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John Barleycorn: A Ballad - Poem by Robert Burns

There was three kings unto the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and plough'd him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris'd them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.

The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bending joints and drooping head
Show'd he bagan to fail.

His colour sicken'd more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.

They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.

They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell'd him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn'd him o'er and o'er.

They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim;
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.

They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him further woe;
And still, as signs of life appear'd,
They toss'd him to and fro.

They wasted, o'er a scorching flame,
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us'd him worst of all,
For he crush'd him between two stones.

And they hae taen his very heart's blood,
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
'Twill make your courage rise.

'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'Twill heighten all his joy;
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
Tho' the tear were in her eye.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!


Comments about John Barleycorn: A Ballad by Robert Burns

  • Gold Star - 79,687 Points Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (9/30/2006 8:31:00 AM)

    AWESOME BALLAD, INDEED & ONE IMENSELY ENJOYED BY ME, AS A EARLY 70's ROCK/BALLAD, PERFORMED BY A GROUP CALLED 'TRAFFIC'.
    IY WAS THE TITLE TRACK FROM THE ALBUM 'john barleycorn must die'....
    Never knew who Robert Burns was until today.....Foolishly thought that a friend of the Band, by thname of Burns, wrote the lyrics...only to stumble across this classic work,35 years later...Guess, tis true that you're never too old to learn
    something new....'''''''''''''''''''''''''FJR (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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Poems About Ballad

  1. 1. John Barleycorn: A Ballad , Robert Burns
  2. 2. The Ballad Of Moll Magee , William Butler Yeats
  3. 3. The Ballad Of Father O'Hart , William Butler Yeats
  4. 4. The Ballad Of Reading Gaol , Oscar Wilde
  5. 5. Sweet William's Farewell To Black-Ey'D S.. , John Gay
  6. 6. The Ballad Of The Drover , Henry Lawson
  7. 7. To -- -- --. Ulalume: A Ballad , Edgar Allan Poe
  8. 8. Bridal Ballad , Edgar Allan Poe
  9. 9. A Boston Ballad, 1854 , Walt Whitman
  10. 10. A Ballad Of Burdens , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  11. 11. A Ballad Of Gentleness , Geoffrey Chaucer
  12. 12. A Ballad Sent To King Richard , Geoffrey Chaucer
  13. 13. A Ballad Of Burial , Rudyard Kipling
  14. 14. The Ballad Of Boh Da Thone , Rudyard Kipling
  15. 15. The Ballad Of East And West , Rudyard Kipling
  16. 16. The Ballad Of Fisher's Boarding-House , Rudyard Kipling
  17. 17. The Ballad Of Bolivar , Rudyard Kipling
  18. 18. The Ballad Of The "Clampherdown" , Rudyard Kipling
  19. 19. A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master , Sidney Lanier
  20. 20. Ballad , Anne Woods
  21. 21. Ballad Of Dolores , Dolores Fifi Miguel Beard
  22. 22. The Ballad Of The Red Rose , LaVey Adams Alexander
  23. 23. (ballad Of The Red Rose Cont.) , LaVey Adams Alexander
  24. 24. The Ballad Of Rosie , Riba Akabusi
  25. 25. The Lover: A Ballad , Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  26. 26. A Ballad , Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  27. 27. Ballad, On A Late Occurrence , Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  28. 28. The Ballad Of The Cars , Rudyard Kipling
  29. 29. The Ballad Of The Clampherdown , Rudyard Kipling
  30. 30. Ballad Of Fisher's Boarding-House , Rudyard Kipling
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