The Water Is Wide

You’ll find a lot of poems here that will make you swoon (or at least, that’s the effect they have on me). But we can’t deny that love can also be painful. When the water becomes too deep (or too wide), love can drown. The words below are centuries old, coming from a folk song of Scottish origin. You’ll find several versions if you google it, but this is the one that I want to give you.

The water is wide, I can’t swim o’er
Nor do I have wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

A ship there is and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not so deep as the love I’m in
I know not if I sink or swim

I leaned my back against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it swayed and then it broke
So did my love prove false to me

Oh love is handsome and love is kind
Sweet as flower when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew

Must I go bound while you go free
Must I love a man who doesn’t love me
Must I be born with so little art
As to love a man who’ll break my heart

Anonymous


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