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MARY MORISON
Robert Burns

O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour!
Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor:
How blythely was I bide the stour,
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.

Yestreen, when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha',
To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw:
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a' the town,
I sigh'd, and said among them a',
"Ye are na Mary Morison."

Oh, Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown;
A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o' Mary Morison.

Footnote: Another lovely Burns song to complete our selection of his songs over the 2003 Burns season. Although the poet only forwarded this song for publication on 20 March 1793, he referred to it as one of his 'juvenile works, not very remarkable either for its merits or demerits.' Future generations would disagree and applaud this beautiful love song. The poet Maurice Lindsay wrote ' Varied as was to be Robert's song achievement in the years ahead, he never wrote anything more delicately perceptive than ' Mary Morison ', one of the first fruits of his study of Scots folk-music.' Argument still rages over the identity of Mary Morison.

 


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