Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
9. Love Gregor
 
Traditional Ballads
 
 
“O WHA will shoe my fu fair foot?
  And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will lace my middle jimp, 1
  Wi the new made London band?
 
“And wha will kaim 2 my yellow hair,        5
  Wi the new made silver kaim?
And wha will father my young son,
  Till Love Gregor come hame?”
 
“Your father will shoe your fu fair foot,
  Your mother will glove your hand;        10
Your sister will lace your middle jimp
  Wi the new made London band.
 
“Your brother will kaim your yellow hair,
  Wi the new made silver kaim;
And the king of heaven will father your bairn,        15
  Till Love Gregor come haim.”
 
“But I will get a bonny boat,
  And I will sail the sea,
For I maun gang 3 to Love Gregor,
  Since he canno come hame to me.”        20
 
O she has gotten a bonny boat,
  And sailld the sa’t sea fame; 4
She langd to see her ain true-love,
  Since he could no come hame.
 
“O row your boat, my mariners,        25
  And bring me to the land,
For yonder I see my love’s castle,
  Closs by the sa’t sea strand.”
 
She has taen her young son in her arms,
  And to the door she’s gone,        30
And lang she’s knocked and sair she ca’d,
  But answer got she none.
 
“O open the door, Love Gregor,” she says,
  “O open, and let me in;
For the win blaws thro my yellow hair,        35
  And the rain draps oer my chin.”
 
“Awa, awa, ye ill woman,
  You’r nae come here for good;
You’r but some witch, or wile warlock, 5
  Or mer-maid of the flood.”        40
 
“I am neither a witch nor a wile warlock,
  Nor mer-maid of the sea,
I am Fair Annie of Rough Royal;
  O open the door to me.”
 
“Gin ye be Annie of Rough Royal—        45
  And I trust ye are not she—
Now tell me some of the love-tokens
  That past between you and me.”
 
“O dinna you mind now, Love Gregor,
  When we sat at the wine,        50
How we changed the rings frae our fingers?
  And I can show thee thine.
 
“O yours was good, and good enneugh,
  But ay the best was mine;
For yours was o the good red goud,        55
  But mine o the dimonds fine.
 
“But open the door now, Love Gregor,
  O open the door I pray,
For your young son that is in my arms
  Will be dead ere it be day.”        60
 
“Awa, awa, ye ill woman,
  For here ye shanno win 6 in;
Gae drown ye in the raging sea,
  Or hang on the gallows-pin.”
 
When the cock had crawn, and day did dawn,        65
  And the sun began to peep,
Then it raise him Love Gregor,
  And sair, sair did he weep.
 
“O I dreamd a dream, my mother dear,
  The thoughts o it gars 7 me greet, 8        70
That Fair Annie of Rough Royal
  Lay cauld dead at my feet.”
 
“Gin it be for Annie of Rough Royal
  That ye make a’ this din,
She stood a’ last night at this door,        75
  But I trow she wan 9 no in.”
 
“O wae betide ye, ill woman,
  An ill dead 10 may ye die!
That ye woudno open the door to her,
  Nor yet woud waken me.”        80
 
O he has gone down to yon shore-side,
  As fast as he could fare;
He saw Fair Annie in her boat,
  But the wind it tossed her sair.
 
And “Hey, Annie!” and “How, Annie!        85
  O Annie, winna ye bide?”
But ay the mair that he cried Annie,
  The braider grew the tide.
 
And “Hey, Annie!” and “How, Annie!
  Dear Annie, speak to me!”        90
But ay the louder he cried Annie,
  The louder roard the sea.
 
The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough,
  And dashd the boat on shore;
Fair Annie floats on the raging sea,        95
  But her young son raise no more.
 
Love Gregor tare his yellow hair,
  And made a heavy moan;
Fair Annie’s corpse lay at his feet,
  But his bonny young son was gone.        100
 
O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
  And gowden was her hair,
But clay cold were her rosy lips,
  Nae spark of life was there.
 
And first he’s kissd her cherry cheek,        105
  And neist he’s kissed her chin;
And saftly pressed her rosey lips,
  But there was nae breath within.
 
“O wae betide my cruel mother,
  And an ill dead may she die!        110
For she turnd my true-love frae my door,
  When she came sae far to me.”
 
Note 1. Must go. [back]
Note 2. Foam. [back]
Note 3. Wizard. [back]
Note 4. Shall not get. [back]
Note 5. Makes. [back]
Note 6. Weep. [back]
Note 7. Got. [back]
Note 8. Death. [back]
Note 9. Softly. [back]
Note 10. Know. [back]
 

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