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He hadna been gane a twelvemonth and a day
When iny father brake his arm, and the cow was stown away;
My mother she fell sick-my Jamie was at sea-
And auld Robin Gray came a-courting me.
My father couldna work, iny mother couldna spin,
I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, wi’ tears in his e'e,
Said, “ Jeanie, for their sakes, will ye no marry me!”
My heart it said na, and I looked for Jamie back,
But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack;
His ship was a wrack-why didna Jamie dee?
Or why am I spared to cry, Wae is me?
My father urged me sair-my mother didna speak,
But she lookit in my face till my heart was like to break;
They gied him my hand-my heart was in the sea-
And so 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 my door,
I saw my Jamie's ghaist, for I couldna think it he,
Till he said, “ I'm come hame, love, to marry thee.”
Oh! sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say o'a',
I gied him ae kiss and bade him gang awa'.
I wish that I were deal, but I'm no like to dee,
For tho' my heart is broken, I'm young,-wae's me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin,
I darena think on Jamie, for that would be a sin:
But I'll do my best a gude wife to be,
For oh! Robin Gray he is kind to me.


The winter was come, 'twas simmer nae mair,
And, trembling, the leaves were fleeing thro''th' air;
"O winter,” says Jeanie, “we kindly agree,
For the sun he looks wae when he shines upon me.”
Nae longer she mourned, her tears were a' spent,
Despair it was come, and she thought it content-
She thought it content, but her cheek it grew pale,
And she bent like a lily broke down by the gale.
Her father and mother observed her decay;
“What ails ye, my bairn ?" they ofttimes would say ;
“Ye turn round your wheel, but you come little speed,
For feeble's your hand and silly's your thread.”
She smiled when she heard them, to banish their fear,
But wae looks the smile that is seen through a tear,

And bitter's the tear that is forced by a love
Which honor and virtue can never approve.
Her father was vexed and her mother was wae,
But pensive and silent was auld Robin Gray;
He wandered lane, and his face it grew lean,
Like the side of a brae where the torrent has been.
Nae questions he spiered her concerning her health,
He looked at her often, but aye 'twas by stealth;
When his heart it grew grit,* and often he feigned
To gang to the door to see if it rained.
He took to his bed-nae physic he sought,
But ordered his friends all around to be brought;
While Jeanie supported his head in its place,
Her tears trickled down, and they fell on his face.
“Oh, greet nae mair, Jeanie,” said he wi' a groan,
“I'm no worth your sorrow—the truth maun be known
Send round for your neighbors, my hour it draws near,
And I've that to tell that it's fit a' should hear.
"I've wrongd her," he said, “ but I kent it ower late;
I've wrongd her, and sorrow is speeding my date;
But a' for the best, since my death will soon free
A faithfu' young heart that was ill matched wi' me.
“I lo'ed and I courted her mony a day,
The auld folks were for me, but still she said nay;
I kentna o' Jamie, nor yet of her vow,
In mercy forgive me—'twas I stole the cow.
"I cared not for Crummie, I thought but o' thee-
I thought it was Crummie stood 'twixt you and me;
While she fed your parents, oh, did you not say
You never would marry wi' auld Robin Gray?
“But sickness at hame and want at the door--
You gied me your hand, while your heart it was sore;
I saw it was sore,- why took I her hand ?
Oh, that was a deed to my shame o'er the land!
“How truth soon or late cumes to open daylight!
For Jamie cam' back, and your cheek it grew white-
White, white grew your cheek, but aye true unto me-
Ay, Jeanie, I'm thankfu'—I'm thankfu' to dee.
“ Is Jamie come here yet ?"--and Jamie they saw--
“I've injured you sair, lad, so leave you my a';
Be kind to my Jeanie, and soon may it be;
Waste nae time, my dauties,t in mourning for me."
* Great, swollen. Darlings.

They kissed his cauld hands, and a smile o'er his face
Seemed hopefu' of being accepted by grace:
“Oh, doubtna,” said Jamie, “forgi'en he will be-
Wha wouldna be tempted, my love, to win thee?”

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The first days were dowie while time slipt awa',
But saddest and sairest to Jeanie o' a'
Was thinkin' she couldna be honest and right,
Wi' tears in her e'e while her heart was sae light.
But nae guile had she, and her sorrow away,
The wife o' her Jamie, the tear couldna stay;
A bonnie wee bairn-the auld folks by the fire-
Oh, now she has a' that her heart can desire.


