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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The side was stey, and the bottom deep, Frae bank to brae the water pouring ;
And the bonny grey mare did sweat for fear, For she heard the water-kelpy roaring.
O he has pu'd aff his dapperpy coat. The silver buttons glanced bonny ;
The waistcoat bursted aff his breast,, He was sae full of melancholy.
He has ta'en the ford at that stream tail;
I wot he swam both strong and steady, But the stream was broad, and his strength did fail,
And he never saw his bonny ladye !
O wie betide the frush saugh wand !
And wae betide the bush of brier ! It brake into my true love's hand,
When his strength did fail, and his limbs did tire.
And wae betide ye, Annan Water, This night that ye are a drumlie river ! For over thee I'll build a bridge,
That ye never more true love may sever.'
steyj steep.           water-kelpy] water-sprite.           dapperpy]
diapered. frush] brittle. saugh] willow.
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