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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Caller Herrin’
By Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766–1845)
 
  WHA’LL buy my caller herrin’?
  They’re bonnie fish and halesome farin’;
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’,
    New drawn frae the Forth?
 
When ye were sleepin’ on your pillows,        5
Dreamed ye aught o’ our puir fellows.
Darkling as they faced the billows,
A’ to fill the woven willows?
      Buy my caller herrin’,
    New drawn frae the Forth.        10
 
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
They’re no brought here without brave darin’;
      Buy my caller herrin’,
    Hauled through wind and rain.
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’? etc.        15
 
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
Oh, ye may ca’ them vulgar farin’:
Wives and mithers maist despairin’
    Ca’ them lives o’ men.
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’? etc.        20
 
When the creel o’ herrin’ passes,
Ladies, clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads and screw their faces.
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’? etc.        25
 
Caller herrin’s no got lightlie:
Ye can trip the spring fu’ tightlie;
Spite o’ tauntin’, flauntin’, flingin’,
Gow has set you a’ a-singin’.
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’? etc.        30
 
Neebor wives, now tent my tellin’:
When the bonny fish ye’re sellin’,
At ae word be in ye’re dealin’,—
Truth will stand when a’ thing’s failin’.
 
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?        35
  They’re bonny fish and halesome farin’;
  Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’,
    New drawn frae the Forth?
 
 
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