Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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This fine old ballad was first printed in the MusiĀ­cal Museum ( 0 heard ye e'er of a silly blind Harper, p. 598). Scott inserted a different copy, equally good, in the Border Minstrelsy, i. 422, and there is another, of very ordinary merits, in Scottish TradiĀ­tional Versions of Ancient Ballads (The Jolly Harper), p. 37. In this the theft is done on a wager, and the booty duly restored. On account of the excellence of the ballad, we give two versions, though they differ but slightly.
0 heard ye of a silly Harper,
Liv'd long in Lochmaben town, How he did gang to fair England,
To steal King Henry's "Wanton Brown ?
But first lie gaed to his gude wife                           «
"Wi' a' the speed that he coud thole :
" This wark," quo' he, " will never work, "Without a mare that has a foal."