Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
6. Babylon; or, The Bonnie Banks o Fordie
 
Traditional Ballads
 
 
THERE were three ladies lived in a bower,
  Eh vow bonnie
And they went out to pull a flower,
  On the bonnie banks o Fordie
 
They hadna pu’ed a flower but ane,        5
When up started to them a banisht man.
 
He’s taen the first sister by her hand,
And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
“It’s whether will ye be a rank robber’s wife,
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”        10
 
“It’s I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
But I’ll rather die by your wee pen-knife.”
 
He’s killed this may, and he’s laid her by,
For to bear the red rose company.
 
He’s taken the second ane by the hand,        15
And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
“It’s whether will ye be a rank robber’s wife,
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”
 
“I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
But I’ll rather die by your wee pen-knife.”        20
 
He’s killed this may, and he’s laid her by,
For to bear the red rose company.
 
He’s taken the youngest ane by the hand,
And he’s turned her round and made her stand.
 
Says, “Will ye be a rank robber’s wife,        25
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife?”
 
“I’ll not be a rank robber’s wife,
Nor will I die by your wee pen-knife.
 
“For I hae a brother in this wood,
And gin ye kill me, it’s he’ll kill thee.”        30
 
“What’s thy brother’s name? come tell to me.”
“My brother’s name is Baby Lon.”
 
“O sister, sister, what have I done!
O have I done this ill to thee!
 
“O since I’ve done this evil deed,        35
Good sall 1 never be seen o me.”
 
He’s taken out his wee pen-knife,
And he’s twyned 2 himsel o his ain sweet life.
 
Note 1. Larks. [back]
Note 2. Given. [back]
 

CONTENTS · BOOK 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