Complete Songs Of Robert Burns - online book

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338            TONE-POETRY OF ROBERT BURNS
No. 351O heard ye of a silly harper?
Tune: The Lochmaben harper Glenriddells MS., 1791.
O, heard ye of a silly harper
Liv'd long in Lochmaben town ? How he did gang to fair England               ) ,.
To steal King Henry's wanton brown. )
But first he gaed to his gudewife
Wi' a' the speed that he could thole :—
1 This wark,' quo' he, 'will never work ) ,. Without a mare that has a foal.'            )
Quo' she, ' thou has a gude grey mare That'll rin o'er hills baith low and hie ;
Gae tak the grey mare in thy hand,        ) ».
And leave the foal at hame wi' me.' j
'And tak a halter in thy hose,
And o' thy purpose dinna fail, But wap it o'er the wanton's nose,         ) ,.
And tie her to the grey mare's tail)
* Syne ca' her out at yon back yeate,
O'er moss and muir and ilka dale, For she'll ne'er let the wanton bite,        ) ,.
Till she come hame to her ain foal.' )
So he is up to England gane,
Even as fast as he can hie, Till he came to King Henry's yeate— ) ,.
And wha was there but King Henry ? i
'Come in,' quo' he, 'thou silly blind harper,
And of thy harping let me hear': ' O 1 by my sooth,' quo' the silly blind harper, ) ^.
' I'd rather hae stabling for my mare.'               i