But, O my first, O my best, I could not choose but
O, to be a wild white bird, and seek thy rocky bed!
From my breast I’d give thee burial, pluck the down and spread above thee;
I would sit and sing thy requiem on the mountain head.
Fare thee well, my love of loves! would I had died
O, to be at least a cloud, that near thee I might flow,
Solemnly approach the mountain, weep away my being o’er thee,
And veil thy breast with icicles, and thy brow with snow!
Mother. Well, Frances.
Frances. Well, good mother, how are you?
M. I’m hearty, lass, but warm; the weather’s warm: I think ’tis mostly warm on market days. I met with George behind the mill: said he, “Mother, go in and rest awhile.”
F. Ay, do, And stay to supper; put your basket down.
M. Why, now, it is not heavy?
F. Willie, man, Get up and kiss your Granny. Heavy, no! Some call good churning luck; but, luck or skill, Your butter mostly comes as firm and sweet As if ’twas Christmas. So you sold it all?
M. All but this pat that I put by for George; He always loved my butter.
F. That he did.
M. And has your speckled hen brought off her brood?
F. Not yet; but that old duck I told you of, She hatched eleven out of twelve to-day.
Child. And, Granny, they’re so yellow.
M. Ay, my lad, Yellow as gold—yellow as Willie’s hair.
C. They’re all mine, Granny, father says they’re mine.
M. To think of that!
F. Yes, Granny, only think! Why, father means to sell them when they’re fat. And put the money in the savings-bank, And all against our Willie goes to school: But Willie would not touch them—no, not he; He knows that father would be angry else.
C. But I want one to play with—O, I want A little yellow duck to take to bed!
M. What! would ye rob the poor old mother, then?
F. Now, Granny, if you’ll
hold the babe awhile;
’Tis time I took up Willie to his crib.
[Mother sings to the infant.]
Playing on the virginals,
Who but I? Sae glad, sae free,
Smelling for all cordials,
The green mint and marjorie;
Set among the budding broom,
Kingcup and daffodilly;
By my side I made him room:
O love my Willie!
“Like me, love me, girl
Sang he to my nimble strain;
Sweet his ruddy lips o’erflowed
Till my heartstrings rang again:
By the broom, the bonny broom,
Kingcup and daffodilly,
In my heart I made him room:
O love my Willie!