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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v ,; An' four-and-twenty ladies fair
Will wash and go to kirk, But well shall ye my true-love ken,
For she wears gowd on her skirt.
' An' four-and-twenty gay ladies
Will to the mass repair, But well sail ye my true-love ken,
For she wears gowd on her hair.'
O even at that lady's bower-door
There grows a bowing birk, An' he set down and sang thereon,
As she gaed to the kirk.
' O eet and drink, my marys a',
The wine flows you among, Till I gang to my shot-window,
An' hear yon bonny bird's song.
i Sing on, sing on, my bonny bird,
The song ye sang the streen, For I ken by your sweet singin'
You're frae my true-love sen.'
O first he sang a merry song,
An' then he sang a grave, An' then he peck'd his feathers gray,
To her the letter gave.
marys] maidens.                 shot-window] here = bow-window,
the streen] yestreen. 276
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