Rokeby: Canto III

Original Text: 
Sir Walter Scott, Rokeby, a poem (Edinburgh: Ballantyne, 1813). E-10 923 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
1.394  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."
1.678  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
RPO Edition: 
2RP 2.138.