Highland Mary

Original Text: 
James Ingram, The Scots Musical Museum. (1787-1803). Vol. II (1799). Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1991. M 1746 J6853 1991 MUSI.
2      The castle o' Montgomery,
3Green be your woods and fair your flowers,
5There simmer first unfauld her robes,
6      And there the langest tarry;
7For there I took the last fareweel,
8      O' my sweet Highland Mary.
10      How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
11As underneath their fragrant shade
12      I clasp'd her to my bosom!
13The golden hours, on angel wings,
14      Flew o'er me and my dearie;
15For dear to me as light and life,
16      Was my sweet Highland Mary.
17Wi' monie a vow and lock'd embrace
18      Our parting was fu' tender;
19And, pledging aft to meet again,
20      We tore oursels asunder;
21But O! fell death's untimely frost,
22      That nipt my flower sae early!
23Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
24      That wraps my Highland Mary!
25O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
26      I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
27And closed for aye the sparkling glance,
28      That dwelt on me sae kindly!
29And mould'ring now in silent dust,
30      That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
31But still within my bosom's core
32      Shall live my Highland Mary.


1] Sent to Thomson, Nov. 14, 1792. For a discussion of Burns and "Highland Mary" see F. B. Snyder, The Life of Robert Burns, 1932. Back to Line
4] drumlie: turbid. Back to Line
9] birk: birch. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.319.