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12. Song—The Lass of Cessnock Banks

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Written by Robert Burns

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 ON Cessnock banks a lassie dwells;
 Could I describe her shape and mein;
Our lasses a’ she far excels,
 An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She’s sweeter than the morning dawn, When rising Phoebus first is seen, And dew-drops twinkle o’er the lawn; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She’s stately like yon youthful ash, That grows the cowslip braes between, And drinks the stream with vigour fresh; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She’s spotless like the flow’ring thorn, With flow’rs so white and leaves so green, When purest in the dewy morn; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her looks are like the vernal May, When ev’ning Phoebus shines serene, While birds rejoice on every spray; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her hair is like the curling mist, That climbs the mountain-sides at e’en, When flow’r-reviving rains are past; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her forehead’s like the show’ry bow, When gleaming sunbeams intervene And gild the distant mountain’s brow; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her cheeks are like yon crimson gem, The pride of all the flowery scene, Just opening on its thorny stem; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her bosom’s like the nightly snow, When pale the morning rises keen, While hid the murm’ring streamlets flow; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her lips are like yon cherries ripe, That sunny walls from Boreas screen; They tempt the taste and charm the sight; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her teeth are like a flock of sheep, With fleeces newly washen clean, That slowly mount the rising steep; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her breath is like the fragrant breeze, That gently stirs the blossom’d bean, When Phoebus sinks behind the seas; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her voice is like the ev’ning thrush, That sings on Cessnock banks unseen, While his mate sits nestling in the bush; An’ she has twa sparkling roguish een.
But it’s not her air, her form, her face, Tho’ matching beauty’s fabled queen; ’Tis the mind that shines in ev’ry grace, An’ chiefly in her roguish een.
Note 1.
The lass is identified as Ellison Begbie, a servant wench, daughter of a farmer.
—Lang.
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