MacPherson’s Farewell by Robert Burns

The full text of Robert Burns’ poem in memory of Jamie MacPherson.

Fareweel, ye dungeons dark and strang, fareweel, fareweel tae ye,
MacPherson’s time will no be lang on yonder gallows tree.

Sae rantinly and sae wantonly, sae dauntinly gaed he
For he played a tune and he danced aroon, below the gallows tree.

It was by a woman’s treacherous hand that I was condemned tae dee
Above a ledge at a window she sat and a blanket she threw ower me.

There’s some come here tae see me hang, and some come tae buy my fiddle
But before that I would part wi her I’d brak her through the middle.

And he took the fiddle intae baith o his hands and he brak it ower a stane
Sayin, nay other hand shall play on thee when I am dead and gane.

The reprieve was comin ower the Brig o Banff tae set MacPherson free,
But they pit the clock a quarter afore, and they hanged him frae the tree.

The Laird o Grant, that Hieland saunt, that first laid hands on me,
He pleads the cause o Peter Broon, tae let MacPherson dee.

Untie these bands frae aff my hands and gie tae me my sword,
And there’s no a man in all Scotland but I’ll brave him at a word.

1700s Account of MacPherson’s Lament

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest