Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  505. The Farewell

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Robert Burns. 1759–1796

505. The Farewell

IT was a’ for our rightfu’ King 
  We left fair Scotland’s strand; 
It was a’ for our rightfu’ King 
  We e’er saw Irish land, 
          My dear—         5
  We e’er saw Irish land. 
Now a’ is done that men can do, 
  And a’ is done in vain; 
My love and native land, farewell, 
  For I maun cross the main,  10
          My dear— 
  For I maun cross the main. 
He turn’d him right and round about 
  Upon the Irish shore; 
And gae his bridle-reins a shake,  15
  With, Adieu for evermore, 
          My dear— 
  With, Adieu for evermore! 
The sodger frae the wars returns, 
  The sailor frae the main;  20
But I hae parted frae my love, 
  Never to meet again, 
          My dear— 
  Never to meet again. 
When day is gane, and night is come,  25
  And a’ folk bound to sleep, 
I think on him that ‘s far awa’, 
  The lee-lang night, and weep, 
          My dear— 
  The lee-lang night, and weep.  30
GLOSS:  lee-lang] livelong.