The Book of Scottish Song/The lass that made the bed

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The lass that made the bed.

["The bonnie lass that made the bed to me" is the name of an old song, here inadmissable, said to have been composed on a love adventure of Charles the Second, when in Scotland in 1650-51. The heroine was a daughter of the laird of Port Lethem, in Aberdeenshire. Burns took up the theme, and wrote a version of the song, which was subject almost to as strong objections, on the point of delicacy, as the original. He afterwards pruned his first sketch as follows:]


When winter's wind was blawing cauld,
As to the north I bent my way,
The mirksome nicht did me enfauld,
I kenn'd na where to lodge till day.

A charming girl I chanced to meet
Just in the middle of my care,
And kindly she did me invite
Her father's humble cot to share.

Her hair was like the gowd sae fine,
Her teeth were like the ivory,
Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wine,
The lass that made the bed to me.

Her bosom was the drifted snaw,
Her limbs like marble fair to see;
A fairer form nane ever saw,
Than her's that made the bed to me.

She made the bed baith lang and braid,
Wi' twa white hands she spread it down,
She bade "Gude nicht," and, smiling, said,
"I hope ye'll sleep baith saft and soun'."

Upon the morrow when I raise,
I thank'd her for her courtesie,
A blush cam' o'er the comely face
O' her that made the bed to me.

I clasp'd her waist, and kiss'd her syne;
The tear stude twinkling in her e'e:
O dearest maid, gin ye'll be mine,
Ye aye sall make the bed to me.