A Receipt for Wooing

We present this work in honor of the 225th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Alison Cockburn
1712 – 1794


If your lass is coquettish and frisky,
Make up to her easy and briskly;
If she frown on ye, turn on your heel,
Make love to another, your heart to recover;
You’ll quickly discover she would keep you her lover,
Tho’ her heart be as hard as the steel.

She will try all her tricks to entice ye,
Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, sometimes spicy;
Affect all these humours yourself,
See that ye vex her, be sure to perplex her,
Provoke her and coax her, roast her and toast her,
She’s as sure in your pouch as your pelf.

If your lassie is modest and shy,
Watch every cast of her eye;
If she blushes, she’s halflings your own;
Approach by degrees, her hand ye may seize,
And give it a squeeze, then down on your knees,
And prefer her to kings, or their crown.

If she answer you no way but flying,
Depend on’t she will be complying,
So follow as fast as you can.
But if coolly she stay, I’m afraid she’ll say nay,
Pray pack up your heart and be gone,
For ye may leave her to some other man.

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