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Afton Water

by Robert Burns

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes!
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise!
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream ---
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream!
Thou stock dove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear ---
I charge you, disturb not my slumbering fair!

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
Far mark'd with the courses of clear, winding rills!
There daily I wander, as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green vallies below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft, as mild ev'ning weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides!
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As, gath'ring sweet flow'rets, she stems thy clear wave!

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes!
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays!
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream ---
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream!

Robert Burns, 1789


Written by Robert Burns for Johnson's "Musical Museum". Sent by Burns to Mrs. Dunlop in a letter dated February 5, 1789.

The Afton is a small river that flows into the Nith near New Cumnock, Scotland, where the Strathclde, Dumfries, and Galloway Counties come together.

This poem also serves as the lyrics to the song "Sweet Afton" by Nickel Creek.


Added to Midnight Moonlight Madness Tuesday November 12, 2002.

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