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Can I behave, can I behave,
Can I behave before folk,

When ilka charm, young, fresh, and warm,
Cries," Kiss me now!" before folk?

An', oh, that pawkie, rowin ee,
Sae roguishly it blinks on me,
I canna, for my soul, let he
Frae kissing you before folk!
Can I behave, can I behave,
Can I behave before folk,
When ilka glint conveys a hint
To tak a smack before folk?

Ye own that were we baith our lane,
Ye wadna grudge to grant me ane;
Weel, gin there be no harm in't then,
What harm is in't before folk?
Can I behave, can I behave,

Can I behave before folk?
Sly hypocrite, an anchorite

Could scarce desist before folk!

But after a' that has been said,
Since ye are willing to be wed,

We'll hae a "blythesome bridal" made,
When ye'll be mine before folk.

Then I'll behave, then I'll behave,
Then I'll behave before folk;

For whereas then ye'll aft get ten,
It winna be before folk.


WILLIAM MOTHERWELL, horn 1797, died 1835.

I'VE wander'd east, I've wander'd west,
Through mony a weary way!

But never, never can forget

The luve o' life's young day.

The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en
May weel be black gin Yule ;
But blacker fa' awaits the heart
Where first fond love grows cule.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
The thochts o' bygane years

Still fling their shadows ower my path,
And blind my een wi' tears!

They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears,
And sair and sick I pine,

As memory idly summons up

The blythe blinks o' langsyne.

'Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel,

'Twas then we twa did part;

Sweet time-sad time! twa bairns at schule,

Twa bairns, and but ae heart!

"Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink,

To leir ilk ither lear;

And tones, and looks, and smiles were shed, Remember'd evermair.

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,

When sitting on that bink,

Cheek touchin' cheek, loof lock'd in loof,
What our wee heads could think!
When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,

Wi' ae buik on our knee,

Thy lips were on thy lesson, but

My lesson was in thee.

Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads, How cheeks brent red wi' shame, Whene'er the schule-weans laughin' said, We cleek'd thegither hame ?

And mind ye o' the Saturdays

(The schule then skail't at noon),

When we ran aff to speel the braes

The broomy braes o' June?

My head rins round and round about,
My heart flows like a sea,

As ane by ane the thochts rush back
O' schule-time and o' thee.
O mornin' life! O mornin' luve!
O lichtsome days and lang,
When hinnied hopes around our hearts,
Like simmer blossoms, sprang!

Oh, mind ye, luve, how aft we left
The deavin' dinsome toun,
To wander by the green burnside,
And hear its water croon ?

The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,
The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin' o' the wud
The throssil whusslit sweet.

The throssil whusslit in the wud,
The burn sung to the trees,
And we, with Nature's heart in tune,
Concerted harmonies;

And on the knowe abune the burn

For hours thegither sat

In the silentness o' joy, till baith
Wi' very gladness grat.

Aye, aye, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trinkled down your cheek,
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak!
That was a time, a blessed time,

When hearts were fresh and young,
When freely gush'd all feelings forth,

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,

Gin I hae been to thee

As closely twined wi' earliest thochts

As ye hae been to me!

Oh, tell me gin their music fills

Thine ear as it does mine;

Oh, say gin e'er your heart grows grit
Wi' dreamings o' langsyne!

I've wander'd east, I've wander'd west, I've borne a weary lot;

But in my wanderings far or near

Ye never were forgot.

The fount that first burst frae this heart
Still travels on its way,
And channels deeper as it rins
The life of luve's young day.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sinder'd young,
I've never seen your face, nor heard
The music o' your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
And happy could I die,

Did I but ken your heart still dream'd
O' bygane days and me!



MY heid is like to rend, Willic,
My heart is like to break;
I'm wearin' aff my feet, Willie,
I'm dyin' for your sake!

Oh, lay your cheek to mine, Willie,
Your hand on my briest-bane!
Oh, say ye'll think on me, Willie,
When I am deid and gane!

It's vain to comfort me, Willie,
Sair grief maun hae its will;
But let me rest upon your briest,
To sab and greet my fill.

Let me sit on your knee, Willie,
Let me shed by your hair,
And look into the face, Willie,
I never shall see mair!

I'm sittin' on your knee, Willie,
For the last time in my life,
A puir heart-broken thing, Willie---
A mither, yet nae wife.

Ay, press your hand upon my heart,
And press it mair and mair,
Or it will burst the silken twine,
Sae strang is its despair!

Oh, wae's me for the hour, Willie,
When we thegither met!

Oh, wae's me for the time, Willic,
That our first tryst was set!
Oh, wae's me for the loanin' green
Where we were wont to gae,
And wae's me for the destinie
That gart me luve thee sae!

Oh, dinna mind my words, Willie,
I downa seek to blame;
But, oh, it's hard to live, Willie,

And dree a world's shame!

Het tears are haillin' ower your cheek,
And haillin' ower your chin;
Why weep ye sae for worthlessness,
For sorrow and for sin?

I'm weary o' this world, Willie,

And sick wi' a' I see;

I canna live as I hae lived,

Or be as I should be.

But fauld unto your heart, Willie,

The heart that still is thine;

And kiss ance mair the white, white cheek

Ye said was red langsyne.

A stoun' gaes through my heid, Willie,
A sair stoun' through my heart;

Oh, haud me up, and let me kiss

Thy brow ere we twa part.

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