Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
71. The Fair Flower of Northumberland
 
 
I

IT was a knight in Scotland born,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
Was taken prisoner and left forlorn,
  Even by the good Earl of Northumberland.
 
II

Then was he cast in prison strong,
        5
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
Where he could not walk nor lie along,
  Even by the good Earl of Northumberland.
 
III

And as in sorrow thus he lay,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—        10
The Earl’s sweet daughter walk’d that way,
  And she the faire flower of Northumberland.
 
IV

And loud to her this knight did crie,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
The salt teares standing in his eye,        15
  And she the faire flower of Northumberland.
 
V

‘Faire lady,’ he said, ‘take pity on me,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
And let me not in prison dee,
  And you the faire flower of Northumberland.’—        20
 
VI

‘Faire sir, how should I take pity on thee?
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
Thou being a foe to our countrie,
  And I the faire flower of Northumberland.’
 
VII

‘Faire lady, I am no foe,’ he said,
        25
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
‘Through thy sweet love here was I stay’d,
  For thee, the faire flower of Northumberland.’—
 
VIII

‘Why shouldst thou come here for love of me,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—        30
Having wife and children in thy countrie?
  —And I the faire flower of Northumberland.’—
 
IX

‘I swear by the blesséd Trinitie,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
I have no wife nor children, I,        35
  But I’ll make you my ladye in faire Scotland.
 
X

‘I swear by Him that was crown’d with thorn,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
That I never had wife since the day I was born,
  But I live a free lord in faire Scotland.’—        40
 
XI

She stole from her father’s pillow the key,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
And soon out of prison she’s set him free
  To wend with her into faire Scotland.
 
XII

Likewise much gold she got by sleight,
        45
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
And all to help this forlorne knight
  To wend from her father to faire Scotland.
 
XIII

She’s led him down to her father’s stable,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—        50
And she’s stolen two steeds both wight and able,
  To carry them on to faire Scotland.
 
XIV

They rode till they came to a water clear,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
‘Good Sir, how should I follow you here,        55
  And I the faire flower of Northumberland?
 
XV

‘The water is rough and wonderful steepe,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
And on my saddle I shall not keepe,
  And I the faire flower of Northumberland.’—        60
 
XVI

‘Fear not the ford, faire lady,’ quoth he,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
‘For long I cannot stay for thee,
  And thou the faire flower of Northumberland.’
 
XVII

From top to toe all wet was she:
        65
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
‘This have I done for love of thee,
  And I the faire flower of Northumberland.’
 
XVIII

They rode till they came to a Scottish moss,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—        70
He bade her light off from her father’s horse,
  Says, ‘Go, get you back to Northumberland.
 
XIX

‘For I have a wife and children five,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
In Edenborrow they be alive,        75
  So get thee home to Northumberland.’—
 
XX

‘Have pity on me as I had it on thee!
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
A cook in your kitchen I will be,
  Even I, the faire flower of Northumberland.        80
 
XXI

‘Or take me by the body so meek,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
And throw me in the water so deep,
  For I darena go back to Northumberland.’
 
XXII

He turn’d him around and he thought of a plan,
        85
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
He bought an old horse and he hired an old man
  To carry her back to Northumberland.
 
XXIII

When she came thro’ her father’s ha’,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—        90
She louted her low amongst them a’,
  She was the faire flower of Northumberland.
 
XXIV

Down came her father, he saw her and smiled,
  Follow, my love, come over the strand—
‘You arena the first the false Scots have beguiled,        95
  And ye’re aye welcome back to Northumberland!’
 
GLOSS:  dee] die.  wight] sturdy.  louted] bowed.
 

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors