Rickmansworth & District

42.Cynthia Al Obaidi recommends a poem

The famous 'Meg Merrilies' by John Keats who had been fascinated by this character from Sir Walter Scott's novel 'Guy Mannering' ever since his friend had  described her to him which prompted the poet to put pen to paper. 'A child's garden of verse' has much to answer for ! I sincerely hope that someone in Baghdad who may have found that book, derived as much pleasure as I did when I received it in Xmas 1957.

Old Meg she was a gipsy by John Keats

Old Meg she was a gipsy
And liv'd upon the moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,
Her currants, pods o' broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a church-yard tomb.

Her brothers were the craggy hills,
Her sisters larchen trees;
Alone with her great family
She liv'd as she did please.

No breakfast had she many a morn,
No dinner many a noon,
And 'stead of supper she would stare
Full hard against the moon.

But every morn, of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen yew
She wove, and she would sing.

And with her fingers old and brown
She plaited mats o' rushes,
And gave them to the cottagers
She met among the bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen,
And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore,
A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere--
She died full long agone!