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Poem by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne

The Laird o' Cockpen

[This popular humorous ditty is attributed to Miss Ferrier, the authoress of Marriage, The Inheritance, and Destiny, three novels of distinguished merit. The two concluding verses are by another hand. The song is sung to the old air of "When she cam' ben she bobbed."]

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 fashions to seek.

Doun by the dyke-side a lady did dwell.
At his table-head he thought she'd look well;
M'Clish's ae daughter o' Claverse-ha' Lee.
A pennyless lass wi' a lang pedigree.

His wig was weel pouther'd, as guid as when 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 cannilie
And rapped at the yett o' Claverse-ha' Lee;
"Gae tell mistress Jean to come speedily ben:
She's wanted to speak wi' the Laird o' Cockpen."

Mistress Jean she was makin' the elder-flower wine;
"And what brings the Laird at sic a like time?"
She put aff her apron, and on her silk gown,
Her mutch wi' red ribbons, and gaed awa' down.

And when she cam' ben, he boued fu' low;
And 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 he was, but nae sigh did he gi'e;
He mounted his mare, and rade cannilie;
And aften he thought, as he gaed through the glen,
"She's daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen."

And now that the Laird his exit had made,
Mistress Jean she reflected on what she had said;
"Oh! for ane I'll get better, it's waur I'll get ten
I was daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen."

Neist time that the Laird and the lady were seen,
They were gaun arm and arm to the kirk on the green:
Now she sits in the ha' like a weel-tappit hen,
But as yet there's nae chickens appear'd at Cockpen.

Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne

Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne's other poems:
  1. Fell He on the Field of Fame
  2. Rest Is Not Here
  3. The Pentland Hills
  4. He's Owre the Hills that I Lo'e Weel
  5. Adieu to Strathearn

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