Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Author Unknown

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

Barbara Allen’s Cruelty

IN Scarlet towne, where I was borne,

There was a faire maid dwellin,

Made every youth crye, Wel-awaye!

Her name was Barbara Allen.

All in the merrye month of May,

When greene buds they were swellin,

Yong Jemmye Grove on his death-bed lay,

For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his man unto her then,

To the towne where shee was dwellin:—

“You must come to my master deare,

Giff your name be Barbara Allen.

“For death is printed on his face,

And ore his hart is stealin:

Then haste away to comfort him,

O lovelye Barbara Allen.”—

“Though death be printed on his face,

And ore his harte is stealin,

Yet little better shall he bee

For bonny Barbara Allen.”

So slowly, slowly, she came up,

And slowly she came nye him;

And all she sayd, when there she came—

“Yong man, I think y’are dying.”

He turned his face unto her strait,

With deadlye sorrow sighing:—

“O lovely maid, come pity mee,

I’me on my death-bed lying.”—

“If on your death-bed you doe lye,

What needs the tale you are tellin?

I cannot keep you from your death;

Farewell,” sayd Barbara Allen.

He turned his face unto the wall,

As deadlye pangs he fell in:

“Adieu! adieu! adieu to you all,

Adieu to Barbara Allen!”

As she was walking ore the fields,

She heard the bell a knellin;

And every stroke did seem to saye,

“Unworthye Barbara Allen!”

She turned her bodye round about,

And spied the corps a coming:

“Laye down, laye down the corps,” she sayd,

“That I may look upon him.”

With scornful eye she lookèd downe,

Her cheeke with laughter swellin,

Whilst all her friends cryd out amaine,

“Unworthye Barbara Allen!”

When he was dead and laid in grave,

Her harte was struck with sorrowe:—

“O mother, mother, make my bed,

For I shall dye to-morrowe.

“Hard-harted creature him to slight,

Who lovèd me so dearlye:

Oh that I had been more kind to him,

When he was alive and neare me!”

She, on her death-bed as she laye,

Begged to be buried by him,

And sore repented of the daye

That she did ere denye him.

“Farewell,” she sayd, “ye virgins all,

And shun the fault I fell in:

Henceforth take warning by the fall

Of cruel Barbara Allen.”