Digital Tradition Mirror

Burns and His Highland Mary

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Burns and His Highland Mary

In green Caledonia they ne'er were two lovers
So lovelye and blest, oh, in one 'nother's arms,
As Burns, that great bard, and his own Highland Mary,
And sweetly and fondly he sang of her charms.

And long will his song, so bonnie and enchanted,
Be sang with delight on his own native plain;
And long will the name of his own Highland Mary
Be ever it [ever held?] sacred in all its loved strains.

It was a May day, and the flowers of the summer
They bloomed, oh, in wildness so lovely and fair,
That those two lovers met in a green, shady bower
That grew on the banks of the clear, winding Ayr.

And ah, for them both 'twas a mceting fortended [full tender?]
It was the last one for a spell they could ha'e.
In love's sweetest pleasure they talked there together
Till the red, setting sun shone the close of the day.

"Oh, my love's sweetest treasure, my own darling Mary,
To you I'II be ever devoted and true.
This heart that is beating so hard in my bosom
Is a heart that can never love any but you!

"So do not stay long in the Highlands, my Mary,
Ah, do not stay long in the Highlands from me.
I love thee too dearly, I love thee sincerely,
To be parted, my love, so far, far from thce."

"Ah, I will not stay long in the Highlands," said Mary,
"I winna stay long, for ye winna be there.
It's true I've got friends that I like in the Highlands,
But the lad that I love dear is on the banks of the Ayr."

He kissed her sweet lips that were redder than the roses,
And her tender bosom he pressed to his heart;
And the tears they fell down like the dew of the evening
When he said, "Now, alas, my love, we must part."

"Ah, fare ye well!" says Burns, and he flew from his Mary.
"Ah, fare ye well!" says Mary; she was innocent and fair
Little did they think they had parted forever,
That night when they parted on the clear, winding Ayr.

Now, Mary she had seen but a few more summer mornings,
When her in the height of her beauty and pride
Was laid in her grave like some bonnie fair flower
In Greenock's kirkyard on the banks of the Clyde.

Now, when Burns came to hear what had happened to his Mary,
He wept for her loss in many a sad strain.
He wept for the loss of his own Highland Mary,
And ne'er did his heart love so fondly again.

Now, go bring me the red rose and bring me the lilies,
And bring me the daisies that grow in the vale;
And bring me the dew of a mild summer's evening,
And waft me the breezes of a sweet-scented gale.

And bring me the sigh of a fond lover's bosom,
And bring me the tears of a fond lover's e'e;
And I'll lay them all down in the grave with you, Mary,
For the sake of your Burns, you loved, oh, so dear.

From Shantymen and Shanty Boys, Doerflinger
note: composed by a Glasgow police constable named Thompson; based on a
     true incident..
DT #488
Laws O34

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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