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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JOHNIE ARMSTRONG
x
' I'll gie thee a' these milk-white steids, That prance and nicker at a speir;
And as mickle gude Inglish gilt,
As four o' their braid backs dow bear.'
XI
' Away, away, thou traitor Strang !
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be ! I grantit never a traitor's life,
And now I'll not begin wi' thee! '
XII
' Grant me my life, my liege, my King !
And a bonny gift I'll gie to thee : Gude four-and-twenty ganging mills,
That gang thro' a' the yeir to me.
XIII
'These four-and-twenty mills complete Sail gang for thee thro' a' the yeir;
And as mickle of gude reid wheit, As a' thair happers dow to bear.'
XIV
' Away, away, thou traitor Strang !
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be ! I grantit never a traitor's life,
And now I'll not begin wi' thee.'
XV
' Grant me my life, my liege, my King !
And a great great gift I'll gie to thee : Bauld four-and-twenty sisters' sons,
Sail for thee fetch, tho' a' should flee !'
nicker] neigh. gilt] gold. dow] are able to. ganging] going. happers] mill-hoppers. 400
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