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As May Marg'ret sat in her bouerie, In her bouer all alone, At the very parting o' midnicht, She heard a mournfu' moan.

"O is it my father, O is it my mother, 5 Or is it my brother John?

Or is it sweet William, my ain true love, To Scotland new come home?"

"It is na your father, it is na your mother, It is na your brother John; 10 But it is sweet William, your ain true love, To Scotland new come home."--

"Hae ye brought me onie fine things, Onie new thing for to wear?

Or hae ye brought me a braid o' lace, 15 To snood up my gowden hair?"

"I've brought ye na fine things at all, Nor onie new thing to wear, Nor hae I brought ye a braid of lace, To snood up your gowden hair. 20

"But Margaret, dear Margaret, I pray ye speak to me; O gie me back my faith and troth, As dear as I gied it thee!"

"Your faith and troth ye sanna get, 25 Nor will I wi' ye twin, Till ye come within my bower, And kiss me, cheek and chin."

"O Margaret, dear Margaret, I pray ye speak to me; 30 O gie me back my faith and troth, As dear as I gied it thee."

"Your faith and troth ye sanna get, Nor will I wi' ye twin, Till ye tak me to yonder kirk, 35 And wed me wi' a ring."

"O should I come within your bouer, I am na earthly man: If I should kiss your red, red lips, Your days wad na be lang. 40

"My banes are buried in yon kirk-yard, It's far ayont the sea; And it is my spirit, Margaret, That's speaking unto thee."

"Your faith and troth ye sanna get, 45 Nor will I twin wi' thee, Tell ye tell me the pleasures o' Heaven, And pains of hell how they be."

"The pleasures of heaven I wat not of, But the pains of hell I dree; 50 There some are hie hang'd for huring, And some for adulterie."

Then Marg'ret took her milk-white hand, And smooth'd it on his breast;-- "Tak your faith and troth, William, 55 God send your soul good rest!"


Was first published in Ramsay's _Tea-Table Miscellany_, (ii. 171,) from which it is transferred verbatim into Herd's _Scottish Songs_, Johnson's _Museum_, Ritson's _Scottish Songs_, &c. Percy printed it, "with a few conjectural emendations, from a written copy,"

_Reliques_, iii. 175, together with another version, which follows the present. Mr. G. F. Graham, _Songs of Scotland_, ii. 157, has pointed out an allusion to the "little Scotch Song of _Barbary Allen_," in Pepys's _Diary_, 2 Jan. 1665-6.

It was in and about the Martinmas time, When the green leaves were a falling, That Sir John Graeme in the west country Fell in love with Barbara Allan.

He sent his man down through the town, 5 To the place where she was dwelling; "O haste and come to my master dear, Gin ye be Barbara Allan."

O hooly, hooly rose she up, To the place where he was lying, 10 And when she drew the curtain by, "Young man, I think you're dying."

"O it's I'm sick, and very, very sick, And 'tis a' for Barbara Allan:"

"O the better for me ye's never be, 15 Tho' your heart's blood were a spilling.

"O dinna ye mind, young man," said she, "When ye was in the tavern a drinking, That ye made the healths gae round and round, And slighted Barbara Allan." 20

He turn'd his face unto the wall, And death was with him dealing; "Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all, And be kind to Barbara Allan."

And slowly, slowly raise she up, 25 And slowly, slowly left him; And sighing said, she cou'd not stay, Since death of life had reft him.

She had not gane a mile but twa, When she heard the dead-bell ringing, 30 And every jow that the dead-bell geid, It cry'd "Woe to Barbara Allan!"

"O mother, mother, make my bed, O make it saft and narrow; Since my love died for me today, 35 I'll die for him tomorrow."


From Percy's _Reliques_, iii. 169.

"Given, with some corrections, from an old blackletter copy, entitled, _Barbara Allen's Cruelty, or the Young Man's Tragedy_."

In Scarlet towne, where I was borne, There was a faire maid dwellin, Made every youth crye, Wel-awaye!

Her name was Barbara Allen.

All in the merrye month of May, 5 When greene buds they were swellin, Yong Jemmye Grove on his death-bed lay, For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his man unto her then, To the towne where shee was dwellin; 10 "You must come to my master deare, Giff your name be Barbara Allen.

"For death is printed on his face, And ore his hart is stealin: Then haste away to comfort him, 15 O lovelye Barbara Allen."

"Though death be printed on his face, And ore his harte is stealin, Yet little better shall he bee For bonny Barbara Allen." 20

So slowly, slowly, she came up, And slowly she came nye him; And all she sayd, when there she came, "Yong man, I think y'are dying."

He turned his face unto her strait, 25 With deadlye sorrow sighing; "O lovely maid, come pity mee, I'me on my death-bed lying."

"If on your death-bed you doe lye, What needs the tale you are tellin? 30 I cannot keep you from your death; Farewell," sayd Barbara Allen.

He turnd his face unto the wall, As deadlye pangs he fell in: "Adieu! adieu! adieu to you all, 35 Adieu to Barbara Allen!"

As she was walking ore the fields, She heard the bell a knellin; And every stroke did seem to saye, "Unworthy Barbara Allen!" 40

She turnd her bodye round about, And spied the corps a coming: "Laye down, laye down the corps," she sayd, "That I may look upon him."

With scornful eye she looked downe, 45 Her cheeke with laughter swellin, Whilst all her friends cryd out amaine, "Unworthye Barbara Allen!"

When he was dead, and laid in grave, Her harte was struck with sorrowe; 50 "O mother, mother, make my bed, For I shall dye to-morrowe.

"Hard-harted creature him to slight, Who loved me so dearlye: O that I had beene more kind to him, 55 When he was alive and neare me!"

She, on her death-bed as she laye, Beg'd to be buried by him, And sore repented of the daye, That she did ere denye him. 60

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