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  sleep ye, wake ye, mither ?' he says, ' Or are ye the bower within ?'—
' I sleep right aft, I wake right aft; What want ye with me, son ?
' Where have ye been a' night, Thomas i O wow, ye've tarried long !'—
'1  have been courtin' Fair Annet, And she is frae me gone.
' O rede, O rede, mither,' he says,
A gude rede gie to me : O sail I tak' the nut-brown bride,
And let Fair Annet be ?'—
' The nut-brown bride has gold and gear,
Fair Annet she 's got nane ; And the little beauty Fair Annet has
O it will soon be gane.
' It's an' ye wed the nut-brown bride,
I'll heap gold wi' my hand ; But an' ye wed her, Fair Annet,
I'll straik it wi' a wand.
' The nut-brown bride has sheep and kye,
Fair Annet she 's got nane ; Son Thomas, for my benison
Bring ye the brown bride hame. —
rede] counsel.            straik] stroke, as one might smooth over
the top of a bushel of corn to make it bare measure. 248
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