What Can a Young Lassie Do Wi’ an Auld Man (Poem by Robert Burns)

Classic Poem

What Can a Young Lassie Do Wi’ an Auld Man
By Robert Burns


(1)

What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie,
    What can a young lassie do wi’ an auld man?
Bad luck on the pennie that tempted my minnie
    To sell her poor Jenny for siller an’ lan’!
Bad luck on the pennie that tempted my minnie
    To sell her poor Jenny for siller an’ lan’!

(2)

He’s always compleenin’ frae mornin’ to e’enin’,
    He hosts and he hirples the weary day lang;
He’s doyl’t and he’s dozin’, his bluid it is frozen,
    O, dreary’s the night wi’ a crazy auld man!
He’s doyl’t and he’s dozin’, his bluid it is frozen,
    O, dreary’s the night wi’ a crazy auld man!

(3)

He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers,
    I never can please him, do a’ that I can;
He’s peevish and jealous of a’ the young fellows:
    O, dool on the day I met wi’ an auld man!
He’s peevish and jealous of a’ the young fellows:
    O, dool on the day I met wi’ an auld man!

(4)

My auld auntie Katie upon me takes pity,
    I’ll do my endeavour to follow her plan;
I’ll cross him, and wrack him, until I heart-break him,
    And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.
I’ll cross him, and wrack him, until I heart-break him,
    And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.


Note:
In the old strain, which partly suggested this song, the heroine threatens only to adorn her husband’s brows: Burns proposes a system of domestic annoyance to break his heart.

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