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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
302. Willy Drowned in Yarrow
 
Anonymous
 
 
DOWN in you garden sweet and gay
  Where bonnie grows the lily,
I heard a fair maid sighing say,
  ‘My wish be wi’ sweet Willie!
 
‘Willie’s rare, and Willie’s fair,        5
  And Willie’s wondrous bonny;
And Willie hecht 1 to marry me
  Gin e’er he married ony.
 
‘O gentle wind, that bloweth south,
  From where my Love repaireth,        10
Convey a kiss frae his dear mouth
  And tell me how he fareth!
 
‘O tell sweet Willie to come doun
  And hear the mavis singing,
And see the birds on ilka bush        15
  And leaves around them hinging.
 
‘The lav’rock 2 there, wi’ her white breast
  And gentle throat sae narrow;
There’s sport eneuch for gentlemen
  On Leader haughs 3 and Yarrow.        20
 
‘O Leader haughs are wide and braid
  And Yarrow haughs are bonny;
There Willie hecht to marry me
  If e’er he married ony.
 
‘But Willie’s gone, whom I thought on,        25
  And does not hear me weeping;
Draws many a tear frae true love’s e’e
  When other maids are sleeping.
 
‘Yestreen I made my bed fu’ braid,
  The night I’ll mak’ it narrow,        30
For a’ the live-lang winter night
  I lie twined o’ my 4 marrow.
 
‘O came ye by yon water-side?
  Pou’d you the rose or lily?
Or came you by yon meadow green,        35
  Or saw you my sweet Willie?’
 
She sought him up, she sought him down,
  She sought him braid and narrow;
Syne, in the cleaving of a craig,
  She found him drown’d in Yarrow!        40
 
Note 1. Promised. [back]
Note 2. Lark. [back]
Note 3. Meadows by a river. [back]
Note 4. Separated from my mate. [back]
 

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