Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  501. Highland Mary

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Robert Burns. 1759–1796

501. Highland Mary

YE banks and braes and streams around 
  The castle o’ Montgomery, 
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers, 
  Your waters never drumlie! 
There simmer first unfauld her robes,         5
  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,  10
As underneath their fragrant shade 
  I clasp’d her to my bosom! 
The golden hours on angel wings 
  Flew o’er me and my dearie; 
For dear to me as light and life  15
  Was my sweet Highland Mary. 
Wi’ monie a vow and lock’d embrace 
  Our parting was fu’ tender; 
And, pledging aft to meet again, 
  We tore oursels asunder;  20
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! 
O pale, pale now, those rosy lips  25
  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!  30
But still within my bosom’s core 
  Shall live my Highland Mary. 
GLOSS:  drumlie] miry.