John Barleycorn Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: ABCB DECE FGHG IJKJ LMEM NOPO QRSN TNUN VWRW NXYX IZGZ A2B2C2B2 D2E2A2E2 XF2G2B RH2RI2

There were three kings into the eastA
Three kings both great and highB
An' they hae sworn a solemn oathC
John Barleycorn should dieB
-
They took a plough and ploughed him downD
Put clods upon his headE
An' they hae sworn a solemn oathC
John Barleycorn was deadE
-
But the cheerfu' spring came kindly onF
And show'rs began to fallG
John Barleycorn got up againH
And sore surprised them allG
-
The sultry suns of summer cameI
And he grew thick and strongJ
His head weel armed wi' pointed spearsK
That no one should him wrongJ
-
The sober autumn entered mildL
When he grew wan and paleM
His bending joints and drooping headE
Showed he began to failM
-
His colour sickened more and moreN
He faded into ageO
And then his enemies beganP
To show their deadly rageO
-
They've ta'en a weapon long and sharpQ
And cut him by the kneeR
Then tied him fast upon a cartS
Like a rogue for forgerieN
-
They laid him down upon his backT
And cudgelled him full soreN
They hung him up before the stormU
And turned him o'er and o'erN
-
They filled up a darksome pitV
With water to the brimW
They heaved in John BarleycornR
There let him sink or swimW
-
They laid him out upon the floorN
To work him farther woeX
And still as signs of life appearedY
They tossed him to and froX
-
They wasted o'er a scorching flameI
The marrow of his bonesZ
But a miller used him worst of allG
For he crushed him 'tween two stonesZ
-
And they hae ta'en his very heart's bloodA2
And drank it round and roundB2
And still the more and more they drankC2
Their joy did more aboundB2
-
John Barleycorn was a hero boldD2
Of noble enterpriseE2
For if you do but taste his bloodA2
'Twill make your courage riseE2
-
'Twill make a man forget his woeX
'Twill heighten all his joyF2
'Twill make the widow's heart to singG2
Tho' the tear were in her eyeB
-
Then let us toast John BarleycornR
Each man a glass in handH2
And may his great posterityR
Ne'er fail in old ScotlandI2

Robert Burns



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Margret: Is the poem above the original poem of Robert Burns or not? (because it says "there were" in the first line and I thought, the original version would start with "there was" but I'm not sure)
RALPH MACE: SEE ATTACHED, r.m.

 

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