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There Simmer first unfald 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 oursels 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!

Oh, pale, pale now those rosy lips
I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly;

And closed for aye the sparkling glance
That dwelt on me sae kindly;

And mould'ring now in silent dust
That heart that lo'ed me dearly;
But still within my bosom's core
Shall live my Highland Mary.

"Highland Mary,'" says the Hon. A. Erskine, in a letter to Mr. George Thomson, "is most enchantingly pathetic." Burns says of it himself, in a letter to Mr. Thomson: "The foregoing song pleases myself; I think it is in my happiest manner; you will see at first glance that it suits the air. The subject of the song is one of the most interesting passages of my youthful days [see note to "Mary in Heaven," p. 92]; and I own that I should be much flattered to see the verses set to an air which would insure celebrity. Perhaps, after all, 'tis the still-growing prejudice of my heart that throws a borrowed lustre over the merits of the composition."


BURNS. Air-The blaithrie o't."

I GAED a waefu' gate yestreen,
A gate, I fear, I'll dearly rue;
I gat my death frae twa sweet een,
Twa lovely een o' bonnie blue.
"Twas not her golden ringlets bright,
Her hips like roses wet wi' dew,
Her heaving bosom lily-white-
It was her een sae bonnie blue.

She talk'd, she smil'd, my heart she wiled,
She charm'd my soul I wistna how ;
And aye the stound, the deadly wound,
Cam' frae her een sae bonnie blue.
But spare to speak, and spare to speed,
She'll aiblins listen to my vow;
Should she refuse, I'll lay me dead
To her twa een sae bonnie blue.


BURNS. Air-"My wife's a wanton wee thing."

SHE is a winsome wee thing,

She is a handsome wee thing,

She is a bonnie wee thing,

This sweet wee wife o' mine.

I never saw a fairer,

I never lo'ed a dearer,

And niest my heart I'll wear her,

For fear my jewel tine.

She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a bonnie wee thing,
This sweet wee wife o' mine.

The warld's wrack we share o't,
The warstle and the care o't;
Wi' her I'll blithely bear it,

And think my lot divine.

"There is a peculiar rhythmus," says Burns, in a letter to Thomson, "in many of our airs, and a necessity of adapting syllables to the emphasis, or what I would call the feature-notes of the tune, that cramp the poet, and lay him under most insuperable difficulties. For instance, in the air, My wife's a winsome wee thing,' if a few lines smooth and pretty can be adapted to it, it is all you can expect. The following were made extempore to it; and though, on further study, I might give you something more profound, yet it might not suit the light-horse gallop of the air so well as this random clink."


BURNS. Air-"The Highland watch's farewell."

My heart is sair, I darena tell,
My heart is sair for somebody;

I could wake a winter night
For the sake o' somebody.
Och-hon for somebody!

Och-hey for somebody!

I could range the world around
For the sake o' somebody.


powers that smile on virtuous love,
Oh, sweetly smile on somebody;
Frae ilka danger keep him free,
And send me safe my somebody.
Och-hon for somebody!
Och-hey for somebody!

I wad do-what wad I not?

For the sake of somebody!

Altered and much improved from an older song of the same title.


BURNS. Air-" Here's a health to them that's awa', hinney."

HERE'S a health to ane I lo'e dear,

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear;

Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet,
And soft as their parting tear-Jessy!

Although thou maun never be mine,
Although even hope is denied ;
'Tis sweeter for thee despairing
Than aught in the world beside-Jessy!
Here's a health, &c.

I mourn through the gay, gaudy day,
As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms;
But welcome the dream o' sweet slumber,
For then I am lockt in thy arms—Jessy!
Here's a health, &c.

I guess by the dear angel smile,

I guess by the love-rolling ee;
But why urge the tender confession

'Gainst fortune's fell cruel decree-Jessy!

Here's a health, &c.

"I once mentioned to you," says Burns, in a letter to Thomson, “an air which I have long admired, 'Here's a health to them that's awa', hinney,' but I forget if you took any notice of it. I have just been trying to suit it with verses, and I beg leave to recommend the air to your attention once more." A great critic has affirmed that the sentiment in the lines commencing, "Although thou maun never be mine," is unparalleled in modern or ancient poetry for its beauty and depth of feeling. It appears, however, to have been borrowed by Burns from Dryden's song, "Oh, how sweet is young desire;" in which occur the lines:

Pains of love are sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.



AE fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae farewell, alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that fortune grieves him
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met, or never parted,

We had ne'er been broken-hearted..

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest;
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest;
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure.
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.


BURNS. Afr" Miss Admiral Gordon's strathspey."

Or a' the airts the wind can blaw,

I dearly like the west,

For there the bonnie lassie lives,

The lassie I lo'e best;

There wild woods grow, and rivers flow,

And mony a hill between ;

But day and night my fancy's flight

Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair;

I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:

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