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 spare my life now, Jellon Grame!
My father ye needna dread! I'll keep my babe in gude green-wood,
Or wi' it I'll beg my bread.'—
He took nae pity on Lillie Flower, Though she for life did pray ;
But pierced her through the fair body As at his feet she lay.
He felt nae pity for Lillie Flower, Where she was lying dead;
But he felt some for the bonny bairn That lay weltering in her bluid.
Up has he ta'en that bonny boy,
Given him to nurses nine ; Three to sleep, and three to wake,
And three to go between.
And he bred up that bonny boy,
Call'd him his sister's son ; And he thought nae eye could ever see
The deed that had been done.
O so it fell upon a day,
When hunting they might be,
They rested them in Silverwood, Beneath that green aik tree. 1225                                         I                                          235
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