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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.


302. Willy Drowned in Yarrow

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,

And Willie’s wondrous bonny;

And Willie hecht to marry me

Gin e’er he married ony.

‘O gentle wind, that bloweth south,

From where my Love repaireth,

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

And leaves around them hinging.

‘The lav’rock there, wi’ her white breast

And gentle throat sae narrow;

There’s sport eneuch for gentlemen

On Leader haughs and Yarrow.

‘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,

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,

For a’ the live-lang winter night

I lie twined o’ my marrow.

‘O came ye by yon water-side?

Pou’d you the rose or lily?

Or came you by yon meadow green,

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!