Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
I. Disappointment in Love
Auld Robin Gray
Lady Anne (Lindsay) Barnard (1750–1825)
WHEN the sheep are in the fauld and the kye a’ at hame,
When a’ the weary world to sleep are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa’ in showers frae my e’e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.
Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;        5
But saving a crown, he had naething else beside.
To mak’ the crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea;
And the crown and the pound, they were baith for me!
He hadna been awa’ a week but only twa,
When my mither she fell sick, and the cow was stown awa;        10
My father brak his arm—my Jamie at the sea—
And Auld Robin Gray came a-courtin’ me.
My father couldna work,—my mither couldna spin;
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
And Rob maintained them baith, and, wi’ tears in his e’e,        15
Said, “Jennie for their sakes, will you marry me?”
My heart it said na, for I looked for Jamie back;
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack;
His ship was a wrack! Why didna Jamie dee?
Or why was I spared to cry, Wae is me!        20
My father argued sair—my mither didna speak,
But she looked in my face till my heart was like to break;
They gied him my hand, but my heart was in the sea;
And so Auld Robin Gray, he was gudeman to me.
I hadna been his wife, a week but only four,        25
When, mournfu’ as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie’s ghaist—I couldna think it he,
Till he said, “I ’m come hame, love, for to marry thee!”
O sair, sair did we greet, and mickle did we say:
Ae kiss we took—nae mair—I bad him gang away.        30
I wish that I were dead, but I ’m no like to dee,
And why do I live to say, Wae is me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I darena think o’ Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife aye to be,        35
For Auld Robin Gray, he is kind unto me.

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