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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. Jamie Telfer in the Fair Dodhead
I
T fell about the Martinmas tyde, When our Border steeds get corn and hay, The Captain of Bewcastle bound him to ryde, And he 's ower to Tividale to drive a prey.
11 The first ae guide that they met wi',
It was high up in Hardhaughswire ; The second guide that they met wi',
It was laigh down in Borthwick water.
in ' What tidings, what tidings, my trusty guide ?'—
' Nae tidings, nae tidings, I hae to thee; But gin ye'll gae to the fair Dodhead,
Mony a cow's cauf I'll let thee see.'
IV
And when they cam to the fair Dodhead,
Right hastily they clam the peel; They loosed the kye out, ane and a',
And ranshackled the house right weel.
v Now Jamie Telfer's heart was sair,
The tear aye rowing in his ee; He pled wi' the Captain to hae his gear,
Or else revenged he wad be.
VI
The Captain turned him round and ieugh ;
Said—' Man, there 's naething in thy house, But ae auld sword without a sheath,
That hardly now would fell a mouse.7
laigh] low.          peel] stronghold, keep.           rowing] rolling.
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