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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Jeanie Morrison

By William Motherwell (1797–1835)

I’VE wandered east, I’ve wandered west,

Through mony a weary way;

But never, never can forget

The luve o’ life’s young day!

The fire that’s blawn on Beltane e’en

May weel be black gin Yule;

But blacker fa’ awaits the heart

Where first fond luve grows cule.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,

The thochts o’ bygane years

Still fling their shadows ower my path,

And blind my een wi’ tears:

They blind my een wi’ saut, saut tears,

And sair and sick I pine,

As memory idly summons up

The blithe blinks o’ langsyne.

’Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel,

’Twas then we twa did part;

Sweet time—sad time! twa bairns at scule—

Twa bairns and but ae heart!

’Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink,

To leir ilk ither lear;

And tones and looks and smiles were shed,

Remembered evermair.

I wonder, Jennie, aften yet,

When sitting on that bink,

Cheek touchin’ cheek, loof locked in loof,

What our wee heads could think.

When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,

Wi’ ae buik on our knee,

Thy lips were on thy lesson, but

My lesson was in thee.

Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads,

How cheeks brent red wi’ shame,

Whene’er the scule-weans laughin’ said

We cleeked thegither hame?

And mind ye o’ the Saturdays,

(The scule then skail’t at noon,)

When we ran off to speel the braes,—

The broomy braes o’ June?

My head rins round and round about,

My heart flows like a sea,

As ane by ane the thochts rush back

O’ scule-time and o’ thee.

O mornin’ life! O mornin’ luve!

O lichtsome days and lang,

When hinnied hopes around our hearts

Like simmer blossoms sprang!

Oh, mind ye, luve, how aft we left

The deavin’ dinsome toun,

To wander by the green burnside,

And hear its waters croon?

The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,

The flowers burst round our feet,

And in the gloamin’ o’ the wood

The throssil whusslit sweet;

The throssil whusslit in the wood,

The burn sang to the trees,

And we with Nature’s heart in tune,

Concerted harmonies;

And on the knowe abune the burn,

For hours thegither sat

In the silentness o’ joy, till baith

Wi’ very gladness grat.

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,

Tears trinkled doun your cheek

Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane

Had ony power to speak!

That was a time, a blessed time,

When hearts were fresh and young,

When freely gushed all feelings forth,


I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,

Gin I hae been to thee

As closely twined wi’ earliest thochts,

As ye hae been to me?

Oh, tell me gin their music fills

Thine ear as it does mine!

Oh, say gin e’er your heart grows grit

Wi’ dreamings o’ langsyne?

I’ve wandered east, I’ve wandered west,

I’ve borne a weary lot;

But in my wanderings, far or near,

Ye never were forgot.

The fount that first burst frae this heart

Still travels on its way;

And channels deeper, as it rins,

The luve o’ life’s young day.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,

Since we were sindered young,

I’ve never seen your face, nor heard

The music o’ your tongue;

But I could hug all wretchedness,

And happy could I dee,

Did I but ken your heart still dreamed

O’ bygane days and me!