James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

My Mary


My Mary, O my Mary!
The simmer-skies are blue;
The dawnin' brings the dazzle,
An' the gloamin' brings the dew,--
The mirk o' nicht the glory
O' the moon, an' kindles, too,
The stars that shift aboon the lift.--
But nae thing brings me you!

Where is it, O my Mary,
Ye are biding a' the while?
I ha' wended by your window--
I ha' waited by the stile,
An' up an' down the river
I ha' won for mony a mile,
Yet never found, adrift or drown'd,
Your lang-belated smile.

Is it forgot, my Mary,
How glad we used to be?--
The simmer-time when bonny bloomed
The auld trysting-tree,--
How there I carved the name for you,
An' you the name for me;
An' the gloamin' kenned it only
When we kissed sae tenderly.

Speek ance to me, my Mary!--
But whisper in my ear
As light as ony sleeper's breath,
An' a' my soul will hear;
My heart shall stap its beating
An' the soughing atmosphere
Be hushed the while I leaning smile
An' listen to you, dear!

My Mary, O my Mary!
The blossoms bring the bees;
The sunshine brings the blossoms,
An' the leaves on a' the trees;
The simmer brings the sunshine
An' the fragrance o' the breeze,--
But O wi'out you, Mary,
I care nae thing for these!

We were sae happy, Mary!
O think how ance we said--
Wad ane o' us gae fickle,
Or ane o' us lie dead,--
To feel anither's kisses
We wad feign the auld instead,
An' ken the ither's footsteps
In the green grass owerhead.

My Mary, O my Mary!
Are ye daughter o' the air,
That ye vanish aye before me
As I follow everywhere?--
Or is it ye are only
But a mortal, wan wi' care?--
Syne I search through a' the kirkyird
An' I dinna find ye there!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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