Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Drowned Lovers
Anonymous
 
(Buchan)

WILLIE stands in his stable door,
And clapping at his steed;
And looking o’er his white fingers,
His nose began to bleed.
 
“Gie corn to my horse, mother;        5
And meat to my young man:
And I’ll awa’ to Meggie’s bower,
I’ll win ere she lie down.”
 
“O bide this night wi’ me, Willie,
O bide this night wi’ me;        10
The best an’ cock o’ a’ the reest,
At your supper shall be.”
 
“A’ your cocks, and a’ your reests,
I value not a prin;
For I’ll awa’ to Meggie’s bower,        15
I’ll win ere she lie down.”
 
“Stay this night wi’ me, Willie,
O stay this night wi’ me;
The best an’ sheep in a’ the flock
At your supper shall be.”        20
 
“A’ your sheep, and a’ your flocks,
I value not a prin;
For I’ll awa’ to Meggie’s bower,
I’ll win ere she lie down.”
 
“O an’ ye gang to Meggie’s bower,        25
Sae sair against my will,
The deepest pot in Clyde’s water,
My malison ye’s feel.”
 
“The guid steed that I ride upon
Cost me thrice thretty pound;        30
And I’ll put trust in his swift feet,
To hae me safe to land.”
 
As he rade ower yon high, high hill,
And down yon dowie den,
The noise that was in Clyde’s water        35
Wou’d fear’d five hunder men.
 
“Ye’re roaring loud, Clyde water,
Your waves seem ower strang;
Make me your wreck as I come back,
But spare me as I gang.”        40
 
Then he is on to Meggie’s bower,
And tirlèd at the pin;
“O sleep ye, wake ye, Meggie,” he said,
“Ye’ll open, lat me come in.”
 
“O wha is this at my bower door,        45
That calls me by my name?”
“It is your first love, sweet Willie,
This night newly come hame.”
 
“I hae few lovers thereout, thereout,
As few hae I therein;        50
The best an’ love that ever I had,
Was here just late yestreen.”
 
“The warstan stable in a’ your stables,
For my puir steed to stand;
The warstan bower in a’ your bowers,        55
For me to lie therein:
My boots are fu’ o’ Clyde’s water,
I’m shivering at the chin.”
 
“My barns are fu’ o’ corn, Willie,
My stables are fu’ o’ hay;        60
My bowers are fu’ o’ gentlemen;—
They’ll nae remove till day.”
 
“O fare-ye-well, my fause Meggie,
O farewell, and adieu;
I’ve gotten my mither’s malison,        65
This night coming to you.”
 
As he rode ower yon high, high hill,
And down yon dowie den;
The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
Took Willie’s cane fra him.        70
 
He lean’d him ower his saddle bow,
To catch his cane again;
The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
Took Willie’s hat frae him.
 
He lean’d him ower his saddle bow,        75
To catch his hat thro’ force;
The rushing that was in Clyde’s water
Took Willie frae his horse.
 
His brither stood upo’ the bank,
Says, “Fye, man, will ye drown?        80
Ye’ll turn ye to your high horse head,
And learn how to sowm.”
 
“How can I turn to my horse head,
And learn how to sowm?
I’ve gotten my mither’s malison,        85
It’s here that I maun drown!”
 
The very hour this young man sank
Into the pot sae deep,
Up it waken’d his love, Meggie,
Out o’ her drowsy sleep.        90
 
“Come here, come here, my mither dear,
And read this dreary dream;
I dream’d my love was at our gates,
And nane wad let him in.”
 
“Lye still, lye still now, my Meggie,        95
Lye still and tak your rest;
Sin’ your true love was at your gates,
It’s but twa quarters past.”
 
Nimbly, nimbly raise she up,
And nimbly pat she on;        100
And the higher that the lady cried,
The louder blew the win’.
 
The first an’ step that she stepp’d in,
She stepped to the queet;
“Ohon, alas!” said that lady,        105
“This water’s wondrous deep.”
 
The next an’ step that she wade in,
She wadit to the knee;
Says she, “I cou’d wade farther in,
It I my love cou’d see.”        110
 
The next an’ step that she wade in,
She wadit to the chin;
The deepest pot in Clyde’s water,
She got sweet Willie in.
 
“You’ve had a cruel mither, Willie,        115
And I have had anither;
But we shall sleep in Clyde’s water,
Like sister an’ like brither.”
 
 
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