Highland Mary

by Robert Burns


Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
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' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender;
And, pledging aft to meet again,
We tore oursel's asunder;
But, oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae 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 hae 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!

Notes to the poem:

This is another magnificant expression of his passion for Highland Mary. Writing to Thomson, he says: "This song pleases me; I think it is my happiest manner. The subject of it 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 insure celebrity. Perhaps, after all, it is the still glowing prejudice of my heart that throws a borrowed lustre over the merits of the composition."

Burns's other poems of Highland Mary
To Mary In Heaven
Burns's Lament to Mary
The Highland Lassie
Will Ye Go To The Indies, My Mary


The Poetical Works Of Robert Burns
Copyright 1910
Ward, Lock, and Co., Ltd