Daft Jean

written by Sydney Thompson Dobell

Daft Jean

— Sydney Thompson Dobell

Daft Jean,
The waesome wean,
She cam' by the cottage, she cam' by the ha',
The laird's ha' o' Wutherstanelaw,
The cottar's cot by the birken shaw;
An' aye she gret,
To ilk ane she met,
For the trumpet had blawn an' her lad was awa'.

'Black, black,' sang she,
'Black, black my weeds shall be,
My love has widowed me!
Black, black!' sang she.

Daft Jean,
The waesome wean,
She cam' by the cottage, she cam' by the ha',
The laird's ha' o' Wutherstanelaw,
The cottar's cot by the birken shaw;
Nae mair she creepit,
Nae mair she weepit,

She stept 'mang the lasses the queen o' them a',
The queen o' them a',
The queen o' them a',
She stept 'mang the lasses the queen o' them a'.
For the fight it was fought i' the fiel' far awa',
An' claymore in han' for his love an' his lan',
The lad she lo'ed best he was foremost to fa'.

'White, white,' sang she,
'White, white, my weeds shall be,
I am no widow,' sang she,
'White, white, my wedding shall be,
White, white!' sang she.

Daft Jean,
The waesome wean,
She gaed na' to cottage, she gaed na' to ha',
But forth she creepit,
While a' the house weepit,
Into the snaw i' the eerie night-fa'.

At morn we found her,
The lammies stood round her,
The snaw was her pillow, her sheet was the snaw;
Pale she was lying,
Singing and dying,
A' for the laddie wha fell far awa'.

'White, white,' sang she,
'My love has married me,
White, white, my weeds shall be,
White, white, my wedding shall be,
White, white,' sang she!

About the poet


Sydney Thompson Dobell

Sydney Thompson Dobell (April 5, 1824 – August 22, 1874), English poet and critic, was born at Cranbrook, Kent. His father was a wine merchant, his mother a daughter of Samuel Thompson (1766-1837), a London political reformer. The family moved to Cheltenham when Dobell was twelve years old. He was educated privately, and never attended either school or university. He refers to this in some lines on Cheltenham College in imitation of Chaucer, written in his eighteenth year. After a five years engagement he married, in 1844, Emily Fordham, a lady of good family. An acquaintance with Mr (subsequently Sir James) Stansfeld and with the Birmingham preacher-politician, George Dawson (1821-1876), which afterwards led to the foundation of the Society of the Friends of Italy, fed the...

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