Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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He dying, they in councill sate
What best were to be done ;                                 wo
For 'twas a taske of great import
To judge which was his sonne. The brothers likewise were at strife,
Which should the living have, When as the ancient man was dead,                     is
And buried in his grave.
The judges must decide the cause,
And thus they did decree: The dead man's body up to take,
And tye it to a tree ;                                          140
A bow each brother he must have,
And eke an arrow take, To shoot at their dead fathers corps,
As if he were a stake.
And he whose arrow nearest hit                              us
His heart, as he did stand, They'd judge him for to be right heire,
And fit to have the land. On this they all did straight agree,
And to the field they went;                                   150
Each had a man his shaft to beare,
And bow already bent
" Now," quoth the judges, " try your skill
Upon your father there, That we may quickly know who shall                   155
Unto the land be heire." The oldest took his bow in hand,
And shaft, where as he stood,