Traditional Scottish Songs
- Miss Forbes' Farewell to Banff

Most songs and poems about departure for pastures new are written from the perspective of men emigrating. This one, however, is about a young lady who, despite the efforts of her beau, goes away from the town of Banff in Moray. The song was written by John Hamilton (1761-1814) and carried on a business as a music-seller in Edinburgh.


Miss Forbes' Farewell to Banff

Farewell, ye fields an' meadows green!
   The blest retreats of peace an' love;
Aft have I, silent, stolen from hence,
   With my young swain a while to rove.

Sweet was our walk, more sweet our talk,
   Among the beauties of the spring;
An' aft we 'd lean us on a bank,
   To hear the feather'd warblers sing.

The azure sky, the hills around,
   Gave double beauty to the scene;
The lofty spires of Banff in view
   On every side the waving grain.

The tales of love my Jamie told,
   In such a saft an' moving strain,
Have so engaged my tender heart,
   I'm loth to leave the place again.

But if the Fates will be sae kind
   As favour my return once more,
For to enjoy the peace of mind
   In those retreats I had before:

Now, farewell, Banff! the nimble steeds
   Do bear me hence I must away;
Yet time, perhaps, may bring me back,
   To part nae mair from scenes so gay.

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