Will He No Come Back Again?

Original Text: 
James Hogg, ed., The Jacobite Relics of Scotland, II (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood, T. Cadell, and W. Davies, 1821). D-10 3349 Fisher Rare Book Library
2    Safely owre the friendly main;
3Mony a heart will break in twa,
4    Should he ne'er come back again.
5      Will you no come back again?
6      Will you no come back again?
7      Better lo'ed you'll never be,
8    And will you no come back again?
9  Mony a traitor 'mang the isles
10    Brak the band o' nature's law;
11Mony a traitor, wi' his wiles,
12    Sought to wear his life awa.
13      Will he no come back again?
14      Will he no come back again?
15      Better lo'ed he'll never be,
16      And will he no come back again?
17  The hills he trode were a' his ain,
18    And bed beneath the birken tree;
19The bush that hid him on the plain,
20    There's none on earth can claim but he.
21      Will he no come back again?
22      Will he no come back again?
23      Better lo'ed he'll never be,
24      And will he no come back again?
25  Whene'er I hear the blackbird sing,
26    Unto the e'ening sinking down,
28    To me they hae nae ither soun',
29      Than, Will he no come back again?
30      Will he no come back again?
31      Better lo'ed he'll never be,
32      And will he no come back again?
33  Mony a gallant sodger fought,
34    Mony a gallant chief did fa';
35Death itself were dearly bought,
36    A' for Scotland's king and law.
37      Will he no come back again?
38      Will he no come back again?
39      Better lo'ed he'll never be,
40      And will he no come back again?
42    Lilting wildly up the glen;
44    Is "Will he no come back again?"
45      Will he no come back again?
46      Will he no come back again?
47      Better lo'ed he'll never be,
48      And will he no come back again?

Notes

1] The best-known version of the song is that of Caroline Oliphant, Baroness Nairne.
Royal Charlie: Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender. Back to Line
27] merl: blackbird. Back to Line
41] lav'rock: lark. Back to Line
43] o'erword: refrain. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1821
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.679; RPO 1996-2000.