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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xvi The thirden step Burd Ellen stept,
The water came to her pap ; And the bairn that was in her two sides
For cold began to quake.
' Lie still, lie still, my own dear babe !
Ye work your mother woe; Your father that rides on high horseback
Cares little for us two.'
About the midst of Clyde-water There was a yeard-fast stone:
He lightly turn'd his horse about And took Burd Ellen on.
When she over the water won,
She then came to his knee: Says, ' How far is it to your lodgin'
Where we this night may be ?'
' Seest thou not yon castle, Ellen ?
Of red gold shines the gate : There is twenty-and-four fair ladies
And one my worldly mate.
' Seest thou not yon castle, Ellen ?
Of red gold shines the tower: There is twenty-and-four fair ladies,
And one my paramour.
yeard-fast] fast in earth.
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