Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CARLE OF KELLYBURN BRAES, by ROBERT BURNS



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THE CARLE OF KELLYBURN BRAES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There lived a carle in kellyburn braes
Last Line: And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.
Subject(s): Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


There lived a carle in Kellyburn Braes,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
And he had a wife was the plague of his days,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Ae day as the carle gaed up the lang glen,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
He met with the Devil, says, "How do you fen?"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

I've got a bad wife, sir, that's a' my complaint,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
"For, savin your presence, to her ye're a saint,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

It's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
"But gie me your wife, man, for her I must have,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

"O welcome most kindly!" the blythe carle said,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
"But if ye can match her ye're waur than ye're ca'd,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil has got the auld wife on his back,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
And, like a poor pedlar, he's carried his pack,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

He's carried her hame to his ain hallan door,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
Syne bade her gae in, for a bitch, and a whore,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme:
Turn out on her guard in the clap o' a hand,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The carlin gaed thro' them like ony wud bear,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
Whae'er she gat hands on cam near her nae mair,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa',
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
"O help, maister, help, or she'll ruin us a'!"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil he swore by the edge o' his knife,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
He pitied the man that was tied to a wife,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

The Devil he swore by the kirk and the bell,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
He was not in wedlock, thank Heav'n, but in hell,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
And to her auld husband he's carried her back,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

I hae been a Devil the feck o' my life,
Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme;
"But ne'er was in hell till I met wi' a wife,"
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.





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