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As I Stood By Yon Roofless Tower

TUNE: Cumnock Psalms

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

As I Stood By Yon Roofless Tower

Chorus
A lassie all alone was making her moan,
Lamenting our lads beyond the sea: -
' In the bluidy wars they fa', and our honor's gane an' a',
And broken-hearted we maun die.'
1.
As I stood by yon roofless tower,
Where the wa'flow'r scents the dewy air,
Where the houlet mourns in her ivy bower,
And tells the midnight moon her care:
2.
The winds were laid, the air was still,
The stars they shot along the sky,
The tod was howling on the hill,
And the distant-echoing glens reply.
3.
The burn, adown its hazelly path,
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa',
Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
Whase roarings seem'd to rise and fa'.
4.
The cauld blae North was streaming forth
Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din:
Athort the lift they start and shift,
Like Fortune's favours, tint as win.
5.
Now, looking over firth and fauld,
Her horn the pale-faced Cynthia rear'd,
When lo! in form of minstrel auld
A stern an d stalwart ghaist appear'd.
6.
And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
Might rous'd the slumbering Dead to hear,
But O, it was a tale of woe
As ever met a Briton's ear!
7.
He sang wi' joy his former day,
He, weeping, wail'd his latter times:
But what he said - it was nae play! -
I winna ventur't in my rhymes.

As I Stood By Yon Roofless Tower

Chorus
A girl all alone was making her moan,
Lamenting our lads beyond the sea: -
'In the bloody wars they fall, and our honour is gone and all,
And broken-hearted we must die.'

As I stood by yonder roofless tower,
Where the wallflower scents the dewy air,
Where the owl mourns in her ivy bower,
And tells the midnight moon her care:

The winds were laid, the air was still,
The stars they shot along the sky,
The fox was howling on the hill,
And the distant-echoing glens reply.

The stream, down its hazily path,
Was rushing by the ruined wall,
Hurrying to join the sweeping river Nith,
Whose roarings seemed to rise and fall.

The cold blue North was streaming forth
Her lights, with hissing, eerie din:
Athwart the horizon they start and shift,
Like Fortune's favours, lost as soon as won.

Now, looking over firth and fold,
Her horn the pale-faced Cynthia reared,
When lo! in form of minstrel old
A stern an d stalwart ghost appeared.

And from his harp such strains did flow,
Might have roused the slumbering Dead to hear,
But O, it was a tale of woe
As ever met a Briton's ear!

He sang with joy his former day,
He, weeping, wailed his latter times:
But what he said - it was no play! -
I will not venture it in my rhymes.

 

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