Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
494. Song—Farewell thou stream that winding flows
 
 
Air—“Nansie’s to the greenwood gane.”
 
 
FAREWELL, thou stream that winding flows
  Around Eliza’s dwelling;
O mem’ry! spare the cruel thoes
  Within my bosom swelling.
Condemn’d to drag a hopeless chain        5
  And yet in secret languish;
To feel a fire in every vein,
  Nor dare disclose my anguish.
 
Love’s veriest wretch, unseen, unknown,
  I fain my griefs would cover;        10
The bursting sigh, th’ unweeting groan,
  Betray the hapless lover.
I know thou doom’st me to despair,
  Nor wilt, nor canst relieve me;
But, O Eliza, hear one prayer—        15
  For pity’s sake forgive me!
 
The music of thy voice I heard,
  Nor wist while it enslav’d me;
I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear’d,
  Till fears no more had sav’d me:        20
Th’ unwary sailor thus, aghast
  The wheeling torrent viewing,
’Mid circling horrors sinks at last,
  In overwhelming ruin.
 

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