Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Child Dyring
By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
CHILD DYRING has ridden him up under öe,
  (And O gin I were young!)
There wedded he him sae fair a may.
  (I’ the greenwood it lists me to ride.)
Thegither they lived for seven lang year,        5
  (And O, &c.)
And they seven bairnes hae gotten in fere.
  (I’ the greenwood, &c.)
Sae Death’s come there intill that stead,
And that winsome lily flower is dead.        10
That swain he has ridden him up under öè,
And syne he has married anither may.
He’s married a may, and he’s fessen her hame;
But she was a grim and a laidly dame.
When into the castell court drave she,        15
The seven bairnes stood wi’ the tear in their ee.
The bairnes they stood wi’ dule and doubt;—
She up wi’ her foot, and she kicked them out.
Nor ale nor mead to the bairnes she gave:
“But hunger and hate frae me ye’s have.”        20
She took frae them the bowster blae,
And said, “Ye sall ligg i’ the bare strae!”
She took frae them the groff wax-light:
Says, “Now ye sail ligg i’ the mirk a’ night!”
’Twas lang i’ the night, and the bairnies grat:        25
Their mither she under the mools heard that;
That heard the wife under the eard that lay:
“For sooth maun I to my bairnies gae!”
That wife can stand up at our Lord’s knee,
And “May I gang and my bairnies see?”        30
She prigged sae sair, and she prigged sae lang,
That he at the last gae her leave to gang.
“And thou sall come back when the cock does craw;
For thou nae langer sail bide awa.”
Wi’ her banes sae stark a bowt she gae;        35
She’s riven baith wa’ and marble gray.
When near to the dwalling she can gang,
The dogs they wow’d till the lift it rang.
When she came till the castell yett,
Her eldest dochter stood thereat.        40
“Why stand ye here, dear dochter mine?
How are sma brithers and sisters thine?”—
“For sooth ye’re a woman baith fair and fine;
But ye are nae dear mither of mine.”—
“Och! how should I be fine or fair?        45
My cheek is pale, and the ground’s my lair.”—
“My mither was white, wi’ cheek sae red,
But thou art wan, and liker ane dead?”
“Och, how should I be white and red;
Sae lang as I’ve been cauld and dead?”        50
When she came till the chalmer in,
Down the bairns’ cheeks the tears did rin.
She buskit the tane, and she brushed it there;
She kem’d and plaited the tither’s hair.
Till her eldest dochter syne said she,        55
“Ye bid Child Dyring come here to me.”
When he cam till the chalmer in,
Wi’ angry mood she said to him;
“I left you routh o’ ale and bread;
My bairnes quail for hunger and need.        60
“I left ahind me braw bowsters blae;
My bairnes are ligging i’ the bare strae.
“I left ye sae mony a groff wax-light;
My bairnes ligg i’ the mirk a’ night.
“Gin aft I come back to visit thee,        65
Wae, dowy, and weary thy luck shall be.”
Up spak little Kirstin in bed that lay:
“To thy bairnies I’ll do the best I may.”
Aye when they heard the dog nirr and bell,
Sae gae they the bairnies bread and ale.        70
Aye when the dog did mow, in haste,
They cross’d and sain’d themselves frae the ghaist.
Aye whan the little dog yowl’d, with fear
They shook at the thought that the dead was near.

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