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Poem by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne


Caller Herrin'


Air by Neil Gow.

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're bonny fish and halesome farin';
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

When ye were sleepin' on your pillows,
Dreamed ye aught o' our puir fellows,
Darkling as they faced the billows,
A' to fill the woven willows?
Buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth!

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
They're no brought here without brave darin';
Buy my caller herrin',
Hauled through wind and rain.
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

Wha'll buy my caller herrin'?
Oh, ye may ca' them vulgar farin';
Wives and mithers, maist despairin',
Ca' them lives o' men.
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

When the creel o' herrin' passes,
Ladies, clad in silks and laces,
Gather in their braw pelisses,
Cast their heads, and screw their faces.
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?

Caller herrin's no got lightly: -
Ye can trip the spring fu' tightlie;
Spite o' tauntin', flauntin', flingin',
Gow has set you a' a-singin'
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?"

Neebor wives! now tent my tellin':
When the bonny fish ye're sellin',
At ae word be, in ye're dealin'!
Truth will stand, when a' thing's failin',
Wha'll buy my caller herrin',
New drawn frae the Forth?



Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne


Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne's other poems:
  1. Fell He on the Field of Fame
  2. Rest Is Not Here
  3. The Laird o' Cockpen
  4. The Pentland Hills
  5. He's Owre the Hills that I Lo'e Weel

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