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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CLERK COLVEN
ii
'O hearken weel now, my good lord,
O hearken weel to what I say; When ye gang to the wall o' Stream
O gang nae near the weel-faur'd may.
Ill
' O haud your tongue, my gay ladie, Now speak nae mair of that to me;
For I nae saw a fair woman
[That I cou'd] like so well as thee.'
IV
He's mounted on his berry-brown steed,
And merry, merry rade he on, Till that he came to the wall o' Stream,
And there he saw the mermaiden.
v ' Ye wash, ye wash, ye bonny may,
And ay's ye wash your sark o' silk.' ' It's a' for ye, you gentle knight,
My skin is whiter than the milk.'
VI
He 's ta'en her by the milk-white hand, He 's ta'en her by the sleeve sae green,
And he 's forgotten his gay ladie. And he 's awa' wi' the mermaid^n.
VII
' Ohone, alas !' says Clerk Colven,
' And aye so sair as akes my head !' And merrily leugh the mermaiden, ' O 'twill win on till you be dead.
wall] well.             weel-faur'd may] well-favoured maiden,
leugh] laughed.          win on] continue.
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