Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
152. Helen of Kirkconnell
 
 
I

I WISH I were where Helen lies,
  Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies,
  On fair Kirkconnell lea!
 
II

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!
 
III

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 Kirkconnell lea.
 
IV

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 Kirkconnell lea;
 
V

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
 
VI

O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I’ll mak a garland o’ thy hair,
Shall bind my heart for evermair,
  Until the day I dee!
 
VII

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!’
 
VIII

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 Kirkconnell lea.
 
IX

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn owre my een,
And I in Helen’s arms lying,        35
  On fair Kirkconnell lea.
 
X

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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