Song composed at Auchtertyre on Miss Euphemia Murray of Lentrose


By Oughtertyre grows the aik, On Yarrow banks the birken shaw; But Phemie was a bonier lass Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw. Blythe, blithe and merry was she, Blythe was she but and ben: Blythe by the banks of Ern, And blithe in Glenturit glen. Her looks were like a flower in May, Her smile was like a simmer morn, She tripped by the banks of Ern As light's a bird upon a thorn. Her bony face it was as meek As ony lamb upon a lee; The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e. The Highland hills I've wander'd wide, And o'er the lawlands I hae been; But Phemie was the blithest lass That ever trode the dewy green. Blythe, blithe and merry was she, Blythe was she but and ben: Blythe by the banks of Ern, And blithe in Glenturit glen.

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Gerry Mulgrew

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1787 and is read here by Gerry Mulgrew.

Themes for this song

nature love woman

Selected for 11 May

'Phemie' Murray, the 'Flower of Strathmore' was the 18-year-old daughter of Burns's host when he toured the Forth Valley and Clackmananshire in 1787. This is the poet going through the motions somewhat in the kind of praise lyric he could turn out at will and by the yard. Alas, the euphoniously named Euphemia is alleged not to have appreciated having her looks flatteringly likened to, 'a flower in May'.

Donny O'Rourke

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