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Poem by William Motherwell

Wae Be to the Orders

Oh! wae be to the orders that march'd my luve awa',
And wae be to the cruel cause that gars my tears down fa',
Oh! wae be to the bluidy wars in Hie Germanie,
For they hae ta'en my luve, and left a broken heart to me.

The drums beat in the mornin', afore the screich o' day,
And the wee, wee fifes play'd loud and shrill, while yet the morn was gray;
The bonnie flags were a' unfurl'd, a gallant sight to see,
But waes me for my sodger lad that march'd to Germanie.

Oh! lang, lang is the travel to the bonnie Pier o' Leith,
Oh! dreich it is to gang on foot wi' the snaw drift in the teeth!
And oh, the cauld wind froze the tear that gather'd in my e'e,
When I gaed there to see my luve embark for Germanie.

I look'd owre the braid blue sea, sae lang as could be seen
A wee bit sail upon the ship that my sodger lad was in;
But the wind was blawin' sair an' snell, and the ship sail'd speedilie,
And the waves and cruel wars hae twinn'd my winsome luve frae me.

I never think o' dancin', and I downa try to sing,
But a' the day I speir what news kind neibour bodies bring;
I sometimes knit a stocking, if knittin' it may be,
Syne for every loop that I cast on, I 'm sure to let doun three.

My father says I 'm in a pet, my mither jeers at me,
And bans me for a dautit wean, in dorts for aye to be;
But little weet they o' the cause that drumles sae my e'e,
Oh! they hae nae winsome love like mine, in the wars o' Germanie.

William Motherwell

William Motherwell's other poems:
  1. The Midnight Wind
  2. WearieТs Well
  3. Sweet Earlsburn, Blithe Earlsburn
  4. Cruxtoun Castle
  5. Jeanie Morrison

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