The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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KEMP OWYNE
XVIII
'Here is a royal brand,' she said,
' That I have found in the green sea;
And while your body it is on, Drawn shall your blood never be;
But if you touch me, tail or fin,
I swear my brand your death shall be.'
XIX
He's louted him o'er the Eastmuir craig, As out she swang and about the tree;
He stepped in, gave her a kiss
That royal brand he brought him wi'.
xx
Her breath was sweet, her hair grew short, And twisted nane about the tree,
As awa' she gid and again she came The fairest lady that ever could be.
XXI
i O was it a wer-wolf into the wood, Or was it a mermaid into the sea,
Or was it a man or a vile woman,
My true love, that mis-shapit thee If
XXII
' It was na wer-wolf into the wood, Nor was it mermaid into the sea,
But and it was my vile stepmother, And wae and weary mote she be!
XXIII
' O a heavier weird shall light her on,
Her hair sail grow rough an' her teeth gro
And [aye] on her four feet sail she gang, And aye in Wormeswood sail she won !'
into] in.           won] dwell.
58
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