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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EARL MAR'S DAUGHTER
XXV
' My seven sons in seven swans
Aboon their heads to flee; And I mysell a gay goshawk,
A bird o' high degree.'
XXVI
Then siching said the Queen hersel', ' That thing 's too high for me !'
But she applied to an auld woman Wha had mair skill than she.
XXVII
Instead o' dancers to dance a dance.
Or minstrels for to play, Four-and-twenty well-wight men
Turn'd birds o' feathers gray.
XXVIII
Her seven sons in seven swans,
Aboon their heads to flee; And he himsel' a gay goshawk,
A bird o' high degree.
XXIX
This flock o' birds took flight and flew
Beyond the raging sea, And landed near the Earl Mar's cast.'e,
Took shelter in every tree.
xxx
They were a flock o' pretty birds
Right comely to be seen ; The people view'd them wi' surprise
As they danced on the green.
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