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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' But what gar'd thee steal the Laird's Jock's horse ?
And, limmer, what gar'd ye steal him ?' quo' he ; ' For lang thou mightst in Cumberland dwelt
Or the Laird's Jock had stown aught frae thee.'—
' Indeed I wat ye lied, my lord !
And e'en sae loud as I hear ye lie ! I wan the horse frae fair Johnie Armstrang,
Hand to hand, on Cannobie lee.
' There is the jack was on his back ;
This twa-handed sword hung laigh by his thie: And there 's the steel cap was on his head ;
I brought a' these tokens to let thee see.'—
L ' If that be true thou to me tells
(And I think thou dares na tell me a lee), I'll gie thee fifteen punds for the horse,
Well tauld on thy cloak lap they shall be.
I'll gie thee ane o' my best milk kye, To maintain thy wife and children three;
And that may be as gude, I think, As ony twa o' thine wad be.'—
' The shame speed the liars, my lord ! ' quo' Dickie;
' Trow ye aye to make a fule o' me ? I'll either hae twenty punds for the gude horse,
Or he 's gae to Mortan Fair wi' me.'
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