Beginners
Experts
Burns Supper
Top Features
Discussion Forum
Newsletter
Poems & Songs
The Letters
Federation
E- Membership
Schools
Contributions
Links
Search the Site
Scottish History
The Burns Shop

Translation
Index


When Wild War's Deadly Blast
TUNE: The Mill, Mill O

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

1.
When wild War's deadly blast was blawn,
And gentle Peace returning,
Wi' monie a sweet babe fatherless
And monie a widow mourning,
I left the lines and tented field,
Where lang I'd been a lodger,
My humble knapsack a' my wealth,
A poor and honest sodger.
2.
A leal, light heart was in my breast,
My hand unstain'd wi' plunder,
And for fair Scotia, hame again,
I cheery on did wander:
I thought upon the banks o' Coil,
I thought upon my Nancy,
And ay I mind't the witching smile
That caught my youthful fancy.

(Note:- Coil, Coila, Kyle, are all the same with
different spellings was one of the ancient
districts of Ayrshire.)

3.
At length I reach'd the bonie glen,
Where early life I sported.
I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn,
Where Nancy aft I courted.
Wha spied I but my ain dear maid,
Down by her mother's dwelling,
And turn'd me round to hide the flood
That in my een was swelling!
4.
Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I:- ' Sweet lass,
Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom,
O, happy, happy may he be,
That's dearest to thy bosom!
My purse is light, I've far to gang,
And fain wad be thy lodger;
I've serv'd my king and country lang -
Take pity on a sodger.'
5.
Sae wistfully she gazed on me,
And lovelier was than ever.
Quo' she:- ' A sodger ance I lo'ed,
Forget him shall I never.
Our humble cot, and hamely fare,
Ye freely shall partake it;
That gallant badge - the dear cockade -
Ye're welcome for the sake o't!'
6.
She gaz'd, she redden'd like a rose,
Syne, pale like onie lily,
She sank within my arms, and cried:-
' Art thou my ain dear Willie?'
' By Him who made yon sun and sky,
By whom true love's regarded,
I am the man! And thus may still
True lovers be rewarded!
7.
' The wars are o'er and I'm come hame,
And find thee still true-hearted.
Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love,
And mair, we're ne'er be parted.'
Quo' she:- ' My grandsire left me gowd,
A mailen plenish'd fairly!
And come my faithfu' sodger lad,
Thou're welcome to it dearly!'
8.
For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
The farmer ploughs the manor;
But glory is the sodger's prize,
The sodger's wealth is honor!
The brave poor sodger ne'er despise,
Nor count him as a stranger:
Remember he's his country's stay
In day and hour of danger.

 

 


When wild War's deadly blast was blown,
And gentle Peace returning,
With many a sweet baby fatherless
And many a widow mourning,
I left the lines and tented field,
Where long I had been a lodger,
My humble knapsack all my wealth,
A poor and honest soldier.

A loyal, light heart was in my breast,
My hand unstained with plunder,
And for fair Scotia, home again,
I cheery on did wander:
I thought upon the banks of Coil,
I thought upon my Nancy,
And always I remembered the witching smile
That caught my youthful fancy






At length I reached the lovely glen,
Where early life I sported.
I passed the mill and trysting thorn,
Where Nancy often I courted.
Who spied I but my own dear maid,
Down by her mother's dwelling,
And turned me round to hide the flood
That in my eyes was swelling!

With altered voice, said I:- ' Sweet girl,
Sweet as yonder hawthorn's blossom,
O, happy, happy may he be,
That is dearest to your bosom!
My purse is light, I have far to go,
And fondly would be your lodger;
I have served my king and country long -
Take pity on a soldier.'

So wistfully she gazed on me,
And lovelier was than ever.
Said she:- ' A soldier once I loved,
Forget him shall I never.
Our humble cottage, and homely fare,
You freely shall partake it;
That gallant badge - the dear cockade -
You are welcome for the sake of it!'

She gazed, she reddened like a rose,
Then, pale like any lily,
She sank within my arms, and cried:-
' Are you my own dear Willie?'
' By Him who made yonder sun and sky,
By whom true love is regarded,
I am the man! And thus may still
True lovers be rewarded!

' The wars are over and I am come home,
And find you still true-hearted.
Though poor in wealth, we are rich in love,
And more, we are never be parted.'
Said she:- ' My grandfather left me gold,
A farm stocked fairly!
And come my faithful soldier lad,
You are welcome to it dearly!'

For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
The farmer ploughs the manor;
But glory is the soldier's prize,
The soldier's wealth is honour!
The brave poor soldier never despise,
Nor count him as a stranger:
Remember he is his country's stay
In day and hour of danger.

 

2004 WBC. Under no circumstances can any  of the contents of this site be copied, reproduced,  or represented without prior written consent.