- Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II (The Lass of Lochroyan) by Sir Walter Scott
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Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II
The Lass of Lochroyan

by Sir Walter Scott


Lochroyan, whence this ballad probably derives its name, lies in Galloway. The lover, who, if the story be real, may be supposed to have been detained by sickness, is represented, in the legend, as confined by Fairy charms in an enchanted castle situated in the sea. The ruins of ancient edifices are still visible on the summits of most of those small islands, or rather insulated rocks, which lie along the coast of Ayrshire and Galloway; as Ailsa and Big Scaur.

This edition of the ballad obtained is composed of verses selected from three MS. copies, and two from recitation. Two of the copies are in Herd's MSS.; the third in that of Mrs Brown of Falkland.

A fragment of the original song, which is sometimes denominated Lord Gregory, or Love Gregory, was published in Mr Herd's Collection, 1774, and, still more fully, in that of Laurie and Symington, 1792. The story has been celebrated both by Burns and Dr Wolcott.


"O wha will shoe my bonny foot?
"And wha will glove my hand?
"And wha will lace my middle jimp
"W' a lang lang linen band?

"O wha will kame my yellow hair
"With a new made silver kame?
"And wha will father my young son
"Till Lord Gregory come hame?"

"Thy father will shoe thy bonny foot,
"Thy mother will glove thy hand,
"Thy sister will lace thy middle jimp,
"Till Lord Gregory come to land.

"Thy brother will kame thy yellow hair
"With a new made silver kame,
"And God will be thy bairn's father
"Till Lord Gregory come hame."

"But I will get a bonny boat,
"And I will sail the sea;
"And I will gang to Lord Gregory,
"Since he canna come hame to me."

Syne she's gar'd build a bonny boat,
To sail the salt salt sea:
The sails were o' the light-green silk,
The tows [A] o' taffety.

She hadna sailed but twenty leagues,
But twenty leagues and three,
When she met wi' a rank robber,
And a' his company.

"Now whether are ye the queen hersell,
"(For so ye weel might be)
"Or are ye the lass of Lochroyan,
"Seekin' Lord Gregory?"

"O I am neither the queen," she said,
"Nor sic I seem to be;
"But I am the lass of Lochroyan,
"Seekin' Lord Gregory."

"O see na thou yon bonny bower?
"Its a' covered o'er wi' tiu:
"When thou hast sailed it round about,
"Lord Gregory is within."

And when she saw the stately tower
Shining sae clear and bright,
Whilk stood aboon the jawing [B] wave,
Built on a rock of height;

Says—"Row the boat, my mariners,
"And bring me to the land!
"For yonder I see my love's castle
"Close by the salt sea strand."

She sailed it round, and sailed it round,
And loud, loud, cried she—
"Now break, now break, ye Fairy charms,
"And set my true love free!"

She's ta'en her young son in her arms,
And to the door she's gane;
And long she knocked, and sair she ca'd,
But answer got she nane.

"O open the door, Lord Gregory!
"O open, and let me in!
"For the wind blaws through my yellow hair,
"And the rain drops o'er my chin."

"Awa, awa, ye ill woman!
"Ye're no come here for good!
"Ye're but some witch, or wil warlock,
"Or mermaid o' the flood."

"I am neither witch, nor wil warlock,
"Nor mermaid o' the sea;
"But I am Annie of Lochroyan;
"O open the door to me!"

"Gin thou be Annie of Lochroyan,
"(As I trow thou binna she)
"Now tell me some o' the love tokens
"That past between thee and me."

"O dinna ye mind, Lord Gregory,
"As we sat at the wine,
"We chang'd the rings frae our fingers,
"And I can shew thee thine?

"O your's was gude, and gude enough,
"But ay the best was mine;
"For your's was o' the gude red gowd,
"But mine o' the diamond fine.

"And has na thou mind, Lord Gregory,
"As we sat on the hill,
"Thou twin'd me o' my maidenheid
"Right sair against my will?

"Now, open the door, Lord Gregory!
"Open the door, I pray!
"For thy young son is in my arms,
"And will be dead ere day."

"If thou be the lass of Lochroyan,
"(As I kenna thou be)
"Tell me some mair o' the love tokens
"Past between me and thee."

Fair Annie turned her round about—
"Weel! since that it be sae,
"May never woman, that has borne a son,
"Hae a heart sae fu' o' wae!

"Take down, take down, that mast o' gowd!
"Set up a mast o' tree!
"It disna become a forsaken lady.
"To sail sae royallie."

When the cock had crawn, and the day did dawn.
And the sun began to peep,
Then up and raise him, Lord Gregory,
And sair, sair did he weep.

"O I hae dreamed a dream, mother,
"I wish it may prove true!
"That the bonny lass of Lochroyan
"Was at the yate e'en now.

"O I hae dreamed a dream, mother,
"The thought o't gars me greet!
"That fair Annie o' Lochroyan
"Lay cauld dead at my feet."

"Gin it be for Annie of Lochroyan
"That ye make a' this din,
"She stood a' last night at your door,
"But I trow she wanna in."

"O wae betide ye, ill woman!
"An ill deid may ye die!
"That wadna open the door to her,
"Nor yet wad waken me."

O he's gane down to yon shore side
As fast as he could fare;
He saw fair Annie in the boat,
But the wind it tossed her sair.

"And hey Annie, and how Annie!
"O Annie, winna ye bide!"
But ay the mair he cried Annie,
The braider grew the tide.

"And hey Annie, and how Annie!
"Dear Annie, speak to me!"
But ay the louder he cried Annie,
The louder roared the sea.

The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough,
And dashed the boat on shore;
Fair Annie floated through the faem,
But the babie raise no more.

Lord Gregory tore his yellow hair,
And made a heavy moan;
Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet,
Her bonny young son was gone.

O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
And gowden was her hair;
But clay-cold were her rosy lips—
Nae spark o' life was there.

And first he kissed her cherry cheek,
And syne he kissed her chin,
And syne he kissed her rosy lips—
There was nae breath within.

"O wae betide my cruel mother!
"An ill death may she die!
"She turned my true love frae my door,
"Wha came sae far to me.

"O wae betide my cruel mother!
"An ill death may she die!
"She turned fair Annie frae my door,
"Wha died for love o' me."


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