Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
148. The Gypsy Countess
 
 
I

THERE cam’ seven Egyptians on a day,
  And wow, but they sang bonny!
And they sang sae sweet, and sae very complete,
  Down cam’ Earl Cassilis’ lady.
 
II

She cam’ tripping down the stair,
        5
  And a’ her maids before her;
As soon as they saw her weel-faur’d face
  They cast the glamourie owre her.
 
III

They gave to her the nutmeg,
  And they gave to her the ginger;        10
But she gave to them a far better thing,
  The seven gold rings off her fingers.
 
IV

And when the Earl he did come home,
  Enquiring for his ladie,
One of the servants made this reply,        15
  ‘She ’s awa’ with the gypsie laddie.’
 
V

‘Come saddle for me the brown,’ he said,
  ‘For the black was ne’er so speedy,
And I will travel night and day
  Till I find out my wanton ladie.’        20
 
VI

‘Will you come home, my dear?’ he said,
  ‘Oh will you come home, my honey?
And by the point of my broad sword,
  A hand I’ll ne’er lay on you.’…
 
VII

‘Yestreen I rade this water deep,
        25
  And my own gude lord beside me;
But this night I maun wet my little pretty feet
  With a wheen blackguards to wade me.
 
VIII

‘Yestreen I lay on a good feather-bed,
  And my own wedded lord beyond me,        30
And to-night I’ll lie in the ash-corner,
  With the gypsies all around me.
 
IX

‘They took off my high-heeled shoes,
  That were made of Spanish leather,
And I have put on coarse Lowland brogues,        35
  To trip it o’er the heather.
 
X

‘The Earl of Cassilis is lying sick;
  Not one hair I’m sorry;
I’d rather have a kiss from Johnny Faa’s lips
  Than all his gold and his money.’        40
 

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