The Laird o' Cockpen
The laird o' Cockpen, he's proud an' he's great, His mind is ta'en up wi' the things o' the State; He wanted a wife, his braw house to keep, But favour wi' wooin' was fashious to seek. Down by the dyke-side a lady did dwell, At his table head he thocht she'd look well, M’Leish's ae dochter o' Clavers-ha' Lea, A penniless lass wi' a lang pedigree. His wig was weel pouther'd and as gude as new, His waistcoat was white, his coat it was blue; He put on a ring, a sword, and cock'd hat, And wha could refuse the laird wi' a' that? He took the grey mare, and rade cannily, And rapp'd at the yett o' Clavers-ha' Lea; ‘Gae tell Mistress Jean to come speedily ben, - She's wanted to speak to the laird o' Cockpen.’ Mistress Jean she was makin' the elderflower wine; ‘An' what brings the laird at sic a like time?’ She put aff her apron, and on her silk goun, Her mutch wi' red ribbons, and gaed awa' doun. An' when she cam' ben, he bowed fu' low, An' what was his errand he soon let her know; Amazed was the laird when the lady said ‘Na’, And wi' a laigh curtsie she turned awa'. Dumfounder'd was he, nae sigh did he gie, He mounted his mare - he rade cannily; An' aften he thought, as he gaed through the glen, She's daft to refuse the laird o' Cockpen.
Scotland’s greatest songstress, Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne, was the author of many beautiful songs often today thought of as traditional. The daughter of a staunchly Jacobite family, she wrote in sympathy to the cause, setting her songs to old tunes. Marriage to Major William Murray Nairne brought her to Edinburgh, where she carried on her “queer trade of song-writing” under a pseudonym, keeping it secret even from her husband. Lays from Strathearn appeared under her own name, posthumously, in 1846.Read more about this poet