Old Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 44 pages of information about Old Ballads.

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
  The sails their swelling bosoms spread;
No longer must she stay on board: 
  They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head. 
Her lessening boat, unwilling, rows to land;
“Adieu!” she cried, and waved her lily hand.

        J.  Gay.


Duncan Grey came here to woo,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
On blythe yule night when we were fou,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t. 
Maggie coost’ her head fu’ high,
Look’d asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.

Duncan fleech’d, and Duncan pray’d;
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
Meg was deaf’ as Ailsa Craig,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t. 
Duncan sigh’d baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer’t and blin’,
Spak o’ lowpin o’er a linn;
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.

Time and chance are but a tide,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
Slighted love is sair to bide,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t. 
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie dee? 
She may gae to—­France for me,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.

How it comes let doctors tell. 
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
Meg grew sick—­as he grew well,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t. 
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief a sigh she brings;
And O, her een, they spak sic things! 
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.

Duncan was a lad o’ grace,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
Maggie’s was a piteous case,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t. 
Duncan couldna be her death,
Swelling pity smoor’d his wrath;
Now they’re crouse and cantie baith,
  Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.



There was a youth, and a well-beloved youth,
  And he was a squire’s son;
He loved the bailiff’s daughter dear
  That lived in Islington.

Yet she was coy, and would not believe
  That he did love her so. 
No; nor at any time would she
  Any countenance to him show.

But when his friends did understand
  His fond and foolish mind,
They sent him up to fair London
  An apprentice for to bind.

And when he had been seven long years,
  And never his love could see: 
“Many a tear have I shed for her sake,
  When she little thought of me.”

Then all the maids of Islington
  Went forth to sport and play,
All but the bailiff’s daughter dear—­
  She secretly stole away.

She pulled off her gown of green,
  And put on ragged attire,
And to fair London she would go,
  Her true love to inquire.

And as she went along the high road,
  The weather being hot and dry,
She sat her down upon a green bank,
  And her true love came riding by.

Project Gutenberg
Old Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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