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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' He'll hang thy merry men, pair by pair, In ony frith where he may them find.'—
i Ay, by my troth ! ' the Outlaw said, ' Than wad I think me far behind.
' Ere the King my fair country get,
This land that's nativest to me, Mony o' his nobles sail be cauld,
Their ladies sail be right wearied
Then spak' his lady, fair of face :
She said, ' 'Twere without consent of me,
That an outlaw suld come before a King ; I am right rad of treasonrie.
Bid him be gude to his lords at hame, For Edinburgh my lord sail never see.'
James Boyd took his leave o' the Outlaw keen,
To Edinboro' boun' is he ; When James he cam' before the King,
He kneeled lowly on his knee.
' Welcome, James Boyd ! ' said our noble King ' What forest is Ettrick Forest free ?'—
' Ettrick Forest is the fairest forest That ever man saw wi' his e'e.
' There 's the dae, the rae, the hart, the hin'. And of a' wild beasts great plentie ;
There 's a pretty castle of lime and stane, O gif it stands not pleasantlie! rad] afraid.
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