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Poem by Hector Macneill


Mary of Castle-Cary


O saw ye my wee thing? Saw ye my ain thing?
⁠     Saw ye my true love down on yon lea?
Cross'd she the meadow yestreen at the gloamin'?
⁠     Sought she the burnie whar flow'rs the haw tree?
Her hair it is lint-white; her skin it is milk-white;
⁠     Dark is the blue o' her saft rolling e'e;
Red, red her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses:Ч
⁠     Whar could my wee thing wander frae me?

I saw na your wee thing, I saw na your ain thing,
     ⁠Nor saw I your true love down on yon lea;
But I met my bonnie thing late in the gloamin',
⁠     Down by the burnie whar flow'rs the haw tree.
Her hair it was lint-white; her skin it was milk-white;
⁠     Dark was the blue o' her saft rolling e'e;
Red were her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses:
⁠     Sweet were the kisses that she ga'e to me.

It was na my wee thing, it was na my ain thing,
⁠     It was na my true love ye met by the tree:
Proud is her leal heart! modest her nature!
⁠     She never lo'ed onie till ance she lo'ed me.
Her name it is Mary; she's frae Castle-Cary:
     ⁠Aft has she sat, when a bairn, on my knee:Ч
Fair as your face is, war't fifty times fairer,
⁠     Young bragger, she ne'er would gi'e kisses to thee.

It was then your Mary; she's frae Castle-Cary;
⁠     It was then your true love I met by the tree;
Proud as her heart is, and modest her nature,
     ⁠Sweet were the kisses that she ga'e to me.
Sair gloom'd his dark brow, blood-red his cheek grew,
⁠     Wild flash'd the fire frae his red rolling e'e!Ч
Ye's rue sair this morning your boasts and your scorning:
⁠     Defend ye, fause traitor! fu' loudly ye lie.

Awa' wi' beguiling, cried the youth, smiling:Ч
⁠     Aff went the bonnet; the lint-white locks flee;
The belted plaid fa'ing, her white bosom shawing,
     ⁠Fair stood the lov'd maid wi' the dark rolling e'e!

Is it my wee thing! is it my ain thing!
⁠     Is it my true love here that I see!
O Jamie forgi'e me; your heart's constant to me;
⁠     I'II never mair wander, dear laddie, frae thee!



Hector Macneill


Hector Macneill's other poems:
  1. Tammy's Courtship
  2. My Love's in Germany


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