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The Winter It Is Past

The winter it is past, and the summer comes at last And the small birds sing on ev'ry tree; The hearts of these are glad, but mine is very sad, For my love is parted from me. The rose upon the brier by the waters running clear May have charms for the linnet or the bee: Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest, But my lover is parted from me My love in like the sun in the firmament does run - Forever is constant and true; But his is like the moon, that wanders up and down, And every month it is new. All you that are in love, and cannot it remove, I pity the pains you endure, For experience makes me know that your hearts are full of woe, A woe that no mortal can cure.


Maureen Beattie

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1788 and is read here by Maureen Beattie.

More about this song

The original ballad was based on an Irish highwayman, Johnson, who was hanged in 1750 for armed robbery in the Curragh of Kildare. Burns omitted four stanzas, including two alluding Johnson and Kildare. The rest has been subjected to considerable variation.

Ralph Richard McLean

Themes for this song

nature love regret

Selected for 21 May

May might reasonably be said to represent the end of spring and the start of summer. So perhaps it is safe to heave a sigh along with the Bard as he celebrates the coming of bird song and the going of winter, even as the pangs of lost love torment him, 'a woe that no mortal can cure'.

Donny O'Rourke

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