My Mary

Melody - "Invercauld's Reel"

Robert Tannahill

My Mary is a bonny lassie,
Sweet as dewy morn,
When Fancy tunes her rural reed.
Beside the upland thorn:
She lives ahint yon sunny knowe,
Where flow'rs in wild profusion grow,
Where spreading birks and hazels throw
Their shadows o'er the burn.
2. 'Tis no the streamlet-skirted wood,
Wi' a' its leafy bow'rs,
That gars me wait in solitude
Among the wild-sprung flow'rs;
But aft I cast a langing e'e,
Down frae the bank out-owre the lea,
There haply I my lass may see,
As through the broom she scours.
3. Yestreen I met my bonnie lassie
Coming frae the town,
We raptur'd sunk in ither's arms
And prest the breckans down;
The pairtrick sung his e'ening note,
The rye-craik rispt his clam'rous throat,*
While there the heav'nly vow I got
That arl't her my own.

* We suspect that Tannahill inadvertently wrote "rye--craik, for "corn-craik," and thereby misled Dr. Jamieson, who, in his Supplement, gives the former as "s provincial designation for the land-rail, Renfrewshire," and quotes the above passage, and it alone, as the authority. We cannot discover that the name "rye--craik," is known either in Renfrewshire or elsewhere in Scotland. James Grahame, who was a native of the neighbouring city of Glasgow, and a contemporary of Tannahill, and who spent part of his childhood on the banks of the Cart, calls it the "corn-craik," in The Birds of Scotland. - R. A. Smith

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