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Mollie Charane and Other Ballads   By: (1803-1881)

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MOLLIE CHARANE AND OTHER BALLADS

BY GEORGE BORROW

LONDON: PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION 1913

Copyright in the United States of America by Houghton , Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter .

MOLLIE CHARANE {5}

“O, Mollie Charane, where got you your gold?” Lone, lone you have left me here. “O not in the curragh, deep under the mould.” Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

“O, Mollie Charane, where got you your stock?” Lone, lone you have left me here. “O not in the curragh from under a block.” Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

“O, Mollie Charane, where got you your goods?” Lone, lone you have left me here. “O not in the curragh from under two sods.” Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

Two pair of stockings, and one pair of shoes— Lone, lone you have left me here— For twenty six years old Mollie did use. Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

His stockings were white, but his sandals, alack!— Lone, lone you have left me here— Were not of one colour, one white, t’other black. Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

One sandal was white and t’other dark brown— Lone, lone you have left me here;— But he’d two of one colour for kirk and for town. Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

“O, father, I really can’t walk by your side”— Lone, lone you have left me here— “If you go to the church in those sandals of hide.” Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

“O, daughter, my dear, if my brogues give you pain”— Lone, lone you have left me here— “There’s that in the coffer will make you look fain.” Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

A million of curses on Mollie Charane— Lone, lone you have left me here— The first who gave tocher to daughter in Man. Lone, lone, and void of cheer.

THE DANES OF YORE

Well we know from saga And from scaldic lore, That heroic warriors Were the Danes of yore. That the noble schildings, And the men they led, Oft for Danish honour Stoutly fought and bled.

What a time for Athelings, What a time for thanes! What a time for yeomen, True devoted Danes! But I’ll say with pleasure That, in ancient days, Death did not annihilate All that noble race.

Frederic see, exalted On his father’s throne, Sits a splendid monarch, Brighter never shone. Long to him be granted That of Grendel’s kin He may check the cruel Cursed deeds of sin.

And that long may flourish Round about the King, They who love gold treasures All around to fling. Lords, the first of heroes, With their trenchant swords; Counsellors held in honour, For their golden words.

To the Lord of angels Praise devout I’ll sing, That from out the grave hill ’Twas my lot to bring Golden dishes, goblets, Things of mighty worth, Which for thousand winters Lay entombed in earth.

That men in gold smithery Cunning, might from them For the grey haired hero Frame a diadem. Under which his grey locks Might all glorious shine, Whilst the sun, bright flaming, Seeks the western brine.

Until, tired of glory, Such as meets it here, Soars the hero’s spirit To a higher sphere; Where, with souls united Of departed friends, ’Twill experience glory Such as never ends.

A SURVEY OF DEATH

My blood is freezing, my senses reel, So horror stricken at heart I feel; Thinking how like a fast stream we range Nearer and nearer to that dread change, When the body becomes so stark and cold, And man doth crumble away to mould.

Boast not, proud maid, for the grave doth gape, And strangely altered reflects thy shape; No dainty charms it doth disclose, Death will ravish thy beauty’s rose; And all the rest will leave to thee When dug thy chilly grave shall be.

O, ye who are tripping the floor so light, In delicate robes as the lily white, Think of the fading funeral wreath, The dying struggle, the sweat of death— Think on the dismal death array, When the pallid corse is consigned to clay!

O, ye who in quest of riches roam, Reflect that ashes ye must become; And the wealth ye win will brightly shine When buried are ye and all your line; For your many chests of much loved gold You’ll nothing obtain but a little mould!

DESIDERABILIA VITÆ {13}

Give me the haunch of a buck to eat, And to drink Madeira old; And a gentle wife to rest with, And in my arms to fold... Continue reading book >>




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