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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' C gin it he a lass,' he says,
' Weel nursed it sail be; But gin it be a lad bairn,
He sail be hanged hie.
' I winna spare for his tender age, Nor yet for his hie hie kin ;
But soon as e'er he born is,
He sail mount the gallows pin.'—
O four-and-twenty valiant knights Were set the Queen to guard ;
And four stood aye at her bour door, To keep both watch and ward.
But when the time drew near an end,
That she suld lighter be, She cast about to find a wile,
To set her body free.
O she has birled these merry young men With the ale but and the wine,
Until they were a' deadly drunk As any wild-wood swine.
' O narrow, narrow is this window. And big, big am I grown! '—
Yet through the might of Our Ladye, Out at it she is gone.
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