Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
43. The Lass of Lochroyan
 
 
I

‘O WHA will shoe my bonny foot?
  And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will bind my middle jimp
  Wi’ a lang, lang linen band?
 
II

‘O wha will kame my yellow hair,
        5
  With a haw bayberry kame?
And wha will be my babe’s father
  Till Gregory come hame?’—
 
III

‘Thy father, he will shoe thy foot,
  Thy brother will glove thy hand,        10
Thy mither will bind thy middle jimp
  Wi’ a lang, lang linen band.
 
IV

‘Thy sister will kame thy yellow hair,
  Wi’ a haw bayberry kame;
The Almighty will be thy babe’s father        15
  Till Gregory come hame.’—
 
V

‘And wha will build a bonny ship,
  And set it on the sea?
For I will go to seek my love,
  My ain love Gregory.’        20
 
VI

Up then spak her father dear,
  A wafu’ man was he;
‘And I will build a bonny ship,
  And set her on the sea.
 
VII

‘And I will build a bonny ship,
        25
  And set her on the sea,
‘And ye sal gae and seek your love,
  Your ain love Gregory.’
 
VIII

Then he’s gart build a bonny ship,
  And set it on the sea,        30
Wi’ four-and-twenty mariners,
  To bear her company.
 
IX

O he’s gart build a bonny ship,
  To sail on the salt sea;
The mast was o’ the beaten gold,        35
  The sails o’ cramoisie.
 
X

The sides were o’ the gude stout aik,
  The deck o’ mountain pine,
The anchor o’ the silver shene,
  The ropes o’ silken twine.        40
 
XI

She hadna sail’d but twenty leagues,
  But twenty leagues and three,
When she met wi’ a rank reiver,
  And a’ his companie.
 
XII

‘Now are ye Queen of Heaven hie,
        45
  Come to pardon a’ our sin?
Or are ye Mary Magdalane,
  Was born at Bethlehem?’—
 
XIII

‘I’m no the Queen of Heaven hie,
  Come to pardon ye your sin,        50
Nor am I Mary Magdalane,
  Was born in Bethlehem.
 
XIV

‘But I’m the lass of Lochroyan,
  That’s sailing on the sea
To see if I can find my love,        55
  My ain love Gregory.’—
 
XV

‘O see na ye yon bonny bower?
  It’s a’ covered owre wi’ tin?
When thou hast sail’d it round about,
  Lord Gregory is within.’        60
 
XVI

And when she saw the stately tower,
  Shining both clear and bright,
Whilk stood aboon the jawing wave,
  Built on a rock of height,
 
XVII

Says, ‘Row the boat, my mariners,
        65
  And bring me to the land,
For yonder I see my love’s castle,
  Close by the salt sea strand.’
 
XVIII

She sail’d it round, and sail’d it round,
  And loud and loud cried she,        70
‘Now break, now break your fairy charms,
  And set my true-love free!’
 
XIX

She ’s ta’en her young son in her arms,
  And to the door she’s gane,
And long she knock’d, and sair she ca’d,        75
  But answer got she nane.
 
XX

‘O open, open, Gregory!
  O open! if ye be within;
For here’s the lass of Lochroyan,
  Come far fra kith and kin.        80
 
XXI

‘O open the door, Lord Gregory!
  O open and let me in!
The wind blows loud and cauld, Gregory,
  The rain drops fra my chin.
 
XXII

‘The shoe is frozen to my foot,
        85
  The glove unto my hand,
The wet drops fra my yellow hair,
  Na langer dow I stand.’
 
XXIII

O up then spak his ill mither,
  —An ill death may she die!        90
‘Ye’re no the lass of Lochroyan,
  She ’s far out-owre the sea.
 
XXIV

‘Awa’, awa’, ye ill woman,
  Ye’re no come here for gude;
Ye’re but some witch or wil’ warlock,        95
  Or mermaid o’ the flood.’—
 
XXV

‘I am neither witch nor wil’ warlock,
  Nor mermaid o’ the sea,
But I am Annie of Lochroyan,
  O open the door to me!’—        100
 
XXVI

‘Gin ye be Annie of Lochroyan,
  As I trow thou binna she,
Now tell me of some love-tokens
  That pass’d ’tween thee and me.’
 
