Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
V. Death and Bereavement
The Emigrant Lassie
John Stuart Blackie (1809–1895)
 
AS I came wandering down Glen Spean,
  Where the braes are green and grassy,
With my light step I overtook
  A weary-footed lassie.
 
She had one bundle on her back,        5
  Another in her hand,
And she walked as one who was full loath
  To travel from the land.
 
Quoth I, “My bonnie lass!”—for she
  Had hair of flowing gold,        10
And dark brown eyes, and dainty limbs,
  Right pleasant to behold—
 
“My bonnie lass, what aileth thee,
  On this bright summer day,
To travel sad and shoeless thus        15
  Upon the stony way?
 
“I ’m fresh and strong, and stoutly shod,
  And thou art burdened so;
March lightly now, and let me bear
  The bundles as we go.”        20
 
“No, no!” she said, “that may not be;
  What ’s mine is mine to bear;
Of good or ill, as God may will,
  I take my portioned share.”
 
“But you have two, and I have none;        25
  One burden give to me;
I ’ll take that bundle from thy back
  That heavier seems to be.
 
“No, no!” she said; “this, if you will,
  That holds—no hand but mine        30
May bear its weight from dear Glen Spean
  ’Cross the Atlantic brine!”
 
“Well, well! but tell me what may be
  Within that precious load,
Which thou dost bear with such fine care        35
  Along the dusty road?
 
“Belike it is some present rare
  From friend in parting hour;
Perhaps, as prudent maidens wont,
  Thou tak’st with thee thy dower.”        40
 
She drooped her head, and with her hand
  She gave a mournful wave:
“Oh, do not jest, dear sir!—it is
  Turf from my mother’s grave!”
 
I spoke no word: we sat and wept        45
  By the road-side together;
No purer dew on that bright day
  Was dropped upon the heather.
 
 
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