Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Auld Robin Gray
By Lady Anne (Lindsay) Barnard (1750–1825)
YOUNG Jamie lo’ed me weel, and he sought me for his bride,
But saving a crown he had naething else beside;
To make that crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea,
And the crown and the pound were baith for me.
He had na been awa a week but only twa,        5
When my mither she fell sick, and the cow was stown awa,
My father brak his arm, and my Jamie at the sea,
And auld Robin Gray cam’ a-courting to me.
My father cou’dna work, and my mither cou’dna spin;
I toiled baith day and night, but their bread I cou’dna win;        10
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and wi’ tears in his ee
Said, Jenny, for their sakes, oh, will you marry me?
My heart it said nay; I looked for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it proved a wrack,
The ship it proved a wrack,—why didna Jenny dee?        15
And why do I live to say, Oh, waes me!
Auld Robin argued sair, though my mither didna speak,
She looked in my face till my heart was like to break;
So they gied him my hand, though my heart was at the sea,
And auld Robin Gray is a gudeman to me.        20
I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When sitting sae mournfully ae day at the door,
I saw my Jamie’s wraith, for I cou’dna think it he,
Until he said, Jenny, I’m come to marry thee.
Oh, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say,        25
We took but ae kiss, and tore ourselves away:
I wish I were dead, but I’m nae like to dee;
And why do I live to say, Oh, waes me!
I gang like a ghaist, I carena to spin,
I darena think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;        30
But I’ll do my best a gude wife for to be,
For auld Robin Gray is kind unto me.

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