lovely, as May day adorning
Wi' gowans an' primroses ilka green lee;
Though sweet is the violet, new blown i' the morning,
As tender an' sweet is her blue rollin' e'e.
O, say what is whiter than snaw on the mountain?
Or what wi' the red rose in beauty can vie?
Yes, whiter her bosom than snaw on the mountain,
An' bonnie her face as the red rose can be.
See yon lowly cottage that stands by the wild-wood,
Hedged round wi' the sweet briar and green willow-tree,
'Twas yonder I spent the sweet hours of my childhood,
An' first felt the power of a love-rollin' e'e.
Though soon frae my hame an' my lassie I wander'd;
Though lang I've been tossing on fortune's rough sea;
Aye dear was the valley where Ettrick meander'd;
Aye dear was the blink o' her blue-rollin' e'e.
Oh! for the evening, and oh! for the hour,
When down by yon greenwood she promised to be;
When quick as the summer-dew dries on the flower,
A' earthly affections and wishes wad flee.
Let Art and let Nature display their proud treasures;
Let Paradise boast o' what ance it could gie;
As high is my bliss, an' as sweet are my pleasures,
In the heart-melting blink o' my lassie's blue e'e.
Meaning of unusual words:
gowans = daisy
ilka = every
ance = once
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