Shepherd (sings. )

Frae royal Wull that wears the crown1
To Yarrow’s lowliest shepherd-clown, 2
Time wears unchancy mortals doun, 3
I’ve mark’d it late and air. 4
The souplest knee at length will crack, 5
The lythest arm, the sturdiest back6
And little siller Sampson lack7
For cuttin’ o’ his hair.8
Mysell for speed had not my marrow 9
Thro’ Teviot, Ettrick, Tweed, and Yarrow, 10
Strang, straight, and swift like winged arrow, 11
At market, tryst, or fair, 12
But now I’m turn’d a hirplin’ carle, 13
My back its ta’en the cobbler’s swirl, 14
And deil a bodle I need birl15
For cuttin’ o’ my hair.16
On Boswell’s green was nane like me, 17
My hough was firm, my foot was free, 18
The locks that cluster’d owre my bree19
Cost many a hizzie sair. 20
The days are come I’m no sae crouse21
An ingle cheek—a cogie douce, 22
An’ fash nae shears about the house23
Wi’ cuttin’ o’ my hair.24
It was an awfu’ head I trow, 25
It waur’d baith young and auld to cow, 26
An burnin’ red as heather-lowe, 27
Gar’d neeboors start and stare. 28
The mair ye cut the mair it grew29
An’ ay the fiercer flamed its hue30
I in my time hae paid enew 31
For cuttin’ o’ my hair.32
But now there’s scarce aneuch to grip33
When last I brought it to the clip ; 34
It gied the shaver’s skill the slip35
On haffets lank and bare. 36
Henceforth to this resolve I’ll cling, 37
Whate’er its shape to let it hing, 38
And keep the cash for ither thing39
Than cuttin’ o’ my hair.40
( The usual applause .)