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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DICK O' THE COW
XI
' Shame fa' your jesting, my lord ! ' quo' Dickie,
' For nae sic jesting grees wi' me ; Liddesdale 's been in my house last night,
And they hae awa' my three kye frae me.
XII
' But I may nae langer in Cumberland dwell,
To be your puir fule and your leal, Unless you gie me leave, my lord,
To gae to Liddesdale and steal.'
XIII
i I gie thee leave, my fule ! ' he says;
' Thou speakest against my honour and me, Unless thou gie me thy troth and thy hand,
Thou'lt steal frae nane but wha sta' frae thee.'
XIV
' There is my troth, and my right hand !
My head shall hang on Hairibee ; I'll never cross Carlisle sands again,
If I steal frae a man but wha sta' frae me.'
xv Dickie 's ta'en leave o' lord and master;
I wat a merry fule was he ! He 's bought a bridle and a pair o' new spurs,
And packed them up in his breek thie.
XVI
Then Dickie's come on to Puddingburn house,
Even as fast as he might dree : Then Dickie 's come on to Puddingburn,
Where there were thirty Armstrangs and three.
Hairibee] the place of execution at Carlisle.           breek thie]
thigh-pocket of his breeches.          dree] last, endure.
748
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