Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Anonymous. 17th Cent.
  
387. Helen of Kirconnell
  
I WISH I were where Helen lies, 
  Night and day on me she cries; 
O that I were where Helen lies, 
  On fair Kirconnell lea! 
 
Curst be the heart that thought the thought,         5
And curst the hand that fired the shot, 
When in my arms burd Helen dropt, 
  And died to succour me! 
 
O think na ye my heart was sair, 
When my Love dropp'd and spak nae mair!  10
There did she swoon wi' meikle care, 
  On fair Kirconnell lea. 
 
As I went down the water side, 
None but my foe to be my guide, 
None but my foe to be my guide,  15
  On fair Kirconnell lea; 
 
I lighted down my sword to draw, 
I hackèd him in pieces sma', 
I hackèd him in pieces sma', 
  For her sake that died for me.  20
 
O Helen fair, beyond compare! 
I'll mak a garland o' thy hair, 
Shall bind my heart for evermair, 
  Until the day I die! 
 
O that I were where Helen lies!  25
Night and day on me she cries; 
Out of my bed she bids me rise, 
  Says, 'Haste, and come to me!' 
 
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste! 
If I were with thee, I'd be blest,  30
Where thou lies low and taks thy rest, 
  On fair Kirconnell lea. 
 
I wish my grave were growing green, 
A winding-sheet drawn owre my e'en, 
And I in Helen's arms lying,  35
  On fair Kirconnell lea. 
 
I wish I were where Helen lies! 
Night and day on me she cries; 
And I am weary of the skies, 
  For her sake that died for me.  40
 
 
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