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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Traditional Ballads

10. Bonny Barbara Allan

IT was in and about the Martinmas time,

When the green leaves were a falling,

That Sir John Græme, in the West Country,

Fell in love with Barbara Allan.

He sent his man down through the town,

To the place where she was dwelling:

“O haste and come to my master dear,

Gin ye be Barbara Allan.”

O hooly, hooly rose she up,

To the place where he was lying,

And when she drew the curtain by,

“Young man, I think you’re dying.”

“O it’s I’m sick, and very, very sick,

And ’tis a’ for Barbara Allan:”

“O the better for me ye’s never be,

Tho your heart’s blood were a spilling.

“O dinna ye mind, young man,” said she,

“When ye was in the tavern a drinking,

That ye made the healths gae round and round,

And slighted Barbara Allan?”

He turned his face unto the wall,

And death was with him dealing:

“Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,

And be kind to Barbara Allan.”

And slowly, slowly raise she up,

And slowly, slowly left him,

And sighing said, she coud not stay,

Since death of life had reft him.

She had not gane a mile but twa,

When she heard the dead-bell ringing,

And every jow that the dead-bell gied,

It cry’d, Woe to Barbara Allan!

“O mother, mother, make my bed!

O make it saft and narrow!

Since my love died for me to-day,

I’ll die for him to-morrow.”