Duncan Gray

By Robert Burns 1759–1796 Robert Burns
Duncan Gray came here to woo,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
On blythe Yule night when we were fou,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Maggie coost her head fu high,
Look'd asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin',
Spak o' lowpin owre a linn;
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

Time and chance are but a tide,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Slighted love is sair to bide,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
"Shall I, like a fool," quoth he,
"For a haughty hizzie die?
She may gae to—France for me!"—
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

How it comes let doctors tell,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Meg grew sick as he grew hale,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief a sigh she brings;
And O! her een, they spak sic things
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

Duncan was a lad o' grace,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Maggie's was a piteous case,
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
Duncan could na be her death,
Swelling pity smoor'd his wrath;
Now they're crouse and cantie baith;
         Ha, ha, the wooin o't!

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Poet Robert Burns 1759–1796

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Refrain

 Robert  Burns

Biography

Born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Scotland, to William and Agnes Brown Burnes, Robert Burns followed his father's example by becoming a tenant farmer. Unlike William Burnes, however, Burns was able to escape the vicissitudes and vagaries of the soil in two ways: toward the end of his life he became an excise collector in Dumfries, where he died in 1796; and throughout his life he was a practicing poet. As a poet he recorded . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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