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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They hadna filed a shackle of iron, A shackle of iron but barely three,
When out and spak young Simon brave : ' O dinna you see what I do see ?
' Lo ! yonder comes Lieutenant Gordon, Wi' a hundred men in his companie;
This night will be our lyke-wake night, The morn the day we a' maun die.'—
O there was mounting, mounting in haste, And cracking of whips out owre the lee;
Until they cam to Annan water, And it was flowing like the sea.
' My mare is young and very skeigh,
And in o' the weil she will drown me ! '—
' But ye'll take mine, and I'll take thine, And sune through the water we sail be.'
Then up and spak him coarse Ca'field (I wot and little gude worth was he),
' We had better lose ane than lose a' the lave; We'll lose the prisoner, we'll gae free.'—
' Shame fa' you and your lands baith !
Wad ye e'en your lands to your born billy ? But hey ! bear up, my bonnie black mare,
And yet thro' the water we sail be.'—
skeigh] shy.         vveif] eddy.         lave] rest.          e'en] eves,
count as equal. 736
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