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


Mary of Castlecary

By Hector Macneill (1746–1818)

O, SAW ye my wee thing? saw ye my ain thing?

Saw ye my true-love, down on yon lea?

Crossed she the meadow yestreen at the gloamin’?

Sought she the burnie whare flowers the haw-tree?

Her hair it is lint-white; her skin it is milk-white;

Dark is the blue o’ her saft rolling e’e;

Red, red her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses:

Whare could my wee thing wander frae me?”

“I saw na your wee thing, I saw na your ain thing,

Nor saw I your true-love, down on yon lea;

But I met my bonnie thing, late in the gloamin’,

Down by the burnie whare flowers the haw-tree.

Her hair it was lint-white; her skin it was milk-white;

Dark was the blue o’ her saft rolling e’e;

Red were her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses:

Sweet were the kisses that she ga’e to me!”

“It was na my wee thing, it was na my ain thing,

It was na my true-love, ye met by the tree:

Proud is her leal heart, modest her nature;

She never lo’ed ony till ance she lo’ed me.

Her name it is Mary; she ’s frae Castlecary;

Aft has she sat, when a bairn, on my knee:

Fair as your face is, were ’t fifty times fairer,

Young bragger, she ne’er would gi’e kisses to thee.”

“It was, then, your Mary; she ’s frae Castlecary;

It was, then, your true-love I met by the tree;—

Proud as her heart is, and modest her nature,

Sweet were the kisses that she ga’e to me.”

Sair gloomed his dark brow, blood-red his cheek grew;

Wild flashed the fire frae his red rolling e’e,—

“Ye ’s rue sair, this morning, your boasts and your scorning;

Defend ye, fause traitor! fu’ loudly you lee.”

“Awa’ wi’ beguiling,” cried the youth, smiling.

Aff went the bonnet; the lint-white locks flee;

The belted plaid fa’ing, her white bosom shawing,

Fair stood the lo’ed maid wi’ the dark rolling e’e.

“Is it my wee thing? is it my ain thing?

Is it my true-love here that I see?”

“O Jamie, forgi’e me! your heart ’s constant to me;

I ’ll never mair wander, dear laddie, frae thee!”