by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Farewell to the Banks of Ayr
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,	
Loud roars the wild, inconstant blast,	
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain,	
I see it driving o'er the plain;	
The hunter now has left the moor.
The scatt'red coveys meet secure;	
While here I wander, prest with care,	
Along the lonely banks of Ayr.	
The Autumn mourns her rip'ning corn	
By early Winter's ravage torn;
Across her placid, azure sky,	
She sees the scowling tempest fly:	
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave;	
I think upon the stormy wave,	
Where many a danger I must dare,
Far from the bonie banks of Ayr.	
'Tis not the surging billow's roar,	
'Tis not that fatal, deadly shore;	
Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear,	
The wretched have no more to fear:
But round my heart the ties are bound,	
That heart transpierc'd with many a wound;	
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,	
To leave the bonie banks of Ayr.	
Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales,
Her healthy moors and winding vales;	
The scenes where wretched Fancy roves,	
Pursuing past, unhappy loves!	
Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!	
My peace with these, my love with those:
The bursting tears my heart declare --	
Farewell, the bonie banks of Ayr!

Tune: "Roslin Castle."

Confirmed with Robert Burns, The Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1919, page 342, titled "The gloomy night". In some other editions the title is "Farewell to the Banks of Ayr"


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Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Adieu aux rive de l'Ayr", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2006-12-28
Line count: 32
Word count: 203