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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THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL
v
It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are lang and mirk,
The carline wife's three sons came hame, And their hats were o' the birk.
VI
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in ony sheugh ; But at the gates o' Paradise
That birk grew fair eneugh.
VII
' Blow up the fire, my maidens !
Bring water from the well! For a' my house shall feast this night,
Since my three sons are well.'
VIII
And she has made to them a bed, She 's made it large and wide;
And she's ta'en her mantle her about, Sat down at the bedside.
IX
Up then crew the red, red cock,
And up and crew the gray; The eldest to the youngest said,
' 'Tis time we were away.'
X The cock he hadna craw'd but once,
And clapp'd his wings at a', When the youngest to the eldest said,
' Brother, we must awa'.
syke] marsh.          sheugh] trench.
SS7
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