I Dream'd I Lay


I dream'd I lay where flowers were springing Gaily in the sunny beam, List'ning to the wild birds singing, By a falling, chrystal stream; Streight the sky grew black and daring, Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave; Trees with aged arms were warring, O'er the swelling, drumlie wave. Such was my life's deceitful morning, Such the pleasures I enjoyed; But lang or noon, loud tempests storming A' my flowery bliss destroy'd. Tho' fickle Fortune has deceiv'd me, She promis'd fair, and perform'd but ill, Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me, I bear a heart shall support me still.

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Elaine C Smith

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written between 1771 and 1779 and is read here by Elaine C Smith.

More about this song

'I dream'd I lay' is one of Burns's earliest songs. Indeed the poet claimed to have composed these verses when he was just seventeen years of age. It was eventually published in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1788.

The final four lines of this song are well known. Burns himself saw fit to repeat them in Though Fickle Fortune has deceiv'd me, a fragment noted in the poet's First Commonplace Book in September 1785.

From the poet's works and correspondence, 1784 and 1785 represented a period of great melancholy in the poet's life.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

nature unhappiness

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