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.
 
II. Parting and Absence
Jeanie Morrison
William Motherwell (1797–1835)
 
I ’VE wandered east, I ’ve wandered west,
  Through mony a weary way;
But never, never can forget
  The luve 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.
 
O 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.
 
’T was then we luvit ilk ither weel,
  ’T was then we twa did part;
Sweet time—sad time! twa bairns at scule,
  Twa bairns, and but ae heart!        20
’T was then we sat on ae laigh bink,
  To leir ilk ither lear;
And tones and looks and smiles were shed,
  Remembered evermair.
 
I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,        25
  When sitting on that bink,
Cheek touchin’ cheek, loof 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.
 
O, mind ye how we hung our heads,
  How cheeks brent red wi’ shame,
Whene’er the scule-weans, laughin’, said        35
  We cleeked thegither hame?
And mind ye o’ the Saturdays,
  (The scule then skail’t at noon,)
When we ran off to speel 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’ scule-time, and o’ thee.
O mornin’ life! O mornin’ luve!        45
  O lichtsome days and lang,
When hinnied hopes around our hearts
  Like simmer blossoms sprang!
 
O, mind ye, luve, how aft we left
  The deavin’, dinsome toun,        50
To wander by the green burnside,
  And hear its waters croon?
The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,
  The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin’ o’ the wood        55
  The throssil whusslit sweet;
 
The throssil whusslit in the woods,
  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 silentness o’ joy, till baith
  Wi’ very gladness grat.
 
Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,        65
  Tears trickled doun 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?
O, tell me gin their music fills
  Thine ear as it does mine!
O, 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 young day.
 
O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
  Since we were sindered young        90
I ’ve never seen your face nor heard
  The music o’ your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
  And happy could I dee,
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed        95
  O’ bygane days and me!
 
 
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