Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 29 pages of information about Old Ballads.

        C.  Dibdin.

O, WERT THOU IN THE CAULD BLAST.

O wert thou in the cauld blast, On yonder lea, My plaidie to the angry airt, I’d shelter thee.  Or did misfortune’s bitter storms Around thee blaw, Thy bield should be my bosom, To share it a’.  Or were I in the wildest waste, She bleak and bare, The desert were a paradise, If thou wert there, Or were I monarch o’ the globe, Wi’ thee to reign, The brightest jewel in my crown, Wad be my queen.

        Burns.

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, and hills and fields,
The woods or steepy mountains yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d o’er with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning,
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

        Christopher Marlowe.

LOVELY NAN.

Sweet is the ship, that, under sail
Spreads her white bosom to the gale;
  Sweet, oh! sweet’s the flowing can;
Sweet to poise the lab’ring oar
That tugs us to our native shore,
  When the boatswain pipes the barge to man;
Sweet sailing with a fav’ring breeze;
But oh! much sweeter than all these,
  Is Jack’s delight, his lovely Nan.

The needle faithful to the north,
To show of constancy the worth,
  A curious lesson teaches man;
The needle time may rust, a squall capsize the binnacle and all,
Let seamanship do all it can;
My love in worth shall higher rise! 
Nor time shall rust, nor squalls capsize,
  My faith and truth to lovely Nan.

I love my duty, love my friend,
Love truth and merit to defend,
  To moan their loss who hazard ran;
I love to take an honest part. 
Love beauty with a spotless heart,
  By manners love to show the man,
To sail through life by honour’s breeze;
’Twas all along of loving these
  First made me doat on lovely Nan.

        C.  Dibdin.

THE LASS OF RICHMOND HILL.

On Richmond Hill there lives a lass
  More bright than May-day morn,
Whose charms all other maids surpass—­
  A rose without a thorn.

Follow Us on Facebook