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Ye'll break my heart, ye little birds,

That wanton through the flow'ry thorn ;
Ye mind me o' departed joys,

Departed never to return.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,

To see the rose and woodbine twine ;
While ilka bird sang o' its luve,

And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Wi' heartsome glee I pu'd a rose,

The sweetest on its thorny tree ;
But my fause love has stown the rose,

And left the thorn behind wi' me.*



TUNE-Katherine Ogie.
YE banks, and braes, and streams around

The Castle o' Montgomery it
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


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 ; * Burns wrote this song upon an unfortunate attachment between Miss K- a kinswoman of his friend Gavin Hamilton, and a Captain M'

+ Coilsfield House, near Mauchline; but poetically titled as above, on account of the name of the proprietor.

And, pledging aft to meet again,

We tore ourselves asunder :
But, oh I 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 closed 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.*



Thou ling’ring star, with less'ning ray,

That lov'st to greet the early morn!
Again thou usher’st in the day,

My Mary from my soul was torn.

* This and the following song refer to Mary Campbell, one of Burns's earliest and most beloved mistresses. It affords a strange illustration of the power of a poetical mind, in elevating and adorning whatever it is pleased to regard with respect, that this girl, at the time Burns was acquainted with her, was merely the dairy-woman at Coilsfield House ; a fact which I have long hesitated to divulge, in the fear that it may dispel from the mind of the reader much of the sentiment which he entertains regarding these glorious lyrics, while, on the other hand, it appeared to me too remarkable an instance of the power of poetry to be withheld. When this much-honoured young woman was about to pay a visit to her relations in Argyleshire, in order to arrange matters for her marriage with the poet, they met, by appointment, in a sequestered spot by the banks of the Ayr, where they spent the day in taking a farewell, and in exchanging assurances of mutual attachment and fidelity. Their adieu was performed with all those simple and striking ceremonials, which rustic sentiment has devised to prolong tender emotions, and to inspire awe. The lovers stood on each side of a small purling brook; they laved their hands in its limpid stream, and, holding a Bible between them, pronounced their vows to be faithful to each other. Mary carried that Bible with her, the poet having previously inscribed upon a blank leaf some testimonial of his affection. At the close of the following Autumn, she crossed the Frith of Clyde, to meet Burns at Greenock; but she had scarcely landed there, when she was seized with a malignant fever, which carried her off in a few days. Her grave is still shown in the churchyard of that town; and her mother resided there so lately as the year 1822.


Oh, Mary, dear departed shade !

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast ?

That sacred hour can I forget ?

Can I forget the hallow'd grove, Where, by the winding Ayr, we met,

To live one day of parting love ? Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past; Thy image at our last embrace ;

Ah ! little thought we 'twas our last !

Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore,

O’erbung with wild woods thickening green ; The fragrant birch, the hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene.
The flowers sprung wanton to be prest,
The birds


love on every spray; Till too, too soon the glowing west

Proclaim'd the speed of winged day. Still o’er these scenes my memory wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care ; Time but the impression stronger makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary, dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast ? * DOUN THE BURN, DAVIE.

* This admired lyric was composed, late in life, on the anniversary of the incident referred to in the foregoing song and note. Overpowered by his feelings, the poet retired from his family-it was at Ellisland—and, Alinging himself upon a half-demolished stack in the farm-yard, lay upon his back the whole night, surveying the starry heavens above him, and forming in his mind the glowing lines of this most impassioned of all his compositions.


TUNE-Doun the Burn, Davie.

When trees did bud, and fields were green,

And broom bloom'd fair to see ;
When Mary was complete fifteen,

And love laugh'd in her ee;
Blythe Davie's blinks her heart did move

To speak her mind thus free:
Gang down the burn, Davie, love,

And I will follow thee.

Now Davie did each lad surpass

That dwelt on this burnside ;
And Mary was the bonniest lass,

Just meet to be a bride :
Her cheeks were rosie, red and white;

Her een were bonnie blue ;
Her looks were like the morning bright,

Her lips like dropping dew.


As down the burn they took their way,

And through the flow'ry dale ; His cheek to hers he aft did lay, And love was aye

the tale.
With, Mary, when shall we return,

Sic pleasure to renew ?
Quoth Mary, Love, I like the burn,

And aye will follow you.*

* Burns was informed that the air of this song was composed by David Maigh, who, in his time, had been keeper of the blood-hounds to the Laird of Riddel, in Roxburghshire. The song first appeared in thc Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724.



TUNE-Tibbie Fowler.

WILLIE WASTLE dwalt on Tweed,

The place they ca'd it Linkumdoddie. Willie was a wabster gude,

Could stown a clew wi' onie bodie. He bad a wife was dour and din,

O, Tinkler Madgie was her mother : Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wadna gie a button for her!



She has an ee, she has but ane,
The cat has twa the


colour ; Twa rustie teeth, forbye a stump,

A clapper tongue wad deave a miller ; A whiskin' beard about her mou';

Her nose and chin they threaten ither : Sic a wife as Willie bad,

I wadna gie a button for her!
She's bow-hough’d, she's bein-shinn'd,

Ae limpin' leg a hand-bread shorter ;
She's twisted richt, she's twisted left,

To balance fair in ilka quarter : She has a hump upon her breast,

The twin o' that upon her shouther : Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wadna gie a button for her!


Auld baudrons * by the ingle sits,

And wi' her loof her face a-washin'; But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,

She dichts her grunyie † wi' a hushion. I Her walie neeves,|| like midden creels ;

Her face wad fyle the Logan Water : Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wadna gie a button for her!

* The cat.

† Mouth.

* Cushion.

# Fists.

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