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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.


Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

ALLEN-A-DALE has no fagot for burning,

Allen-a-Dale has no furrow for turning,

Allen-a-Dale has no fleece for the spinning,

Yet Allen-a-Dale has red gold for the winning.

Come, read me my riddle! come, hearken my tale!

And tell me the craft of bold Allen-a-Dale.

The Baron of Ravensworth prances in pride,

And he views his domains upon Arkindale side.

The mere for his net and the land for his game.

The chase for the wild and the park for the tame:

Yet the fish of the lake and the deer of the vale

Are less free to Lord Dacre than Allen-a-Dale!

Allen-a-Dale was ne’er belted a knight,

Though his spur be as sharp and his blade be as bright;

Allen-a-Dale is no baron or lord,

Yet twenty tall yeomen will draw at his word;

And the best of our nobles his bonnet will vail,

Who at Rere-cross on Stanmore meets Allen-a-Dale!

Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come;

The mother, she asked of his household and home:

‘Though the castle of Richmond stand fair on the hill,

My hall,’ quoth bold Allen, ‘shows gallanter still;

’Tis the blue vault of heaven, with its crescent so pale

And with all its bright spangles!’ said Allen-a-Dale.

The father was steel and the mother was stone;

They lifted the latch and they bade him be gone;

But loud on the morrow their wail and their cry:

He had laughed on the lass with his bonny black eye

And she fled to the forest to hear a love-tale,

And the youth it was told by was Allen-a-Dale!