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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' O room ye round, my bonny brown steeds!
O  room ye near the wall!
For this pain that strikes me through my sides Full soon will gar me fall.'
She's lean'd her back against the wall,
Strong travail seized her on ; And even among the great horse' feet
Burd Ellen brought forth her son.
And that beheard Childe Waters' mother,
Sat in her bower alone. ' Rise up, rise up, Childe Waters,' she said,
' Seek neither hose nor shoon ! '
She said, ' Rise up, thou Childe Waters,
I  think thou 'rt a cursed man; For yonder 's a ghost in thy stable
That grievously doth groan, Or else some woman labours of child, She is so woe-begone.'
But up then rose Childe Waters, Stay'd neither for hose nor shoon,
And he 's doen him to the stable-door Wi' the clear light of the moon.
And when he came to the stable-door,
Full still there he did stand, That he might hear Burd Ellen,
How she made her monand, monand] moaning.
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