On the Banks of the Calder.

A poem by John Hartley

On Calder's green banks I stroll sadly and lonely,
The flowers are blooming, the birds singing sweet,
The river's low murmur seems whispering only,
The name of the laddie I came here to meet.
He promised yestre'en, by the thorn tree in blossom,
He'd meet me to-night as the sun sank to rest,
And a sprig of May blossom he put on my bosom,
As his lips to my hot cheeks he lovingly prest.

Oh, where is my laddie? Oh, where is my Johnnie?
Oh, where is my laddie, so gallant and free?
He's winsome and witty, his face is so bonny,
Oh, Johnnie, - my Johnnie, - I'm waiting for thee.

The night's growing dark and the shadows are eerie,
The stars now peep out from the blue vault above;
Oh, why does he tarry? oh, where is my dearie?
Oh, what holds him back from the arms of his love?
I know he's not false, by his kind eyes so blue, -
And his tones were sincere when he called me his own;
Oh, he promised so fairly he'd ever be true, -
But why does he leave me to wander alone?

Oh, where is my laddie? Oh, where is my Johnnie?
Oh, where is my laddie so gallant and free?
He's winsome and witty, his face is so bonny,
Oh, Johnnie, - my Johnnie, I'm waiting for thee.

The moon now is up, - the owl hoots in the wood,
The trees sigh and moan, and the water runs black;
The tears down my cheeks roll a sorrowful flood, -
And my heart throbs to tell me he'll never come back.
Oh, woe, woe is me! Did he mean to betray?
Must my ruin the price of his perfidy be?
No, the river shall hide me and bear me away;
Cold Calder receive me, I'm coming to thee.

Oh, where is her laddie? Oh, where is her Johnnie?
Oh, where is her laddie that treated her so?
But the voice of the river shall haunt him for ever,
And his base heart shall never more happiness know.

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