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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' O some they count ye well-wight men,
But I do count ye nane; For you might well ha' waken'd me,
And ask'd gin I wad be ta'en.
' The wildest wolf in a' this wood
Wad no ha' done sae by me; She ha' wet her foot i' the wan water,
And sprinkled it owre my bree, And if that wad not ha' waken'd me,
Wad ha' gone an' let me be.
' O bows of yew, if ye be true,
In London where ye were bought;
And, silver strings, value me sma' things Till I get this vengeance wrought!
And, fingers five, get up belive: And Manhood fail me nought!
' Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs,
Stand stout and dinna flee! Stand fast, stand fast, my good gray hounds.
And we will gar them dee! '
Johnnie has set his back to an aik,
His foot against a stane, And he has slain the Seven Foresters,
He has slain them a' but ane.
well-wight] sturdy, here brave.           bree] brow.         belive]
nimbly, at once. 710
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