The Book of Scottish Song/Highland Mary

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Highland Mary.

[Burns thought the words of "Kath'rine Ogie" unworthy of so beautiful an air, and wrote his "Highland Mary" to the same tune. The story of Highland Mary is now familiar to all readers. In a letter to Thomson the poet says, "The subject of the song is one of the most interesting passages of my youthful days, and I own that I should be much flattered to see the verses set to an air which would ensure celebrity."]

Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flow'rs,
Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,
And there the langest tarry!
For there I took the last fareweel
O' my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade,
I clasp'd her to my bosom!
The golden hours, on angel wings,
Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me as light and life
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi' monie a vow, and lock'd embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender;
And pledging aft to meet again,
We tore ourselves asunder:
But, oh! fell death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower so early!
Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
That wraps my Highland Mary!

O pale, pale now those rosy lips
I aft ha'e kiss'd sae fondly!
And clos'd for aye the sparkling glance
That dwelt on me sae kindly;
And mouldering now in silent dust,
That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
But still within my bosom's core
Shall live my Highland Mary.