Walrus Boy

O walrus boy, o walrus boy!

Alack, and wae is me –

If I hadna wed a walrus

My strange son widna be.

 

It fell about the Martinmas

When mists lie on the land

I stumbled on a walrus

Was lyin on the strand

 

It didna look tae left nor richt

But fixed me wi its e’e

An said “My man, ere it is nicht

I doot ye’ll lie wi me!”

 

O it isna for your rare moustache

Or tusks sae fine tae see

But cause ye spak me soft an fair

That I will lie wi thee.

 

Then aff he did his blue blue coat

An on the sand he sat

An aff he did his velvet trews

But ay kep on his hat.

 

O it will na be in winter time

When fields are white wi snow

Nor will it be in springtime

When the green shoots do grow

 

Nor yet in shining summer

When the leaves are on the tree

But just about the harvest time

I’ll bear a son to thee.

 

He’s drawn his boat upon the shore

An tied her tae a tree

Wi half the summer gone, an more

He hasna pit tae sea

 

Wi half the summer gone an mair

His boat lay on the loam;

But when the sheaves were in the barn

He wat her keel wi foam

 

He hadna sailed a league, a league

A league but barely twa

When in amang the green green wave

A mighty shape he saw

 

He hadna sailed a league, a league

A league but barely nine

When he has speared that mighty shape

An held it wi his line.

 

O wae tae ye, ma bonny man!

What is this deed ye’ve done?

Your cruel spear has slaughtered

The mother o your son

 

O walrus boy, come hame wi me

Together we must bide

For I have slain my own true love

Wi’ a harpoon in her side.

This is a ballad I wrote some time ago, during a fine weekend in Cromarty, under the auspices of Hi-Arts: for a brief note on it, see here.

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2 Comments

Filed under verse & worse, works

2 responses to “Walrus Boy

  1. Pingback: Walrus Boy and the Ballad Form « COMPLEAT TROWZER

    • The Ballad of the walrus boy has touched me and also a curiosity in me. mostly because I spend so much time close to the sea and have also written some poems on this theme(sort of) … wonderful piece of work Jmfward..I will read it again and again.

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