Auld Robin Gray
by Anne Lindsay (1750-1825)
When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye a’ at hame,
When a’ the weary world to sleep are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa’ in showers frae my e’e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.
Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a crown he had naething else beside.
To make the crown a pound, my Jamie gaed to sea;
And the crown and the pound, they were baith for me!
He hadna been awa’ a week but only twa,
When my mither she fell sick, and the cow was stown awa;
My father brak his arm—my Jamie at the sea—
And Auld Robin Gray came a-courting me.
My father couldna work—my mither couldna spin;
I toil’d day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain’d them baith, and, wi’ tears in his e’e,
Said, “Jenny, for their sakes, will you marry me?”
My heart it said na, and I look’d for Jamie back;
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack:
His ship it was a wrack! Why didna Jenny dee?
And wherefore was I spar’d to cry, Wae is me!
My father argued sair—my mither didna speak,
But she look’d in my face till my heart was like to break;
They gied him my hand, but my heart was in the sea;
And so Auld Robin Gray, he was gudeman to me.
I hadna been his wife, a week but only four,
When mournfu’ as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie’s ghaist—I couldna think it he,
Till he said, “I’m come hame, my love, to marry thee!”
O sair, sair did we greet, and mickle did we say:
Ae kiss we took—nae mair—I bad him gang away.
I wish that I were dead, but I’m no like to dee;
And why do I live to say, Wae is me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I darena think o’ Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For Auld Robin Gray, he is kind to me.