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How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighboring hills, 10 Far marked with the courses of clear winding rills;

There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,

Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow; 15 There oft as mild evening weeps over the lea,

The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides ;

How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave, 20 As gathering sweet flowerets she stems thy clear


Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays; My Mary 's asleep by thy murmuring stream, Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.


TUNE — Katharine Ogie.

YE banks, and braes, and streams around

The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,

Your waters never drumlie!
5 There simmer first unfauld her robes,

And there the langest tarry ;

16. birk, birch. 4. drumlie, muddy. 5. simmer, summer ; unfauld, unfold. 6. langest, longest.

For there I took the last fareweel

O’ my sweet Highland Mary.


How sweetly bloomed the gay green birk,

How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade

I clasped her to my bosom!
The golden hours, on angel wings,

Flew o'er me and my dearie;
15 For dear to me as light and life

Was my sweet Highland Mary.

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Wi' monie a vow, and locked 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!

25 Oh, pale, pale now, those rosy lips

I aft hae kissed 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


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. 5 0 Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?


That sacred hour can I forget,

Can I forget the hallowed 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, 15 Thy image at our last embrace,

Ah! little thought we't was our last !


Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thick’ning green; The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar

Twined am'rous round the raptured scene; The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,

The birds sang love on every sprayTill too, too soon, the glowing west

Proclaimed the speed of wingèd day.

25 Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care ; Time but th' impression deeper makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear.


My Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest?
Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?


TUNE — Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey.

I Love My Jean bears witness to Burns's love for his wife, Jean Armour. “This song,” he wrote, “I composed out of compliment to Mrs. Burns. N. B. It was in the honeymoon."

OF a' the airts the wind can blaw

I dearly like the west,
For there the bonny lassie lives,

The lassie I lo'e best:

5 There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,

And monie a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi



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There's not a bonny flower that springs

By fountain, shaw, or green,
15 There's not a bonny bird that sings,

But minds me o' my Jean.

1. airts the wind can blaw, quarters from which the wind can blow.

5. row, roll.

14. shaw, wooded dell.


Miss Jessy Lewars was a young lady who helped Mrs. Burns to nurse the poet in his last illness. Of the origin of Oh, Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast, she has told that one morning Burns called upon her, and said if she would play him any tune of which she was fond, he would write words for her to sing to it. She played a melody, and as soon as Burns had it well in his mind, he sat down and wrote this song in a few minutes.

Oh, wert thou in the cauld blast

On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,

I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee!
5 Or did Misfortune's bitter storms

Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,

To share it a', to share it a'!


Or were I in the wildest waste,

Of earth and air, of earth and air,
The desert were a paradise,

If thou wert there, if thou wert there!
Or were I monarch o' the globe,

Wi’ thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
15 The only jewel in my crown

Wad be my queen, wad be my queen!

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