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Then sore harassed, and tired at last, with fortune's

vain delusion, O, I dropt my schemes, like idle dreams, and came to

this conclusion, O:15 The past was bad, and the future hid — its good

or ill untried, 0; But the present hour was in my power, and so I

would enjoy it, O.

No help, nor hope, nor view had I, nor person to

befriend me, 0); So I must toil, and sweat, and broil, and labor to

sustain me, O; To plough and sow, to reap and mow, my father

bred me early, 0; 20 For one, he said, to labor bred, was a match for

fortune fairly, 0.

Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, through life

I'm doomed to wander, 0, Till down my weary bones I lay, in everlasting

slumber, O. No view nor care, but shun whate'er might breed

me pain or sorrow, 0; I live to-day as well 's I may, regardless of to-mor

row, O.

25 But cheerful still, I am as well as a monarch in a

palace, 0, Though fortune's frown still hunts me down with

all her wonted malice, O: I make indeed my daily bread, but ne'er can make

it farther, O; But as daily bread is all I need, I do not much

regard her, 0.

When sometimes by my labor I earn a little

money, O, 30 Some unforeseen misfortune comes generally upon

me, O:

Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, or my good-na

tured folly, 0: But come what will, I've sworn it still, I'll ne'er

be melancholy, 0.

All you who follow wealth and power with unremit

ting ardor, 0, The more in this you look for bliss, you leave your

view the farther, O: 33 Had you the wealth Potosi boasts, or nations to adore

you, O,

A cheerful honest-hearted clown I will prefer be

fore you, O.


TUNE John Anderson my Jo.

JOHN ANDERSON my jo, John,
When we were first

Your locks were like the raven,

Your bonny brow was brent;
5 But now your brow is beld, John,

Your locks are like the snaw;
But blessings on your frosty pow,

John Anderson my jo.
35. Potosi, a famous mining town of South America.
1. jo, sweetheart.
2. acquent, acquainted.
4. brent, smooth.
5. beld, bald.

7. pow, head.


John Anderson my jo, John,

We clamb the hill thegither,
And monie a canty day, John,

We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we ’11

15 And sleep thegither at the foot,

John Anderson my jo.


Flow Gently, Sweet Afton, is one of the songs, like the two that follow, composed in honor of Mary Campbell. After promising to marry Burns, she went from Ayrshire to her parents in Argyleshire, in May, 1786, to make ready for the marriage ; but five months later, before it could take place, she died. Their parting on the banks of the Ayr is the theme of the song Highland Mary. Popular tradition has it that after plighting solemn troth, “they stood on either side of a brook, they dipped their hands in the water, exchanged Bibles - and parted.” The poem To Mary in Heaven was written three years later, when Burns was living with his wife at Ellisland.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I 'll sing thee a song in thy praise ;
My Mary 's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

5 Thou stock-dove whose echo resounds through the

glen, Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den, Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear, I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.


10. clamb, climbed ; thegither, together. 11. canty, pleasant. 12. ane anither, one another.

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; :5 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.


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.


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