Saturday 25 January 2014

A Poem For Burns Night

It is Burns Night tonight - many Scots all over the world will be celebrating at Burns Suppers.  I wrote previously about the memorial in Greenock to Highland Mary (Mary Campbell) who was (allegedly/one of) the love of Robert Burns life.  She is buried here in Greenock.

Image from here
Robert Burns wrote this poem after her death.
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:
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

Such a sad poem!

Statue of Highland Mary, Dunoon.
The Greenockian
Joining Shortbread & Ginger for -


  1. Ah, even some of us Sassenachs celebrate Burns Night! It is helpful to have a Scottish wife, but not obligatory. I must say I don't like a lot of Burns' work, but that poem is indeed lovely. Similar to ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?", Mary achieves a measure of immortality. Nice post.

  2. We are having vegetarian haggis, neeps and tatties, in honour of Mr Burns, and we are not Scottish at all!

  3. Good post for the day! Have a good celebration.

  4. Beautifully sad. Thanks for sharing. Hope Burns night goes well. :) It's Australia Day today (26/01). We expect some fool to have fireworks to set off somewhere in the neighbourhood, as well as the official ones down by the lake. We are instead watching cricket.


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