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    Wandering Willie

    by Robert Burns
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    [FIRST VERSION.]

    [The idea of this song is taken from verses of the same name published
    by Herd: the heroine is supposed to have been the accomplished Mrs.
    Riddel. Erskine and Thomson sat in judgment upon it, and, like true
    critics, squeezed much of the natural and original spirit out of it.
    Burns approved of their alterations; but he approved, no doubt, in
    bitterness of spirit.]

    I.

    Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
    Now tired with wandering, haud awa hame;
    Come to my bosom, my ae only dearie,
    And tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.

    II.

    Loud blew the cauld winter winds at our parting;
    It was na the blast brought the tear in my e'e;
    Now welcome the simmer, and welcome my Willie,
    The simmer to nature, my Willie to me.

    III.

    Ye hurricanes, rest in the cave o' your slumbers!
    O how your wild horrors a lover alarms!
    Awaken, ye breezes, row gently, ye billows,
    And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.

    IV.

    But if he's forgotten his faithfulest Nannie,
    O still flow between us, thou wide roaring main;
    May I never see it, may I never trow it,
    But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain.

    * * * * *

    WANDERING WILLIE.

    [LAST VERSION.]

    [This is the "Wandering Willie" as altered by Erskine and Thomson, and
    approved by Burns, after rejecting several of their emendations. The
    changes were made chiefly with the view of harmonizing the words with
    the music--an Italian mode of mending the harmony of the human voice.]

    I.

    Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
    Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame;
    Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie,
    Tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.

    II.

    Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,
    Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e;
    Welcome now simmer, and welcome my Willie,
    The simmer to nature, my Willie to me.

    III.

    Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers,
    How your dread howling a lover alarms!
    Wauken, ye breezes, row gently, ye billows,
    And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.

    IV.

    But oh, if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie,
    Flow still between us, thou wide roaring main;
    May I never see it, may I never trow it,
    But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain.

    If you're writing a Wandering Willie essay and need some advice, post your Robert Burns essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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