Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Maid of Islay

This song is by William Dunbar who was a minister in the Church of Scotland at Applegarth in his native Dumfriesshire. It was shortly after studying for the ministry at Edinburgh University that he journeyed around the Hebrides and met a "Miss Campbell" from Islay, who is the subject of this song. Clearly, the romance with the lady did not stand the test of time!

The Maid of Islay

Rising o'er the heaving billow,
   Evening gilds the ocean's swell,
While with thee, on grassy pillow,
   Solitude! I love to dwell.
Lonely to the sea-breeze blowing,
   Oft I chant my love-lorn strain,
To the streamlet sweetly flowing,
   Murmur oft a lover's pain.

'Twas for her, the Maid of Islay,
   Time flew o'er me wing'd with joy;
'Twas for her, the cheering smile aye
   Beam'd with rapture in my eye.
Not the tempest raving round me,
   Lightning's flash or thunder's roll;
Not the ocean's rage could wound me,
   While her image fill'd my soul.

Farewell, days of purest pleasure,
   Long your loss my heart shall mourn!
Farewell, hours of bliss the measure,
   Bliss that never can return!
Cheerless o'er the wild heath wand'ring,
   Cheerless o'er the wave-worn shore,
On the past with sadness pond'ring,
   Hope's fair visions charm no more.

Meaning of unusual words:
aye = always

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