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October 5, 2017

Click to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/yon-wild-mossy-mountains


It is thought that this piece was inspired by a meeting between Robert Burns and a Lanarkshire girl he happened to meet when making his way to Edinburgh in 1787. I have recorded an extract but the full text is given below.


“Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty and wide, 
That nurse in their bosom the youth o' the Clyde, 
Where the grouse lead their coveys thro' the heather to feed, 
And the shepherd tends his flock as he pipes on his reed. 

Not Gowrie's rich valley, nor Forth's sunny shores, 
To me hae the charms o'yon wild, mossy moors; 
For there, by a lanely, sequestered stream, 
Besides a sweet lassie, my thought and my dream. 

Amang thae wild mountains shall still be my path, 
Ilk stream foaming down its ain green, narrow strath; 
For there, wi' my lassie, the day lang I rove, 
While o'er us unheeded flie the swift hours o'love. 

She is not the fairest, altho' she is fair; 
O' nice education but sma' is her share; 
Her parentage humble as humble can be; 
But I lo'e the dear lassie because she lo'es me. 

To Beauty what man but maun yield him a prize, 
In her armour of glances, and blushes, and sighs? 
And when wit and refinement hae polish'd her darts, 
They dazzle our een, as they flie to our hearts. 

But kindness, sweet kindness, in the fond-sparkling e'e, 
Has lustre outshining the diamond to me; 
And the heart beating love as I'm clasp'd in her arms, 
O, these are my lassie's all-conquering charms!”


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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray