Percy's Reliques - Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allan.

Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allan.

A SCOTTISH BALLAD.

            Printed, with a few conjectural emendations, from a written copy.

IT was in and about the Martinmas time,
When the greene leaves wer a fallan;
That Sir John Grehme o' the west countrye,
Fell in luve wi' Barbara Allan.

He sent his man down throw the towne,
To the plaice wher she was dwellan;
"O haste and cum to my maister deare,
Gin ye bin Barbara Allan."

O hooly, hooly raise she up,
To the plaice wher he was lyan;
And whan she drew the curtain by,
"Young man, I think ye're dyan."[ 1]

"O its I'm sick, and very very sick,
And its a' for Barbara Allan."
"O the better for me ye're never be,
Though your harts blude wer spillan.

"Remember ye not in the tavern, Sir
When ye the cups wer fillan;
How ye made the healths gae round and round,
And slighted Barbara Allan?"

He turn'd his face unto the wa',
And death was with him dealan;
"Adiew! adiew! my dear friends a',
Be kind to Barbara Allan."

Then hooly, hooly raise she up,
And hooly, hooly left him;
And sighan said, she could not stay,
Since death of life had reft him.

She had not gane a mile but twa,
When she heard the deid-bell knellan;
And everye jow the deid-bell geid,
Cried, "Wae to Barbara Allan"

"O mither, mither, mak my bed,
O mak it saft and narrow:
Since my love died for me to-day,
Ise die for him to-morrowe."

***

NOTES

1. An ingenious friend thinks the rhymes dyand and lyand ought to be transposed: as the taunt "Young man, I think ye're lyand," would be very characteristical.

 

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