Verse Four: Farewell

Incremental repetition is used in the final stanza to strike a more sober tone than the impassioned and hyperbolic tones of previous verses. In the phrasing of my only luve and the repetition of my luve, the speaker pledges himself exclusively to his partner. He implies that he will remain faithful to her throughout their time apart.

And fare thee weel […] / And fare thee weel, a while!

The repetition of the first two lines makes clear the hopelessness felt by the persona as he considers their impending separation. Sentence structure here confirms that saying goodbye is difficult for the speaker.

The word choice of a while indicates that the speaker must be separated from his love for quite a period of time, it also suggests that the separation is not forever. This idea is reinforced in the third line; The speaker insists that he will come again. This definitely indicates that he intends to return to her.

I will come again, my Luve,/ Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!

In the final line of the poem, the persona is resolute. Neither time nor distance will keep him apart from his love.

Thematically, this poem considers:

  • human relationships
  • the powerful bond which can be forged between two people

In having us consider the passion of a lover at the beginning of a relationship, Burns also asks us to consider the longevity of intense emotions. He presents a universal experience – love – in readily accessible terms.