Rab Roryson's Bonnet

Melody - "The auld Wife o' the Glen"

Robert Tannahill, 1809

Ye'll a' hae heard tell o' Rab Roryson's bonnet,
Ye'll a' hae heard tell o' Rab Roryson's bonnet;
Twas no for itsel', 'twas the head that was in it,
Gar'd a' bodies talk o' Rab Roryson's bonnet.

2. This bonnet, that theekit his wonderfu' head,
Was his shelter in winter, in summer his shade;
And, at kirk or at market, or bridals, I ween,
A braw gawcier bonnet there never was seen.

3. Wi' a round rosy tap, like a muckle blackboyd,
It was slouch'd just a kenning on either hand side;
Some maintain'd it was black, some maintain'd it was blue,
It had something o' baith as a body may trow.

4. But, in sooth, I assure you, for ought that I saw,
Still his bonnet had naething uncommon ava ;
Tho' the haill parish talk'd o' Rab Roryson's bonnet,
'Twas a' for the marvellous head that was in it.

5. That head--let it rest--it is now in the mools,
Though in life a' the warld beside it were fools;
Yet o' what kind o' wisdom his head was possest,
Nane e'er kent but himsel', sae there's nane that will miss't.

6. There are some still in life wha eternally blame--
Wha on buts and on ifs rear their fabric o' fame:
Unto such I inscribe this most elegant sonnet--
Sae let them be crowned wi' Rab Roryson's bonnet!

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