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Lament On Mary Queen Of Scots
ON THE APPROACH OF SPRING
TUNE: Mary Queen Of Scots' Lament
 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation



1.
Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree,
And spreads her sheets 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.
2.
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 days to rest:
In love and freedom they rejoice,
Wi' care nor thrall opprest.
3.
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.
4.
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.
5.
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.
6.
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 to me!
7.
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.




Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree,
And spreads her sheets of daisies white
Out over the grassy lea;
Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streams,
And gladdens the azure skies:
But nothing can gladden the weary person
That fast in durance lies.

Now larks wake the merry morning,
Aloft on dewy wing;
The merle (blackbird), in his noontide bower,
Makes woodland echoes ring;
The mavis (song thrush) wild with many a note
Sings drowsy days to rest:
In love and freedom they rejoice,
With care nor thrall (slavery) oppressed.

Now blooms the lily by the bank,
The primrose down the hill-side;
The hawthorn is budding in the glen,
And milk-white is the sloe:
The meanest hind in fair Scotland
May rove their sweets among;
But I, the Queen of all Scotland,
Must lie in prison strong.

I was the Queen of lovely France,
Where happy I have been;
Full lightly rose I in the morning,
As blithe lay down at evening:
And I am the sovereign of Scotland,
And many a traitor there;
Yet here I lie in foreign bands
And never-ending care.

But as for you, you false woman,
My sister and my foe,
Grim vengeance yet shall whet (sharpen) a sword
That through your soul shall go!
The weeping blood in woman's breast
Was never known to you;
Nor the balm that drops on wounds of woe
From woman's pitying eye.

My son! my son! may kinder stars
Upon your fortune shine;
And may those pleasures gild your reign,
That never would glance on mine!
God keep you from your mother's foes,
Or turn their hearts to you;
And where you meets your mother's friend,
Remember him to me!

O! soon, to me, may summer suns
No more light up the morning!
No more to me the autumn winds
Wave over the yellow corn!
And, in the narrow house of death,
Let winter round me rage;
And the next flowers that deck the spring
Bloom on my peaceful grave.

 

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