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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86.               Lady Elspat
' O BRENT's your brow, my Lady Elspat;
O gowden yellow is your hair ! Of a' the maids o' fair Scotland
There 's nane like Lady Elspat fair.'
II ' Perform your vows,' she says, ' Sweet William ;
The vows which ye ha' made to me; And at the back o' my mither's castle This night I'll surely meet wi' thee.'
in But wae be to her brother's page,
Wha heard the words this tvva did say ! He's tauld them to her lady mither,
Wha wrought Sweet William mickle wae.
IV
For she's ta'en him, Sweet William,
And she 's gar'd bind him wi's bow-string.
Till the red blood o' his fair body Frae ilka nail o' his hand did spring.
v
O  it fell ance upon a time
That the Lord Justice came to town; Out she has ta'en him, Sweet William,
Brought him before the Lord Justice boun'.
VI
'And what is the crime now, madame,' he says, ; Has been committed by this young man ?'
'  O he has broken my bonny castle,
That was well biggit wi' lime and stane.
brent] straight, smooth. biggit] built. 388
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