Sunday, January 25, 2009

250th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Burns

Mary Campbell, better known as Highland Mary, was born on a farm just outside Dunoon, my bonnie hometown on the west coast of Scotland. A Bronze statue of Burns' Highland Mary dominates the skyline as she gazes forever southwards down the Clyde waiting for her love.

Song - 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,
And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last Farewell
O’ my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloom’d the gay, green birk,
How rich the hawthorn’s blossom,
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,
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi’ mony a vow, and lock’d 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!

O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae kiss’d sae fondly!
And clos’d for aye, the sparkling glance
That dwalt on me sae kindly!
And mouldering now in silent dust,
That heart that lo’ed me dearly!
But still within my bosom’s core
Shall live my Highland Mary.

Robert Burns (1799)


Roxana said...

I learn a lot about english poetry coming here, thank you :-) oh, and language, too, of course.

Sorlil said...

oh scottish poetry, please! lol

shug said...

Aye beautiful. I think he was maybe at his best as a love poet. Lovely photo too.

PS Canne hae been 1799, the makar droppit died in 1796.

Frances said...

What a gorgeous poem. I have a friend locally called Alison who comes from Dunoon. I hear its beautiful. It certainly looks it.

An Honest Man said...

A good source for the poems and dates (in this case 1792) is at this site.

Sorlil said...

oh whoops, checking back I think it must have been published, as part of a collected maybe, in 1799. thanks shug!

hi frances, we Dunoon-ites have a habit of popping up everywhere!

hi honest man, thankyou for that.

shug said...

Mind you he could have faked his death....

Dick said...

For some reason I can hear this being sung by Dick Gaughan. I wonder if he has a version.

Sorlil said...

hmmm Robert Burns on the moon with Elvis and Princess Di, lol

hi Dick, never heard of Dick Gaughan I'm afraid!

Roxana said...

sorry, sorlil, I hope I haven't upset you :-) it is just the habit, you know, we study all these authors, the irish ones too, under the label 'english literature' or 'english studies', and I believe there is pretty much the same situation in most countries... 'british studies' is also used sometimes, but 'british literature' never, as far as I know.

Sorlil said...

you haven't upset me at all! just me being a typical scot, lol :)