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.
 
15. King Orfeo
 
A Shetland Ballad
 
 
I

DER lived a king inta da aste,
  Scowan ürla grün
Der lived a lady in da wast.
  Whar giorten han grün oarlac.
 
II

Dis king he has a huntin gaen,
        5
He’s left his Lady Isabel alane.
 
III

‘Oh I wis ye’d never gaen away,
For at your hame is döl an wae.
 
IV

‘For da king o Ferrie we his daert,
Has pierced your lady to da hert.’        10
 
V

And aifter dem da king has gaen,
But when he cam it was a grey stane.
 
VI

Dan ne took oot his pipes ta play,
Bit sair his hert wi döl an wae.
 
VII

And first he played da notes o noy,
        15
An dan he played da notes o jov.
 
VIII

An dan he played da göd gabber reel,
Dat meicht ha made a sick hert hale.
 
IX

‘Noo come ye in inta wir ha’,
An come ye in among wis a’.’        20
 
X

Now he’s gaen in inta der ha’,
An he’s gaen in among dem a’.
 
XI

Dan he took out his pipes to play,
Bit sair his hert wi döl an wae.
 
XII

An first he played da notes o noy,
        25
An dan he played da notes o joy.
 
XIII

An dan he played da göd gabber reel,
Dat meicht ha made a sick hert hale.
 
XIV

‘Noo tell to us what ye will hae:
What sall we gie you for your play?’—        30
 
XV

‘What I will hae I will you tell,
An dat’s me Lady Isabel.’—
 
XVI

‘Yees tak your lady, an yees gaeng hame,
An yees be king ower a’ your ain.’
 
XVII

He’s taen his lady, an he’s gaen hame,
        35
An noo he’s king ower a’ his ain.
 
GLOSS:  aste] east.  Scowan &c.] Early green’s the wood.  Whar giorten &c.] Where the hart goes yearly.  noy] grief.  da göd gabber reel] the rollicking dance-tune.  wir] our.  wis] us.
 

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