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
Song of the Young Highlander
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
Summoned from His Bride by the “Fiery Cross of Roderick Dhu”

From “The Lady of the Lake”

THE HEATH this night must be my bed,
The bracken curtain for my head,
My lullaby the warder’s tread,
  Far, far from love and thee, Mary;
To-morrow eve, more stilly laid        5
My couch may be my bloody plaid,
My vesper song, thy wail, sweet maid!
  It will not waken me, Mary!
 
I may not, dare not, fancy now
The grief that clouds thy lovely brow,        10
I dare not think upon thy vow,
  And all it promised me, Mary.
No fond regret must Norman know;
When bursts Clan-Alpine on the foe,
His heart must be like bended bow,        15
  His foot like arrow free, Mary!
 
A time will come with feeling fraught!
For, if I fall in battle fought,
Thy hapless lover’s dying thought
  Shall be a thought on thee, Mary.        20
And if returned from conquered foes,
How blithely will the evening close,
How sweet the linnet sing repose,
  To my young bride and me, Mary!
 
 
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