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

My Heid Is Like to Rend, Willie

By William Motherwell (1797–1835)

MY heid is like to rend, Willie,

My heart is like to break;

I’m wearin’ aff my feet, Willie,

I’m dyin’ for your sake!

Oh, lay your cheek to mine, Willie,

Your hand on my briest-bane;

Oh, say ye’ll think on me, Willie,

When I am deid and gane!

It’s vain to comfort me, Willie,—

Sair grief maun he’e its will;

But let me rest upon your briest,

To sab and greet my fill.

Let me sit on your knee, Willie,

Let me shed by your hair,

And look into the face, Willie,

I never sall see mair!

I’m sittin’ on your knee, Willie,

For the last time in my life,—

A puir heart-broken thing, Willie,

A mither, yet nae wife.

Ay, press your hand upon my heart,

And press it mair and mair,

Or it will burst the silken twine,

Sae strang is its despair.

Oh, wae’s me for the hour, Willie,

When we thegither met;

Oh, wae’s me for the time, Willie,

That our first tryst was set!

Oh, wae’s me for the loanin’ green

Where we were wont to gae,—

And wae’s me for the destinie

That gart me luve thee sae!

Oh, dinna mind my words, Willie,

I downa seek to blame,—

But oh, it’s hard to live, Willie,

And dree a warld’s shame!

Het tears are hailin’ ower your cheek,

And hailin’ ower your chin:

Why weep ye sae for worthlessness,

For sorrow, and for sin?

I’m weary o’ this warld, Willie,

And sick wi’ a’ I see;

I canna live as I hae lived,

Or be as I should be.

But fauld unto your heart, Willie,

The heart that still is thine,

And kiss ance mair the white, white cheek,

Ye said was red langsyne.

A stoun’ gaes through my heid, Willie,

A sair stoun’ through my heart;

Oh, haud me up and let me kiss

Thy brow ere we twa pairt.

Anither, and anither yet!

How fast my life-strings break!

Fareweel! fareweel! through yon kirk-yard

Step lichtly for my sake!

The lav’rock in the lift, Willie,

That lilts far ower our heid,

Will sing the morn as merrilie

Abune the clay-cauld deid;

And this green turf we’re sittin’ on,

Wi’ dew-draps’ shimmerin’ sheen,

Will hap the heart that luvit thee

As warld has seldom seen.

But oh, remember me, Willie,

On land where’er ye be,—

And oh, think on the leal, leal heart,

That ne’er luvit ane but thee!

And oh, think on the cauld, cauld mools

That file my yellow hair,—

That kiss the cheek and kiss the chin

Ye never sall kiss mair!