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 BONNIE HOUSE O' AIRLIE
x
' Ten bonnie sons I have borne unto him,
The eleventh ne'er saw his daddy; But though I had an hunder mair, I'd gie them a' to King Charlie I'
         Johnnie of Cockerslee
I
J OHNNIE rose up in a May morning, Call'd for water to wash his hands; ' Gar loose to me the gude gray dogs, That are bound wi' iron bands.'
11 When Johnnie's mother gat word o' that, Her hands for dule she wrang ;
' O Johnnie, for my benison,
To the greenwood dinna gang ! in ' Eneugh ye hae o' gude wheat bread,
And eneugh o' the blude-red wine; And therefore for nae venison, Johnnie,
I pray ye, stir frae hame.
IV
' There are Seven For'sters at Hislinton side,
At Hislinton where they dwell, And for ae drap o' thy heart's blude They wad ride the fords o' hell.'
v But Johnnie has buskit his gude bend-bow,
His arrows, ane by ane, And he has gane to Durrisdeer To ding the dun deer down.
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