Poetry Corner: Four Marys

On this day, May 13th, in 1568 at the Battle of Langside, Mary, Queen of Scots, was finally defeated in her attempt to regain the throne from her son, James VI, and his supporters. Mary fled to England and was imprisoned until her execution in 1587. Scotclans

Four Marys

Mary_Queen_of_Scots_by_Federico_Zuccari_or_Alonso_Sánchez_CoelloLast night there were four Marys
Tonight there’ll be but three
There was Mary Seaton and Mary Beaton
And Mary Carmichael and me.

Oh, often have I dressed my Queen
And put on her braw silk gown
But all the thanks I’ve got tonight
Is to be hanged in Edinborough Town.

Full often have I dressed my Queen
Put gold upon her hair
But I have got for my reward
The gallows to be my share.

Oh, little did my mother know
The day she cradled me
The land I was to travel in
The death I was to dee.

Oh, happy, happy is the maid
That’s born of beauty free
Oh, it was my rosy, dimpled cheeks
That’s been the devil to me.

They’ll tie a kerchief around my eyes
That I may not see to dee
And they’ll never tell my father or mother
But that I’m across the sea.

Watch: Four Marys, Cape Breton

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