Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
Meg Merrilies

John Keats (1795–1821)
 
OLD 1 Meg she was a gipsy,
  And liv’d upon the moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
  And her house was out of doors.
Her apples were swart blackberries,        5
  Her currants, pods o’ broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
  Her book a church-yard tomb.
 
Her brothers were the craggy hills,
  Her sisters larchen trees;        10
Alone with her great family
  She liv’d as she did please.
No breakfast had she many a morn,
  No dinner many a noon,
And, ’stead of supper, she would stare        15
  Full hard against the moon.
 
But every morn, of woodbine fresh
  She made her garlanding,
And, every night, the dark glen yew
  She wove, and she would sing.        20
And with her fingers old and brown
  She plaited mats of rushes,
And gave them to the cottagers
  She met among the bushes.
 
Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen,        25
  And tall as Amazon;
An old red blanket cloak she wore,
  A chip-hat had she on:
God rest her aged bones somewhere!
  She died full long agone!        30
 
Note 1. Keats. Meg Merrilies. In a letter to Fanny Keats, 1818. [back]
 
 
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