The Merry Muses of Caledonia/Ellibanks

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ELLIBANKS.

Tune—"Gillicrankie."

An old song, which appeared in the "Dublin Collection" (1769). Burns evidently meditated a purified version, for he writes to Robert Ainslie (November, 1791) a melancholy and penitential letter, in which this passage occurs—"I began 'Elibanks and Elibraes,' but the stanzas fell unenjoyed and unfinished from my listless tongue." On his Border tour, he saw "Elibanks and Elibraes on the other side of the Tweed," on which one of his editors (Scott Douglas) remarks—"An old free-spoken song which celebrates this locality would be enough in itself to bring the poet twenty miles out of his road to see it."

Elibanks and Elibraes,
 My blessin's ay befa' them,
Tho' I wish I had brunt a' my claes,
 The first time e'er I saw them;
Your succar kisses were sae sweet,
 Deil haet if I can tell, man,
How ye gart me lay my legs abreed,
 And lift my sark mysel', man.

There's no a lass in a' the land,
 Can f—k sae weel as I can;
Louse down your breeks, lug out your wand,
 Hae ye nae mind to try, man;
For ye're the lad that wears the breeks,
 And I'm the lass that loes ye;
Deil rive my c—t to candle-wicks
 Gif ever I refuse ye!!

I'll clasp my arms about your neck,
 As I were gaun to speel, jo;
I'll cleek my houghs about your a—e,
 As souple as an eel, jo;
I'll cleek my houghs about your a—e.
 As I were gaun to speel, jo;
And if Jock thief he should slip out,
 I'll ding him wi' my heel, jo.


Green be the broom on Ellibraes,
 And yellow be the gowan!
My wame it fistles ay like fleas.
 As I come o'er the knowe, man;
My blessin's on that bonny knowe,
 Our bed amang the heather.
Where sic a tuip to sic a ewe.
 Was never matched thegither.

There I lay glowran to the moon.
 Your mettle wadna daunton,
For hard your hurdies hotch'd aboon,
 While I below lay pantin'.


The following is a M.S. version recovered by Scott Douglas:—

O Elibanks and Elibraes,
 My blessin's aye befa' them,
They mind me o' the sunny days,
 When first wi' thee I saw them,
Your succar kisses were sae sweet,
 Deil haet if I can tell, man,
How ye gart me lay my legs abreed,
 And lift my sark mysel', man.

I clasped my arms about your neck,
 As I were gaun tae spiel, jo,
And cleek'd my houghs about your thies,
 As souple as an eel, jo.
Your wauly p—t—e felt my grip
 And made my senses reel, jo.
And when Jock thief inclin'd to slip,
 I dang him wi' my heel, jo.

Oure Elibanks and Elibraes,
 We wander'd at our will, jo.
Till tir'd o' pu'in' nits and slaes,
 We drank of love our fill, jo;
My shepherd laddie, bless his breeks,
 Kens whatna lassie loes him,
Deil rive my c—t to candle-weeks,
 Gif ever I refuse him.