Rokeby: Canto III
Sir Walter Scott, Rokeby, a poem (Edinburgh: Ballantyne, 1813). E-10 923 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
O, Brignall banks are wild and fair,
1.395 And Greta woods are green,
1.396And you may gather garlands there
1.397 Would grace a summer queen.
1.398And as I rode by Dalton-hall,
1.399 Beneath the turrets high,
1.400A maiden on the castle wall
1.401 Was singing merrily:
1.402"O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
1.403 And Greta woods are green;
1.404I'd rather rove with Edmund there
1.405 Than reign our English queen."
1.406 "If, maiden, thou wouldst wend with me,
1.407 To leave both tower and town,
1.408Thou first must guess what life lead we
1.409 That dwell by dale and down.
1.410And if thou canst that riddle read,
1.411 As read full well you may,
1.412Then to the greenwood shalt thou speed,
1.413 As blithe as Queen of May."
1.414Yet sung she, "Brignall banks are fair,
1.415 And Greta woods are green;
1.416I'd rather rove with Edmund there
1.417 Than reign our English queen.
1.418 "I read you, by your bugle horn,
1.419 And by your palfrey good,
1.420I read you for a ranger sworn
1.421 To keep the king's greenwood."
1.422"A ranger, lady, winds his horn,
1.423 And 'tis at peep of light;
1.424His blast is heard at merry morn,
1.425 And mine at dead of night."
1.426Yet sung she, "Brignall banks are fair,
1.427 And Greta woods are gay;
1.428I would I were with Edmund there,
1.429 To reign his Queen of May!
1.430 "With burnished brand and musketoon
1.431 So gallantly you come,
1.432I read you for a bold dragoon,
1.433 That lists the tuck of drum."
1.434"I list no more the tuck of drum,
1.435 No more the trumpet hear;
1.436But when the beetle sounds his hum,
1.437 My comrades take the spear.
1.438And O, though Brignall banks be fair,
1.439 And Greta woods be gay,
1.440Yet mickle must the maiden dare
1.441 Would reign my Queen of May!
1.442 "Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
1.443 A nameless death I'll die
1.444The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
1.445 Were better mate than I!
1.446And when I'm with my comrades met
1.447 Beneath the greenwood bough,
1.448What once we were we all forget,
1.449 Nor think what we are now.
1.450Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
1.451 And Greta woods are green.
1.452And you may gather garlands there
1.453 Would grace a summer queen."
A weary lot is thine, fair maid,
1.679 A weary lot is thine!
1.680To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
1.681 And press the rue for wine!
1.682A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
1.683 A feather of the blue,
1.684A doublet of the Lincoln green,--
1.685 No more of me you knew
1.686 My love!
1.687 No more of me you knew.
1.688 This morn is merry June, I trow,
1.689 The rose is budding fain;
1.690But she shall bloom in winter snow,
1.691 Ere we two meet again."
1.692He turn'd his charger as he spake,
1.693 Upon the river shore,
1.694He gave his bridle-reins a shake,
1.695 Said, "Adieu for evermore,
1.696 My love!
1.697 And adieu for evermore.
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
J. D. Robins