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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' If the child be mine, Burd Ellen,' he said,
' Be mine as you do swear, Take you Cheshire and Lancashire both,
And make that child your heir.'
v She says, ' I would rather have one kiss,
Childe Waters, of thy mouth Than I would have Cheshire and Lancashire both,
That lies by north and south.'—
' To-morrow, Ellen, I must ride
Far into the north countrye.'— i Then I will run low by your side:
Your foot-page let me be !'—
' If you will be my foot-page, Ellen,
As you do tell it me, Then you must cut your gown of green
An inch above your knee.'
Childe Waters leapt on his milk-white steed,
And fast away did ride: Burd Ellen has kilted her gay clothing,
And ran low by his side.
All this long day Childe Waters rode,
She barefoot by his side; Yet was he never so courteous a knight
As to say, t Burd Ellen, ride.' 206
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