Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Jeanie Morrison
By William Motherwell (1797–1835)
 
I ’VE wandered east, I ’ve wandered west,
  Through mony a weary way;
But never, never can forget
  The love o’ life’s young day!
The fire that ’s blawn on Beltane e’en        5
  May weel be black gin Yule;
But blacker fa’ awaits the heart
  Where first fond luve grows cule.
 
Oh dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
  The thochts o’ bygane years        10
Still fling their shadows ower my path,
  And blind my een wi’ tears!
They blind my een wi’ saut, saut tears,
  And sair and sick I pine,
As memory idly summons up        15
  The blithe blinks o’ langsyne.
 
’Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel,
  ’Twas than we twa did part;
Sweet time, sad time! twa bairns at schule,
  Twa bairns, and but ae heart!        20
’Twas then we sat on ae high bink,
  To leir 1 ilk ither lear: 2
And tones, and looks, and smiles were shed,
  Remembered ever mair.
 
I wonder, Jeanie, often yet        25
  When sitting on that bink,
Cheek touchin’ cheek, loof 3 locked in loof,
  What our wee heads could think.
When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,
  Wi’ ae buik on our knee,        30
Thy lips were on thy lesson, but
  My lesson was in thee.
 
Oh mind ye how we hung our heads,
  How cheeks brent red wi’ shame,
Whene’er the school-weans laughin’ said,        35
  We cleeked 4 thegither hame?
And mind ye o’ the Saturdays
  (The schule then skail’t 5 at noon)
When we ran aft to speel 6 the braes—
  The broomy braes o’ June?        40
 
My head rins round and round about,
  My heart flows like a sea,
As ane by ane the thochts rush back
  O’ schuletime and o’ thee.
O mornin’ life! O mornin’ luve!        45
  O lichtsome days and lang,
When hinnied hopes around our hearts,
  Like summer blossoms sprang!
 
Oh, mind ye, luve, how oft we left
  The deavin’ dinsome town,        50
To wander by the green burnside,
  And hear its water croon.
The summer leaves hung ower our heids,
  The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin’ i’ the wud        55
  The throstle whusslit sweet.
 
The throstle whusslit i’ the wud,
  The burn sang to the trees,
And we with Nature’s heart in tune,
  Concerted harmonies;        60
And on the knowe abune the burn,
  For hours thegither sat
In the silentest o’ joy, till baith
  Wi’ very gladness grat!
 
Aye, aye, dear Jeanie Morrison,        65
  Tears trinkled down your cheek,
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
  Had ony power to speak!
That was a time, a blessed time,
  When hearts were fresh and young,        70
When freely gushed all feelings forth
  Unsyllabled—unsung!
 
I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
  Gin I hae been to thee,
As closely twined wi’ earliest thochts        75
  As ye hae been to me?
Oh, tell me gin their music fills
  Thine ear as it does mine;
Oh, say gin e’er your heart grows grit
  Wi’ dreamings o’ langsyne?        80
 
I ’ve wandered east, I ’ve wandered west,
  I ’ve borne a weary lot;
But in my wanderings, far or near,
  Ye never were forgot.
The fount that first burst frae this heart,        85
  Still travels on its way;
And channels deeper as it rins
  The luve o’ life’s long day.
 
O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
  Since we were sindered young,        90
I ’ve never seen your face, nor heard
  The music of your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
  And happy could I die,
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed        95
  O’ bygane days and me.
 
Note 1. learn. [back]
Note 2. learning. [back]
Note 3. palm. [back]
Note 4. lit. hooked = clung. [back]
Note 5. dispersed. [back]
Note 6. climb. [back]
 
 
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