Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Songs.
II. Caller Herrin’
By Carolina, Lady Nairne (1766–1845)
 
  WHA’LL buy my caller herrin’?
  They’re bonnie fish and halesome farin’;
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’,
    New drawn frae the Forth?
 
When ye were sleepin’ on your pillows,        5
Dream’d ye aught o’ our puir fellows,
Darkling as they faced the billows,
A’ to fill the woven willows?
 
Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
They’re no brought here without brave daring;        10
Buy my caller herrin’,
Haul’d through wind and rain.
 
Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
Oh, ye may ca’ them vulgar farin’,
Wives and mithers maist despairing,        15
Ca’ them lives o’ men.
 
When the creel o’ herrin’ passes,
Ladies, clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads and screw their faces.        20
 
Caller herrin’s no got lightlie,
Ye can trip the spring fu’ tightlie,
Spite o’ tauntin’, flauntin’, flingin’,
Gow has set you a’ a-singing.
 
Neebour wives, now tent my tellin’:        25
When the bonny fish ye’re sellin’,
At ae word be in yere dealin’—
Truth will stand when a’ thing’s failin’.
 
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
  They’re bonny fish and halesome farin’;        30
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’,
    New drawn frae the Forth?
 
 
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