Lucy's Flittin was composed by William Laidlaw, a man held in great esteem by Sir Walter Scott, and who acted for some years as his bailiff at Abbotsford.
Various interesting particulars regarding William Laidlaw are given in Mr. Lockhart's "Life Of Sir Walter Scott," passim.
Mr. Lockhart says, in Note I. page 346, of Cadell's edition, 1845:- "Mr. Laidlaw has not published many verses ; but his song of 'Lucy's Flitting' - a simple and pathetic picture of a poor Ettrick maiden's feelings, in leaving a service where she had been happy - has long been, and must ever be, a favourite with all who understand the delicacies of the Scottish dialect, and the manners of the district in which the scene is laid."
She gaed by the stable where Jamie was stannin';
Richt sair was his kind heart, the flittin' to see:
Fare ye weel, Lucy! quo' Jamie, and ran in;
The gatherin' tears trickled fast frae his e'e.
As down the burn-side she gaed slow wi' the flittin',
Fare ye weel, Lucy! was ilka bird's sang;
She heard the craw sayin't, high on the tree sittin',
And robin was chirpin't the brown leaves amang.
Oh, what is't that pits my puir heart in a flutter?
And what gars the tears come sae fast to my e'e?
If I wasna ettled to be ony better,
Then what gars me wish ony better to be?
I'm just like a lammie that loses its mither;
Nae mither or friend the puir lammie can see;
I fear I ha'e tint my pair heart a'thegither,
Nae wonder the tears fa' sae fast frae my e'e.
Wi' the rest o' my claes I ha'e row'd up the ribbon,
The bonnie blue ribbon that Jamie ga'e me;
Yestreen, when he ga'e me't, and saw I was sabbin',
I'll never forget the wae blink o' his e'e.
Though now he said naething but Fare ye weel, Lucy!
It made me I neither could speak, hear, nor see:
He could nae say mair but just, Fare ye weel, Lucy!
Yet that I will mind till the day that I dee.
The lamb likes the gowan wi' dew when its droukit;
The hare likes the brake and the braird on the lea:
But Lucy likes Jamie,-she turn'd and she lookit,
She thocht the dear place she wad never mair see.
Ah, weel may young Jamie gang dowie and cheerless!
And weel may he greet on the bank o' the burn!
For bonnie sweet Lucy, sae gentle and peerless,
Lies cauld in her grave, and will never return!