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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CHILDE WATERS
XXXIV
But out and spake Childe Waters' mother,
And a skilly dame was she : ' Where met ye with that little foot-page
That looks so sad on thee ? xxxv ' Sometimes his cheek is rosy red,
And sometimes deadly wan ; He's liker a woman big with bairn
Than a young lord's serving-man.'
XXXVI
And then bespake Childe Waters' sister, And these were the words said she:
' You have the prettiest foot-page, brother, Let him go into chamber with me.'
XXXVII
' It is more meet for a little foot-page, That has run through moss and mire,
To take his supper upon his knee, And sit by the kitchen fire,
Than to go into chamber with any lady That wears so rich attire.
XXXVIII
' Rise up, rise up, my bonny boy ;
Give my horse corn and hay.' ' O that I will, my master dear,
As quickly as I may.'
XXXIX
She 's ta'en the hay under her arm,
The corn into her hand, And she 's gone to the great stable
As fast as e'er she can.
skilly] wise, knowledgeable.
211
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