Verse > Anthologies > Sara Teasdale, ed. > The Answering Voice
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Sara Teasdale, comp. (1884–1933).
The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women.  1917.
 
Auld Robin Gray
By Anne Barnard
 
WHEN the sheep are in the fauld, when the kye ’s come hame,
And a’ the weary warld to rest are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa’ in showers frae my ee,
Unkent by my gudeman, wha sleeps sound by me.
 
Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride,        5
But saving ae crown-piece he had naething beside;
To make the crown a pound my Jamie gaed to sea,
And the crown and the pound—they were baith for me.
 
He hadna been gane a twelvemonth and a day,
When my father brake his arm and the cow was stown away;        10
My mither she fell sick—my Jamie was at sea,
And auld Robin Gray came a-courting me.
 
My father couldna wark—my mither couldna spin—
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, wi’ tears in his ee,        15
Said: “Jeanie, O for their sakes, will ye no marry me?”
 
My heart it said na, and I looked for Jamie back,
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack;
His ship was a wrack—why didna Jamie dee?
Or why am I spared to cry wae is me?        20
 
My father urged me sair—my mither didna speak,
But she looked in my face till my heart was like to break;
They gied him my hand—my heart was in the sea—
And so Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.
 
I hadna been his wife a week but only four,        25
When, mournfu’ as I sat on the stane at my door,
I saw my Jamie’s ghaist, for I couldna think it he,
Till he said: “I ’m come hame, love, to marry thee!”
 
Oh, sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say of a’,
I gied him ae kiss, and bade him gang awa’—        30
I wish that I were dead, but I ’m na like to dee,
For, though my heart is broken, I ’m but young, wae is me!
 
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena much to spin,
I darena think o’ Jamie, for that wad be a sin,
But I ’ll do my best a gude wife to be,        35
For, oh! Robin Gray, he is kind to me.
 
 
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