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How Can My Poor Heart

TUNE: O'er the hills and far away (Over the hills and far away)

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
How can my poor heart be glad
When absent from my sailor lad?
How can I the thought forego -
He's on the seas to meet the foe?
Let me wander, let me rove,
Still my heart is with my love.
Nightly dreams and thoughts by day
Are with him that's far away.
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
Nightly dreams and thoughts by day,
And ay with him that's far away.
2.
When in summer noon I faint,
As weary flocks around me pant,
Haply in this scorching sun
My sailor's thundering at his gun.
Bullets, spare my only joy!
Bullets, spare my darling boy!
Fate, do with me what you may,
Spare but him that's far away!
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
Fate, do with me what you may,
Spare but him that's far away!
3.
At the starless, midnight hour
When Winter rules with boundless power,
As the storms the forests tear,
And thunders rend the howling air,
Listening to the doubling roar
Surging on the rocky shore,
All I can - I weep and pray
For his weal that's far away.
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
All I can - I weep and pray
For his weal that's far away.
4.
Peace, thy olive wand extend
And bid wild War his ravage end;
Man with brother man to meet,
And as brother kindly greet!
Then may Heaven with prosperous gales
Fill my sailor's welcome sails,
To my arms their charge convey,
My dear lad that's far away!
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away,
To my arms their charge convey,
My dear lad that's far away!


How can my poor heart be glad
When absent from my sailor lad?
How can I the thought forgo (give up) -
He is on the seas to meet the foe?
Let me wander, let me rove,
Still my heart is with my love.
Nightly dreams and thoughts by day
Are with him that is far away.
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
Nightly dreams and thoughts by day,
And always with him that is far away.

When in summer noon I faint,
As weary flocks around me pant,
By chance in this scorching sun
My sailor is thundering at his gun.
Bullets, spare my only joy!
Bullets, spare my darling boy!
Fate, do with me what you may,
Spare but him that is far away!
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
Fate, do with me what you may,
Spare but him that is far away!

At the starless, midnight hour
When Winter rules with boundless power,
As the storms the forests tear,
And thunders rend the howling air,
Listening to the doubling roar
Surging on the rocky shore,
All I can - I weep and pray
For his well-being that is far away.
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away -
All I can - I weep and pray
For his well-being that is far away.

Peace, your olive wand extend
And bid wild War his ravage end;
Man with brother man to meet,
And as brother kindly greet!
Then may Heaven with prosperous gales
Fill my sailor's welcome sails,
To my arms their charge convey,
My dear lad that is far away!
On the seas and far away,
On stormy seas and far away,
To my arms their charge convey,
My dear lad that is far away!

 

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