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THE HIGHLAND WIDOW'S LAMENT
Robert Burns

Oh, I am come to the low countrie,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Without a penny in my purse,
To buy a meal to me.

It was na sae in the Highland hills,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the country wide
Sae happy was as me.

For then I had a score o' kye,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Feeding on yon hills so high,
And giving milk to me.

And there I had threescore o' yowes,
Och on, och on, och rie!
Skipping on yon bonnie knowes,
And casting woo' to me.

I was the happiest of a' the clan,
Sair, sair may I repine;
For Donald was the brawest man,
And Donald he was mine.

Till Charlie Stuart cam' at last,
Sae far to set us free;
My Donald's arm was wanted then
For Scotland and for me.

Their waefu' fate what need I tell?
Right to the wrang did yield:
My Donald and his country fell
Upon Colloden-field.

Och on, O Donald O!
Och on, och on, och rie!
Nae woman in the warld wide
Sae wretched now as me.

 

Footnote: This Jacobite ballad was one of the many songs furnished by Robert Burns to Johnson's Museum but it is possibly not entirely his own composition.  Lamentation would have been the last thought in the minds of the Jacobites this week in 1745 as they advanced into England and on 10 November 1745 formally demanded the surrender of Carlisle 'within two hours'.  Carlisle surrendered a week later and the Jacobite army continued its march to Derby before retreating back to Scotland and the ultimate horror of Culloden in 1746.

 

 


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