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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And when he came to Fair Margaret's bower
He knocked at the ring ; And who so ready as her seven brothers
To rise and let him in ?
' O, is she in the parlour ?' he said,
' Or is she in the hall ? Or is she in the long chamber
Amongst her merry maids all ? '
'No, she 's not in the parlour,' they said.
' Nor she 's not in the hall: But she is in the long chamber,
Laid out against the wall.'
He turned up the covering-sheet,
And look'd upon the dead. ' Methinks her lips are pale and wan,
She has lost her cherry red.'
With that bespake the seven brothers,
Making a piteous moan: ' You may go kiss your jolly brown bride,
And let our sister alone.'
xv ' If I do kiss my jolly brown bride,
I do but what is right; For I made no vow to your sister dear, By day nor yet by night.
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