The bard penned the song in 1792 and it was first published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum of that year. The well-preserved manuscript was written on a single sheet of paper bearing the royal Hanoverian watermark of a hunting horn over the GR cipher - a reminder of Burns's occupation as an Exciseman for the Crown.
It went under the hammer at Bonhams in London, where it was sold to an anonymous US collector.
The manuscript, which came to sale from a private collection, was one of only two known to exist. The other is now housed in the British Library.