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|This ballad was written by Robert Burns for the Scots Musical Museum whose volumes were published between 1787 and 1803. This appeared in Volume 5. There it is said he wrote the words to "the ancient air, entitled Mary Queen of Scots' Lament."||
Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree,
And spreads her sheet o' daisies white
Out o'er the grassy lea;
Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streams,
And glads the azure skies:
But nought can glad the weary wight
That fast in durance lies.
Now laverocks wake the merry morn,
Aloft on dewy wing;
The merle, in his noontide bow'r
Makes woodland echoes ring;
The mavis wild wi' monie a note
Sings drowsy day to rest:
In love and freedom they rejoice,
Wi' care nor thrall opprest.
Now blooms the lily by the bank,
The primrose down the brae;
The hawthorn's budding in the glen,
And milk-white is the slae:
The meanest hind in fair Scotland
May rove their sweets amang;
But I, the Queen of a' Scotland,
Maun lie in prison strang.
I was the Queen o' bonie France,
Where happy I hae been;
Fu' lightly rase I in the morn,
As blythe lay down at e'en:
And I'm the sov'reign of Scotland,
And monie a traitor there;
Yet here I lie in foreign bands
And never-ending care.
But as for thee, thou false woman,
My sister and my fae,
Grim vengeance yet shall whet a sword
That thro' thy soul shall gae!
The weeping blood in woman's breast
Was never known to thee;
Nor th' balm that draps on wounds of woe
Frae woman's pitying e'e.
My son! my son! may kinder stars
Upon thy fortune shine;
And may those pleasures gild thy reign,
That ne'er wad blink on mine!
God keep thee frae thy mother's faes,
Or turn their hearts to thee;
And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend,
Remember him for me!
O! soon, to me may summer suns
Nae mair light up the morn!
Nae mair to me the autumn winds
Wave o'er the yellow corn!
And, in the narrow house of death,
Let winter round me rave;
And the next flow'rs that deck the spring
Bloom on my peaceful grave
Other songs related to Mary, Queen of Scots at this site:
Maver's Collection of Genuine Scottish Melodies and
Scots Musical Museum
See Bibliography for full information.