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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Syne to the stable door he hied,
Wi' tread as light as light could be:
And when he open'd and gaed in,
There he fand thirty steeds and three.
He took a colt halter frae his hose, And o' his purpose he didna fail;
He slipt it owre the Wanton's nose, And tied it to his gray mare's tail.
xr He turn'd them loose at the castle gate,
Owre muir and moss and ilka dale; And she ne'er let the Wanton bait,
But kept him still gaun to her tail.
The mare she was right swift o' foot,
She didna fail to find the way; For she was at Lochmaben gate
Fu' lang three hours before the day.
When she came to the Harper's door,
There she gave mony a nicker and sneer—
' Rise up,' quo' the wife, ' thou lazy lass ; Let in thy master and his mare!
Then up she rose, put on her clothes, And keekit out through the lock-hole—
' O ! by my sooth,' then cried the lass,
' Our mare has gotten a braw brown foal!'—
nicker and sneer] whinny and snort.
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