Lass Of Cessnock Banks, The[1]

A Song of Similes

Tune-"If he be a Butcher neat and trim."

      On Cessnock banks a lassie dwells;      Could I describe her shape and mein;      Our lasses a' she far excels,      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       She's sweeter than the morning dawn,      When rising Phoebus first is seen,      And dew-drops twinkle o'er the lawn;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       She's stately like yon youthful ash,      That grows the cowslip braes between,      And drinks the stream with vigour fresh;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       She's spotless like the flow'ring thorn,      With flow'rs so white and leaves so green,      When purest in the dewy morn;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her looks are like the vernal May,      When ev'ning Phoebus shines serene,      While birds rejoice on every spray;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her hair is like the curling mist,      That climbs the mountain-sides at e'en,      When flow'r-reviving rains are past;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her forehead's like the show'ry bow,      When gleaming sunbeams intervene      And gild the distant mountain's brow;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her cheeks are like yon crimson gem,      The pride of all the flowery scene,      Just opening on its thorny stem;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her bosom's like the nightly snow,      When pale the morning rises keen,      While hid the murm'ring streamlets flow;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her lips are like yon cherries ripe,      That sunny walls from Boreas screen;      They tempt the taste and charm the sight;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her teeth are like a flock of sheep,      With fleeces newly washen clean,      That slowly mount the rising steep;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her breath is like the fragrant breeze,      That gently stirs the blossom'd bean,      When Phoebus sinks behind the seas;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       Her voice is like the ev'ning thrush,      That sings on Cessnock banks unseen,      While his mate sits nestling in the bush;      An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.       But it's not her air, her form, her face,      Tho' matching beauty's fabled queen;      'Tis the mind that shines in ev'ry grace,      An' chiefly in her roguish een. 
[1]

The lass is identified as Ellison Begbie, a servant wench, daughter of a "Farmer Lang".