Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
I. Disappointment in Love
“My heid is like to rend, Willie”
William Motherwell (1797–1835)
MY heid is like to rend, Willie,
  My heart is like to break;
I ’m wearin’ aff my feet, Willie,
  I ’m dyin’ for your sake!
O, say ye ’ll think on me, Willie,        5
  Your hand on my briest-bane,—
O, say ye ’ll think of me, Willie,
  When I am deid and gane!
It ’s vain to comfort me, Willie,
  Sair grief maun ha’e its will;        10
But let me rest upon your briest
  To sab and greet my fill.
Let me sit on your knee, Willie,
  Let me shed by your hair,
And look into the face, Willie,        15
  I never sall see mair!
I ’m sittin’ on your knee, Willie,
  For the last time in my life,—
A puir heart-broken thing, Willie,
  A mither, yet nae wife.        20
Ay, press your hand upon my heart,
  And press it mair and mair,
Or it will burst the silken twine,
  Sae strang is its despair.
O, wae ’s me for the hour, Willie,        25
  When we thegither met,—
O, wae ’s me for the time, Willie,
  That our first tryst was set!
O, wae ’s me for the loanin’ green
  Where we were wont to gae,—        30
And wae ’s me for the destinie
  That gart me luve thee sae!
O, dinna mind my words, Willie,
  I downa seek to blame;
But O, it ’s hard to live, Willie,        35
  And dree a warld’s shame!
Het tears are hailin’ ower our cheek,
  And hailin’ ower your chin:
Why weep ye sae for worthlessness,
  For sorrow, and for sin?        40
I ’m weary o’ this warld, Willie,
  And sick wi’ a’ I see,
I canna live as I ha’e lived,
  Or be as I should be.
But fauld unto your heart, Willie,        45
  The heart that still is thine,
And kiss ance mair the white, white cheek
  Ye said was red langsyne.
A stoun’ gaes through my heid, Willie,
  A sair stoun’ through my heart;        50
O, haud me up and let me kiss
  Thy brow ere we twa pairt.
Anither, and anither yet!—
  How fast my life-strings break!—
Fareweel! fareweel! through yon kirk-yard        55
  Step lichtly for my sake!
The lav’rock in the lift, Willie,
  That lifts far ower our heid,
Will sing the morn as merrilie
  Abune the clay-cauld deid;        60
And this green turf we ’re sittin’ on,
  Wi’ dew-draps shimmerin’ sheen,
Will hap the heart that luvit thee
  As warld has seldom seen.
But O, remember me, Willie,        65
  On land where’er ye be;
And O, think on the leal, leal heart,
  That ne’er luvit ane but thee!
And O, think on the cauld, cauld mools
  That file my yellow hair,        70
That kiss the cheek, and kiss the chin
  Ye never sall kiss mair!

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