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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vn O they have biggit a bonny boat,
And they have set her to the sea; But a miie before they reach'd the shore
I wot she gar'd the red fire flee.
' O brother, keep my boat afloat,
An' lat her na the land so near! For the wicked beast she'll sure go mad, An' set fire to the land an' mair.'
Syne he has bent an arblast bow And aim'd an arrow at her head,
And swore, if she didna quit the land, Wi' that same shaft to shoot her dead.
' O out o' my stythe I winna rise—
And it is na for the fear o' thee— Till Kemp Owyne, the kingis son, Come to the craig an' thrice kiss me.'
Her breath was Strang, her hair was lang And twisted thrice about the tree,
And with a swing she came about: ' Come to the craig, an' kiss with me !
' Here is a royal belt.' she cried,
' That I have found in the green sea;
And while your body it is on,
Drawn shall your blood never be ;
But if you touch me, tail or fin,
I swear my belt your death shall be.'
biggit] built.         gar'd] made. stythe] place, station.
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