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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Then up bespak him coarse Ca'field, (I wot and little gude worth was he):
' Thirty men is few anew,
And a' to ride in our companie.'
There was horsing, horsing in haste,
And cracking of whips out owre the lee;
Until they cam to the Murraywhat, And they lighted there right speedilie.
' A smith ! a smith !' Dickie he cries, ' A smith, a smith, right speedilie,
To turn back the caukers of our horses' shoon ! For it's unkensome we wad be.
x ' There lives a smith on the water-side,
Will shoe my little black mare for me; And I've a crown in my pocket,
And every groat of it I wad gie.'
' The night is mirk, and it's very mirk, And by candle-light I canna weel see ;
The night is mirk, and it's very pit mirk,
And there will never a nail ca' right for me.'
' Shame fa' you and your trade baith,
Canna beet a good fellow by your mystery;
But leeze me on thee, my little black mare, Thou 's worth thy weight in gold to me.'
caukers] calkins. unkensome] unknown. beet] abet, aid. mystery] craft.          leeze me on] commend me to.
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