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THE LOCHMABEN HARPER.
This fine old ballad was first printed in the Musical Museum ( 0 heard ye e'er of a silly blind Harper, p. 598). Scott inserted a different copy, equally good, in the Border Minstrelsy, i. 422, and there is another, of very ordinary merits, in Scottish Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads (The Jolly Harper), p. 37. In this the theft is done on a wager, and the booty duly restored. On account of the excellence of the ballad, we give two versions, though they differ but slightly.
0 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 lie gaed to his gude wife «
"Wi' a' the speed that he coud thole :
" This wark," quo' he, " will never work, "Without a mare that has a foal."