Tam Glen

Original Text: 
T. S., Edinburgh Magazine (Nov. 1784).
2      Some counsel unto me come len';
3To anger them a' is a pity,
4      But what will I do wi' Tam Glen?
5I'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow,
7What care I in riches to wallow,
9There's Lowrie, the laird o' Dumeller,
11He brags and he blaws o' his siller,
12      But when will he dance like Tam Glen?
14      And bids me beware o' young men;
15They flatter, she says, to deceive me;
16      But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen?
18      He'll gie me guid hunder marks ten:
19But, if it's ordain'd I maun take him,
20      O wha will I get but Tam Glen?
21Yestreen at the valentines' dealing,
23For thrice I drew ane without failing,
24      And thrice it was written, "Tam Glen"!
27His likeness cam up the house staukin,
28      And the very gray breeks o' Tam Glen!
29Come counsel, dear Tittie, don't tarry;
30      I'll gie ye my bonie black hen,
31Gif ye will advise me to marry
32      The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen.


1] Tittie: sister. Back to Line
6] poortith: poverty.
fen': fend, i.e., shift for a living Back to Line
8] maunna: may not. Back to Line
10] ben: inside. Back to Line
13] minnie: mother.
deave: deafen. Back to Line
17] gin: if. Back to Line
22] sten: leap. Back to Line
25] "You go out, one or more (for this is a social spell), to a south-running spring, or rivulet, where 'three lairds' lands meet" and dip your left shirt-sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and, some time near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it" (Burns' note).
waukin: watching. Back to Line
26] droukit: drenched. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.312.