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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in ' Tak' aff, tak' afF my holland sark,
Rive it frae gare to gare, And stap it in my bleeding wound—
'Twill aiblins bleed nae mair.'
He's pu'it aff his holland sark,
Rave it frae gare to gare, And stapt it in his bleeding wound—
But aye it bled the 'mair.
' O tak' now aff my green cleiding
And row me saftly in, And carry me up to Chester kirk,
Whar the grass grows fair and green.
' But what will ye say to your father dear
When ye gae home at e'en ?'— ' I'll say ye're lying at Chester kirk,
Whar the grass grows fair and green.'—
' O no, O no, when he speers for me Saying, " William, whar is John ?';
Ye'll say ye left me at Chester school Leaving the school alone.'
He 's ta'en him up upo' his back,
And borne him hence away, And carried him to Chester kirk,
And laid him in the clay.
rive] tear.                   gare] gore.                  aiblins] perhaps,
cleiding] clothing.              row] wrap.              speers] asks.
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