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 LOCHMABEN HARPER
IX
Syne to the stable door he hied,
Wi' tread as light as light could be:
And when he open'd and gaed in,
There he fand thirty steeds and three.
x
He took a colt halter frae his hose, And o' his purpose he didna fail;
He slipt it owre the Wanton's nose, And tied it to his gray mare's tail.
xr He turn'd them loose at the castle gate,
Owre muir and moss and ilka dale; And she ne'er let the Wanton bait,
But kept him still gaun to her tail.
XII
The mare she was right swift o' foot,
She didna fail to find the way; For she was at Lochmaben gate
Fu' lang three hours before the day.
XIII
When she came to the Harper's door,
There she gave mony a nicker and sneer—
' Rise up,' quo' the wife, ' thou lazy lass ; Let in thy master and his mare!
XIV
Then up she rose, put on her clothes, And keekit out through the lock-hole—
' O ! by my sooth,' then cried the lass,
' Our mare has gotten a braw brown foal!'—
nicker and sneer] whinny and snort.
761
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