XXVII

‘O dinna ye mind, love Gregory,
        105
  As we sat at the wine,
We changed the rings frae our fingers?
  And I can shew thee thine.
 
XXVIII

‘O yours was gude, and gude enough,
  But ay the best was mine,        110
For yours was o’ the gude red gowd,
  But mine o’ the diamond fine.
 
XXIX

‘Yours was o’ the gude red gowd,
  Mine o’ the diamond fine;
Mine was o’ the purest troth,        115
  But thine was false within.’—
 
XXX

‘If ye be the lass of Lochroyan,
  As I kenna thou be,
Tell me some mair o’ the love-tokens
  Pass’d between thee and me.’—        120
 
XXXI

‘And dinna ye mind, love Gregory!
  As we sat on the hill,
Thou twin’d me o’ my maidenheid,
  Right sair against my will?
 
XXXII

‘Now open the door, love Gregory!
        125
  Open the door! I pray;
For thy young son is in my arms,
  And will be dead ere day.’—
 
XXXIII

‘Ye lie, ye lie, ye ill woman,
  So loud I hear ye lie;        130
For Annie of the Lochroyan
  Is far out-owre the sea.’
 
XXXIV

Fair Annie turn’d her round about:
  ‘Weel, sine that it be sae,
May ne’er woman that has borne a son        135
  Hae a heart sae fu’ o’ wae!
 
XXXV

‘Tak down, tak down that mast o’ gowd,
  Set up a mast of tree;
It disna become a forsaken lady
  To sail sae royallie.’        140
 
XXXVI

When the cock had crawn, and the day did dawn,
  And the sun began to peep,
Up then raise Lord Gregory,
  And sair, sair did he weep.
 
XXXVII

‘O I hae dream’d dream, mither,
        145
  I wish it may bring good!
That the bonny lass of Lochroyan
  At my bower window stood.
 
XXXVIII

‘O I hae dream’d a dream, mither,
  The thought o’t gars me greet!        150
That fair Annie of Lochroyan
  Lay dead at my bed-feet.’—
 
XXXIX

‘Gin it be for Annie of Lochroyan
  That ye mak a’ this mane,
She stood last night at your bower-door,        155
  But I hae sent her hame.’—
 
XL

‘O wae betide ye, ill woman,
  An ill death may ye die!
That wadna open the door yoursell
  Nor yet wad waken me.’        160
 
XLI

O he’s gane down to yon shore-side,
  As fast as he could dree,
And there he saw fair Annie’s bark
  A rowing owre the sea.
 
XLII

‘O Annie, Annie,’ loud he cried,
        165
  ‘O Annie, O Annie, bide!’
But ay the mair he cried ‘Annie,’
  The braider grew the tide.
 
XLIII

‘O Annie, Annie, dear Annie,
  Dear Annie, speak to me!’        170
But ay the louder he ’gan call,
  The louder roar’d the sea.
 
XLIV

The wind blew loud, the waves rose hie
  And dash’d the boat on shore;
Fair Annie’s corpse was in the faem,        175
  The babe rose never more.
 
XLV

Lord Gregory tore his gowden locks
  And made a wafu’ moan;
Fair Annie’s corpse lay at his feet,
  His bonny son was gone.        180
 
XLVI

O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
  And gowden was her hair,
And coral, coral was her lips,
  Nane might with her compare!
 
XLVII

Then first he kiss’d her pale, pale cheek,
        185
  And syne he kiss’d her chin,
And syne he kiss’d her wane, wane lips,
  There was na breath within.
 
XLVIII

‘O wae betide my ill mither,
  An ill death may she die!        190
She turn’d my true-love frae my door,
  Who cam so far to me.
 
XLIX

‘O wae betide my ill mither,
  An ill death may she die!
She has no been the deid o’ ane,        195
  But she’s been the deid of three.’
 
L

Then he’s ta’en out a little dart,
  Hung low down by his gore,
He thrust it through and through his heart,
  And words spak never more.        200
 
GLOSS:  jimp] slim.  kame] comb.  haw bayberry]? a corruption for ‘braw ivory’: or bayberry may=laurel-wood.  cramoisie] crimson.  reiver] robber.  jawing] surging.  dow] can.  deid] death.  gore] skirt, waist.
 

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