Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
209. Song—M’Pherson’s Farewell
Tune—“M’Pherson’s Rant.”
FAREWELL, ye dungeons dark and strong,
  The wretch’s destinie!
M’Pherson’s time will not be long
  On yonder gallows-tree.
Chorus.—Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,        5
  Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play’d a spring, and danc’d it round,
  Below the gallows-tree.
O, what is death but parting breath?
  On many a bloody plain        10
I’ve dared his face, and in this place
  I scorn him yet again!
        Sae rantingly, &c.
Untie these bands from off my hands,
  And bring me to my sword;        15
And there’s no a man in all Scotland
  But I’ll brave him at a word.
        Sae rantingly, &c.
I’ve liv’d a life of sturt and strife;
  I die by treacherie:        20
It burns my heart I must depart,
  And not avengèd be.
        Sae rantingly, &c.
Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
  And all beneath the sky!        25
May coward shame distain his name,
  The wretch that dares not die!
        Sae rantingly, &c.


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