Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
21. Brown Robyn’s Confession
 
 
I

IT fell upon a Wadensday
  Brown Robyn’s men went to sea;
But they saw neither moon nor sun
  Nor starlight wi’ their e’e.
 
II

‘We’ll cast kevels us amang;
        5
  See wha the man may be.’—
The kevel fell on Brown Robyn,
  The master-man was he.
 
III

‘It is nae wonder,’ said Brown Robyn,
  ‘Altho’ I dinna thrive;        10
[For at hame I murder’d my ain father—
  I would he were on live.]
 
IV

‘But tie me to a plank o’ wude,
  And throw me in the sea;
And if I sink, ye may bid me sink,        15
  But if I swim, let be.’
 
V

They’ve tied him to a plank o’ wude
  And thrown him in the sea;
He didna sink, tho’ they bade him sink,
  He swim’d, and they bade let be.        20
 
VI

He hadna been into the sea
  An hour but barely three,
Till by it came Our Blessed Ladie
  Her dear young son her wi’.
 
VII

‘Will ye gang to your men again,
        25
  ‘Or will ye gang wi’ me?
Will ye gang to the high heavens
  Wi’ my dear son and me?’—
 
VIII

‘I winna gang to my men again,
  For they would be fear’d at me;        30
But I would gang to the high heavens,
  Wi’ thy dear son and thee.’
 
IX

‘It’s for nae honour ye did, Brown Robyn,
  It’s for nae gude ye did to me;
But a’ is for your fair confession        35
  You’ve made upon the sea.’
 
GLOSS:  kevels] lots.
 

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