Ower The Hedge by George MacDonald


“Bonny lassie, rosy lassie,
Ken ye what is care?
Had ye ever a thought, lassie,
Made yer hertie sair?”

Johnnie said it, Johnnie seekin
Sicht o’ Mally’s face,
Keekin i’ the hedge o’ holly
For a thinner place.

“Na,” said Mally, pawky smilin,
“Nought o’ care ken I;
Gien I meet the gruesome carline,
I s’ hand weel ootby!”

“Lang be licht o’ hert, Mally,
As o’ fut and ban’!
Lang be ready wi’ sic answer
To ony speirin man!”

“Ay, the men ‘ll aye be speirin!
Troth, it’s naething new!
There’s yersel wi’ queston, queston–
And there’s mair like you!”

“Deed ye wadna mock me, Mally,
Wi’ yer lauchin ee,
Gien ye saw the thing aye muvin
I’ the hert o’ me!”

“Troth, I’m no sae pryin, laddie,
Yon’s no my concern!
Jist as sune I wud gang speirin
What’s intil yon cairn!”

“Still and on, there’s ae thing, Mally,
Yont yer help, my doo–
That’s to haud my hert frae lo’in
At the hert o’ you!”


Johnnie turned and left her,
Listit for the war;
In a year cam limpin
Hame wi’ mony a scar.

Wha was that was sittin
On the brae, sae still?
Worn and wan and altert,
Could it be hersel?

Cled in black, her eelids
Reid wi’ greitin sair–
Was she wife and widow
In a towmond bare?

Mally’s hert played wallop,
Kenned him or he spak:
“Are ye no deid, Johnnie?
Is’t yersel come back?”

“Are ye wife or widow?
Tell me in a breath;
Lanely life is fearsome,
Waur nor ony death!”

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“Wha cud be a widow
Wife was never nane?
Noo, gien ye will hae me,
Noo I will be ane!”

Crutch awa he flang it,
Clean forgot his hairms,
Cudna stan’ withoot it,
Fell in Mally’s airms.

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