by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

I wish I were where Helen lies
Language: English 
I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
Oh that I were where Helen lies
    On fair Kirconnell lea!
  
Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms [burd]1 Helen dropt,
    And died to succour me!
  
O think na but my heart was sair
When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair!
I laid her down wi' meikle care
    On fair Kirconnell lea.
  
As I went down the water-side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
    On fair Kirconnell lea;
  
I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hackèd him in pieces sma',
I hackèd him in pieces sma',
    For her sake that died for me.
  
O Helen fair, beyond compare,
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair
    Until the day I die.
  
Oh that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
    Says, "Haste and come to me!"
  
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest
    On fair Kirconnell lea.
  
I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen's arms lyíng,
    On fair Kirconnell lea.
  
I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
And I am weary of the skies,
    Since my Love died for me.

C. Scott sets stanzas 1-2, 4-7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Taken from Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824--1897). The Golden Treasury. 1875. Note: Helen is identified in some places with Helen Irving
1 "burd" means "maid"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Joseph Haydn.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-03-06
Line count: 40
Word count: 260