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 what's this come o' me now ?' quo' Dickie ;
' What mickle wae is this ?' quo' he ; i For here is but ae innocent fule,
And there are thirty Armstrangs and three !'
Yet he has come up to the fair ha' board,
Sae well he became his courtesie ! i Well may ye be, my gude Laird's Jock !
But the deil bless a' your companie.
' I'm come to plain o' your man, Johnie Armstrang,
And syne o' his billie Willie,' quo' he; ' How they hae been in my house last night,
And they hae ta'en my three kye frae me.'β€”
xx ' Ha !' quo' Johnie Armstrang, ' we will him hang.'
β€”' Na,' quo' Willie, ' we'll him slae.'β€” Then up and spak another young Armstrang,
' We'll gie him his batts, and let him gae.'
But up and spak the gude Laird's Jock,
The best in a' the companie, ' Sit down thy ways a little while, Dickie,
And a piece o' thy ain cow's hough I'll gie ye.'
But Dickie's heart it grew sae grit,
That the ne'er a bit o't he dought to eatβ€”
Then he was aware of an auld peat-house, Where a' the night he thought for to sleep.
plain] complain.            batts] beating.            grit] great, i.e.
his heart swelled so.           dought to] could.
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