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 whan he came to broken briggs,
He bent his bow and swam, An' whan he came to the green grass growin',
He slack'd his shoone and ran.
O whan he came to Lord William's gates-,
He baed na to chap or ca', But set his bent bow till his breast,
An' lightly lap' the wa' ; An', or the porter was at the gate,
The boy was i' the ha'.
' O is my biggins broken, boy ?
Or is my towers won ? Or is my lady lighter yet,
Of a dear daughter or son V'—'
' Your biggin is na broken, sir,
Nor is your towers won ; But the fairest lady in a' the land
For you this day maun burn.'—
' O saddle me the black, the black,
Or saddle me the brown; O saddle me the swiftest steed
That ever rade frae a town ! '
br.ed] abode, tarried. chap] knock, biggins] buildings.
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