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Robin Shure in Hairst

(Robin reaped the harvest)

 

 

 

 

Robin shure 1 in hairst 2 ,
I shure1 wi' him.
Fient3 a heuk 4 had I,
Yet I stack 5 by him

1 = reaped
2 = harvest
3 = not
4 = sickle
5 = stuck

I gaed up to Dunse
To warp 6 a wab 7 o' plaiden 8
At his daddie's yett 9
Wha met me but Robin!

6 = weave
7 =web
8 = plaid or course wool
9 = gate

Was na Robin bauld 10
Tho' I was a cottar?
Play'd me sic a trick
An me the eller's 11 daughter

 
10 = bold
11 = elder (of the Church)

Robin promised me
A' my winter vittle 12
Fient 13 had he but three
Guse 14 feathers and a whittle. 15

12 = winter food
13 = nothing
14 = goose
15 = knife

 

 

This poem relates to some incident in Ainslie's life when he obviously made certain promises to a young lady which he would appear to have failed or been unable to keep and in regard to which Burns, unable to forbear to tease him compiled these lines.

The last line " feint had he but three guse feathers (quills) and a whittle" is a reference to Ainslie's employment as a law clerk.

Ainslie like Burns had a number of amours one of which at least resulted in an illegitimate offspring.