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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Ayr, the River

Farewell to the Banks of Ayr

By Robert Burns (1759–1796)

THE GLOOMY night is gathering fast,

Loud roars the wild inconstant blast;

You murky cloud is foul with rain,

I see it driving o’er the plain.

The hunter now has left the moor,

The scattered coveys meet secure;

While here I wander, pressed with care,

Along the lonely banks of Ayr.

The Autumn mourns her ripening corn,

By early Winter’s ravage torn;

Across her placid, azure sky,

She sees the scowling tempest fly;

Chill runs my blood to hear it rave,—

I think upon the stormy wave,

Where many a danger I must dare,

Far from the bonny banks of Ayr.

’T is not the surging billow’s roar,

’T is not that fatal deadly shore;

Though death in every shape appear,

The wretched have no more to fear!

But round my heart the ties are bound,

That heart transpierced with many a wound;

These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,

To leave the bonny banks of Ayr.

Farewell old Coila’s hills and dales,

Her heathy moors and winding vales;

The scenes where wretched fancy roves,

Pursuing past, unhappy loves!

Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!

My peace with these, my love with those:

The bursting tears my heart declare;

Farewell the bonny banks of Ayr!