It's just a bit of a story, sir, that don't sound much to strangers, but I'd like to tell you about it, if you have time to listen, for they've all forgotten Bobbery down here, except me; they're poor folks, you see, and things drift out of folks' heads when poverty drifts in. Bobbery? yes, sir, that was his name

ne-leastways the name we gave him down here. As to a father or mother, we never had any, I think; never had any one in the wide world to belong to except our two selves-Bobbery and me. I was the eldest--two long years older than liim; but then I was blind, you see, so the two years didn't count for much, and Bobbery got ahead of me after the time when the long days of pain slipped into lone night, and God shut me out of the world- not that I grumble, sir-I've given over that; and Bobbery was always such a good lad to me that perhaps I didn't miss so much, after all.

I grew to fancy things, and make believe I saw a great deal, particularly after Bobbery took to working at his tradeshoe-black, sir; and sometimes, when I became accustomed to being always in the dark, I went out with Bobbery, and held the money that he made.

Well, not much, perhaps, but enough for us two, and the little room we had down at Kingstown, over against the river; only Bobbery was an extravagant lad-not in drink, sir-we were always a sober lot-but in oranges.


They were almost his ruin, sir-those oranges. He used to come up stairs sucking them softly, so that I might not hear, and thinking to deceive me; but I somehow smelt oranges, and it always made me sharper to catch Bobbery whistling little tunes to himself on the way up, just to put me off.

He made a great deal of me, did Bobbery-along of being blind, you see-and so did the neighbors; but I was rare proud of him. You don't know what it is, sir, to sit alone in the dark all day, and then, on a sudden, to hear a fellow call out, “ Here we are again! Come down and feel the sun set, and we'll count the coppers!" It would make you love any one, sir, who had a voice like that, let alone a fellow like Bobbery.

Perhaps you didn't happen to be in Kingstown, sir, last spring, when the floods had risen, and the land was under water for miles around. Bobbery had to wade a little going down to his work, but he rather liked it he said; and he used to tuck up his trowsers, and call back to me and laugh, as the water crept around his feet; and he said folks wouldn't want their boots blacked, he feared, for the water wouid soon take off the polish.

I used to sit on the window-sill to feel the sun, and if I listened very hard I could hear the ripple-ripple of the shallow water at every step that Bobbery made, and it had a pleasant sound, and made a kind of company feeling; but when he was out of hearing, and it still kept rippling up against our walls, the company feeling went away and left me lonely, and sometimes I thought the water hateful, be. cause it lay for so very long between me and Bobbery.

Well, once I was sitting alone on the window-sill, and the day was very quiet, so quiet that I did not hear the little rippling waves; and in the quiet I grew frightened at last, and stretched out my hands across the sill, to feel my way down. I felt something that made me shiver and draw back out of the sunlight--that made my whole dark life grow suddenly a beautiful and precious thing-I felt the water rippling almost up to the level of the sill, and I was quite alone, and Bobbery would never know.

I did not call out, or go mad with fright, as I thought at first I might do: only I crept away, in my everlasting darkness, from the warm sunlight, and sat down on the bed where Bobbery and I slept together, and put my hands over my ears, to shut out the roar of the waters.

How long I sat there I don't know, but I think it must have been for hours, for I felt the sunlight slanting on my face, and the water rushing around me before I moved again. I was hungry, too; but when I tried to get down and reach the cupboard, the water took me off my feet and I crept back to the bed, and on to the shelves of the dresser, to be out of the way. I said my prayers two or three times, and I said some prayers for Bobbery, too, for I knew he would be sorry when he found me some day where I had died all alone, and in the dark. And then I tried to think how things looked from our window, with the water sweeping up to the very sill, and the red sunset lying on it-and beyond, the pretty town and the steeple with the clock; and I thought it was better for me to die than Bobbery, after all, for he could see, while I-I had no pleasures in my life. And yet I wanted to live; I wanted to hear Bobbery's voice again; I wanted the waters to go down, and somebody to remember me at last-for I was afraid.

Well, sir, God answers our prayers sometimes in a way that is terribly just. It takes us a long time to find out that everything is very good, I think, but we come to learn it at last-and learn, too, to leave our prayers as well as the answers to God. Somebody did remember me at last, and came back—somebody whose laughing voice across the waters was nearer every minute- somebody whose hands were on my shoulders, whose eyes, I felt, were on my facesomebody who had never forgotten me-Bobbery!

“Bobbery! Bobbery!" I cried, and I stretched out my arms to him.

Bobbery said: “I came over in a tub-only think! such a lark! but as I climbed in at the window, our tub drifted away, and however we're to get over I can't tell.”

“ You must think of something,” I said. “Bobbery, it was a long day.”

“Why, of course it was,” Bobbery answered, “without me. Come along, the river's rising like fury."

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