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English Song


Forlorn, my Love, no comfort near, Far, far from thee I wander here; Far, far from thee, the fate severe At which I most repine, Love. O wert thou, Love, but near me, But near, near, near me; How kindly thou wouldst chear me, And mingle sighs with mine, Love. Around me scowls a wintry sky, Blasting each bud of hope and joy; And shelter, shade, nor home have I, Save in these arms of thine, Love. O wert thou, Love, but near me, But near, near, near me; How kindly thou wouldst chear me, And mingle sighs with mine, Love. Cold, alter'd friend with cruel art Poisoning fell Misfortune's dart; Let me not break thy faithful heart, And say that fate is mine, Love. O wert thou, Love, but near me, But near, near, near me; How kindly thou wouldst chear me, And mingle sighs with mine, Love. But , dreary tho' the moments fleet, O let me think we yet shall meet! That only ray of solace sweet Can on thy Chloris shine, Love! O wert thou, Love, but near me, But near, near, near me; How kindly thou wouldst chear me, And mingle sighs with mine, Love.

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Stella Gonet

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1795 and is read here by Stella Gonet.

More about this song

Burns sent the words for this song to George Thomson in June 1795, announcing to him that, "I have written it within this hour; so much for the speed of my Pegasus; but what say you to his bottom?"

Although Thomson was enamored with the words, he criticized lines 13-14, and so Burns sent a revised version to him on 3rd August.

The air for this song is ‘Let me in this ae night’. Jean Lorimer makes another appearance in this work through the mention of Burns’s pet name for her: Chloris.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this song

love anguish

Selected for 23 April

For Saint George's Day, a lyric Burns adapted from an English song. Elsewhere, he could complain that, 'these English songs gravel me to death...'. But he was speaking of the language rather than the country. The poet was reputed to have kissed the soil of Scotland upon his re-crossing of the Tweed and he resisted the lure of lucrative employment in London. But the English radical tradition inspired him greatly and for his neighbours to the south he retained appropriate fraternal respect.

Donny O'Rourke

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