Document 338

Da ballad o Maggie Reid

Author(s): Christine De Luca

Copyright holder(s): Christine De Luca


Me laad he gud ta sail da sea
in eichteen forty-wan.
I helpit raise his faider's bairns
fur der midder shö wis gien.

I tinkit lang, I virmished sair
at he wid come back shön.
I'd promised I wid mairry him
whin his sailin days wis dön.

I waited fur him fowr lang year
nae wird cam fae da sea.
We tocht him drooned i da ocean's
fowld; no lik ta mairry me.

His faider tocht at I wid mak
a decent wife ta wed.
His idder bairns dey likkit me
sae he took me fur his bride.

I wisna bön a six-mont wed
when I hears da voice sae dear.
Dere he staands, mi laad, mi love
wi sadness in his een.

Dat een at lang at I wis sowt
is lik ta rive mi sowl,
fur noo I canna be his wife
sae at his feet I gowl.

I canna even bring mesell
ta luik apön him eence.
I laeve da hoose, mi mind med up
a thuddin i mi breest.

Doon owre da broo bi Brough I rin
Mel beach lies snaawy white
Da peerie flooers dey drap der heids
aert-bark, tae girse, eye-bricht.

I poo some flooers fur mi hair
a bouquet fur a bride
a boannie wreath ta tak wi me
whin I geng tae his side.

Da ocean sochs ithin da gyo
dark, still an deep hit lies
a coffin shape: wir trystin place
whaar I man end mi days.

I lay mi clugs neat on da banks
wind flooers trowe mi hair.
Fur I man drap tae a willin grave
ta see dat luik nae mair.

laad: a young woman's boyfriend; gud: went; der: their; midder: mother; shö: she; wis gien: had died; tinkit lang: missed (someone or some place); virmished: longed anxiously; no lik: not likely; wid; would; shön: soon; wis dön: were done; faider: father; idder: other; likkit: liked; wisna bön: hadn't been; I hears: I heard; een: eyes; dat: that, those; at: that; rive: tear; canna: cannot; gowl: cry; mesell: myself; luik: look; apön: upon; eence: once; rin: run; peerie: lttle; dey: they; aert-bark: tormentil; tae girse: thyme; poo: pull; geng: go; sochs: sighs deeply; ithin: within; gyo: steep, narrow inlet; wir: our; man: must; trowe: through

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Da ballad o Maggie Reid. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 21 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Da ballad o Maggie Reid." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Da ballad o Maggie Reid," accessed 21 May 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 338

Da ballad o Maggie Reid


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1997
Word count 396
General description from collection of poems

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Shetland Library
Publication year 2002
Place of publication Shetland
ISBN/ISSN 0-904562-70-0
Edition 1st
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Plain Song

Text type



Author details

Author id 120
Forenames Christine
Surname De Luca
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Head of Assessment, Research and Development
Place of birth Bressay
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Headmaster
Father's place of birth Vidlin
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth Cunningsburgh
Mother's region of birth Shetland
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work, read Scots literature